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Lie-Nielson Number 60-1/2 Block Plane

This topic contains 38 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  r-ice 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #571398

    Hand planes are funny things.

    They are impossible to use until you know how, then they are dead simple.

    They are relics from the past, and one day, they are the best tool for the job.

    Some people treat them as priceless relics, and restore them for use (or for decoration). They find their way back into shops, and sadly onto the walls of restaurants or use as a flower pot for some shabby-chic decorator.

    But almost everyone agrees they can be beautiful. And anyone who has ever managed to get that perfect translucent ribbon is hooked.

    The problem is that its hard to find a tool that is tuned right, and hard to find someone to teach the correct usage – youtube only explains so much.

    Lie-Nielson is one of a small number of premium brands that have managed to solve th first problem. Their planes are ready to use right out of the box. Sure, you CAN hone it to perfection before using it, but even if you don’t, respectable results are possible right out of the box

    Metal Hand planes can generally be broken into three categories: block planes, bench planes, and specialty planes.

    Specialty planes are things like shoulder planes, router planes, and other ones that do odd jobs but do them incredibly well. If you have little interest in hand planes, you will probably never use one.

    Bench planes are the ones that most people think of when they think of a plane. They range in length from just a few inches to somewhere in the 2-3 foot long range, and can dimension and true up a board, and leave a glass finish. These are handy if you dont want or cant have big industrial jointers or planers, or just feel like a pleasant quiet (hard working) time. When the workpiece is too big or too valuable, nothing replaces a set of well tuned bench planes

    Block planes are the unsung heroes. These little guys fit in the palm of your hand, can be pushed or pulled, easily fit in a pocket, and can cut any type of grain.

    The Lie-Nielson number 60-1/2 block plane is among the best of them. It looks like a work of art, and cuts like a dream. Its easy to adjust, and comfortable to hold for hours on end

    I bring it to the lumber yard, and use it to shave a bit of fuzz off the raw wood to get an idea of the grain.

    I use it to clean up glue-ups and miter joints

    I use it to finish dovetails

    This plane is so far beyond what even the best rehabilitated classic Stanley can do, it is unreal.

    It is the first plane I grab, and does a good job truing up very small surfaces.

    Recently, I was putting in an L shaped console table behind a sofa, and needed to correct for a very slight miscalculation of the angle. A few swipes of the plane later, and it was a perfect fit.

    This is the perfect tool to shave a filler panel or an inset door

    I have lots of planes, old and new, but this little block plane is the most special, and the one I plan to pass down to my son one day

    #571402

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Great write up, I plan on getting this plane. I was playing with one on Saturday at the woodworking show I was at. The planes are the best tools. Some times I can use a block plane to scribe something faster than any power tool out there.

    #571412

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    Thanks, Eric for getting this subject rolling. Your timing with this thread is perfect for me. My next purchase is likely going to be a low angle block plane and the LN is high on the list. I think I need to have both the LN and the Veritas in my hand before committing. The LN rabbet plane with nicker is a very interesting option; I have yet to see one or speak to anyone who owns one.

    There are only two ways to do things; the right way and again.

    #571436

    BeardedCarpenter
    Pro
    Winsted, CT

    Eric, Nice post. Hand planes are something I’m new at, but I want to use more and better working with. I have a newer Stanley block plane. It’s okay, but I’d like to upgrade. My top choice as of now would be the Lie-Nielson, not the 60 1/2, but the rabbeting version. I’m thinking it would give me a few more options for use, despite the lack of an adjustable mouth.

    I have a few Record planes as well: #4 and #7. Those are okay and can get the job done. But I need to get better using planes before I can justify upgrade those to Lie-Nielson.

    You said that you have a lot of planes, do you have any other Lie-Nielson planes?

    #571437

    Eric, Nice post. Hand planes are something I’m new at, but I want to use more and better working with. I have a newer Stanley block plane. It’s okay, but I’d like to upgrade. My top choice as of now would be the Lie-Nielson, not the 60 1/2, but the rabbeting version. I’m thinking it would give me a few more options for use, despite the lack of an adjustable mouth.

    I have a few Record planes as well: #4 and #7. Those are okay and can get the job done. But I need to get better using planes before I can justify upgrade those to Lie-Nielson.

    You said that you have a lot of planes, do you have any other Lie-Nielson planes?

    I dont have any othe Lie-Nielson, although their bevel up jack plane has my interest

    Within the modern lines, I have a #4 style smoother plane by Veritas

    Beyond that, I mostly have rehabbed classics. The old ones, if you get the right gem, are almost always better than new, and are equal to LN and Veritas, but require a lot of work to get them into shape.

    I found that having models that worked out of the box gave me a better insight into how they are supposed to be, which allowed me to do a better job refurbishing classics

    If you have a #7 Record, you have one of the greats, and if you dont want it, I will gladly buy it from you. They are in my opinion the best ever made, assuming they are from the right eras

    Fix up the records. There is no step up. What you are missing in bench planes is a 5 or 5-1/2 jack. Once you have that, you have a good core set.

