Among the many quality alternatives for hand planes these days, Bench Dog Tools has recently entered the market with nine new options. You can choose from two sizes of smoothing planes, three jack planes, a jointer plane, block plane and two shoulder planes. Common to the line, the plane bodies are made of ductile cast iron for superior strength and impact resistance, and the soles are precision-ground flat right out of the box. Their pre-sharpened hardened carbon-steel blades are either 1/8- or 3/16-in. thick (depending on the plane) to help reduce chattering. Lever caps and related attachment screws are solid brass for quality, and the hardwood sapele totes and knobs are both durable and attractive.
Each plane includes a storage sock to prevent damage, plus an inspection report with measurements and specifications for sole flatness and blade hardness. Typical applications and a few of the details for each plane are as follows:
No. 4 Smoothing Plane (item 58837; $139.99) takes the thinnest of shavings for an exceptionally fine finish. It also makes a good general purpose plane or first plane for your collection. Its sole measures 2-1/2 x 10 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel down and beds against the frog at 45 degrees. Bench Dog’s No. 4 Smoothing Plane weighs 4.18 lbs.
No. 4-1/2 Smoothing Plane (item 50258; $169.99) has a heftier feel than the No. 4, making it ideal for tackling challenging grain. The blade is also 3/8 in. wider than the No. 4. Its sole measures 3 x 10-1/4 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel down and beds against the frog at 45 degrees. Bench Dog’s No. 4-1/2 Smoothing Plane weighs 5.73 lbs.
No. 5 Jack Plane (item 59102; $169.99) is typically the first bench plane to touch rough lumber. A jack plane’s uses range from flattening and squaring to preliminary smoothing. It is often called a fore plane because it is used “before” the finer work of the jointer and smoothing planes. The sole on the No. 5 measures 2-1/2 x 14 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel down and beds against the frog at 45 degrees. Bench Dog’s No. 5 Jack Plane weighs 5.95 lbs.
No. 5-1/2 Jack Plane (item 54865; $199.99) is slightly larger and heavier than the No. 5 to help tame challenging grain or when you need more blade width for edge planing thick lumber. Its sole measures 3 x 14-3/4 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel down and beds against the frog at 45 degrees. Bench Dog’s 5-1/2 Jack Plane weighs 7 lbs.
No. 62 Low-Angle Jack Plane (item 51138; $199.99) is among the most versatile planes available. Thanks to its adjustable mouth, it can take rough surfacing cuts and fine smoothing cuts equally in stride. The 25-degree blade is set bevel-up at a low bedding angle of 12 degrees, creating a total effective angle of 37 degrees. This low attack angle slices through difficult grain, including end grain. Its sole measures 2-1/2 x 13-3/4 in. Blade thickness is about 3/16 in. Bench Dog’s No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane weighs 4.85 lbs.
No. 7 Jointer Plane (item 58682; $299.99) is the longest in the bench plane lineup. Thanks to its lengthy sole, it quickly levels dips and high spots to produce a straight, square edge prior to edge joining. It also performs the final flattening of surfaces before finishing with a smoothing plane. Its sole measures 3 x 21-7/8 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel down and beds against the frog at 45 degrees. Bench Dog’s No. 7 Joiner Plane weighs 8.37 lbs.
No. 60-1/2 Block Plane (item 51006; $99.99) has an acute bedding angle and finely adjustable mouth opening to make quick work of adjusting miters, joinery and fitting doors and drawers. You can easily adjust the mouth opening to produce fine shavings while minimizing tearout. Since the frog and base are a one-piece casting, blade chatter is virtually eliminated. Its sole measures 1-5/8 x 6-1/4 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel up and beds against the frog and base at 12 degrees. Bench Dog’s No. 60-1/2 Block Plane weighs 2.2 lbs.
Three-In-One Shoulder Plane (item 52378; $129.99) includes two nose pieces — one long, one short — both of which are removable for conversion to a chisel plane. The 1/8-in.-thick, 1-in.-wide blade is a hair wider than the full width of the plane body, ensuring clean, sharp corners without leaving a ridge. The sides of the plane body are machined perfectly square with the sole, making it ideal for fine-tuning tenons and cleaning up corners, rabbets and other joinery elements. Its sole measures 1 x 6-1/8 in. The blade installs bevel up and beds against the frog at 19 degrees. Bench Dog’s Three-In-One Shoulder Plane weighs 2.2 lbs.
No. 92 Shoulder Plane (item 51527; $99.99) is suitable for the same purposes as the Three-in-One Shoulder Plane, but the No. 92 is narrower and shorter. Its mouth is adjustable by sliding the upper section forward and back for fine or coarse shavings. Or, the entire upper section can be removed for conversion to a chisel plane. Its sole measures 3/4 x 5-1/4 in. The 1/8-in.-thick blade installs bevel up and beds against the frog at 19 degrees. Bench Dog’s No. 92 Shoulder Plane weighs 1.1 lbs.
All nine of Bench Dog’s new hand planes are available now at rockler.com and through Rockler stores nationwide.