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What does everyone think about the low angle Veritas plane that has a 12 degree bed angle?  Would this plane work as a semi finish or finish plane with out major problems?  I received one for Christmas and not entirely sure if I should use it, return it, or exchange it.  (Brad Love)

    You lucky fellow, definitely keep that plane. I but a .004 groove in the sole of mine and sharpen the blade to a 35 degree angle- it planes beautifully and never tears or chips nodes. And I think you’ll agree they are very nice planes indeed!  (Ned Guyette)

    I just reread this section in Wayne's book, as I have some old smoothing planes I was thinking of using just to knock pieces of dam off the inside of strips prior to straightening.

    His comment was that those that had been successful had raised the angle of the bed so that the plane blade sat at approximately 40 degree.

    So the short answer is you may want to mod the plane somewhat to get the appropriate blade angle.  (Chris Spurrell)


I'm interested in the very expensive "VERITAS" block planes.  Are they that good, to be 4X more expensive than other planes like Stanley?  (Elvis Tucek)

    An older Stanley plane that is well tuned and will do just fine. However, yes, from my experience over 5 years, the Veritas block planes are better in design and construction than the Stanley planes.  They are ergonomic in the hand, hefty in weight, the finish is more durable, and they are easier to adjust for shavings. Use plane socks also, to keep planes from banging around and rusting.  They are worth the expense, but make sure you are looking at US dollars and not Canadian dollars at the Lee Valley site.  (Paul Franklyn)

      Do be careful on using some of those plane socks.  Some of them have silicon imbedded in them as a rust preventative.  They're similar in nature to the gun socks.  (Mark Wendt)

    I bought one of those Veritas planes.  I thought that it showed some improvements over my Lee-Nielsens in terms of lateral adjustment and stabilization, so, of course I just had to try one.

    Well, what a disappointment!  It is a heavy great clunker of a thing with no hand feel or grace about it, and a total waste of a couple of hundred smackeroos!  Not half the tool that the L-N's are, and currently residing at the bottom of the tool cupboard, where it will remain until I run across somebody silly enough to buy it from me!  (Peter McKean)

    I like my Veritas block plane.  They will even put a rodmakers groove in for another $20 more or less.  It's the only plane I've ever bought new that didn't need tuning or even sharpening out of the box.  That said, I picked up a couple of old Stanley 9 1/2s on eBay for about $20 each including shipping.  The Veritas was a gift though.  I wouldn't spend that much myself.  The "antique" or "vintage" Stanleys are just fine.  Just my opinion though.  (Neil Savage)

      I think you guys are talking about separate models. The NEW one looks like NASA designed it, and costs about the same!  See here before someone gets criss-cross info here.  (Art Port)

        The Veritas block plane I have is shown here.  I  think it is as good or better than  the LN which I also have. Put the groove in it myself. Don’t know anything about the newer space age looking model below.  (Don Schneider)

        The bad thing about the new ones, and they are a work of art, is they're both low angle.  Standard angle, like the old 91/2 is not offered.....otherwise, I'd have to have one!!  (John Dotson)

        Sorry, my bad.  I was talking about the Lie-Nielson block plane I found here.  (Neil Savage)

        “You are correct, Sir!”  I have what is now referred as the “standard block plane,” currently listing at $145 (ouch), still less than the L-N, but a tad higher than the cost of my Christmas gift when Cheri bought it for me.  (Steve Yasgur)

          When I first committed to making a bamboo fly rod at my friend Syd Smith's shop, the obsessions started for real.  Since I was using Syd's forms and equipment, I at least wanted to use my own block plane. Well, before I could say 'PayPal', I was up to my eyeballs in block planes.

          After eighteen months of obsessing over planes and sharpening irons, here are my newbie observations:  I have two  antique #9 1/2s that I dearly love.  Either will plane a wisp as thin as smoke. My Stanley #9 1/4 has the same body as the 9 1/2 without the adjustable throat. It is just as sound and true as the #9 1/2s. My favorite for removing a lot of cane is the LN Apron Plane (low angle).

          But, here are my most prized planes -- the Stanley #15.  These planes use the same blades as the 9 1/4 and 9 1/2, have the same adjustable throat, but are one inch longer at 7".  This extra heft feels great in the hand and makes it easier to keep the plane parallel to the forms.

          Oh, I have last years' model standard 20 degree-angle Veritas block plane and like it very much.  But not as much as the antiques!  (Reed Guice)

            I pretty much have the same line up of planes as you, and feel the same.  I have replaced the Stanley blades with Hock, however.  Have a couple extra so I don't have to stop to sharpen, just throw a new blade in.  (John Dotson)

            A man after my heart, just seems right to use a vintage tool to build a vintage style rod. I also have a leather mallet that I use, plastic just doesn't seem to fit. Anyway I am getting more and more into doing this just to have fun, that being said I guess I can use what makes me happy. I too love my 91/2 Stanleys I got on Ebay. Need more Hock blades though! I do have a Lie-Nielsen that I grooved myself, It was a Christmas gift from a very dear friend otherwise I wouldn't have it.  (Joe Arguello)

            Try a Stanley #3, and even better, a Stanley #3 Bedrock.  (Bob McElvain)

    Elvis, they absolutely ARE (that good)!  And they’re less expensive than the Lie-Nielsen plane, which is another superb tool! (wish I had one) (Not that there’s anything whatever wrong with a well-prepared, Hock-blade-equipped, Stanley 9-1/2, either)  The Veritas is heavy, square, has blade guides, a great adjustment system, a great blade, minimal adjustment backlash, AND . . . .  if yer outta blades some Sunday morning, you can shave with it!  Okay, lemmee back up.  If your face was made out of, say, bamboo, and you ran out of razor blades some Sunday morning . . .

    Seriously:  great plane!  No financial interest!  “Try it, you’ll like it!”  (Steve Yasgur)


Do "we" use the Veritas standard block plane or the low angle block plane?  A2 or O1 blade?  Why?  (Bill Armon)

    Standard angle.  A higher angle of attack at the surface being planed results in less lifting and tearing of the bamboo fibers.  No opinion on the A2 vs. O1.  I would choose whichever holds its edge the longest.  You'll learn to sharpen quickly enough that ease of sharpening will not be an issue.  (Harry Boyd)

      Std. or low angle  -------  which ever fits you hand best.  You should sharpen the iron such that you get the same angle of attack in ether case, so that doesn't make a difference.  (David Van Burgel)


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