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NCLuthierWyatt

Block Plane for making

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19 hours ago, NCLuthierWyatt said:

Thank you very much guys. I have pretty small hands and I've heard wonders about the Lie Nielsen 60 1/2 so I'm gonna go ahead and place my order! 

I don't think you'll ever regret that.  I have two (one is set-up for planing fingerboards).  They are very comfortable to use.  I have two iron Stanley planes that sit in the drawer next to them, and the only time I use those is when I have something I want to plane that might be hard on the plane, such as trimming the bottom edge of an old door that might have sand imbedded in it.

Enjoy!

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3 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

I don't think you'll ever regret that.  I have two (one is set-up for planing fingerboards).  They are very comfortable to use.  I have two iron Stanley planes that sit in the drawer next to them, and the only time I use those is when I have something I want to plane that might be hard on the plane, such as trimming the bottom edge of an old door that might have sand imbedded in it.

Enjoy!

Lie Nielsen  planes are indeed a joy to use. I didn't realize how much I was missing until I bought one.

Are Veritas as good? I don't know, having never owned one yet.

For one who uses a plane professionally and regularly, I would expect the additional cost of a Lie Nielsen to be recovered in a week to a month, due to the increased productivity in less time.

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I have and use a Stanley 9 1/2 that works wonderfully, still my favorite. But I spent many hours flattening the sole and the blade housing fixing it because out of the box it was unusable for violin making purposes, but it was the time when it was considered the norm to have to fix planes and Lie Nilsen was not even known or imported here in Italy (early 80s).

But if I had to buy it today I would probably look for something ready to use....

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

I have and use a Stanley 9 1/2 that works wonderfully, still my favorite. But I spent many hours flattening the sole and the blade housing fixing it because out of the box it was unusable for violin making purposes, but it was the time when it was considered the norm to have to fix planes and Lie Nilsen was not even known or imported here in Italy (early 80s).

But if I had to buy it today I would probably look for something ready to use....

Same here. I don't know how many hours I have spent trying to get inferior planes to work well, but in total, it has probably been at least 40 hours. For a high-level professional, that's about a four-thousand-dollar setback.

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Same here.  Earlier, in retired hobbyist mode, I couldn't justify spending $$ for real tools but could spend the time to mess with swapmeet planes to get them semi-functional.  After getting some income from the violin biz and my  first LN plane (102), I'm no longer in that mode... and eyeing the Veritas or LN to upgrade from my old Stanley block plane.

The 102 is just the right size for trimming the heel of the neck for fitting to the body, and other fine work.  I have the LN low-angle jack plane for bigger things, but now feeling the need for a good medium-small plane.

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My first block plane was a Stanley 9 1/2 from the 40s. I had to spend a long time to get it working, but it did the job. After borrowing a friend’s Lie-Nielsen 102, I was so impressed I bought myself one as soon as I could. Then I got lucky, because the shop bought me a couple other Lie-Nielsen planes.

The block plane with adjustable mouth is my workhorse now, and I use the 102 for fingerboards. I have the violin maker’s plane, but I have to make up excuses to use it most of the time.  I still like to use my bigger Bailey planes if I’m joining wood or thinning fingerboards from the bottom.

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1 hour ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

I still like to use my bigger Bailey planes if I’m joining wood or thinning fingerboards from the bottom.

When I got my Lie Nielson joining plane, my highly massaged and corrected Bailey joining plane was relegated to more "roughing" jobs.

No, Lie Nielsen has never paid me anything, nor have I even gotten so much as a discount. I just call stuff the way I see it.

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From what I can ascertain most violins produced have either a clearly bad, a good, or a perfect plate join. Perfect being an almost indiscernible joint. Without using the right tools and methodology a perfect joint is impossible to achieve.

A precisely machined plane, of whatever size, with a properly honed blade (on a flat stone or diamond plate) is essential. And I have found that the only way to produce a perfectly flat edge cut is to CLOSELY check your planing progress with a straight edge. I have a Veritas straight edge which I use all the time for all sorts of purposes and I wouldn't be without it. When you have a perfectly flat edge on one plate half you can do the same with the other. When you are sure that you have both edges as good as you can get them you can be sure that the glue joint will be as good as it is possible to achieve.

Doing centre joints this way is a very efficient method as opposed to others like planing two edges together (risk of doubling errors in flatness), or shooting boards which cannot guarantee an edge any straighter than a freehand pass with a plane. When I watch clips on You Tube or see how some makers (even well known makers) heroically wield a plane using some of these techniques I know that the only thing that is producing a seemingly passable joint, especially if they haven't even done a light check with the two pieces held together, is the quite considerable clamping pressure applied in the gluing operation

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MN is an expensive free site.  

