Author Topic: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane  (Read 19085 times)

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Offline Brice Burrell

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Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« on: August 13, 2010, 06:42 PM »
Okay, I ordered my first Lie-Nielsen, a butt mortise plane.  For those of you that have never seen one before or you'd like to see Nielsen's version, here you go.

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A butt mortise plane is used for mortises for hinges, strikes plates and other (relatively) small hardware that requires a fairly shallow mortise.  The plane has a long, thin body (9 5/8" x 1 1/2") to span the mortise and narrow iron (3/4"). 

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The idea is to mark out your location for the hardware with a marking knife then with a chisel create shoulders in the ends of the mortise to act as stop for the iron.  Then you can use the plane to cut out the mortise, leaving a perfectly flat bottom.  Once you've done it a few times the process is pretty quick. 

There are advantages to this plane over a router for small jobs and where it's not possible to use a router template.  But with a price tag of over $100 USD it's not cheap. 

This wasn't an easy decision for me.  However, a job has come along that I can justify the expense.  We are working on an older house, early 1930's, where almost none of the doors open and close correctly any more.  This house is big, there are fifty regular interior doors, two sets of french interior doors, one very large exterior door and ten sets of exterior french doors.  Over seventy doors that need work (and that doesn't include any of the doors in what was the servants wing of the house).  Most need to cut down to fit into sagging openings and about half are getting new lock sets.  The mortise plane is ideal for fitting the strike plates for the new lock sets since it can be difficult to get a jig for a router on an existing jamb. I think the mortise is will earn its keep on this job.   

I can't really give any meaningful comments on the overall quality of this plane since I'm little more than a bumbling fool when it comes to hand tools, but I have faith in the Lie-Nielsen brand given its standing in the hand tool market. 


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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 06:51 PM »
Brice,

Congrats on what sounds to be an interesting job.  I look forward to your posts, whereas I am not a hand plane guy.  Maybe this old dog still can learn.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 06:55 PM »
That's a very nice looking plane Brice, great pictures and looks like a quality tool. I haven't come across Lie-Nielson before and would like to find out more about them online and also if they are available in the UK. Congratulations on the job, sounds like a good one.

Jonathan

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 07:01 PM »
Brice,

Congrats on what sounds to be an interesting job.  I look forward to your posts, whereas I am not a hand plane guy.  Maybe this old dog still can learn.

You and me both, I'm learning, one stupid mistake at a time... I'll see if I can get some pictures of work in progress but it's doubtful these are pretty private people (although supper nice and classy to boot).  We're about half way through the job, they have family in now so we've got a few days away from this one.  My TS55 and Tenryu blade are getting a real workout since most of the doors are 1 3/4".


That's a very nice looking plane Brice, great pictures and looks like a quality tool. I haven't come across Lie-Nielson before and would like to find out more about them online and also if they are available in the UK. Congratulations on the job, sounds like a good one.

Jonathan

Jonathan, here's a link to the Lie-Nielsen site.  While I can't say for certain, I'd be surprised if you couldn't get them in the UK.

Edit: Here's a link for a UK source from Axminster.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 07:04 PM by Brice Burrell »
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 07:02 PM »
Jonathan,

Here is a UK site:  http://www.lie-nielsen.co.uk/

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 07:06 PM »
Wow, thanks guys.

Offline Christopher Fitch

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 01:33 PM »
this has probably already been shared but here's a link showing how to use the plane:


Offline Christopher Fitch

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 01:35 PM »
and here's a short article on that type of plane and how to use it

Butt Hinge Mortise Plane

Offline Guy Ashley

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 02:03 PM »
Brice

Be warned! You have now started down another slippery road of obsession!

I have the usual Record/Stanley handplanes which I take on site & Lie Nielsen planes which I keep in the workshop for bench work.

However more and more as you realise the superior quality of LN hand tools you will end up taking them on site with you.

If you get a chance visit on of the LN roadshows and try one of their block planes, bet you end up with one!!

Guy
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Offline jmbfestool

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 03:33 PM »

I have owned my  Lie-Nielsen Rabbet Block Plane for 1 year now. I love it!  

