WoodRiver - #5 Bench Hand Plane, V3
An all-purpose hand plane, the No. 5, or jack, plane will perform almost any job you might need done, while providing you with experience and feed back to help you pick your next plane. The 14”...
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V3: Like our previous WoodRiver® Bench Hand Planes, our version 3 is based on the reliable Bedrock design and feature heavy, stress-relieved ductile iron castings, fully machined adjustable frogs and high carbon steel blades but we took the opportunity between manufacturing runs to do a critical review and make a few improvements. We’ve changed the shape of the rear tote and increased the diameter of the blade adjustment wheel to make advancing the blade a bit easier. We improved the lateral adjustment lever and added a traditional style bearing for better control of the blade. We’ve made numerous changes to the castings that result in better “feedback” and a solid feel to the user. Working closely with our own manufacturer, we’ve continued to make improvements in machining, finish and functionality which we feel have yielded hand planes that are meant to be used and offer an extraordinary value.
- 2-7-16” W x 13-7/8”L with 2”W blade
- Modeled after the Bedrocks, Stanley Tool's very best line
- WoodRiver® hand planes feature the same heavy castings (6 lbs) and fully machined frogs
- Lightly finished hardwood handles provide comfort and control
- Tools require minimal tune-up prior to use
- Commonly known as a “jack” plane
- Soles and sides are machined flat and square within tightly held tolerances
Articles & Blogs
With holiday gift giving in full swing, Tommy MacDonald, host of the national public television series Rough Cut – Woodworking with Tommy Mac, shares his view of ideal gifts for the woodworking friends and family on your list. Rough Cut is produced by WGBH Boston.
It’s Tech Talk Time with Bob, Sam & Kyle from Woodcraft’s Technical Support Team!
For over 20 years, Woodcraft’s Technical Support Team has combined efforts with our Customer Service Department to provide satisfaction and resolution to all of Woodcraft’s clientele for any issues that may arise. Together they contribute product information, advice, fast ordering service and delivery, as well as the best pricing to assist with your Woodcraft orders and information. These guys provide for inbound product inspections of new items, informing Woodcraft personnel and customers of any quality issues with new or existing products. They also perform product use testing for future stock items. Using customer experiences, they pass along any concerns or suggestions, sharing the product knowledge to all who may need it.
The art of hand-cut dovetails has become a race against time as Frank Klausz and Mike Siemsen went saw to saw at Woodworking in America. We won’t bore you with the verbal details as the entertainment comes from the boys and their woodworking toys with some added music provided by Mike Siemsen in the first video. Frank wins the competition in what appears to be approximately 2 minutes and 35 seconds.
Werner John is not only a musician, but a man of many talents, including writing, recording, performing and teaching music using his own handcrafted Native American Flutes. As a young boy, Werner found a connection to nature growing up in the New York Hudson River Valley. With artisan parents and grandparents as an example and a woodworking father to learn from, Werner became a carpenter’s apprentice when he was 18, and worked in lumber yards for his college education. In addition to woodworking his other passion was music. As a musician in his 30′s, Werner found himself taking on 12 students left behind by his former Austrian instructor. This confirmed in Werner’s heart and mind that he had something to offer others in music education. He soon finished college and became a teacher, while performing and recording in Ashville, North Carolina.
West Virginia area businesses and individuals have brought the spirit of Christmas to the Blennerhassett Hotel in downtown Parkersburg. Located at 320 Market Street, this upscale historical home-away-from-home is hosting it’s annual Festival of Trees starting November 19th, 2013.
Time and time again, I have found that woodworkers have the biggest hearts in giving back when it comes to helping others. Assistance comes in many different forms, sometimes sharing their wisdom in the shop with projects to opening up their shops for education.
Gigi Branch, a high school nurse from San Antonio, Texas, is the Grand Prize winner in the “The Jory Brigham Experience” Sweepstakes sponsored by Woodcraft, Jory Brigham and SawStop.
