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Untitled Document RALI Handplanes

Manufactured in Switzerland, RALI handplanes dominate the market in Europe. Here in Australia they have a somewhat lacklustre image, viewed by some as a DIY-type gimmick. This is largely due to RALI’s unique European styling that most woodworkers are unfamiliar with along with its long-time absence from the Australian market.

What makes Rali Unique?
When looking at RALI, you need to consider the purpose of the plane, including the plane’s construction and design features. RALI planes are constructed using toughened anodised steel. This offers two benefits: first, it provides ductile strength for durability and long-life use, and second, it means that these planes are extremely corrosion resistant. The sturdiness of these planes is legendary. If dropped, they will resist breaking and warping. In fact, they to actually tend to bounce a little. They are also extremely comfortable to hold, especially for those with larger hands.

Yet the biggest advantage of RALI planes is also the biggest source of contention about them – their unique blade system. The simple yet effective blade setting and change on RALI planes is what definitely sets these tools apart from any of their counterparts. Within 10 seconds a razor sharp blade can be removed, changed, reset and be used again.

RALI offer a range of planes to suit a variety of applications.

The Jack (225mm long 60mm wide with a 48mm blade) with chip breaker adjustment is a general all-rounder that can aptly be called a ‘Jack of all trades’.

RALI block planes (120mm long 55mm wide 48mmm blade) are most suited to small-scale stock removal, usually when fitting cupboards drawers and other minor adjustments to oversized stock.

RALI’s rebate plane (130mm long 30mm wide with a 31mm blade) is - as the title states - for removing material up to a shoulder. This is made simple with a RALI fence attachment.

RALI’s apron plane (115mm long 35mm wide with a 31mm blade) is perfect for trimming timber and laminates. It also incorporates a spare blade clip.

RALI’s PRO series offers an extended range including all the planes mentioned previously except the Apron Plane. The Pro series all have laminated steel soles giving the weight more often sought when dealing with denser, ‘crankier’ timbers. The PRO Rebate, Large Rebate and Bullnose planes all have attractive nickel plating which also provides extreme resistance to corrosion. In addition to the regular style planes, the glue trimmer is a featured plane designed with panel glue lines in mind. This plane has a centre recess running the length of the plane with a blade that can extend to the surface, leaving a perfect glue-free finish.


Not Just Another Hand Plane

Today’s market offers a huge selection of handplanes from different manufacturers. These planes offer a wide variety of features and qualities to suit practically any application, from general woodwork and smoothing of large tabletops down to small, specialised instrument making planes for even the most minute applications.

There is a plane to suit every user, from the most basic economy planes to cover general requirements, up to the most unusual collector-style limited production planes. You’ll find planes made from iron, steel, brass, bronze, timber (multiple species available) – and probably in any combination of the previous.

Consider RALI when you weigh up all the factors – the type of work you hope to do, how will you sharpen your tools, how often your planes will be used, how time affects your work and - last but not least - the price you’re willing to pay for your planing requirements.

RALI will meet the needs of many who like too keep their expenditure for planes to a minimum, and who don’t want to outlay $120+ on sharpening on a regular basis. RALI’s razor sharp blades not only provide very reasonable durability, they are simply to set up, requiring none of the fiddly lateral adjustment that traditional hand planes do.

Practical Use on the Job Site

For two months a couple of builders took one of our block planes to their worksite. They’d previously overlooked the RALI when comparing to other traditional hand plane types, but when they actually used it they were amazed at the planes’ light weight and consistent performance. They found that its size is handy for small scale surfacing but they found it especially useful for chamfering and rounding off.

They found that the features are well thought out - the blade adjustment lever doesn’t protrude during use and won’t get entangled with anything in the toolbox.

When it came to holding and using this plane they were both surprised that has a natural feel in the hand that makes it comfortable to work with. The RALI disposable blade, which the range is based around is a high quality manufactured blade made of surgical grade steel and tungsten that is made specifically for the RALI tools.

The blade that came with the plane lasted the entire period during which the planes were in use. A single blade lasting for such a period has easily paid for itself by saving time required for sharpening as well as the equipment cost.

Conclusion

RALI is often overlooked due to is strange appearance. You may also have misconceptions about its durability, reliability and accuracy, however each tool has its home and RALI has the quality and performance capabilities to please many woodworkers. RALI will save you money, time and frustration with clean, smooth results. Come in to your nearest Carba-Tec and have a look for yourself.

 
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