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No. 4 1/2 Smoothing Plane
The Lie-Nielsen No. 4 1/2 Bench Plane is based on the Stanley Bedrock model. Bedrocks were the top of the line; heavier and better made than the standard. The frog design is unique; a fully machined mating fit between the frog and the body. The design also allows precise and easy adjustments of the mouth opening from the rear without having to remove the cap and blade. These features, in addition to our A-2 cryogenically treated, double-tempered Tool Steel blade, make for a very solid tool that will give excellent results in the most demanding conditions.
Ductile Iron body, hand-finished Cherry knobs and handles. Sole is machine ground, sides machine ground square to the sole for shooting. Precisely made, fit and finished, this tool is ready for use right out of the box with minimal honing required.
At Lie-Nielsen Toolworks we handcraft heirloom quality tools in Maine. Our Mission is to design and create beautiful, heirloom quality, hand tools that inspire woodworkers and other artisans. Through exceptional support and education, our customers receive the same personal attention we put into our tools.
The ultimate Smoothing Plane.
Massive .140" thick A-2 Steel blade.
Blade width is 2-3/8", length of the tool is 10-3/8".
Ductile Iron body, Bronze frog and cap.
Cherry handle and knob.
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 17 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 17 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 found the following review helpful:
High Price for quality...worth every penny.Nov 11, 2009
I have a basic collection of bench planes, most of them "hand me downs" I spent many hours to restore and true up the older Stanley/Bailey's but there is always some give and take with these tools. After months of reading reviews I finally made it to a Lie Neilson Demo and got a little hands on with the 4 1/2 smother, I was blown away by the quality of materials and workmanship on these planes. A few days after the Demo I decided to break into the piggy bank and ordered one through Amazon. The tool arrived within a week and after verifying the sole was flat and square to the sides I lapped and sharpened the iron just to ensure it was as good as I could get it. I put the smoother to work on some Rock Maple, Figured Cherry and Red Oak, all shavings where smooth and tear out free. The heft of this tool just right, it has a very substantial and solid feel. I do not regret spending the money for this plane, I know it will last the rest of my life and I will enjoy using it each and every time I smooth a wood working project. I would compare it to my Stanley no. 4, but to be fair that plane was made in 1932 and has seen one too many board feet of wood, it works fine, but the improvements made by Lie Neilson make a huge difference in performance.
21 of 22 found the following review helpful:
superb planeJun 26, 2010
By Kerry Pierce
I own several smoothing planes, from cheaper Bedrock clones to 2 Veritas smoothers, the bevel-up smoother and their version of the 4 1/2 bench plane. The Veritas planes are very good, requiring little effort to get them cutting .001 shavings. The cheaper planes required a ton of work to get them to make similar shavings and they still have little niggling issues.
The Lie-Nielsen 4 1/2 is easily the best plane of the bunch that I have. It has excellent machining for great fit and finish. It has a solid heft and balance that I really like. Best of all, it was fully ready to go out of the box after honing the blade on a strop to further refine the factory edge. After stropping the blade and waxing the sole, I was immediately getting .001 shavings from some cherry boards that I'm working on, almost effortlessly. The plane's size and heft made it glide through the cuts easily. Now that is fun woodworking!
I use a lot of red oak, which is very prone to tearout, with any plane, including the Lie-Nielsen 4 1/2. The best thing about the Lie-Nielsen is that there are 3 frogs available, 45, 50, and 55 degree. Each frog works best in certain types of wood. After testing the new plane with the standard 45 degree frog on some red oak, I was getting some tearout, so I called Lie-Nielsen to talk about that issue. I generally use a back ~5 degree back bevel on my bevel down planes or my bevel up planes with a 38 or 50 degree blade installed, for handling tearout prone boards. I like the idea of the replaceable frogs rather than having to track and maintain extra blades with various back bevels.
They said that the 55 degree frog should fix that issue, better than using a back bevel on the blade. As a result of that phone call, they are sending me a new 55 degree frog to replace the 45 degree frog that comes standard with the 4 1/2. When the new frog gets here, I'll send back the standard 45 degree frog, using their supplied shipping label. All at no charge to me. I couldn't be more pleased with the plane and service provided by Lie-Nielsen.
I'm sold on the quality of these planes and plan to replace all of my cheap planes with Lie-Nielsen planes. I plan to buy the 5 1/2 next, because it will use the same frogs that work in the 4 1/2. Then I'm lusting after a #4 bronze smoother. I like the idea of the heavier, no rust, bronze bodies and wish that the 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 had bronze models. Yes, they are pricey, but the pleasure of using these planes and not having to expend a lot of time and effort tuning a cheaper plane is well worth the expense, to me.
19 of 21 found the following review helpful:
A pleasure - in all aspectsMar 07, 2010
By D. J.
This is my second Lie Nielsen bench plane - they are certainly expensive and I wouldn't have bought this one unless I was very happy with the first one, and I am.
These planes arrive very well packaged. When I took this one out of the box, I intially thought it was caught on something - not so, it's simply very heavy. I immediately took the iron out and honed it which was easy and quick because those thick irons come with a perfectly flat back. Upon replacing the iron, I tried it on a piece of walnut, both by edge and face. I discovered that very little down pressure was necessary due to it's 5lb+ heft, just push it along and the result was a full width strip that you could see through. The blades are A2 steel which takes slightly longer to sharpen (not much) but stays sharp much longer than standard steel.
With knowledgable help, I have fettled a couple other planes to bring them to nearly this level, but it takes more sweat equity than I prefer to invest. I spring for Lie Nielsen not because I can easily afford them, but because everything is done, the machining is as near perfect as you can get, the sole is flat, the frog is solid and flat and the blade and chipbreaker system is massive. The old Stanley Bedrocks are what the Lie Nielsen bench planes are patterned after, but that is where it stops. They have greatly improved what is arguably Stanleys greatest line of planes. They invoke pride of ownership and it allows me to use them with predictable results every time. I can go right to work and I would rather wood work than restore planes.
I'll admit that it hurts to "write the check", but the money is forgotten after awhile and you retain the pride of a lifetime quality tool that your kids will most likely fight over when your done using it.
8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
The 4-1/2 for 5 starsMay 14, 2014
This is a perfect tool. Not just great, or amazing, but perfect. It is a wonder of human achievement. I've been to the factory and talked to the people who make them. I've seen the grinders, the lappers and polishers. The folks who make the magic. All of it. If you are looking for a functional tool for half the price you will find it elsewhere. That's not the point.
The point is, you can own a tool that will excel at the job for which it is designed, and know that the tool was created by people who care for more than just making a buck, but that you will appreciate what they have created. Kind of what each of us who use the tools hope for when we create a piece that will be appreciated by our customers.
You won't find me talking about the technical specs, the micrometer of shaving thickness, or the like. There are plenty here who can benchmark this tool and explain the exact reasons why you should buy this phenomenal work of the American hand. I will leave that for others to do.
I will simply say that you need this tool, and all the others, because the American spirit and ideals of craftsmanship live on here in Warren Maine, and in our own shops. Buy it. And all the others you need, or don't even know that you need yet.
11 of 14 found the following review helpful:
a fine smoothing planeFeb 22, 2008
By Neil J. Stalker MD
lie nielson is one of the finest large scale plane makers on the planet. they have improved the stanley bedrocks of old. this plane is ready to go out of the box. if you want a great smoother you will not regret this purchase.
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