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A trophy of a tool that I use all the time.A Lie-Nielsen tool is something most woodworkers have on their wish list. It can be hard to justify buying a hand tool that can rival the cost of even high quality power tools. But all of that doubt evaporates the moment you hold one of these tools in your hand.
I purchased the small chisel plane about a month ago. It arrived in a classic Lie-Nielsen box, wrapped first in packing paper, and inside that, was paper with the official LN logo, and finally a padding layer of foam. This is fantastic.
If I ever end up selling this plane, or more likely, when my kids fight over my tools after I pass, the packing materials will only heighten that battle.
I put the plane on a block of Teak on my workbench for the first week - like a trophy. A joy to stare at and a wonder to pick up and hold, the plane is perfectly finished out of the box. The weight of the bronze body is noticeably heavier than cast iron and the tool is impressively machined.
I did obsess over the blade. Although it was quite sharp on arrival, I used a granite surface plate, wet-dry paper & a Veritas honing guide to take a single bevel through 7000 grit. Both sides of the blade are now mirror polished and perfectly flat. The blade is extremely thick so this polished edge is quite dramatic and the tool is ridiculously sharp.
If I ever drop it, at least I know the toe should be able to be re-attached because the cut will be so clean and tidy.
Having a tool like this in your aresenal changes your entire relationship with your projects. The feel of well-built tools properly honed is indescribable and builds my confidence to tackle more and more challenging projects.
I'm surprised how often I find I'm reaching for this chisel. Woodworking continually requires minor cleanup of glue lines, plugs, trimming joints and other machining imperfections and this tool is wonderfully versatile, accurate & pleasing in the hand.
So yes, these tools are not cheap. But they also hold their value like few others. I invested in this chisel plane and now enjoy the increase in productivity, satisfaction of use, perfect results and finally, the knowledge that something I enjoy so much is increasing in value with time.
I will continue to save my pennies and plan on investing as often in additional LN tools as my budget allows.