Two Plane Makers

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Lee Valley Tools have changed woodworking with their premium hand planes. Meet the men behind the brands and learn the real differences between the tools.
By Christopher Schwarz
Pages: 56-63

From the June 2005 issue #148
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Thomas Lie-Nielsen reaches into a cardboard box to fetch a tool his company plans to manufacture in the coming year. He pulls out a wooden pattern of a router plane, a well-shaped and handmade version of the tool as it will look when it’s later cast in ductile iron.

Like many of the tools from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Warren, Maine, the plane is recognizable as an adaptation of a classic tool – in this case the Stanley No. 71. Though as you examine the wooden pattern, you do notice subtle refinements, including an improved adjuster.

“A tool that looks like it was drawn in CAD is a failure to me,” Lie-Nielsen says about the tool’s almost-Victorian curves. “It might be fine, but it doesn’t satisfy me.”

From the June 2005 issue #148
Buy this issue now