Chris Schwarz's Blog

The Sausage (or Cigar) for Shooting

If you use a miter plane for a lot of shooting, then you’ve probably lusted after the so-called “hot dog.” This hollow casting screws onto the side of your plane and makes it far more comfortable to use the miter plane on its side. Of course, finding an original hot dog is almost impossible. A couple reproductions have surfaced over the years and I managed to get my hands on one. I liked it a lot.

About a week ago I was at the Northeastern Woodworkers Association’s excellent show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and drinking a beer with toolmaker Thomas Lie-Nielsen. He makes a reproduction of the Stanley miter plane, but he has always made it with a cherry knob instead of a hot dog. During our chat, Tom rolled a black piece of metal across the bar at me. Yup. He’s making hot dogs. His are milled from a solid piece of aluminum, they affix to the side of the plane with a hex wrench and they are black, which matches his tools. I can report that they work brilliantly. You can call Lie-Nielsen Toolworks for more information on getting one for yourself: 800-327-2520.

– Christopher Schwarz