Endurance Test: Lie-Nielsen No. 4-1/2 Smoothing Plane

Heavy, precisely made and surprisingly easy to wield.
By Christopher Schwarz
Page: 29

From the August 2005 issue #149
Buy this issue now

Woodworkers tend to get obsessed with their smoothing planes. No other plane requires as much tuning and no other plane rewards its user with the same gossamer shavings. I have 10 smoothers (I can quit any time, dear) and so it’s always interesting to observe which one I unconsciously reach for.

In all honesty, it’s not this plane. For most smoothing tasks I favor the Lie-Nielsen No. 4 in bronze, equipped with a high-angle frog.

But whenever I have a tabletop or large cabinet side, the No. 4-1/2 is the plane I grab. And as I put it to work I always wonder why I don’t use it more. It is a jewel.

From the August 2005 issue #149
Buy this issue now