Jointer Plane


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I am looking into getting a jointer plane. I want a bevel down style, but the only "high quality" one I am able to find is a Lie-Neilson. I looked into the veritas, but all they have is a bevel up. I wasn't wanting to plunk down $500. I am not being cheap, I would gladly buy one for say $300 or $350. Does anyone know of a quality jointer plane at this price? Or am I asking too much?

Thanks,

Adam

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A Lie-Nielsen #7 is $425. Not $300-350, but not $500, either.

If going over your target price by $125 or so bothers you, consider this: this plane will last you decades. Even if you keep it for just three years, you're only paying an extra dime a day for that plane. And if you sell it, you're going to get most of your money back.

One alternative is to look for a good quality used Stanley Bailey or even a Bedrock #7 can be found for much less, and you can even toss in an aftermarket blade and chip breaker, like a Hock. And although I've bought and tuned up used planes with success, a jointer plane is going to be more effort to tune up because of its size. In this case, buying a quality new version of a plane is completely worth it to me.

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A LN #8 is $475. It is an excellent big jointer, and it shoots mitres very nicely. A #51 Shoot Board plane is $500. So really, you're saving $25.

I have a #8 and just built a miter shooting board and can attest to this. I played with it at the local lie-neilson event, walked away without, then came back the next day and ordered one. Very glad I did. The plane is both a beauty and a beast.... and also $475.

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I too wish LV would make a BD jointer - particularly in the No. 8 size. Oh well guess I'll have to start saving for the LN.

Actually what I'd really like to find is an old Miller Falls 24 (= Stanley No. 8). I've used a couple MF smoothers and IMHO the adjustments are noticeably more refined than the old baileys. Unfortunately , MF seems to have a cult like following of collectors so when you do see an MF plane it is often a more expensive than an equivalent Bailey.

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  • 1 month later...

I just found out through the grapevine that Woodcraft is adding a #7 jointer to their Woodriver lineup. Certainly a good product, especially after adding a higher quality iron. The not-yet-advertised item number will be #153104. If it is anything like the other planes it should be very solid after a slight bit of fettling. I am looking forward to the future release. I still have my eye on the LN #8. I agree that the LN would be superior but if you don't have or can't justify the cash, you might just hold out for the Woodriver, it is after-all basically a LN copy.

-Sam

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I understand your budget issue. I have a # 8 and rocks. Yes is not the lowest priced jointer plane in the market, at the same time it will last forever, is built like a tank, easy to adjust ... the adjustment stays ... and you will have this plane forever, it will be the last one you will every invest in. Good luck with your decision. We all have budget compromises.

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  • 1 month later...

I would check Bob Kaune's site http://www.antique-used-tools.com/ (I'm not pimping for him by the way)

He often offers up good usable tools that are specifically not "collectors" items and thus a little cheaper. I've gotten a few items from him and have been very happy with them. An antique in good shape and well set up can work every bit as well as the LN and Veritas tools. Perhaps a new blade from Hock and away you go.

I've passed over the Veritas Jointer for the same reasons. Not a big fan of the bevel up in a larger tool. I have one of their smoothing planes and I only use it for a very limited range of applications but my cheaper Record smoothing plane gets used every day.

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You could build your own. I've made two jointers to date.

The first is a 30" razee in Jarrah using a Hock blade. All hardware was made in my shop (there are tutorials on my website) ...

Jointer.jpg

Of course, if you want a Real Jointer, then here is the other I built - 36" long with a 3" wide blade :)

CoopersJointer_html_781967ee.jpg

And alongside a Stanley #7 ..

CoopersJointer_html_m36d2149a.jpg

The Veritas BU Jointer is a superb jointer and should be considered seriously. It has two advantages over most other jointers. Firstly, it can be set up with a high cutting angle for boards with interlocked grain. Secondly, its low centre of gravity makes it very easy to balance. I could add a third feature, this being that it feels like a precision instrument. It is a "must" on the short list of jointers ...

