Richards & Conover No. 4 1/2

So, I bought an old Richards and Conover 4 1/2 plane off Ebay…today it arrived in the mailbox! I tore open the box like an excited kid at Christmas, and …there was another box. Tore open that box, and there was a surprisingly heavy lump of bubble wrap inside. Carefully removed the bubble wrap and there she was, in all her glory…img_07501Disassembled for inspection…img_07471The plane is in excellent condition, only a little pitting on the front of the chipbreaker…no biggie. Also the iron is quite thick, more so than the comparable Stanley planes, and no pitting on the cutting edge. I have read that these were manufactured by Union for the Richards & Conover Hardware Co. I thought maybe Stanley at first, but differences in the frog receiver lead me to believe that it may indeed be made by Union. I need to sharpen and give ‘er a go, but that will have to wait…work, and an impending blizzard tomorrow are on the agenda right now. I reconciled myself with cleaning it up, re-assembling and making a spot for it on my plane rack…looks right at home eh?img_07531


Tool Review: Veritas Planing Stop

As promised, here is my review of the Veritas Planing Stop from Lee Valley. It is available in a number of lengths…I chose the one that was 25 1/2″ long (approximately the width of my bench).

What you get:IMG_0697If you don’t have 3/4″ round dog holes in your benchtop you have some prep work to do. Two rows of parallel holes would be ideal in my opinion…for whatever that’s worth…or, you could just drill two holes at the end of the bench like I did for the purpose of this review. I used my brace and a 3/4″ Jennings auger bit along with my machinist’s square to keep me square and plumb with the universe.IMG_0690IMG_0693IMG_0694Once complete, I slid the posts onto the stop and positioned them relative to the dog holes and briefly had an “Oh shit!” moment…as I began to insert the posts into the holes, there seemed to be a lot of resistance. My first thought was that I had drilled the holes with the wrong size bit. A frantic breeze through the instructions confirmed that I had indeed used the correct bit…the posts are just a realllllly snug fit. Either that, or my bit is slightly undersized, which is entirely possible. Really glad now that I used the try square to keep the holes as square as possiible, because if you don’t you will not get the stop in the holes. I tried again, and put a bit more force on the posts and they reluctantly went in all the way…I expect with use they will loosen up a tad.

So, on to the fun part…I put a pine offcut on the bench up against the stop and set my No.4 for a heavy shaving and worked my way across the board. It was rock solid against the stop with no twisting/sliding etc. Then I set it for fine fluffy shavings and finished planed it with the same result.IMG_0704IMG_0706All in all I am very impressed with the stop. My only advice is to make sure your dog holes are dead square to the top and it will be a worthwhile addition to your bench…well worth the 30-odd dollar asking ┬áprice.

A Little Shopping…

Happy New Year All! Thanks to all my subscribers who supported me in the last month or so of 2013 while I got my blog off the ground.

My wife and I went to the city today…think she was feeling shack-happy after the blizzard yesterday and wanted to get out and about for the day…plus, we both had gift cards from Christmas burning holes in our purses, er…pockets. She was on the hunt for clothes, and I was on the hunt for Lee Valley…

I picked up the new 25 1/2″ long Veritas Planing Stop. I will need to drill some holes in the bench, but thats ok if it makes work easier and more stable…she’s no beauty queen anyway.IMG_0688[1]Also picked up the Perfect Pattern Handled Chisels by Chestnut Tools. I don’t know for sure how these will fare out, I haven’t been able to find a review of them. I am thinking they will be great for trimming dovetail baselines, etc. as the flats on the sides of them are very narrow compared to most chisels, allowing you to pare right into the corners of the tails. I figured I would give them a try anyway…also interested in how well the will hold an edge, considering the blades are 440 stainless steel. They’s purty too!IMG_0684[1]Here you can see how narrow the flats on the sides are…IMG_0685[1]I plan to review these once I get a chance to try them out in the shop, if the temperature ever gets above -20 degrees celsius for a couple of days. Stay tuned…