Axminster Rider planes are aimed squarely at professional woodworkers, tradespeople, apprentices, enthusiastic hobbyists and home owners. Every one of them will appreciate these well-made, affordable hand tools. Tools made with care and attention to fine detail, setting them apart from the run of the mill.
The raw material for all Axminster Rider planes is high quality ductile iron. Ductile iron possesses high strength, impact resistance and is far less prone to corrosion than ordinary cast grey iron especially with the addition of both copper and nickel. Casting takes place in a modern, computerised foundry. On removal from the mould, the raw castings are then left outdoors for several months to condition or age.
Conditioning removes internal stresses from the casting process ensuring the plane's body is stable before machining and surface grinding. When the machining process has been completed, all Axminster Rider planes will have soles ground to 0.04mm or ± 1.6 thou" tolerance. The bench planes have oil-finished selected rosewood handles from a sustainable managed source. The cap iron and other quality fittings on the planes are solid brass, an ideal material for moving parts.
The most important feature of all Axminster Rider planes is the blade. The bench plane blades are finished to a minimum of 2.8mm thick, surface ground on the reverse to ensure flatness. Each blade is oil quenched, high carbon spring steel, hardened and tempered to HRC 63. After grinding the primary bevel, a secondary micro bevel ensures every blade is ready to go from the moment the plane arrives in your workshop.
All planes undergo careful inspection in our workshop in Axminster prior to packaging.
Each bench plane comes in a foam lined storage box, which also contains a spare blade.
A sock is supplied with bench and block planes providing extra protection from knocks or bumps encountered in the workshop or toolbox.
A comprehensive instruction booklet, containing details of how to care for your plane and hone the blade, accompanies all planes.
These are simply packed into their storage box.
In the first of a new series, Jason Breach guides us through the Axminster Rider catalogue. Starting with the Axminster Rider bench planes, Jason takes each plane and explains their key features, what they are used for and how to get the best out of your Axminster Rider plane.
The smallest bench plane in the range is the No. 4 Smoothing Plane; this is probably the most common size and is generally used for taking finer cuts prior to finishing. The No. 5 is universally called a Jack Plane, derived from the expression 'jack of all trades' and would be used to flatten, size and square the workpiece. The No. 6 Fore Plane can be used for swift stock removal similar to a Jack Plane or it can be used to true up longer edges where high spots can be levelled out. The No. 7 Try or Jointer is now the longest bench plane made and is used to remove the last shavings to level the joining surfaces of a pair of boards.
The No.5 is usually the first plane used on rough sawn timber. All Axminster Rider planes are good quality and suitable for home or professional site or bench use. A No.5 is very versatile, used to flatten, size, square and smooth.
Well made, the Axminster Rider version has many excellent features. The main casting is ductile iron chosen for its high strength and impact resistance. It has an adjustable frog, depth and lateral blade control and Indian rosewood handles. The cap iron and other quality fittings on the planes are solid brass, an ideal material for moving parts.
The sole is 355mm (14") long with a 50mm (2") wide blade. The sole of the plane is flat and accurate to ± 0.04mm (0.0016").View product
A recently retired colleague of ours championed the No. 5½ Jack plane ever since his earlier years as a furniture maker and restorer. With a nod to a good friend, we are pleased to introduce the Axminster Rider No. 5½ Jack Plane. When flattening stock or shooting edges this will be your go-to plane. With its perfect weight and balance giving you extra momentum through each cut, the 5½ is destined to be a start of an already exceptional range.
The sole is 375mm (14¾") long with a 60mm (2⅜") wide blade. The sole of the plane is flat and accurate to ± 0.04mm (0.0016")View product
The Axminster Rider No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane is, perhaps, the most versatile and easy to set up plane available. The chunky 5mm thick blade sits directly on the 12° milled plane bed which is held in place with the cap iron. This makes it far easier and quicker to set up as you don't have to contend with all those moving parts, like the frog assembly and chip breaker. The mouth is easily adjustable both forwards and backwards, keeping timber tear to a minimum.
We've included two blades, but the more blades you have honed at differing angles the more versatile this plane becomes. We recommend a blade honed at 25° for end grain work, one at 33° for smoothing and one at 38° for wavy grained timber. If you are to just have one plane in your woodworking armoury, you should make sure it's the Axminster Rider No. 62 Low Angle Jack plane.
The sole is 350mm (14") long with a 50mm (2") wide, 5mm thick blade. The sole of the plane is flat and accurate to ± 0.04mm (0.0016") , weight 2.24kg (4lbs 15oz).View product
In the second part of the Axminster Rider workshop series, Jason takes us through the block planes. From what each are used for to how to get the best out of them.
There are five block planes and all use a single cutter that's mounted with the ground bevel uppermost. The blade is bedded either at 20° (9½ and 9½ Deluxe) or 13.5° (69½, 60½ and 60½ Deluxe).
The lower angle block plane is generally intended for end grain work, as the blade will slice more easily through the fibres. Block planes are intended to be used one handed, though whichever one is chosen it's bound to be an almost indispensable part of the tool kit and used for all types of small, fine work.
There are four shoulder planes in the Axminster Rider range, a No. 90 Bull Nose Plane and No. 92 Shoulder Plane, each with an adjustable mouth. There is also a pair of identical planes with removable front sections.
The No. 211 can either be used as a bull nose or chisel plane whilst the No. 311 can also be used as a full sized shoulder plane. Each of these multi-purpose planes is fitted with a bronze lever cap that fits comfortably into the palm of the user's hand.View all
Precision machined, precision ground and polished to ensure accurate results.No. 92 Shoulder Plane
There are a number of specialist planes in the Axminster Rider range, the first of which is the traditional pattern No. 778 Rebate Plane, with twin rods to support the adjustable fence. It's designed to cut rebates up to 38mm wide and the blade can be located either at the front (to work into a corner) or in the usual centre position.
A useful addition to the range is the No. 80 Cabinet Scraper used to smooth surfaces such as panels and table tops without tear out, digging in or gouges in the surface. It can also be used where tricky grain prevents the use of a smoothing plane. Two adjustable spokeshaves are included as well, the No. 151C with a curved sole for concave shapes and the No. 151F for flat work or convex curves. The final specialist plane is the No. 271 Small Router Plane that is an excellent choice for levelling the bottom of grooves and housings.
An edge is essentially where the two flat faces of the blade meet at a predetermined angle, usually 30°. The edge will consist of a wide 25° ground face together with a much narrower honed bevel of 30° and it is this that is sharpened on suitable media. The honed edge and the back of the blade should be prepared in turn and the more attention that's paid to each will eventually determine how sharp the edge becomes.
Many different forms of sharpening systems are available nowadays. Oilstone, waterstones, diamond, ceramic… there are many permutations and each has its advantages and disadvantages, but a reasonable quality diamond stone, or combination stone, would make an ideal choice, as they are of consistent quality, flat, robust and produce a good edge quite quickly.
A workable, honed edge can be obtained with a 1000g stone and succeeding finer grits will serve to produce a more polished edge where one is required.
Lubrication of some sort is also needed, which acts to keep the stone clear of steel debris as the sharpening process takes place. Almost anything will do, from water (make sure the diamond surface is dried afterwards) through to light machine oil, paraffin or even WD40.
A honing guide is also recommended, as one of these devices will ensure that a repeatable honing angle is achieved each time the blade is sharpened, provided that the blade projection remains constant.