Thursday 11 January 2018

Lie Nielsen No 7 Plane

I've been getting by without a long plane, but the time has come to put that right. A lie Nielsen No 7 jointer arrived from Classic Hand Tools yesterday. This is going to be great for edge jointing longer pieces on my shooting board as well as flattening my work benches.
While I was at the Barnsley Workshops many years ago this was everyone's plane of choice but I remembered that only one of the planes they had up till point had a truly flat sole. It was going to be interesting to check mine.

Here it is against my 2' Starrett straight edge, with a light shining behind, showing a gap to the rear of the mouth opening.

Using my thinnest feeler gauge of .0015", it just slid under. Although this is a tiny amount and probably well within tolerance, I wanted a flatter sole.
I must point out that with the gap behind the mouth, the plane would have performed just fine without any fettling.

I checked the table of my Felder table saw and it was dead flat. I stuck down some 150 grit with spray adhesive and carefully rubbed the plane along in one direction only. I kept the paper clean and then lubricated with WD 40 and after about 5 minutes it was flattened.

Turning to the blade, some initial flattening of the back showed a slight hollow just back from the edge which made flattening much faster. It seemed too even to be just good luck and I'm guessing this was done deliberately to help preparation.

The blade is ground at 25 degrees, so the job of final honing at 30 degrees was easy and quick. You can see a slight curve on the blade which I prefer, even for edge jointing (I will delve into this another day!)

With the back prepared you can still see some of the grind scratches but they are back from the edge. Cleaning up the edge of some rippled sycamore produced a lovely surface and the blade really sang.
I think we are going to be friends.


  1. Should have gone for the No.8 ... a proper mans plane !!!

    1. I did think of it, but the no 7 is heavy enough for an old man like me!!

  2. I had the 7 and returned it for the 8, maybe a "size" thing !!!

    1. I think the No 8 would suit you better, you've got the size to cope with it!!

  3. Hi David,

    Getting along as friends? Any reflections after a couple years?