“The plane, The plane”! I can hear that famous line opening the legandary Fantasy Island TV show from years ago. This time that cry celebrates the arrival of my Christmas gift to myself, a Lie-Nielsen bronze #102 low angle block plane. That’s quite a mouthful but necessary to define which exact model plane I purchased from this all American company.
I didn’t think it would arrive before Christmas because of an email and personal phone call from customer service at Lie-Nielsen. The plane went on backorder and they didn’t expect to have another batch ready for shipment until the week after Christmas. To my surprise I suddenly received a second email notifying me that my plane was shipping by 2 day UPS. Now that’s good customer service! 🙂
UPS didn’t deliver it until after I’d gone to bed for the night at 8:30. I awoke an hour after it was left on my doorstep, finding it waiting for me outside my apartment. Way to go UPS, not exactly on time but close enough. I can’t even imagine the holiday workload for that company and its workers.
The plane was wrapped as if it was a dozen eggs instead of a solid metal tool. It was carefully wrapped in special brown paper designed for preventing moisture from reaching the tool. I read that the company suggests I keep that paper for storing the plane during long periods of down time. I’ve set aside the packing paper for future use.
Once opened I just had to hold my new toy and check out it’s smooth controls. I literally have never held a plane in my hands before today. That’s hard to believe considering that I’ve been a furniture builder for 50 years. I used to help my dad with the houses he used to build from the ground up. I was proud to play a part in helping my family earn a living. We made our own kitchen cabinets so I did a lot of sanding and finishing on the cabinet grade birch plywood we used.
Lie-Nielsen is known to make planes ready to use right out of the box. They carefully sharpen the plane’s A2 blade to that end. I will touch up that blade in a day or so by putting a micro-bevel on both the top bevel as well as the back of the blane. That will make the plane glide through wood as well as require less sharpening. Trust me when i tell you I’ve watched over 100 YouTube videos on the use and maintenance of my plane. What fun! 🙂
So, pictured below is my brand new shiny bronze plane, complete with it’s first pile of thin shavings taken off a test piece of pine. I made sure to immediately take the picture as I’m sure that plane will never look this good again. Thank you Lie-Nielsen! 🙂