Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Gets

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.



Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Gets

New to the workbench is a Veritas Router Plane.

It comes with three cutters, 1/4" and 1/2" straight, and 1/2" pointed, as well as a blade holder for honing, and a complete instruction manual.

The heart of the feed system is a fixed threaded shaft with a flange to retain the collar. The collar can revolve around the shaft, permitting lateral and bullnose use. Above that are two brass jam nuts that act as a depth stop for the depth adjustment knob.

The locking knob is beautifully knurled, with a spring loaded plunger.

This plunger allows the locking knob to be loosened enough to adjust the cutting depth while maintaining some pressure on the iron. Loosened further, it allows the collar to extend to permit the disengagement of the iron.

Out of the box the cutters would make a shaving in curly maple, but it was very rough. Without a mouth to close, this was too much to ask for these blades. After a honing, however, they cut a beautiful shaving and left a gleaming polished surface.

The depth adjustment knob is fantastic, very sensitive and precise.

The plane itself is very nicely machined.

I also purchased the optional fence. It is $8 cheaper when you buy as a set. It may or may not be useful, but it's nice to have all the "accessories". It too is well made, although I would have preferred a knurled knob to the slotted screw mounting fastener. It is reversible for straight or curved work.

I've wanted one of these for quite some time, and after the initial use I'm glad I made the purchase. Like all Veritas tools, it's well made, functional, and beautiful. It will be a useful additon to the shop.


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.