It has a thicker blade and keeps its edge far longer than the stanley block planes.

It feels nicer and I can get it so much sharper! its so smooth planing wood. I was going to buy the standard Lie-Nielsen block plane but thought a Rabbet Block Plane would do the same and more and it has come in handy having no sides has helped me out alot like getting tight up to the shoulders on a tenon.

If I was to buy any more planes or other hand tools it will be a Lie-Nielsen. The Varitas are very good aswell I own the Varita Sharping guide.

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This Image is copied from the Lie-Nielsen site




JMB
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 04:37 PM »
Brice

Be warned! You have now started down another slippery road of obsession!...


Guy

Guy, there's no chance of that happening (I know, famous last words).  I wasn't joking about the bumbling fool with hand tools comment (I'm a power tool guy all the way).  I don't have the patience to learn how to use and maintain hand tools correctly.  It took three years for me to decide to buy this plane because I was concerned I wouldn't get enough use out of it.  I wouldn't have bough it now but on this big job there are a couple of things this plane can do much easier and faster than my 1010 router and template.   
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Offline Guy Ashley

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 04:55 PM »
Brice

OK! [laughing] If you don't get on it with it I'll buy it off you!!

Maintaining hand tools is a skill you pick up when you start your apprenticeship (well, in 1976 it was [scared] [scared]) For the first couple of months apprentice's were given the other joiners chisels and plane blades to sharpen and if they were not up to standard they would literally throw them back at you!  [crying] [crying]

You learnt quickly! In those days it was called motivation and positive learning, I think it is now called "bullying in the workplace"!!! ::) ::)

All the LN planes I have bought have been very sharp straight out of the box and hold their edge well so you shouldn't have any maintenance issues to start with.

It will interesting to see how you get on with it and whether you think it saved you time over the router option.

Guy
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Offline Les Spencer

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 05:23 PM »
Brice

OK! [laughing] If you don't get on it with it I'll buy it off you!!

Maintaining hand tools is a skill you pick up when you start your apprenticeship (well, in 1976 it was [scared] [scared]) For the first couple of months apprentice's were given the other joiners chisels and plane blades to sharpen and if they were not up to standard they would literally throw them back at you!  [crying] [crying]

You learnt quickly! In those days it was called motivation and positive learning, I think it is now called "bullying in the workplace"!!! ::) ::)

Guy,

What method/stones were you taught? What do you use today?

Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Guy Ashley

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 05:36 PM »
Les

I will PM you to save this thread going off topic and possibly sending a lot of Fog members into spates of narcolepsy! [big grin]

Guy
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Offline wnagle

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 08:26 PM »



[/quote]

Guy, there's no chance of that happening (I know, famous last words).    
[/quote]

Bryce,  The butt mortise plane was my first plane purchase from Lie-Neilsen.  I use it to clean up shallow mortises even if I rout them.  Next I learned how to sharpen it with water stones and the very simple and fast Lie-Neilsen system.  Now I only use the Tormek on my lather tools.  Chesels and plane irons stay flat ground with stones.

The rest is history...I use my 62 LA Jack on every project....really sweet.  Love the Lie-Neilsen chisels.  Can't live without my rabbit plane and block planes.  Soon to order the inlay set, lock set, more chisels, 4 1/2 smoother and a joiner.... I love everything I have purchased and learned from my purchases at Lie-Neilsen.


Another slippery slope?  Yeah

Fun?   Yeah
Wayne

 

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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2010, 04:48 PM »
Well, I spent some time working with the plane today to mortise in strikes for new locksets.  Most of the old jambs needed a Dutchman since the new strike won't fit in the old mortise, so that was step one.  I'd use the mortise plane to quickly make the mortise for the Dutchman and wedge a piece of 2x4 and a shim in the jamb to glue the repair in place and move on to the next.  After the glue dried I'd tune up the Dutchman with a block plane (most didn't need much work and everything is paint grade so the repairs didn't need to be absolutely perfect) then I'd mortise for the new strike.  Overall it worked very well and faster than I expected.  There's no way I could have jigged these jambs to use a router without a lot of hassle.  The plane earned its keep today.
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Offline Neill

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2010, 05:01 PM »
Brice,

Congrats and good luck with your new "toy" although it sounds like won't need it.

