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Veritas Shooting Board - Not great, only good...

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Review by CaptainKlutz posted 01-22-2019 07:51 AM 1525 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Veritas Shooting Board - Not great, only good... Veritas Shooting Board - Not great, only good... No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Summary: Veritas Shooting board integrates (3) different Veritas products: Shooting Board Fence, 24” Shooting Board Track, and fabricated BB Plywood Shooting board. Expected to receive typical Veritas high quality product, but found several unexpected and disappointing issues as I attempted to use it. It does the job expected of a shooting board, but it could be better. Flaws in both the Fence and Track forced me to remove 2 stars from what could be a 5 star product.

First – the Packaging:
Product was shipped double boxed, with outer box around the product container in 1st picture above. Inside the product box was special anti-corrision plastic bag with shooting board ready to use, no assembly required (Yeah!). I find one small puncture of inner box as seen in picture above, and realized that small set screw sticking out side of shooting board track had punctured the box during transport.

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Close inspection reveled that adjustment screw is bent, and threads on track are partially damaged. (hard to photograph, sorry). These set screws seem superfluous to me, and partial annoyance by how far they extend outside the shooting board (which helps explain the damage?). Lack of these will not impact my use, so I did not bother UPS or Lee Valley folks with shipping damage claim.
Beyond this minor damage, everything else was perfect.

2nd – Want to review the parts separately, as each has pro’s/con’s worth highlighting.

1) Shooting Board Fence: (LV product page)

Another LJ posted a review that could make a Ferrari of shooting boards using this fence, and gave it 5 stars. Think it is good, almost great; and deserves 4 stars. The fit and finish is perfect. The operation for 90 and 45 angles I tested was accurate and repeatable. The set of 45 miters I trimmed with this product joined perfectly.


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But there is a problem that keep it from being a 5 star product:
- The angle markings on the scale are unreadable in anything but perfect lighting condition. I had to add some white chalk to zero mark to even take a photo:

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- While the micro angle settings on fence are interesting, I am still trying to figure out how I would use it? When I checked mine for 90 degrees with square, found my zero setting was 0.25 degrees off. That is issue with board discussed later, and not fence.

I really like the fence. I subtract one star only because I have to somehow fix the marking annoyance.

Update:
Attempted to apply/remove some paint on the fence markings and learned the paint used on aluminum can be removed with acetone. Carefully using cotton swabs I was able to wipe the black paint from the marks and text to make it much more readable. :-)

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2) Shooting board Tracks: (LV product page)

The track is great idea. Well engineered, and works perfect, well almost.
Problem with track is the formed rail, intended to keep plane square and pressed against the cut edge.
It only fits certain planes. Which ones? I have 2018 information that describes the track as fitting Veritas shooting plane, and Veritas low angle Jack plane; even web information showed same thing last year.
But I just learned it doesn’t fit the low angle Jack plane!

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I am sad that Santa SWMBO gave me large gift card & I ordered both this shooting board and low angle Jack plane as my x-mas presents; only to learn they don’t work together as described? :-(

Something curious happened when I went looking at 2019 catalog and web page writing this review, all documentation now only lists the shooting plane and sanding planes as compatible.
Some will say this is my own fault: Veritas has carefully listed the width dimensions compatible with track, but I challenge everyone to easily find the side height dimension of any plane in WWW!

Call me seriously disappointed in the adjust ability aspect of this product. If it fit a wider range of planes, would gladly give it 5 stars. Fitting only a $400 dedicated shooting plane, it gets 3, maybe 3.5 stars by itself.
Maybe Veritas has set the expectation bar too high by all the other top notch products I own, but I should not have to make a new side rail to fit most commonly used plane with shooting board – low angle jack plane.

Update:
After replacing the stainless steel rail intended for shooting plane, with a 1.25 inch wide piece of waxed maple and some longer screws; I am able to use shooting track as intended with low angle jack plane. :-)

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Another deficiency solved. Now all I need is use instructions created by Derek Cohen to make HotDog for LV jack plane!

3) Shooting Board: (LV product page)

This shooting board can be called nearly perfect. Double layer solid BB plywood, under cut dado for shooting fence to increase contact area of plane, all edges and corners are clean/smooth and free of splinters.
I like it. Give the shooting board alone solid 4.5 stars. Would be 5 stars if it the outside edges where the board is handled were rounded, and wood was sealed with top coat.