Good value, not as versatile as I'd like
I bought this plane to complement several other Jack-sized planes (#5-1/4W, #5, #5-1/2, Low-angle Jack, Jack Rabbet) with the intent of fitting it with a cambered blade for cases where I want to hog out a lot of material, but with wider/shallower cuts and better flatness than I get from my scrub. The plane is well built with good quality control in all functionally important respects. The fit and finish isn't up to the level of my other above-referenced planes, but they're all significantly more expensive. The blade took a moderate amount of work to flatten and sharpen. I've already used the plane a fair amount, and the blade seems to be made of a decent high-carbon steel though it needs to be sharpened more frequently than the powdered-metal blades in my other Jack planes. I think that these are very reasonable tradeoffs given the price and that the Wood River delivers very good value overall. The largest drawbacks relate to depth adjustment range. I sharpened the blade with a 6" radius camber, which means that it takes a 59/1000" cut when the blade is extended such that it's just barely taking full-width chips (you can't really call them shavings). For comparison, the 1.5" wide, 3" radius blade in my scrub takes a 67 mil cut when similarly extended. I left the primary bevel at 25 deg. I found two issues when I set the plane up as described above: 1. With that much extension the frog had to be set fairly far forward to avoid "levering" the blade on the edge of the sole in front of the frog. I set the frog by painting the edge of the sole with Prussian Blue marking grease, and then tweaked the frog backward until the blade bevel just barely contacted the sole when fully extended as described above. This combination of frog position and extension turned out to leave a very small mouth, and I had to file out the front of the mouth a bit more than 1 mm to pass 59-mil shavings. While this is to some degree an inherent limitation of the Bed Rock configuration, I think that given the typical uses for a Jack plane it might be better to ship the plane with a slightly larger mouth. My existing planes don't have such limitations as they use different mechanical configurations that allow wider adjustment ranges (movable toes in the #5, #5-1/2, bevel-up jack, and jack rabbet; a frog that extends all the way to the bottom of the sole in the 5-1/4W, such that there's no sole corner to interfere with the blade). 2. Because of the tight camber radius I had to set the chip-breaker about 80 mils back from the blade tip (~20 mils back from the blade corners). The distance from the leading edge of the chipbreaker to the depth adjustment slot is such that I could not fully retract the blade in that configuration. I resolved this by re-grinding the chip-breaker with a 30 deg bevel, which removed just enough from the leading edge to allow the blade to be fully retracted. I think this may reflect a design flaw, because even after modification the adjuster still permits a ridiculous amount of blade extension (more than would ever be useful). The Hock chip breakers are spec'ed with a slightly smaller distance from depth adjuster to leading edge FWIW. Again this is a case where my existing planes (which all use Norris-type adjusters) don't have issues as they have larger depth adjustment ranges. Assuming somebody else out there wants to use a similar cambered-blade setup, I think that the work required is worth the almost 50% cost savings (relative to my existing #5, which can support such a blade configuration out of the box), but only if you're comfortable with such mechanical modifications.
Good Plane, Mediocre Blade
The plane is great, the blade is not. I found that the plane was almost perfectly flat right out the gate, and only required a good honing on the blade to get started. The blade, however, is easily nicked and I find myself resharpening it often, having to go all the way back to my 220 stone in some cases just to work out the pits. Replacing the blade with a Hock blade amends this problem, but that also adds $50 to the price, making this a less competitive offering.