I have a few of their chisels and the adjustable mouth block plane.  As everyone pretty much knows, they make great products.  I have had a very difficult time limiting my purchases.

I admire your will power for having not succumbed until now.   [smile]

Now you are on their list.  You will be getting flyers every three months or so.  Good luck with that.

Neill
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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2010, 05:20 PM »
...I admire your will power for having not succumbed until now.   [smile]

Now you are on their list.  You will be getting flyers every three months or so.  Good luck with that.

Neill

Neill, I suspect my strong aversion to human powered tools like planes will prevent me from spending another dime with Lie-Nielsen.  Realistically, I can't make any money using hands tools and I have no desire to work towards the Zen experience some guys believe using hand tools give them.  I'm in it for the money and hand tools don't deliver for me.   
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Offline Corwin

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2010, 10:18 PM »
I suspect my strong aversion to human powered tools like planes will prevent me from spending another dime with Lie-Nielsen.    

Okay, how about spending some over at Lee Valley & Veritas?   Cabinetmaker's Sharpening Sets

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2010, 10:33 PM »
I suspect my strong aversion to human powered tools like planes will prevent me from spending another dime with Lie-Nielsen.    

Okay, how about spending some over at Lee Valley & Veritas?   Cabinetmaker's Sharpening Sets

Nah, I picked up a barely used Work Sharp 3000 on CL a little while back, good price, I couldn't pass it up.
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Offline RL

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2010, 10:38 PM »
I suspect my strong aversion to human powered tools like planes will prevent me from spending another dime with Lie-Nielsen.    

Okay, how about spending some over at Lee Valley & Veritas?   Cabinetmaker's Sharpening Sets

I love Lee Valley/ Veritas as much as anyone and have tons of their stuff but you did manage to select one of their poorer offerings.

Strike 1: The problem is that the waterstones in the picture are only 2" wide- the same as a typical plane blade- which leaves little room for sharpening a wide blade. I am forever flattening these stones because after sharpening a chisel, the stone is hollowed in the middle and when I then go to sharpen a plane blade, it leaves a large camber. The 3" stones are much better as you can move the blade around the stone rather than just sharpening in one small area, and I am gradually replacing the 2" stones with these. The King stones are also far inferior to the Norton stones in my experience.

Strike 2: The plastic tray is unsteady, and you cannot put too much force on the stone for fear of upsetting the tray's balance. It's like a unicycle on a high wire.

Strike 3: The angle guide is superfluous if you buy the honing guide. The honing guide is excellent.

Brice, just one little one block plane...

Richard.

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2010, 10:49 PM »
....Brice, just one little one block plane...

Richard.


No way, I already have a block plane that gathers more rust than it sees wood each year.
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Offline Corwin

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2010, 11:04 PM »
Okay, how about spending some over at Lee Valley & Veritas?   Cabinetmaker's Sharpening Sets

I love Lee Valley/ Veritas as much as anyone and have tons of their stuff but you did manage to select one of their poorer offerings.

Strike 1: The problem is that the waterstones in the picture are only 2" wide- the same as a typical plane blade- which leaves little room for sharpening a wide blade. I am forever flattening these stones because after sharpening a chisel, the stone is hollowed in the middle and when I then go to sharpen a plane blade, it leaves a large camber. The 3" stones are much better as you can move the blade around the stone rather than just sharpening in one small area, and I am gradually replacing the 2" stones with these. The King stones are also far inferior to the Norton stones in my experience.

Strike 2: The plastic tray is unsteady, and you cannot put too much force on the stone for fear of upsetting the tray's balance. It's like a unicycle on a high wire.

Strike 3: The angle guide is superfluous if you buy the honing guide. The honing guide is excellent.

Brice, just one little one block plane...

Richard.

Well, actually the honing guide is what I would suggest, too.  That is what I plan to get to assist in the scary sharp method.

