Those of you who follow my personal woodworking blog know that I have been selling off a lot of my
excess tools and upgrading my shop at home.
Since August, I’ve sold more than 100 tools that have been cramming up my home shop – everything from a sliding compound miter saw to awls. I put all the money into a wooden shop floor and materials so I could trim out the shop like another room of the house.
But today I slipped. Badly.
I told myself I wasn’t going to purchase the Lie-Nielsen No. 51 Shoot Board Plane.
After all, I have a No. 8 that I use on my shooting board and am pleased with the results. Heck, I got rid of the No. 9 plane I own, which is ideal for shooting.
But something about the No. 51 bit me badly. It started when Ron Herman loaned me one, and I got addicted (and that’s the right word) to the way the plane rides in a track. When you are shooting the ends of boards, you can’t miss – the tool will never ride up out of the cut like it can on a traditional shooting board.
I returned the No. 51 to Herman. With great reluctance.
So here we are, several months later and I have this $500 Lie-Nielsen sitting on my bench. I considered hiding it. But I’m done hiding. This thing is crazy-good. It weighs more than 9 pounds and floats through hardwoods. While the iron is sharpened straight across, the frog is skewed, so you can take an even heavier bite with less effort thanks to the skewed cut. And a straight iron is easy to sharpen.
I like this thing so much, I’m taking it home with me for the holiday.
— Christopher Schwarz