To begin to nauseate you talking about planes, I decided to write down two lines about the Lie Nielsen Violin Makers Plane,
better known as the 101.
By (not) the way, hello, my name is Andrea Quaini, I am a woodworking hand tools enthusiast and, in this space, along with
the rest of Cremona Tools staff, I will try to entertain you talking about the object of my passion and everything that
revolves around it. Soon I will have an email address where you can contact me, but if you wish to send me to hell now, you
can do it through the comments of this blog.
The Lie Nielsen Violin Makers Plane is the smallest planes produced by the very well known Maine company. It measures about 9 cm. in length, about 3 cm. in width and about 4 cm. in height.
Its shape and its dimensions are derived from the Stanley 101, but the Lie Nielsen have made a number of improvements that I will try to describe you.
The body is made of manganese bronze a material that will not rust and its high specific weight helps to bring the total
weight of this little plane to about 230 g.
The blade is made of A-2 steel that, with the double quenching and cryogenic treatment reaches a hardness of 60-62 on the Rockwell scale. The careful heat treatment ensures that the blade takes a good edge and keeps it for a long time. At the end of the heat treatment, the blade is finely lapped on all sides and this allows you to obtain a rapid sharpening since out of the box.
The preset sharpening angle is at 25° and the generous thickness of the blade, 3.2 mm, eliminates the risk of chattering
usually caused by an excessive flexibility of the blades.
In upper part of the blade there is a milling slot in which engages a threaded Knurled stainless steel bush, which adjust the
projection of the blade and prevents the unintentionally draw back of the blade during use. Also the thread on which the bush is screwed is in stainless steel.
The blade rests on a bed carefully milled angle at 18°. Since the blade must be mounted with the bevel facing upward
(bevel-up), the angle of work, with the preset sharpening, is 43°. It is a good angle for most of the work, but with figured
wood, with cross grain or with wood prone to tear-out, you could increase this angle, as in all bevel-up planes, by simply
increasing the sharpening angle.
The lever-cap is in manganese bronze too and lever on a stainless steel pin. To release or tighten the blade, loosen or
tighten the brass ring that is under the lever cap. Be careful not to over tighten this nut, because it generates a huge
pressure near the mouth, where the body of the plane is very thin and could crack. You usually only have to make a quarter of a turn after the contact between the lever-cap, the blade and the bed.
To adjust the projection of the blade, slightly loosen the nut and then turn knurled thumb placed behind the blade. Lte
lateral adjustment of the blade is made in a same way: slightly unscrew the nut and then move the blade right or left with
your fingers and then tighten the nut again.
Despite the name, Violin Makers Plane, this little plane is not just for instrument making jobs, but also for all those jobs
in tight spaces where a normal block plane could not operate.
For example, in this post, Giuliano Parise uses his predecessor, the Staley 101 to pare the join between two frames avoiding
two close nails.
Thanks of its shortness it can also be used on surfaces with a slight curvature. It is excellent to bevel the edges. Its
small size make it ideal for use with one hand. And finally, his lightness does not tires your arm.
It's so nice that you will bring it at home with you with the pretext to sharpen your children crayons, but if you use it to
slice truffle or carrots, remember to wipe the blade because it is not stainless.
In this video you can see Megan Fitzpatrick, the new Editor & Content Director of Popular Woodworking Mgagazine, who
disassembles, reassemble, adjust and use this little gem.