Lie-Nielsen - High-Angle Frog for No. 4 1/3 Smoothing PlaneThis add-on frog converts Lie-Nielsen's No. 4 and No. 4-1/2 smoothers to 50° from 45° .
Even the best, finely tuned standard-angle bench plane can produce tearout when called upon to work ornery grained woods. That’s because the blade is bedded at 45°, an angle that’s often too low for grain that’s on the wild side. But now there’s help. To minimize tearout when the grain is less than perfect, Lie-Nielsen has just introduced a high-angle (50°) frog for its No. 4-1/2 smoothing plane.
Although the higher angle doesn’t always prevent tearout when the grain gets nasty, those extra 5° do make a difference. While planing figured wood, the tearout I got with the 45° frog was routinely eliminated when I changed to the 50° version.
Switching from one frog to another is easy, so it makes sense to have both of them in the shop. That way you can use the 50° frog when faced with planing odd grain. But when working on straight-grained wood or softwood, the 45° frog produces equally smooth cuts with less effort. By the way, the high-angle frog fits only Lie-Nielsen planes.