A New Block Plane

Ed Fasano

Senior User
This essence of this will be no surprise to most of you...

I own and extensively use 15 various hand planes and spoke shaves. Like most of you, I learned long ago that with rare exception, planes and their blades, new or used, require fettling, flattening, polishing and honing before they can be truly functional. Depending on the maker and the luck of the draw, this can mean an hour or so of attention to detail or several hours of albeit rewarding drudgery.

A glaring exception to this reality are the tools made by the Lie-Nielson tool Works in Warren Maine. Opting to take the price plunge and the quality leap, I ordered a Lie-Nielson 60 ½ Low Angle Block Plane. This tool, from the box required no tuning whatsoever! The sole is dead flat and smooth as glass. The sides are square and as smooth as any metal I have ever touched. The blade’s back was also dead flat. The critical cutting edge was honed to perfection. The whisper-thin shavings are beautiful. Lie-Nielsen calls their tools “Heirloom Quality”. This, I assure you, is not hyperbole.

In a perfect world and excepting my few equally-crafted Veritas tools, all of my other Record and Sargent planes would be Lie-Nielson. Carry on.

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