On a day with nothing else to do…

I decided to weigh my options, err, my planes, just to see how the woodies stacked up to the ironsides.

First my coffin smoother.

Vs. my Lie-Nielsen 4 1/2

Then my wooden jack

Vs my Lie-Nielsen no 62. This one may not be a fair comparison, but it tells me one of the reasons why I like my low-angle jack so much.

And then for the try / jointer class, beginning with my 22″ wooden try plane.

Vs. the massive Lie-Nielsen no.8


The aggregate weight of the wooden planes was 10 lbs, 13 oz and the aggregate weight of the iron planes was 21 lbs, 2 oz, just in case you were wondering.

So what am I trying to prove here? Nothing, really. We all know that wooden planes tend to be lighter than iron planes. I found it interesting that my wooden try plane checks in at about the same weight as an average no. 5 Bailey/Bed Rock pattern plane. It doesn’t make any of them objectively better or worse, of course, but it’s nice to know.

As much as I liked having the no.8 in my arsenal, I can tell you that slinging 5 lbs, 2 oz less try plane around for a few hours makes a difference to my (post-surgery, always threatening to go out on me) back.

I sold the no.8, but If you’re interested in giving my wooden planes a try (and new to hand tools in general) you might be interested in signing up for the class I’m co-teaching at the North Carolina Furniture School, June 8-9. It’s two full days with lunches and materials included. We’ll talk saws and sawing mechanics, planes, sharpening and all manner of things, and participants will leave with at least one set of hand cut dovetails to impress friends and family.

I think there are four spots left. Sign up here.



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