I have been using this plane for a few weeks now and I think it is a great tool. I use this plane to flatten stock and joint edges for furniture that I make. The sole comes flat and the iron is sharp although I recommend sharpening it to your own specifications. The iron was reasonably flat and only took 2 minutes to flatten. I do not have any complaints about this plane and I think it is a very high quality tool, especially for the price. I would recommend this plane to anyone looking for a very good plane who doesn't have unlimited funds.
ok, definitely not great
This is a nice tool for the price. However don't expect the quality to be anywhere close to LieNielsen or LeeValley planes. Plane worked well out of the box (after some honing), however, sides were not flat and badly out of square with the sole!! couldn't use it with a shooting board. Had to reflatten the sole and flatten and square up the sides. Also replaced the blade with PMV11 blade from LV - then it became a nice plane.
solid design great value
Had to do some tuning on arrival,including some sole-flattening, iron lapping, etc, but performed very well once all was done. Now a prized tool... this will see a lot of use in my shop. Can't beat the price for such a solid plane.
Decent Plane for the Price
Purchased this plane as an alternative size to my Lie-Nielson collection. Out of the box, this plane would be better for oiling wood than planing it, but that is easy to clean up... Completely disassembled the plane, removed the excess oil, honed the blade, and set the whole thing up: and it works decent. I had to almost "overtighten" the frog screws to get it to sit still as it wobbled in use after the first set-up, but then it produced nice shavings in my highly-figured violin wood, leaving a mostly smooth surface. Other things I don't like: Handle is loose, and screw won't tighten any more, so time to shim/add a washer somewhere or shorten screws to correct that. Cap iron tension lever does not "snap" into place as it has some uneven machining on the underside. The biggest issue I have with the planes in general is the machining tolerences in the hardware... There is 2-3 times the "slop" (side to side)in the screws and especially the blade adjuster that make me feel a little uneasy using the tool, and question it's lifespan before needing to replace parts. The brass parts seem a little soft, and not very nicely finished. I do Like: The weight, balance, design, and feel of the tool. Despite the previous issues, I feel the tool is worth the price. The sole is more than flat enough for me, and square to the sides. Finished nicely... When tightened down, honed, and set up, the plane functions as expected. Summary: A great plane for basic use, and at a great price. This should make most users happy. In comparison to my Lie-Nielsen planes, they pale quite a bit to me. I feel the L/N tools are truely "heirloom quality" as they will far outlast me even with continuous hard use...
WoodRiver #5 Bench Hand Plane, V3 by Woo
This a great tool....the finish on it is very nice, the precision of adjustments is extremely good , the price can't be beat , it is half of a comparable high end plane. Highly recommended
Very nice plane; great bargain!
I was really impressed by the quality of this plane, especially for the money. The fit and finish out of the box were impressive. All I had to do was sharpen the blade and I was ready to go and was making paper-thin shavings in no time. My only complaint is that there was no anti-corrosion packaging included as it is with many of the other, better quality planes. I intend to buy / make a plane sack, but in the meantime, anti-corrosion material would have been a nice addition for not much additional cost. Also, I have to say that dealing with the Woodcraft customer service was a very pleasant experience. I had a billing issue that was dealt with very quickly and effectively. Kudos to Woodcraft!
it is a great tool
it solves alot of problems in my working projects , small or large project.
Does Exactly What You Want It To
The sole was true and flat out of the box. The release mechanism for the blade was a little sticky when trying to remove and sharpen the blade, but does seem to hold the blade in place solidly. The quality and thickness of the blade is impressive for the price. Although the blade could have been a little sharper out of the box, it was not difficult to bring it to a true "razor" edge. The plane's overall mass is enough to help you push through denser material without getting bogged down. Also, there is absolutely NO chatter to the blade. Of course, at these prices, that would be a HUGE NO-NO!
This plane is outstanding
I received this #5 plane as a gift from my wife. I have used it on several projects made of Cherry. It has performed perfectly for genreal stock removal, jointing smaller boards, flatening and smoothing. I highly reccomend this plane.
Outstanding right out of the box
Expected to lap the sole and hone the blade. But, cleaning off the packing grease the thing seemed really set. So I put it to work on some hard maple, red oak and some other scraps. It worked beautifully. A couple of minutes getting the tuning right and I was shaving consistent, transparent, hair thin shavings. I could not be more pleased. I've got antique planes I've restored and new LN specialty planes, and this #5 is absolutely the equal or better of my others. I'll be getting another in this series soon.
