Preview: Lie-Nielsen Woodworking Tools, A Glimpse at How They’re Made

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Tom Lie-Nielsen is the man behind the kind of woodworking tools that we would like to pass down to our kids and grandkids.

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You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

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12 Responses So Far to “Lie-Nielsen Woodworking Tools, A Glimpse at How They’re Made

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    Thomas Dalzell says:

    I lay them however seems convenient. Some people have soft surfaces like luthiers often work on carpet, some will lay a slat on the bench, or as has been said the shavings pile up. I don’t like snagging the bench top, I am one of those who keeps it as smooth as a piece of furniture, so I won’t put an upright plane on a raw benchtop, but not for the sake of the plane. Planes that are set for finish work are so far up the spout the are unlikely to catch. Coarse one are no big deal to set right, though I can’t think of an instance where I needed to. The only real risk to blades is if there is a lot of metal around one might put them down on. It just isn’t a big deal, nothing to make a time honored rule out of.

    One thing to be aware of, particularly if you have kids around is that when planes are on their side they can snag and rip a casually passing hand. In boat building they are often set coarse to get something done, and the blades are razor sharp, so the nicks can get your attention.

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    Thomas Dalzell says:

    I have a few LN planes, and they are excellent. But if you really push a plane, ore maybe don’t push as hard as some others, wooden planes have a lot of advantages. My wooden jointer weighs 2 pounds compared to my iron one at 7. It sets better in the wood due to superior design, so the loss of weight is in no way a loss of function; a lot of boat shops aren’t that well heated year round, and wood planes are warmer to the touch; they slide far more easily over the wood, with less friction; they can be contoured to ones hands and task. They don’t rust; They can be cycled for sharpening in seconds.

    One can argue it pro or con from either side, unless one is using any of the myriad styles that have never been seriously offered in metal in the first place.

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    terry brower says:

    I habitually set my planes down on their sides. But if you prefer leave a small amount of shavings or sawdust on the bench if you would rather set them down on their soles.

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    Tad Danforth says:

    all this hoo haw about setting a plane down on its side or on its sole, is most amusing to me, it is a matter of opinion as to how much damage is inflicted by either method, and the outcome is more a function of how cluttered your bench is (thereby knocking another steel tool into your unprotected carefully sharpened edge), or what sort of surface you have set your plane down on. either way has risks of course, but I can find no convincing argument that one way is better than the other! I used to be the lay it on its side guy as a matter of habit, until one day at the boatshop, another woodworker suggested that the blade would be better protected on our cluttered benches by setting the plane down on its sole. Upon reflection, I agreed that that made sense, as the bench top was softer than the other tools on the top. think about putting an assortment of planes on a table all on their sides, with people carelessly picking up and putting them down…. that said, after 40 years as a woodworker, I have never inadvertently damaged a plane blade however I put it down! food for thought…

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    Keith Pullin says:

    The only concern I have with these wonderful tools, of which I have many and I’m still working on acquiring more, is that one day my wife might sell them for what I’ve told her I paid for them!!

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    Thomas Buzzi says:

    Now I know what to ask my wife for for my remaining birthdays. I was privileged to work for a master shipwright in my earlier years and these tools shown here remind me of my nautical mentor’s abilities with them. I still remember vividly how he would hold a spoke shave gently with his fingertips as he coaxed the various curves and radiuses out of the scantlings that would eventually become his next creation. RIP, Hank.

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    Peter MacLearn says:

    First I want to thank Lie Nielsen and OCH for another fine informative video. Short and sweet.

    Secondly: We’re looking at a manufacturing process here. The plane blades are withdrawn up into the body of the plane, out of harm’s way, and then are safely placed on their soles for more convenient and proper use of assembly space. With the blade down, yes the plane should then be placed on it’s side to protect the blade, but with the blade up you can place the plane on it’s side or upright – it doesn’t matter.

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    Tom Roderick says:

    I have and still use some of my late father’s woodworking tools and our planes are always kept on their sides when not in use. Just the natural thing to do.

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    Frank Wescovich says:

    A plane standing upright has been one of my pet peeves for a long time. I learned that it was improper and it stuck with me. I have even gone so far as to lay a whole assortment of planes on their side at a flea market while the seller looked on in bewilderment. I guess things we were taught by our Grandfathers are hard to forget.

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    Warren Sherburne says:

    I think they set their planes down upright for convenience in a manufacturing environment. When they assemble them they never put the blades all the way through to working position. They work with the blades retracted the way they would pack them for shipping.

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    Eric Winter says:

    When I was a small child my wise and careful mother taught me never to lay a plane on its sole, and it still gives me the chibbers whenever I see it. (She later induced the same reaction to being under way with the fenders over the side).

    Yet I see that Lie Nielsen — the standard of excellence — does not share my abhorrence to the practice. Of course you can set it down carefully, and only with the blade wound back, and only on velvet, but it seems easier to avoid the risk of a nick to the blade or the sole by doing as my mother said.

    Is it time for me to abandon this old notion?

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    M. Hans Liebert says:

    Had the pleasure of using one of their Small Block Planes this past weekend… Such a pleasure covering our dirt floor with gossamer spirals of doug fir.


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