I finally pulled the trigger on the Veritas Low Angle Block Plane. It is essentially the same tool as the Standard Block Plane, but with a bed angle of 12° instead of 20°. I chose the 25° A1 blade, for a cutting angle of 37°, perfect for working end grain. It comes wrapped in corrosion resistant paper and with complete instruction.
Straight out of the box it leaves an excellent surface on softwood endgrain.
Hardwood endgrain such as this White Oak piece are no problem at all.
The plane is typical Veritas; accurately machined surfaces, beautifully knured brass, and innovative touches like set screws for laterally locking the blade. The Norris type adjuster is accurate and easy to use. Also available are an optional knob and tote for turning the block into a small smoothing plane. Replacement blades ground to 38° and 50° are available for this application, as well as a toothed blade for the most difficult grain.
The iron works straight from the package, but for best results a light honing is all that is needed. This blade comes factory lapped, I honed the back but did not touch the face. The results are pleasing.
Full length, full width shaving, maple end grain.
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