The%20Veritas%20Lee%20Valley%20Bevel%20Up%20Jointer_html_m7efd1f28.jpg

I reviewed it here: http://www.inthewood...%20Jointer.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I was also wondering, what's wrong with a BU? I think either can do a great job, but really like the fast and easy angle changes on bevel up planes. The adjustable mouth is nice, too...

I have a BU #7, and a BD Stanley #8. The #8 came from Patrick Leach, is a good worker and went for ~ $225, to which I added a Hock iron.

Patrick charges more than many sellers, but he stands behind his stuff, and accurately describes what he's selling. I once bought a #3 from him, wasn't happy when it arrived cracked, and he QUICKLY sent me another plane body.

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I've never used a guide fence with my jointer. One day I had an offcut from a home improvement project: a piece of 2x12 pine that was about 18" long. I dogged it down to my bench and practiced planing on it; first with one plane then another. I tried flattening, smoothing, and edge jointing. When it was finally about a half inch thick, I stopped. This was really cheap and really good practice. Trying to straighten an edge over and over is a useful thing to do. I eventually just kind of got a feel for it although I occasionally have to go practice up again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just found out through the grapevine that Woodcraft is adding a #7 jointer to their Woodriver lineup. Certainly a good product, especially after adding a higher quality iron. The not-yet-advertised item number will be #153104.

Sam,

I just checked out the Woodcraft website and the #7 Jointer plane is now listed...going for ~$300...I received a #4 Wood River as an early Christmas present from the wife and I thoroughly have enjoyed it so far. I really like the heft and feel of the bedrock design and I will definitely be purchasing more of the Wood River planes.

Larry

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I really like the WR planes, but the prices are high enough on them now that I'm not sure you really save enough to make it worth it anymore. I love my WR No 6 (second generation), but at the time I got it the 6s were selling for like $130 and they were clearing out the 2nd genration at the time so for $110 it was an heck of a deal. For $300, I sure would be tempted to save up the extra $ for an LN or Clifton Jointer or just go with a BU plane. Not saying the WR aren't good planes - I love mine, but for me the whole appeal was that they were a mid priced tool of consistently good quality (after the first generation, anyway) - they are getting a lot closer to the premium tools in price, but to the point where I'm not sure what you give up is worth it anymore. Not that I'm suprised or bothered by the fact that they went up in price - you do after all get what you pay for - just sorta thinking out loud here, about if they might be moving out of the hole in the market they were developed to fill.

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For $300, I sure would be tempted to save up the extra $ for an LN or Clifton Jointer or just go with a BU plane. Not saying the WR aren't good planes - I love mine, but for me the whole appeal was that they were a mid priced tool of consistently good quality (after the first generation, anyway) - they are getting a lot closer to the premium tools in price, but to the point where I'm not sure what you give up is worth it anymore.

Isn't that a surprise — that by the time you get quality control to the point where the WoodRiver planes could truly rival planes made in the U.S. in terms of quality, the cost of manufacturing gets to the point where the cost advantage is pretty minimal. That $125 difference in price between a WoodRiver #7 and a Lie-Nielsen #7 works out to be about 3-4 hours of labor for a skilled machinist, and I'm pretty sure that a jointer plane represents more than 3 hours of labor to make.

Oftentimes I hear woodworkers blaming poor quality tools on being made overseas. Being made overseas isn't the issue. Making tools at a cheap price point that precludes real quality manufacturing techniques is.

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The moment I realized that LV and LN planes are in many ways a bargain (not that I can always afford them) was the moment I tried to price my own work - nothing will teach you the value of things quicker than trying to price something that took you 20, 50, 100, or 150 hours to make, but that you could only realistically sell for a few hundred bucks (if that).

Once again, I like WR planes, I think they are quality tools that fill a nice hole in the market and when I was getting started they gave me chance to get a plane that worked really well out of the box for a price I could afford. But as Wilbur points out, to compete and maintain their quality they are now moving out of that hole in market and if they move too far out of it I think they will not be able to compete with LN and LV and others. I guess in most cases quality at significantly lower prices in tools (or anything) is an equation that doesn't work out. I do think their smaller planes are still filling that hole pretty well, but at $300 I'm not sure how many folks will opt for the WR No.7 over an LN, LV or Clifton.

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