These elegant shoulder planes are vital tools for trimming and improving cut joints, particularly shoulders, rabbets, tenons, and grooves.
The Bronze lever cap is higher for better grip and closer to the blade bevel for better support. The mouth geometry allows for better chip clearance, while the adjustable mouth and locking screws are large and convenient. The mouth adjustment screw is captured in the front shoe and threaded into the body so it adjusts the mouth both when turned in and turned out. The captive-nut blade adjustment is very positive.
Bodies are cast from Ductile Iron, precisely ground flat and square - an essential feature for a shoulder plane. Blades are A2 Tool Steel, hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double tempered to hold a very fine edge for a long time. Blades are bedded at 18°, beveled at 25°, and .005" wider than the body to ensure crisp, 90° cuts.
Small Shoulder Plane
This is the smallest of the Preston style shoulder planes, 5/8" wide, 5 3/4" long. The blade is .140" thick, and the tool weighs 1.35 lbs. With an adjustable mouth like its larger siblings, this tool is just right for trimming and fitting small tenons, dadoes and rabbets.
Medium Shoulder Plane
About half the width and weight of the Large Shoulder Plane, the medium size is well suited for lighter work. Excellent size for furniture joinery. Body is 7¾" long x ¾" wide. Blade is ¾" x .140" thick. Weight 2.35 lbs.
Large Shoulder Plane
A versatile, general purpose Shoulder Plane with nice heft. This is the best size to start with. Body is 8¼" long x 1¼" wide. Blade is 1¼" wide x .140" thick. Weight 4 lbs.
Click here to view our YouTube video on Shoulder Plane Part I: Parts and Adjustment.
Click here to view our YouTube video on Shoulder Plane Part II: Use and Care.
Shoulder PlanesThe Lie-Nielsen Shoulder Planes are based on Record models. The Large shoulder plane is based on the 073, the Medium on the 042, and the Small is based on the 041. Each in turn was based on a Preston model. The body of these all-metal Shoulder Planes are cast of Ductile Iron, and the caps are Bronze.
We have made some design improvements to the Record versions. The cap is a bit higher in the back to allow a better grip; the front of the cap is closer to the bevel of the blade for better support; the geometry of the mouth will allow better chip clearance; the mouth adjustment is much easier, and the blade is much harder and thicker. Geometry: The blade is bedded in the tool at 18° with a 25° bevel, making the included cutting angle 43°.
Blade Sharpening:The blade comes ready to use. Slight additional honing will increase performance. A secondary bevel of up to 5 degrees helps achieve a razor edge quickly. This also improves edge life in hardwoods. For more information on advanced sharpening we suggest David Charlesworth’s DVD Hand Tool Techniques Part 1: Plane Sharpening.
Mouth Adjustment:Loosen the lock screw on the top front of the tool by a half turn or so. Adjust the mouth opening by turning the screw head at the very front of the tool with a screwdriver. Make sure you do not close the mouth on the blade edge. Re-tighten the lock screw.
Blade Adjustment:Loosen the Brass spinwheel under the cap a couple of turns, tighten it halfway, and adjust the blade with the Stainless Steel adjuster nut. Make sure the mouth is open adequately before advancing the blade to avoid damaging your edge. Re-tighten the spinwheel. Do not overtighten.
The blade is about .005” wider than the body. Align the edge of the blade with the side of the body that you want it to be flush with. Laying the tool on its side can help you do this quickly and accurately. Or if you wish, you can grind a little material off the side of the blade to make it flush with both sides.
Maintenance:The body of this tool is cast Ductile Iron and will rust. To protect it, you should oil, wax and/or wrap the tool after use. At the least, wipe your fingerprints off with an oily rag. The body casting is ground dead flat. Occasional hand lapping with fine wet/ dry sandpaper (320 grit or higher) on a flat surface will help remove dings and keep it true. The cap iron can be polished with any good brass polish, or it can be allowed to patina with age and use. Occasionally, the tool should be disassembled, cleaned, and the moving parts oiled. The blade should be kept lightly oiled to prevent rust, especially when the tool is not in use. We recommend Jojoba or Camellia Oil - vegetable oil based products. They are nontoxic, odor-free and easy to use. Also, in our shop, we use a fine abrasive handblock to remove any light surface oxide from tool bodies and blades. Jojoba & Camellia Oils and abrasive handblocks are available from us.
Materials:The body is cast from Ductile Iron, a very strong alloy that will take a lot of abuse. These castings are fully stress-relieved, a process that removes inherent stresses and ensures that the tool will remain flat and true. The cap is Manganese Bronze. Other parts are Brass; the adjuster nut is Stainless Steel.
The blade is A-2 Tool Steel hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double tempered. Our heat treating technique ensures that the blade will take and hold a very fine edge for a long time. After heat treating, the blade is fully surface ground on the top, back, and cutting edge, giving a smooth, flat surface that will take a mirror finish very quickly. The thick blade provides solid chatter-free cutting.
Materials and workmanship are guaranteed for the life of your tool. Call for repairs or replacement parts. We are available for advice if you ever have a problem using your tool.
Proposition 65 Notice:
Bronze and brass alloys contain lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.