difference between LN 101, 102, 103 block planes?


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Hi everyone, I found one good blog on the topic but didn't go too deep, and I did not see the Lie Nielsen 101 block plane mentioned, their so-called 'violin plane'.  I read on their site it is a steeper angle than the 102.

I am just about to start to make my first bridges, and I am wondering which plane to invest in.  Anyone have experience with the 101?  I read some other preferences.  Which would be better for bridges?

On the side, what other planes are necessary for violin-making on the whole?  If you could help me out with the LN (or other brands') #s that would be great.

 

-Jesse

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i believe some info on their site implies that the higher angle compliments the more decorative arts and beautifying the wood more??  i have no experience with that, but I gathered that makers were using lower angled planes from the other blog i read.

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I have the Cremona Tools equivalent of the 101, and I find it useful. Linky: https://www.cremonatools.com/block-plane-stainless-steel-overall-length-90mm-blade-angle-45-6504.html

I like to use it for trimming rib ends, shaping bridge faces, trimming linings to the ribs, assisting to shape the long-arch, and a few other things where it fits nicely in my hand. I'd get by just fine without it, but I find it comfortable for those things.

But if I could have only one I'd go with the 102. The 102 can do everything the 101 can do, but the 101 can't do everything the 102 can do.

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103’s are not made anymore by Lie-Nielsen.  The 103 was what they called their standard angle and the 102 was the low angle.  The difference between them really just affects how it feels in your hand as the cap iron will hit the palm of your hand differently, but also the angle of the cutting angle is affected.  You could still get a higher cutting angle with the 102 by sharpening the 102 blade to a steeper angle, but the steeper the edge, the harder it is to push the plane through the wood.  You can still find the 103 on eBay and whatnot but it’s more expensive as it’s becoming a collectors item.  A lot of bow makers like the 103 because of the steeper angle and you need a steep cutting angle for pernambuco.  Probably for your purposes the 102 would do everything you need.  
 

Personal plug...I have a 103 that I never use and am thinking of selling.  Anyone who’s interested let me know.  

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The Lie-Nielsen 102 & 103 use the same blades and have the same overall dimensions. The 102 has a 12-degree frog, the 103 has a 20 degree frog angle. The #103 was discontinued several years back and commands a premium on eBay. The #102 is backordered at LN.
 

There is also the Veritas Apron plane which is a similar sized blade, cheaper, and perhaps available sooner (supposedly in stock Friday).

There’s also a Luban/Qiangsheng plane who make a bronze #102 & 103, available from Aliexpress. This is the same place that makes Woodriver planes for woodcraft.

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25 minutes ago, Carl Johnson said:

There’s also a Luban/Qiangsheng plane who make a bronze #102 & 103, available from Aliexpress. This is the same place that makes Woodriver planes for woodcraft.

It's interesting that Woodcraft says this about one of their Woodriver planes:

"An all-purpose hand plane, the No. 5, or jack, plane will perform almost any job you might need done, while providing you with experience and feed back to help you pick your next plane. :lol:

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Carl, thanks!   The mobile site said back ordered, on my pc it did not.   I hit place back order on the mobile and it put it into my cart without saying anything about a back order.   Maybe I got lucky,  we'll see.   Either way,  looks like it will be worth the wait.   Thanks,  everyone.

David, I hope it doesn't lend me valuable feedback in the form of experiencing many cuts and much missing skin. :lol:

So since you all are here, any beginner tips on using it??

(Edit: just got confirmation, and it is on back order.   They say 1-2 weeks.  I'll hope for within a month, I suppose.)

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

It's interesting that Woodcraft says this about one of their Woodriver planes:

"An all-purpose hand plane, the No. 5, or jack, plane will perform almost any job you might need done, while providing you with experience and feed back to help you pick your next plane. :lol:

LOL. Don't ask us, we only sell them.

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1 hour ago, JesseBrano said:

Carl, thanks!   The mobile site said back ordered, on my pc it did not.   I hit place back order on the mobile and it put it into my cart without saying anything about a back order.   Maybe I got lucky,  we'll see.   Either way,  looks like it will be worth the wait.   Thanks,  everyone.

David, I hope it doesn't lend me valuable feedback in the form of experiencing many cuts and much missing skin. :lol:

So since you all are here, any beginner tips on using it??

(Edit: just got confirmation, and it is on back order.   They say 1-2 weeks.  I'll hope for within a month, I suppose.)

The Veritas plane is better.

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10 hours ago, sospiri said:

Do you get what you pay for in a Veritas plane?

I've thought the ones I've seen and used were very nice. They didn't exist when I was tooling up, but if I were to start over, those are probably the block planes I'd get.

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14 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I've thought the ones I've seen and used were very nice. They didn't exist when I was tooling up, but if I were to start over, those are probably the block planes I'd get.

I bought one of the other brands mentioned in this thread. I don't mind working for hours to get the sole flat, but the pin isn't level. Is this fixable?

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