English Planes

English Planes


Making and Using Tools - Planes, Scrapers, and Shaves

  Lie-Nielsen No. 62 Low Angle Jack vs. 10” Robert Towell Miter by Adrian Britt 1 of 2  



In truth, this is maybe an apples and oranges comparison. However, I find myself grabbing for each at different times or applications.


Anyone who owns a L-N No. 62 can attest to its precision and versatility. It is clear. I call this the “Jimi-Jack”

I find my 62 works best in several instances. First, it’s a fantastic jointer on small projects. I can even clamp it upside down in a vice and use it as a mandolin of sorts. Second, it is my “go to” plane to accompany my shooting board. Finally, it is a great smoothing plane on larger projects.

The Robert Towell miter, from an age before CNC mills, is an extraordinary and wonderful tool. It is bred to do one thing; make the thinnest and finest shavings. The bed angle is steep, and the mouth is super tight. There is some magic here.

Despite having a high angle and thick sole (1/4”), the Towell miter is dead flat and has no deflection like a thinner, lower angle plane. Combined with sheer weight (more than 4 lbs), creates a tool that can make magically thin shavings. For me, this plane is a finish smoother. It excels in this regard and tames almost everything thrown at it. A true joy to use.

Check out the Gabon Ebony shavings it produces and the finished surface it creates.

Katalox planes very much like rosewood. It’s hard but behaves well for
the 62 when it’s straight grained.

Very thin shavings from the 62. A super smooth surface that can be dialed in.
The Katalox shavings are always fun to make.


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