Router Plane choice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-15-2019, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Router Plane choice

I'm just getting into woodworking. I'm currently acquiring hand tools. I was wondering what feedback I could get by asking for opinions, compare/contrast on the router plane options I'm considering. I'm considering buying a Stanley No 71 (or 71 1/2) off of ebay or ordering a Cowryman router plane from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...DU5TJVY6&psc=1

I've heard good things about the old stanley's but my concern is that procuring blades/parts could be troublesome. I believe I read somewhere online that the older the stanley, the heavier more robust tool it will be. Please offer insight on different generations of the 71 and 71 1/2 if you happen to know.

I do realize that Veritas has a very nice router plane but it's out of my price range.

I'm also open to suggestions.

Any feedback will be much appreciated.

thank you in advance.

-cbliss
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-15-2019, 10:48 AM
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The old Stanleys work very well. Buy one that include cutters, but I'm pretty sure they are readily available easy to check on that.

I looked at the plane on Amazon. Despite the ratings, with just a survey, several things bother me:

Its quite narrow in width, so concerned about flex in the cutterhead support.

No mention of what the cutter is made of I'd be suspicious its cheap steel.

IMO certainly not worth the costs. Plus I've never heard of the brand and I think I've heard of about every thing out there.

You know you can also make one quite easily? Check Paul Sellers he has a video on the "poor man's router plane".

Bottom line: IMO you can't go wrong with the Stanley.
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Last edited by DrRobert; 10-15-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-15-2019, 12:00 PM
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I have seen this hand router regularly on ebay for less than $60.00 new. There seems to be 2 complaints... the handles are too small and should be twice the size to prevent hand cramping, and the other complaint is having to fiddle (tightening) the blade lock screw because it sets at a 45 degree angle against the blade. Being made of stainless steel it should be stout enough though. I am also looking for a hand router, but find the used prices ridiculous! Ill be sticking with my home made hand router for a while.

Gary
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-15-2019, 03:55 PM
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Holy Moly!

There's not a single "Buy it Now" router plane on this entire list and prices go up to $200.00 +!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...anley&_sacat=0

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-15-2019, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
There's not a single "Buy it Now" router plane on this entire list and prices go up to $200.00 +!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...anley&_sacat=0
Actually I just looked and there is one now for $65. Better hurry!!

Last edited by DrRobert; 10-15-2019 at 04:51 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-15-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your input and links. I dug around a little more and found that lie nielsen has 2 router planes as well. Both priced at $140 (which is a little more attractive than the veritas at $200).
I found this article containing some input on both the Veritas and L.N.: https://www.popularwoodworking.com/a...-router-plane/
The author notes that the planes are made of ductile iron rather than cast. I'm not sure about the pros/cons about ductile iron bodies. My first thought is if the plane is dopped it won't shatter.
I'm considering buying the Stanley in the link above listed on Ebay for 89 (buy it now). I was hoping to get some input on the Lie Nielsen if anyone had some
thanks again everybody

-C

Last edited by cbliss01; 10-15-2019 at 11:07 PM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-16-2019, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbliss01 View Post
The author notes that the planes are made of ductile iron rather than cast. I'm not sure about the pros/cons about ductile iron bodies. My first thought is if the plane is dopped it won't shatter.

C

That is correct. Ductile steel wonít break or crack or chip.

What do you need to know about Lie-Nielsen planes? They work well right out of the box. Attention to detail is amazing.

If you ever do a factory tour you wonít believe the piles of rejected parts. You can look at them for minutes and not find the defect until the worker at the station points it out. You will never find a defective casting with pits or dents or small voids because all those pieces get rejected and melted back down.

They are an American company and all parts and castings are made in Maine. They have an open house every summer with factory tours and workshops covering everything to do with hand tools. They invite vendors who showcase some innovative hand tools that most people are never exposed to. The top hand tool woodworkers in the country are on hand as well, giving seminars and demonstrations. They are very accessible.

Iím glad that I can afford to support them and do so whenever I can.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-16-2019, 04:23 PM
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For a while I scouted eBay looking for a vintage Stanley router plane. My criteria was that it was complete, unbroken, with at least a 1/4" blade included. Couldn't find one for less than $75 starting bid. Once bidding started, well over $150-200, and more!

I figured if I was going to be paying that much I may as well go new. Over time, I ended up buying the Veritas mini, small and medium routers, in that order. I found that I have use for all 3 in different capacities, due to their sizes.

A couple extra comments on the Veritas line:
- I don't recommend that you get the mini, as the blade is not compatible with the blades for the small and medium routers (which share the same blades). As its name implies, it is very small, to the point that I can only put a couple fingers behind it, and causes hand fatigue over long sessions. The small router isn't much bigger, which effectively negates the need for the mini in my opinion.
- The blades for the small and medium routers are compatible with Stanley #71, from what I understand.

That Cowryman plane, I've seen it on Amazon, and I'm intrigued by it's very simple design. Just a plate metal base, and the blade is straight. Typically, sharpening angled hand plane blades can be a bear of a task. But from the looks of the Cowryman, it's got a straight blade, which would make the task much easier. If you read the reviews, there appear to be issues with the set screw design, so you may have to fiddle to keep it from slipping. Also, does the Cowryman you linked allow multiple blade sizes? That big one apparently comes with a 3/8".
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-16-2019, 11:09 PM
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I have the large & small router planes from Lie-Nielsen. Both have the closed throats. They are top quality tools. I consider both well worth the price. I also spent the 20 bucks for the depth stop for the small plane. Again, worth the money.

Iíve been to a couple of LNís Hand Tool Events. The schedule is on their website. If you can attend one, I think you would enjoy it.


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post #10 of 11 Old 10-17-2019, 08:43 AM
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After looking at the Lie Nielson planes and comparing with the Veritas, my observation is that I don't like the way the Veritas's knobs attach to the base using a wood screw into the handle. Just seems like it will fail. I like the way the knobs are attached to the Lie Nielson using the same fastening system as a tote on a quality hand plane. I also think vertical knobs would be more comfortable when using. Also having a variety of blade widths is helpful to have.

Gary
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-18-2019, 09:15 PM
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I remember having this quandary not long ago. Here are my observations and experiences:

As a "student of Sellers," Paul uses the router plane quite often - so it was a must have tool for me. Prices on eBay are ridiculous, so in my opinion, you might as well buy new. That led me to the Lie-Nielsen and Veritas planes. The price between the two is negligible, so it's about features. I went with the Veritas, and here's why:

Veritas blade is two-piece, so it's much easier to sharpen correctly. Veritas also has 3 blades available...I believe LN only has a single blade.

Veritas has a closed throat design, which offers more support when you're working close to edges of boards. LN is open throat, and while it offers more visibility, I didn't think the trade-off here was worth it.

The most obvious difference is the orientation of the knobs. This will come down to personal preference, but I liked the Veritas design as it lends itself better to more delicate work like trimming tenons whereas the LN is more of a "fists" grip used for smoothing the bottom of a mortise.

I use my router plane on every project, and it's one of my favorite tools. I wouldn't want to be without it. I've never had an issue with the blade coming loose, which can be a problem for any router plane. I don't think you can go wrong with LN or Veritas, or a good used Stanley for that matter.
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