09 December 2014

Rali planes

Open post #2 also from January
Last week I saw a video of a German apprentice carriage-maker with a Rali plane (to be seen at 8:00) and I thought why would she do that.

So, I tried to see why.  According to some it is best to have an expensive quality plane as first plane, a way to know what it is all about from the beginning.  That is until you need to sharpen, as planes are mainly about sharpening.  Are Rali planes an alternative for beginners?
Price,  I found a factory price-list on the internet and suddenly the prices just look right.  We are talking 40€ for the standard model.
Setup, in a Rali demonstration video one can see the demonstrator  switching from thick to thin shavings in 2 seconds. Seeing Paul Sellers doing the same feat in 3 seconds with a #4 Stanley plane was impressive,  this is a near idiot proof alternative.
Sharpening,  Rali goes for replaceable blades.  The idea is not new but for a beginner this is perfect,  after messing up the first blade,  just reverse the blade and continue planing.  Even for a professional,  with the price of one edge set at 1€ (still that factory price-list)  there is little reason to go for a resharpable blade.  With the possibility of tungsten carbide blades, probably to plane plywood.

The factory pricelist is more a dream and it was probably dated,  what I can get are planes at 140€, HSS blades at 4€ and tungsten carbide steel blades at 24€.  Now,  4€ for a blade is 2€ for one side.  This is still a good offer if one considers the time and investment needed to sharpen. The only problem is that chisels also need that sharpening investment.  Rali is probably happy I mention chisels as they have also a solution with the shark chisels,  but ...
Apparently the insert bottom right is to hold a jigsaw blade,  center right are scrapers and their angled holder.

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