Offline Steven Herbin

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2010, 10:52 AM »
I bought the Butt Mortise Plane a while ago. Originally got it to do mortises for hinges and locksets. Since then I started using it to remove the excess from Miller Dowels and plugs for pocket hole screws. It does a great job on those - just set the blade height to the surface of the finished surface.

While the LN blades come well sharpened, you are well rewarded when you put a secondary bevel on them and polish the back with the "ruler trick." The cutting efficiency is REALLY increased.

Watching the LN YouTube sharpening series is well worth it.

... Now I'm trying out my Tongue and Groove Plane.
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Offline Eli

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2010, 07:23 AM »
I'm an optimistic fool hand sharpening.

Tormek, the perfect complement to sharp things.  ;D
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Offline Kevin Stricker

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2010, 02:21 AM »
Hey Brice,
  Care to give us an update on your experience with the Butt Mortice Plane?  I know it was a while back, but it sounded like you gave it a workout this summer.  Is it your go to tool when mortising strike plates and hinges or do you still prefer a router?  Mostly curious if it saves time for one offs, verses setting up a router and guide for a single door.

Thanks.

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2010, 09:18 AM »
Kevin, for hinges I still prefer to setup the MFS, (even if I'm just doing one door) since I can set it up so quickly.  On soft woods it takes nearly the same amount of time to setup and rout vs the mortise plane.  Of course when you get to an oak jamb the plane takes a bit longer.   

I do really like the mortise plane for strike plates, especially for different shapes/sizes of the older plates.  And, when I had to deepen the mortises for new hinges on an old jamb, in place, the plane really shined. 

I think if you don't have a nice adjustable hinge temple that's easy to use, then the mortise plane is a no brainer for one offs.  The plane isn't a tool I use everyday but I'm glad I've got in the arsenal.  Bottom line, it's not a tool that is going to pay for itself right away for most people.  However, it is a superbly made tool that will last more than a lifetime and I think you can be confident you'll get you money's worth over a lifetime.  Besides, Lie-Nielsen tools hold their value very well if you ever decide to sell.   
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Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2010, 01:25 PM »
I bought the Butt Mortise Plane a while ago. Originally got it to do mortises for hinges and locksets. Since then I started using it to remove the excess from Miller Dowels and plugs for pocket hole screws. It does a great job on those - just set the blade height to the surface of the finished surface.
Steve,
That's ingenuous.  The Butt Mortise plane is really neat to use, and you've changed it from a "specialty" plane to a "multi-purpose" plane.

Offline Kevin Stricker

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2010, 10:20 PM »
Kevin, for hinges I still prefer to setup the MFS, (even if I'm just doing one door) since I can set it up so quickly.  On soft woods it takes nearly the same amount of time to setup and rout vs the mortise plane.  Of course when you get to an oak jamb the plane takes a bit longer.  


Thanks Brice,
  One more question, when setting up the MFS what is your method of lining it up and what size bit do you use?  I seem to spend too much time tweaking the clamping flanges to center the MFS on my mortice.  I tried it once and got frustrated and  just used my chisels, but am wondering if I should just use one flange and a different clamp setup.  I am embarrassed to admit my general setup is my crappy Porter Cable  plastic jig with my Bosch Colt.  I also find my 1400 is a bit bulky for this job.

Thanks for any input.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 10:22 PM by Kevin Stricker »

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2010, 11:06 PM »
Kevin, I use this Eagle American bit, 4-In-1 Dado Clean-Out Bit. I add a second bearing because one bearing will fall into the groove in the MFS profile.
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The bit acts like a pattern bit so I can setup the MFS to the exact size of the hinge.  Also, I don't use a center line, I measure to an edge and lineup the MFS that way.  The 1010 kicks butt here. 
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Offline Kevin Stricker

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2010, 07:31 PM »
Nice, thanks Brice.  A 1010 is on the list, but down a ways if you know what I mean.

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Offline Deke

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Re: Lie-Nielsen Butt Mortise Plane
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2011, 06:07 PM »
Thanks for the video link. I get it now and I think this is something I might want to buy. I have made my own router jigs, bought a Rocker jig that, IMO, is junk, cut hinge mortises by hand with less than optimal results... it makes sense.