Good Customer Service
I have an earlier version WoodRiver number 5 hand plane. I am impressed that Woodcraft has continued to make refinements in the product for the benefit of Woodcraft's customers. However, what impressed me more then the refinements and the initial quality in workmanship is the customer support from Woodcraft. I actually had a minor problem with my number 5 plane. Honest mistakes can happen during the manufacture process. Woodcraft stood behind the product and made certain that I was not inconvenienced. I was so impressed with the customer service and support that I purchased the number 3 and number 4. I truly enjoy using all three of my WoodRiver hand planes.
In one word: Amazing!
I've been using my WoodRiver V3 jack plane for a few months now, and I can't say enough good things about it. The fit and quality of the tool has gone up considerably from when they first came out, to the point where they rival the quality of my premium-brand planes - but at less than half the price! It needed only minimal setup out of the box, mainly just sharpening the blade (the blade stays sharp for a long, long time, by the way.) My only complaint is that the handle could be made a little thinner and rounder. It feels a bit bulky and makes my hands ache more than usual after a couple of hours of planing - and I have pretty big hands. It's really a minor thing on an otherwise incredible tool, though. I recommend it without reservations!
Money well spent
I said I wouldn't buy another WoodRiver hand plane after getting the #3 but I did and I'm very pleased with the #5. The tote loosens during use and the connecting rod for the tote seems to be in need of shortening to solve the problem. I honed the blade tucking the outside corners to keep from dig-ins and man o man does this plane leave a smooth finish. I'm building kitchen cabinets now for our house and my wife wanted to take a piece of cherry to Sherwin Willams for a stain sample (goes against everything I believe in as far as staining hardwood but we're a compromising couple) the guy told her he didn't believe the wood would take a stain since it had a finish already on it. My wife said "oh no, my husband only used his hand plane to smooth it"...the guy was dumbfounded a plane could make a glass finish. I plan on buying the #4 and #6 now and I don't expect to look at a LN or Clifton ever, who needs to waste money when WoodRiver has the best value in the market. When my Fine Woodworking magazine arrived in the mail box I was amazed that they did a review of the #4 WR plane and award "Best Value"...kind of hard to ignore WoodRiver when you're really stirring up the water with workingclass useful tools.
Far more value than cost -
Have fettled both low cost and used planes with decent results. Received the #4 for Christmas and it performed so nice, so easily, I had to by the #5 Jack Plane. Am now convinced you don't need to spend $350-$500 to get a great bench plane.
A real winner at a fraction of the cost.
The WoodRiver #5 cut thin shaving right out of the box. Fit and finish were excellent. I have several Lie-Nielson and Lee Valley planes and The WoodRiver #5 plane compares favorably with these high end planes at a fraction of the cost.
Received as a gift. The iron is thick and sharp out of the box, the adjustment knob is very nice and doesn't seem to have much play in it like some of the other bargain planes, the weight is good. Very little chatter or adjustment needed out of the box. The sole looks flat and I was making very nice shavings after about 10 minutes of adjustment. I had the depth set a little deep and was taking very thick shavings off with ease and surprisingly little tear-out. After adjusting the blade for a thinner cut it plowed right through. I would recommend this plane. I am a hobbyist, not a professional if that makes a difference to a prospective buyer.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this plane. It is sturdy and a joy to use. There is no chatter at all and produces super fine shavings right out of the box. I really look forward to using this plane on all my future projects.
Good for the $
Handle was loose when I recieved it no prob. Was described sharp out of the box but severe tear out on white pine would disagree with that statement. I know honing is still required and it would have been nice to get this service provided with my order but that was not an option available when I ordered it online. Other than that it is flat and easy to use.
