Friday 28 February 2014

Lie Nielsen Limited Edition Plane

I recently aquired a limited edition Lie Nielsen No 2, or in this case, an LN 2000 bench plane. It is cast in white bronze with rosewood handles. They have become very collectable which seems a little strange considering how relatively recently they were produced.

Here is an original Stanley Bedrock 602 from which the Lie Nielsen was copied. The metal work on the Lie Nielsen is finished to a much higher standard, although the same is not true of the handles. The original handles are from Brazilian Rosewood whilst the LN is from farmed Indian Rosewood. Now I know Rio rosewood is no longer commercially available but there are much nicer rosewoods than the Indian one which could have been used for a limited edition. The shaping of the LN is all by machine and there is a clear line between the rounded and flat parts, two minutes of hand sanding would have sorted that out, shame. There is also less room to get your fingers around the handle on the LN.

Side by side they look very similar although the LN does have a slightly thicker sole. The real difference is when you pick them up, the white bronze makes the LN 35% heavier at 1.56 kg which is nice.
The LN is unused and the Bedrock has seen very little use, which gives a clue as to their usefulness, not much! A good sized block plane is similar in size but a lot easier and more comfortable to use.

The logo on the blade of the Bedrock has the Sweetheart logo where the heart pushes up into the Stanley symbol. This was only produced in 1923 so dates the plane very specifically to that year.

The certificate for the LN states that it was 202 of a limited edition of 500 planes and that all plates and patterns used in the production of this planes were permanently altered or destroyed upon completion of plane 500. I've had strong suspicions about the veracity of limited edition artworks and prints in the past, but this time I believe the certificate tells the truth!

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