Just ordered the Veritas low angle plane...  motivated by this thread.  Probably would have done that eventually anyway.

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53 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

From what I can ascertain most violins produced have either a clearly bad, a good, or a perfect plate join. Perfect being an almost indiscernible joint. Without using the right tools and methodology a perfect joint is impossible to achieve.

A precisely machined plane, of whatever size, with a properly honed blade (on a flat stone or diamond plate) is essential. And I have found that the only way to produce a perfectly flat edge cut is to CLOSELY check your planing progress with a straight edge. I have a Veritas straight edge which I use all the time for all sorts of purposes and I wouldn't be without it. When you have a perfectly flat edge on one plate half you can do the same with the other. When you are sure that you have both edges as good as you can get them you can be sure that the glue joint will be as good as it is possible to achieve.

Doing centre joints this way is a very efficient method as opposed to others like planing two edges together (risk of doubling errors in flatness), or shooting boards which cannot guarantee an edge any straighter than a freehand pass with a plane. When I watch clips on You Tube or see how some makers (even well known makers) heroically wield a plane using some of these techniques I know that the only thing that is producing a seemingly passable joint, especially if they haven't even done a light check with the two pieces held together, is the quite considerable clamping pressure applied in the gluing operation

Hide glue produces a chemical bond and is essentially useless as a physical bonding agent and worse as a gap filler. Clamping pressure is more or less immaterial provided a good joint, and will not meaningfully accommodate a poor one. 

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I think I can confidently state that two otherwise well planed boards showing a gap, either at their centre or each end, when butted together can be clamped together with enough pressure to close those gaps. That is why some makers use them. Of course the result is still a compromised joint.

Skilled makers who know how to produce perfect or near perfect  joining surfaces know they don't need clamps and rely on rubbed joints. And they probably have come to that conclusion because they know how awkward it can be to clamp plates together.

I agree that very badly prepared, uneven or winding surfaces will not be improved by any sort of clamping pressure. My point is that using the right preparation will create the strongest and all but invisible join.

 

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2 hours ago, Dennis J said:

A precisely machined plane, of whatever size, with a properly honed blade (on a flat stone or diamond plate) is essential. And I have found that the only way to produce a perfectly flat edge cut is to CLOSELY check your planing progress with a straight edge. I have a Veritas straight edge which I use all the time for all sorts of purposes and I wouldn't be without it.

I have a LN low-angle jack plane primarily purchased for making plate joints... but I found that my power jointer actually works better for me*.  I should note that I invested probably a week or two fine-tuning the power jointer to get it accurate enough.  And I much prefer a granite surface plate to a straight edge, so I can check the edge of the plate against the surface plate with chalk.  If there are any high spots, a flat scraper makes quick work of the final flattening, and it's a good check to make sure the joint isn't wonky, and there aren't any chips out of the jointer blades.

* Seems to me that a perfect jointer plane would have a sole aft of the blade that can be adjusted to exactly the level of the blade (like a power jointer).  Otherwise, the wood rocks a bit after the cut, and it can't cut a perfectly flat surface.  You just have to make a super-fine cut with a super-sharp blade to minimize this problem.

43 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

Skilled makers who know how to produce perfect or near perfect  joining surfaces know they don't need clamps and rely on rubbed joints. And they probably have come to that conclusion because they know how awkward it can be to clamp plates together.

I'm a firm believer in the rub joint, where I can see an even bead of glue squeezed out everywhere, and no gaps.  And there's the feel of the glue grabbing, which is a nice tactile check that all is well.

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Yes, I think a straight edge or reference plate is the necessary ingredient for success. There is not much room for error, perhaps .1 mm or less on each edge,  and planing that narrow edge of maple or spruce, which may or may not be a friendly participant in the process, can make things quite demanding.

Good planes with super sharp blades and good technique alone are often not enough.

One join that I find tricky is the lower rib one. I think the best way to approach it, maybe, is to saw the ends square rather than planing them or using a knife. I've found that the rib ends don't always clamp together as you want them to and any gap shows up quite starkly. However I haven't yet found a saw that I like. I'd be interested in any suggestions along those lines.

 

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Dennis, seems like we're very much on the same page. 

As for lower rib joints, I just avoid them by using one piece lower ribs. Uppers too, for that matter. I know it's not a luxury everyone gets, but it sure is nice when you can. When you can't, I just shoot them with a block plane like most folks. 

