Buying a Router Plane
Paul would recommend that you make your own router plane. He says “it’s as easy to make as a dovetail box”. The videos and technical drawings are available on Woodworking Masterclasses
The metal hardware is available from Rokesmith, our physical products selling platform for £35 (plus VAT and shipping.) We ship worldwide.
If you don’t feel confident to make your own below we have some secondhand and new options below:
Before making his own Paul used both the Stanley #71 and the Record #071. These two are almost identical; the Stanley has a nickel plating and the Record is painted dark blue, this is the main difference between them. Because of the finish and the fact that they were well made, even as secondhand tools they should last a long time as this prevents rust. These routers are only available secondhand as production stopped several decades back. Therefore be sure to check the blade for excessive rust/pitting and that there is a significant length of blade left. The best way to check this is to compare to other router planes you see listed online. Also note that a wide blade (1/2″ or 13mm) is much more useful than a 1/4″ (6mm) one, so bear this in mind because buying vintage blades separately tends to be quite expensive. You should expect to pay no more than £100 for a router with a good length 1/2″ cutter (blade) if it’s in good condition. (A complete set, which includes a fence and a depth stop, will generally sell for more, but Paul rarely if ever finds a use for these additional features.)
🇬🇧/🇺🇸 The Veritas small router plane is highly engineered but they only started making it a few years ago. It is available new here for £171.68* (free delivery over £50) it maybe available second hand.
🇬🇧/🇺🇸 We purchased this Lie-Nielsen Router Plane. It is available here from Classic Hand tools for £245*
*Price checked 7/8/22
Sharpening a Router Plane
Setting Up Before you use your router plane, it is important to check that the leading edge of the cutting iron, the fore edge, is parallel with the actual sole of the plane as it may need to be corrected, flattened and polished before use (Paul sometimes refers to this process as initialising). This process…
Using a Router Plane
When using a router plane and removing material to a specific depth, you can use a chisel to remove the bulk of the material then go over it with a router, or you can make incremental depth changes with the router until the final depth is established. Removing the bulk gallery: Though used to level…
To read more on router planes, we recommend the following from Paul’s blog:
Buying Good Tools Cheap- Router Plane
Tool Review- Veritas Router Plane
Tightening Tool for a Veritas Router Plane
This looks like an open mouth model, but I read somewhere to buy a closed mouth one. As I have to save to just buy the one, I want to make sure I buy the correct one. Should I get open or closed mouth?
Paul says if you want a closed mouth you can add a wooden sole and you would have the benefit of both types. He recommends the Lee Nielsen.
I have just read a few posts on Paul’s blog about the Veritas router plane, which looks easier to sharpen. Any thoughts on that vs the Lie Nielsen? Similar in price but quite a few differences.
Will the Lie Nielsen take a wooden base or rather does it have the screw holes predrilled to accept a wood base?
If not (doesn’t look like in the photograph of the plane) how difficult is it to drill holes?
Or…just get the closed base model?
Many Thanks and Kind Regards,
My last on router plane questions…Is it a problem that the Lie Nielsen router plane doesn’t have a “V”
(Please forgive my misspelling of your name earlier!)
Perhaps the slots I see in the photo would allow for a wooden base?
Yes, you can use the fence slots to run a screw through into a wooden sole.
What are the best size/type of blades to start with? I am looking at getting the Veritas plane and there are many options for blades…
Paul suggests getting what he considers as the most practical size ⅜ “ – ½ “ and then add smaller blades as needed.
Sorry for being late with my question. I bought a LN router plane after watching and listening to Pauls videos. Can you tell me the type and thickness of the wooden plate Paul mounts to his router plane.
It is ⅜” thick, 2” longer than the plane base (1” either side) and the same width front to back as the plane base.
The LN Router comes in open throat format and closed throat format and I am curious about Paul’s experience with regard to this, especially given that there isn’t a difference in price.
I passed your question on to Paul and he says:
I would say definitely go for the open throat because if you have a lot of stopped housing dadoes to do, you can use the open throat for that and it prevents damage to the fore edge of the housing dado. If you want continuous sole, as in the closed throat, you can simply add a wooden sole which most people do anyway because that prevents the metal from marring the wood.
Has Paul per chance looked at the chinese planes from Cowryman.com (I have no affiliation with them, whatsoever)? They look nicely machined, and a bit less expensive. They also have a Preston style plane
Without having them and using them, I can’t pass a comment.
There are three Preston router planes on ebay right now – going for £360, £550, and £630. Think I’ll pass! The Stanley/Record planes go for about £100 if complete and in good nick, but the little Stanley 722’s can be had for well under £50. I’m wondering how useful they are for general work?
The little ones work just fine but eventually you will want a full sized version I think.
What router does Paul use in the Tenoned Miter video? I have a Stanley 71, but am looking for something more along the lines of rectangular in footprint rather than triangular like the 71. Paul has several of them hanging in the background, and uses one in the video.
Thank you so kindly!
Dear Izzy and Paul,
I am looking for a small router plane as I have a Stanley 71 and love it.
I found the Moberg small router plane online made of bronze for $65 USD. Is this small router plane a good choice or go for the LN or Veritas?
PS They also have a bronze 151 spokeshave and No. 80 scraper plane for $130 USD
Paul says the Moberg is a good router plane and to go for it. He’s used one for two decades.
Thanks Katrina! I’ll order it. I’ve found I needed a smaller one for some work:)