This small Shoulder Plane, modeled after a traditional wood-filled English Shoulder Plane, is intended for delicate work and very thin shavings. Built with a fine set mouth, it is particularly useful as a trimming tool, to fit shoulders, rabbets, and dadoes. Takes a maximum shaving of .005".
The Lie-Nielsen Bronze Shoulder Plane is based on a traditional wood-filled English shoulder plane, such as the Spiers or Norris. These were made in a number of sizes, the 1/2" being rather smaller than usual, but very handy. This plane is particularly useful as a trimming tool, to fit shoulders, rabbets and dadoes. Therefore, these planes typically had very fine mouths. Ours is made to take a maximum shaving of .005". Each tool is tested before leaving the shop. If this mouth opening is too small for your work, lightly file a 45° bevel on the corner of the bronze casting immediately ahead of the blade bevel, allowing a larger chip to clear, until the shaving size suits. Geometry: The blade sits in the body at 15°; it comes with at 25° flat ground bevel, making the included cutting angle 40°.
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.
Tapping the heel of the plane with a wooden mallet or a block of wood will usually loosen the wedge. Set the blade depth and tap the wedge home snugly — but not too tight. The wedge has a tendency to drive the blade a little deeper. With practice, you will soon be able to set the blade quickly and accurately.
We use Manganese Bronze for the bodies. These castings are fully stress-relieved, a process that removes inherent stresses and ensures that the tool will remain flat and true. The body is filled with Cocobolo.
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 sole is lapped to .0015". Occasional hand lapping with fine wet/dry sandpaper (320 grit or higher) on a flat surface like a glass plate will help remove dings and keep it true. Occasionally wax the wood parts — but not the bottom of the blade wedge. If you wish, polish the bronze parts with any good brass polish, or enjoy the patina that develops with age and use. Oil the blade to prevent rust. We recommend Camellia or Jojoba Oil - vegetable oil based products. They are non-toxic, odor-free and easy to use.
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.
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.