Neither Flat Nor Square
I love hand planes. I have a lot from LN to fettled Stanleys. I looked forward to trying the third generation of these planes. In short, I returned both of mine. But there is a lot of good things going on with these planes. Neither of these planes were flat or square. And they were too far out of whack for me to use them. If I wanted to spend hours fettling a plane, I will just buy a used Stanley. I am not obsessed with flat to within a thousandth of an inch. But the plane has to be flat enough to do its job. And this one was not. Otherwise, the plane is nicely made and is a good bargain. In fact, I am going to go to my local Woodcraft with my straight edge and square and see if I can get one that is reasonably flat and square. I love the idea, and I love the price point. I think I just got a lemon.
As good as Lie Nelson, good quality
I see no justification for high prices for Lie Nelson.I think some people rate Lie Nelson very high to put this plane down.In my opinion for a made in [...] plane this plane itself is priced very high.Based on my knowledge of manufacturing costs this plane itself is priced very high. I am an american and I love made in America. I am happy to pay higher prices if the stuff is made in America. I wish there will be a day we will not pay the prices of Made In America for the goods made outside America, which is a win win situation for american people and business.
Highly recommend Woodcraft perform initial sharpening (low cost). Very comfortable and easy to tune. I use on small projects, but could easily tackle bigger projects.
Good product, great value
I really like this plane. I've been looking for a #5 plane but didn't want to pay for a LN or Lee Valley plane. I bought the Groz plane first first, along with a Hock blade. I never even used the Groz. The finish was terrible. I couldn't level or align the frog properly beause there was so much paint on the mating surfaces. I could machine it all smooth and square, but decided it wasn't worth the effort when the Woodriver plane was about the same price (Groz plane plus Hock blade). The WoodRiver plane's engineering and construction are FAR better. Good paint job, well machined parts, great case (wooden box). I haven't taken the time to sharpen the blade yet (had it two days only. Out of the box, this plane made whispy curls out of wavy hard (reversing grain and 1" knots) maple with no tearout. I was quite suprised and pleased. It'll be awesome once I properly sharpen the blade. The only thing that makes this product inferior to the high-end planes is the frog adjustment is a bit fidgity (three screws and still somewhat sloppy. Still, it's far better than the standard Record design. And I'm not going to adjust the frog more than a few times. It's perfectly acceptable. Overall this is a great product at a very fair price.
[...]other than a few minutes setting up and adjusting, the plane was ready to use.
I would recommend this to my brothers.
I am using this as a jointing plane. This plane is more that I expected. At this time I do not have any negatives.
You will not be sorry.
Excellent performance and value for money - a valued addition to my collection of hand planes.
You will not be sorry.
Excellent performance and value for money - A great addition to my collection and exceeds the performance of some more expensive planes out there!
Well worth the money
Great value, wonderful plane.
This is a great plane.
It's just a great plane after I hone the blade to a great and fine edge, I tried it out on a block of poplar that I had laying on the bench and it cut so smooth and without hardly any effort. Thumbs up! I like and would recommend it to all out there in the woodworking world.
Best plane I have in my shop!
I received the Woodriver #5 plane as a gift for Christmas and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. It is well machined and easily adjusted. My first attempts at planing produced slivers only a few thousands thick ~ the thickness of a sheet of paper. I am very pleased and will consider other Woodriver products if the quality is the same.
Worth the money
I was skeptical when these first came out, I had a fair few planes, LN, old stanleys etc. I was very happy to find that out of the nice box, came a plane that within 5 minutes was taking shavings of a thou and a half thick. Fit and finish were very good on my example, no complaints for the money, it's no LN, but it's no LN price either. As a good user plane, I think it's hard to beat, sure you can get a stanley fixer uppa , but by the time you've added a Hock iron and chip breaker, plus the rehab work, you may as well save your energy for actually doing woodwork! Only downside is that noone in the store knew anything about hand planes, so I had to rely on my own experiance when picking one out.