#4-1/2 Smoothing Plane
Get A FREE 3 Month Subscription to Rob Cosmans Interactive Online Hand & Power Tool Workshops! The Subscription is Seventy-Five 30-Minute Sessions As Well As Access to Over 800 Previous Episodes... Plus Access to Hand Plane 101 – A $120 Value!
The WoodRiver® V3 No. 4-1/2 Bench Hand Plane is 2-7/8" wide, 10-3/8" long, has a 2-3/8" blade, and weighs just over 6 lbs. Commonly referred to as a smoothing plane, the No. 4-1/2 offers the user more heft, size and a larger tote than a traditional No. 4. Features include soles and side machined flat and square, lightly finished hardwood handles, and minimal tune-up required before use.
- 2-7/8" wide x 10-3/8" long with a 2-3/8" wide blade
- Modeled after the Bedrocks, Stanley Tool’s very best line
- Features fine-grained ductile iron castings and fully machined frogs
- Soles and sides machined flat and square
- Tools require minimal tune-up prior to use
Articles & Blogs
Very well made plane
Let me start off by saying that after a little work, this plane is capable of doing anything a plane costing almost 3 times more would do. I had one issue with mine that involved the blade. One corner of the back (flat) side of the blade was ground too deep and required me to take about .0045" off the back of the blade. I was able to do this because I have access to machinery that can accomplish this easily. The plus to that was that when I was done, the entire blade surface was flat to .0001" and ground to an equivalent surface finish you would get from a 4000 grit stone. (yes, one ten-thousandths of an inch) For most people without access to the equipment I do, this would have been a reason to return the plane for a replacement. If you watch Rob Cosman's video on this plane, even he mentions that if the blade is out of flat too much to return it. I did consider this, but since I was able to fix it myself with little effort, I just did it. That is the reason I took off one star. Otherwise, the plane is darn near perfect. Woodcraft, you can take this as a reason to watch your quality control just a bit more closely. (while I was in the shop grinding the blade I checked the hardness. 61 Rockwell C. Exactly what they claim.) Interestingly enough, the back end of the blade was in the 35rC range. Something I never knew about plane blades, that they were not hard all along the length of the blade. I may check my other planes sometime to verify they are all that way. So, the rest of the plane was just great. The sole was flat within .0005" right out of the box. Probably better than the spec for that plane. Before I redid the blade or did any kind of sharpening, it was able to take .0015" shavings off a board with an almost perfectly smooth surface. After I reground the blade and sharpened it, I was able to shave endgrain pine to a smooth surface with a continuous shaving coming off the plane. Hard maple shavings I could get down to less than .001" and so thin they stuck fast to your hand with static, leaving a glass smooth surface behind. The sides of the plane were square with the sole to within .002 total. (that's about .06 degrees.) easily good enough. The depth adjustment for the blade was smooth and precise. No complaints there. The weight of the plane is just right to make it easy to smooth the wood surface, not too light and not too heavy. Bottom line, this plane is worth every penny I paid for it, and probably more, since I got it on sale for $159. At that price, or even the regular price, there is nothing on the market that can touch it. If it wasn't for the issue with the blade, it easily would have gotten 5 stars. If you are looking for this size plane, you just can't go wrong with this one. Again, I could have returned it because of the blade and Woodcraft would have exchanged it for me with no problems but I was able to fix that myself. I only mention it so if someone ever gets a Woodriver product with a problem they will take care of you. Highly recommended
Great Value, Excellent Quality
I own several old Baileys and the new boutique makers. This one stands up respectably to the lot. I find I tend to reach for the WoodRiver more and more of late.
#4-1/2 After One Year
Well made, square and flat enough for me. The iron took considerable work to flatten, and had very very small chipping on the bevel edge. I continued tu use it and after many honing so, the edge is clean. Very hard iron, by the way. The setup cuts as well as my old planes, one with a best quality aftermarket iron. Adjustments are great and you will find yourself with it in your hand often. Get past China and never be disappointed.
I own a lot of planes. If you need the most bang for your mula. This is the plane for you. The adjustment alone is amazing. They have a hefty iron and the milling is spot on. I have used this palne for two years now. So this is not an out of the box review. I own a few of the "big Boy" manufactured planes and the are great but I will be ordering a full set of these soon.
I bought this Plane today. Cleaned it up honed the blade. Cutting .0001 shaving in less then 30 min.
Blade is not A2 steel
Although I went ahead and bought this plane anyway based on Woodcraft's return policy, I was hesitant because technical support at Woodcraft indicated that the blades are no longer made of A2 steel. They indicated that the catalog makes no claim of using A2 steel and felt that the web page needed to be changed to indicate this change. I send this bad review as feedback about an inaccurate web page. More later after I have used the plane.
Very nice plane
Got it for smoothing some scruffy red oak, and it worked beautifully. Very minimal tune-up, and it was ready to go. Nice fit and finish. The extra weight is great for difficult woods and a little easier on the shoulders since less downward pressure is needed.
4.5 woodriver and low angle planes
while on holiday in florida I was fortunate enough to visit woodcraft I viewed the woodriver range and was pleasantly surprised how better the American version was to the uk version so I purchased the 4.5 and the low angled block plane which are unavailable in the uk and I am very pleased with the purchase excellent quality
Diamond in the rough
An excellent plane AFTER being thoroughly fettled. Completely disassemble, then use taps and dies to clean all threaded holes and bolt threads of manufacturers left behind crud such as metal chips and dirt. Carefully reassemble taking care that all parts fit and operate smoothly. Flatten all blade parts mating surfaces including the lever cap and chip- breaker, hone the blade and you will have a plane equal to any others including "L-N". The only difference between this 4 1/2 plane and my LN 4 1/2 is LN has done the fettling for you. This plane is about 6 oz HEAVIER than the LN and performs just as well. These WoodRiver planes are an excellent value in spite of the work required to complete what the factory started.
Great Tool, Great Price
With an absolute mininum of tuning, and proper sharpening this plane will produce shavings of under 1/1000 of an inch. Mine commonly do 1/2 of 1/1000th. There is only one other tool maker that produces this quality but those are around twice the price. The 2X price is worth it for those who love very very high quality brass fitted tools but they don't perform a bit better than Wood River.