I was lucky enough to get the Lee Valley (LV) medium shoulder plane for Christmas this year, and I can say that it is already one of my favorite planes.
I have been surprised at how often I have used it for a variety of tasks. My only other shoulder plane is an old Stanley #90 that I use a lot, but I have found myself using the LV for almost everything now. It “comes to hand” easily and constantly and works very easily. It is 7″ long by 11/16″ wide….seems like a good compromise in size to me.
The plane is great for trimming tenon shoulders, etc or for paring cross-grain as is often required on tenon cheeks. I am doing a lot of mortise and tenon joints right now, and I see to be constantly using this plane.
I find that the Lee Valley planes are less expensive but every bit as good as Lie-Nielsen (LN) planes when it comes to use and functionality, and in some cases the LV planes are better as they tend to include some excellent modern interpretations of the older designs. Having said that, there is something more aesthetically pleasing about the LN planes that just isn’t there in the LV counterparts. LN planes are precision, functional pieces of art…LV planes are precision, functional tools. I love using them both, but somehow get more attached to the Lie-Nielsen tools. Does that make them worth the extra money? I’m not sure.
Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania).
Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics.
Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.
Ahhh. A shoulder plane is on the wish list at my shop. I think the medium shoulder plane is the right one to have if you only have one…