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Yes Jackson. I've got some fairly dense Bosnian maple I bought about 10 years ago. But all of it has a slanting figure, which I do like, but is not really suitable for a one-piece. But every time I made that joint it didn't behave itself too well. I think using softer, lower density stuff would be easier to handle. I've got a few unfinished violins that I made back then which I wasn't happy with design wise. I haven't had too much trouble with the woodwork in general and I do know a lot more than I did back then so I'm ready to get back into it.

 

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8 hours ago, David Burgess said:

When I got my Lie Nielson joining plane, my highly massaged and corrected Bailey joining plane was relegated to more "roughing" jobs.

No, Lie Nielsen has never paid me anything, nor have I even gotten so much as a discount. I just call stuff the way I see it.

I don’t doubt that Lie-Nielsen’s bigger planes are superior. I have really only stuck with my Baileys because I got them for almost nothing and I don’t have to mess with them often enough to feel the need for an upgrade. I took advantage of a day that the shop was getting reconfigured to clean up and correct my big plane. It was enjoyable to fix it up without any pressure to get customer work done for the day.

If I were starting out, I’d probably just save up for the LN. I haven’t seen a bad plane from them yet. 

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Honestly I think you guys worry too much. Imagine if Strad had a Stanley, LN or Veritas, he achieved amazing results with far worse tools than what we have today. Food for thought next time you obsess about something that's out with 0.001?

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28 minutes ago, Mampara said:

Honestly I think you guys worry too much. Imagine if Strad had a Stanley, LN or Veritas, he achieved amazing results with far worse tools than what we have today. Food for thought next time you obsess about something that's out with 0.001?

Wood bodied planes can be fettled within machinist-quality tolerances with techniques and tools that have remained virtually unchanged since the Roman empire. 

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1 hour ago, Mampara said:

Honestly I think you guys worry too much. Imagine if Strad had a Stanley, LN or Veritas, he achieved amazing results with far worse tools than what we have today. Food for thought next time you obsess about something that's out with 0.001?

It's not just a matter of tolerances it is a matter of how to achieve the best results. I know from my experience that it can be very difficult to achieve good joining surfaces on plates even with Veritas planes. In the past I have wasted a lot of time trying to edge match plates. You can go around in circles, planing one side and then the other. I found the solution was to use a straightedge. A perfect join can be achieved in a matter of minutes. Problem solved.

I'm sure that marble surface plates were used in Stradivari's time. And he definitely was aware of how to produce good joints.

The bottom line is that if you can clearly see a glue line in the middle of a plate the join is bad, whatever the reason. And there are plenty of violins around like that.

 

 

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Wood bodied planes can be fettled within machinist-quality tolerances with techniques and tools that have remained virtually unchanged since the Roman empire. 

.....and you can buy old ones for very little, and  modify and repair them easily.  I also like the way you can sometimes see the names of successive owners stamped into the body.

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14 hours ago, Dennis J said:

I think I can confidently state that two otherwise well planed boards showing a gap, either at their centre or each end, when butted together can be clamped together with enough pressure to close those gaps. That is why some makers use them. Of course the result is still a compromised joint.

Skilled makers who know how to produce perfect or near perfect  joining surfaces know they don't need clamps and rely on rubbed joints. And they probably have come to that conclusion because they know how awkward it can be to clamp plates together.

.

 

I think that you might not know as much as you think you know.

No offence intended.

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I've got a fairly good idea of what I do know and a very realistic idea of what I don't, which, like most people, is plenty. However I've been around long enough to realise when I'm making a fool of myself.

 

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4 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Wood bodied planes can be fettled within machinist-quality tolerances with techniques and tools that have remained virtually unchanged since the Roman empire. 

Exactly right, I really like my old woodies, each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, its up to me to to find its complementary role and place in my plane collection. They do however drift in and out of tolerance due to humidity or wear and they need a fair bit of maintenance to achieve tight joints consistently. For centre joints I prefer my Veritas shooting plane, if I can't get a light tight joint with that then its not the plane's fault.....

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1 hour ago, Dennis J said:

I've got a fairly good idea of what I do know and a very realistic idea of what I don't, which, like most people, is plenty. However I've been around long enough to realise when I'm making a fool of myself.

 

"It's amazing what you can achieve if you don't know what you don't know!" A favourite quote from a Garfield comic, the unknown unknowns can sometimes lead to great things. Other times they just help produce firewood with fancy shapes!

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After spending a lot of time trying to flatten my Craftsman #7 I am ready to take the plunge with a "try" or #7 purchase.

Wood River $350

Lie Nielsen $425

Quangcheng on sale for $277 at workshopheaven.com 

Tried to order from workshopheaven and cannot purchase in the US. Apparently the Wood River is a rebranded Quangcheng.  Ordered from Woodcraft.com at $348 shipped with tax after a 10% code. Hopefullly this will not require a lot of setup...

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