    As for the block plane, Ive heard good things about that one. Im sure anything LN makes is as good as the classics, but ready to go immediately

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    #571442

    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    100% agree about Lie-Nielsen. They are truly a superior product. Great writeup.
    The only one I am fortunate enough to own is the Rabbet block plane, and it serves its purpose as a rabbet plane admirably, but can also be used as a straight up block plane. I especially like planing tenon cheeks with it in rabbet mode. Super high quality steel blades are a pleasure to work with and to sharpen.
    Other than that LN, I’d estimate I’ve got about 10 or 15 others. Some get used sparingly, others are constantly out of the cabinet and on the bench.

    #571449

    Also, the LN block is the right size for kids

    #571459

    MTRoads
    Pro
    Near Glacier National Park, MT

    Agree that this is a great write-up Eric. I don’t think I see any new purchases in the near future, working on what I already have but agree on having a block plane handy.

    I have one in each of my job-site bags, so many uses for one.

    Stan
    From the Northwest corner of Montana.

    #571483

    BeardedCarpenter
    Pro
    Winsted, CT

    My Records are not from the right era — the 1990s. They are in good shape, but not the good ole’ classics you’re thinking of. I should have been more clear in my pervious posts. If they were the old classics I wouldn’t be considering upgrading. These planes work well enough, but are nothing special; for example the handles are plastic, not wood. I’ll post pics when I get a chance.

    My current block plane is a modern Stanley (1990s), which I believe is different from the 60 1/2.

    #571484

    My Records are not from the right era — the 1990s. They are in good shape, but not the good ole’ classics you’re thinking of. I should have been more clear in my pervious posts. If they were the old classics I wouldn’t be considering upgrading. These planes work well enough, but are nothing special; for example the handles are plastic, not wood. I’ll post pics when I get a chance.

    My current block plane is a modern Stanley (1990s), which I believe is different from the 60 1/2.

    Ah. That changes everything. You will see a huge step up

    #571525

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    I have this one as well, and it is a gem to use. works really well. However mine is probably slightly different from yours, mine has a ridge underneath so it follows a set metal form better. I made sure to have that there so when I am planing bamboo it helps keep it steady.

    #571579

    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    @montreal_medic,
    ThanX for the write up. Since picking up a few earlier this summer at a lawn sale, I never really bothered with planes.
    Since being on BTP and watching some of @jimdaddyo‘s videos on restoring, I’m hooked.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #571589

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Since being on BTP and watching some of @jimdaddyo‘s videos on restoring, I’m hooked.

    LOL on of the side benefits of BTP liking tools you never knew you needed before.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #571812

    MTRoads
    Pro
    Near Glacier National Park, MT

    @montreal_medic,
    ThanX for the write up. Since picking up a few earlier this summer at a lawn sale, I never really bothered with planes.
    Since being on BTP and watching some of @jimdaddyo‘s videos on restoring, I’m hooked.

    What did you pick up at the lawn sales? Being ‘hooked’ ain’t all that bad – we’ll see ya next year. 🙂

    Stan
    From the Northwest corner of Montana.

    #571855

    Thanks for the great love story. 🙂 I say that in admiration for you having the desire and dedication to master hand planes. It’s obvious you really love using planes. Thanks for sharing. I hope that someday (soon) I can approach your proficiency with planes.

    #572081

    Lie Nelson certainly is a master when it comes to making tools. That block plane is a beauty. I mean really, who can argue with a well machined piece of brass and steel? Stunning!

    The cure I have heard cited most often for planing problems is sharpening. I have found this to be quite true. Sharp is a relative thing, but sharper is better. The first step I take if I encounter problems is to go to the stone and strop.

    I am finding the 2 skills you really need in woodworking is sawing and using a plane. I am no expert, but I keep practising. In using the plane I am finding that a finer cut is working better for me. At least on everything except the fore plane for roughing things out.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #572092

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    This thread had me looking on the lie Neilson website for like an hour last night making a whish list. I really want their #62 low angle jack plane. It’s a great multi functional plane.

    #572095

    This thread had me looking on the lie Neilson website for like an hour last night making a whish list. I really want their #62 low angle jack plane. It’s a great multi functional plane.

    Im so sorry

    Whatever you do, dont look at the Bad Axe Toolworks site, especially not their saws

    #572097

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    This thread had me looking on the lie Neilson website for like an hour last night making a whish list. I really want their #62 low angle jack plane. It’s a great multi functional plane.

    Im so sorry

    Whatever you do, dont look at the Bad Axe Toolworks site, especially not their saws

    LOL You really do know how to cause real pain, don’t you?

    There are only two ways to do things; the right way and again.

    #572098

    I have only Lee Valley Veritas and old refurbished planes, but I will second the sentiments of @montreal_medic, and of note he echoes the reviews in most all of the major reviewers, magazines and online. I have never had a good opportunity to play with the LN planes, which I will have to change based upon his glowing recommendations.

    Will

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