There is one problem with one I received:
When the fence was attached to the board, the holes for the micro angle adjustment were drilled/installed offset, and 90 degrees is 0.25 degrees off (picture in fence review)! I was shocked when I found this, and even used 3 different squares to verify the small error. When attempting to slide the micro fence position to correct the issue with screws removed, it would not move enough to set at zero.
What to do?

Update:
Not liking the prospect of return shipment of shooting board, I downloaded the PDF instructions on fence from the LV site. What I learned reviewing installation, was that the brass insert for the fence lock was 1/32 above the plywood, and was preventing the fence from moving – so I could not adjust the zero.

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Quarter turn tighter on insert and was able to adjust the base plate, able to adjust zero the fence:

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I also double checked some angles on scale with my trusty SB Tools Angle Gauge One:

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I was able to set to any angle mark on fence, and the Angle Gauge One showed perfect alignment!
So after spending some time reading and adjusting the fence, the shooting board now works perfect.
:-)
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Some might ask:
Why did tight wad like me buy a Veritas shooting board, when I can make myself using scrap lumber?

When I ordered this: the retail price for fence + tracks was only ~$40 less than entire shooting board ($199). My existing shooting board is too short and getting tired, and only does 90 degree trimming. I decided to save some time and splurge on complete luxury shooting board with fence to shoot angles with ease. I was also using a discounted gift card from Black Friday sales, so the actual discounted price paid seemed fair.

FWIW – Just noticed that prices on all 3 of these products have increased in 2019. Shooting board is now $249, with both fence and tracks increasing as well. At this increased retail price, the product needs to be well reviewed. Based on my learned track limitations, I would only buy the fence if was to buy this again at new price. Would not buy the entire board assembly (unless maybe I owned shooting plane).

If Veritas/Lee Valley want to see 5 stars on this shooting board product mix from me, they need to fix the unreadable markings on fence, and offer/include optional rails to enable track to work with various planes.

Thanks for reading.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!




View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

805 posts in 1759 days



7 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3793 posts in 2253 days


#1 posted 01-22-2019 11:50 AM

With all your problems, I hope you will take the time to contact Lee Valley. I am surprised with all the problems you did not send it back especially since it does not fit your plane.

View Fritz7293's profile

Fritz7293

4 posts in 326 days


#2 posted 01-22-2019 11:48 PM

I would send it back if you are not happy, price increase or not.

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

805 posts in 1759 days


#3 posted 01-23-2019 01:15 AM

After downloading the fence installation manual and spending some time poking around, I was able to solve the zero offset issue. Original review has been updated.

Still only 3 stars due fence and track deficiencies IMHO; but it works perfectly after fixing the fence installation, and some adjustments.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View lj61673's profile

lj61673

262 posts in 2664 days


#4 posted 01-28-2019 01:33 AM



After downloading the fence installation manual and spending some time poking around, I was able to solve the zero offset issue. Original review has been updated.

Still only 3 stars due fence and track deficiencies IMHO; but it works perfectly after fixing the fence installation, and some adjustments.

Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz

Fixed this, adjusted that, tweaked this, removed paint from scales, etc….
Why so many genuflect at the alter of Veritas is beyond me.
If you want a real shooting board check out Vogt. Now That’s the Ferrariof shooting boards.

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2777 posts in 3280 days


#5 posted 01-28-2019 10:06 AM

thanks for this precise review. I considered getting this, but hesitated as I would have to buy a plane that fit. Price was too high to be seriously considered.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8719 posts in 2593 days


#6 posted 01-30-2019 04:15 AM


Fixed this, adjusted that, tweaked this, removed paint from scales, etc….
Why so many genuflect at the alter of Veritas is beyond me..
- lj61673

I agree…. it’s a dog eat dog world out there and products that command a premium price should be held to a higher standard. They do not merit an apology for pointing out glaring deficiencies, just because they have a big fan boy following sipping their Kool Aid.

The few LV products I personally have are solid performers, but I’ll call a spade a spade if I ever buy one that falls flat.

So thanks for your accurate and honest review. You owe no one an apology

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1967 posts in 2158 days


#7 posted 02-03-2019 11:29 PM


thanks for this precise review. I considered getting this, but hesitated as I would have to buy a plane that fit. Price was too high to be seriously considered.

- michelletwo

You can buy just the fence and make your own board, which is what I did.

I have 2018 information that describes the track as fitting Veritas shooting plane, and Veritas low angle Jack plane

I’ve never seen this about the jack. Not saying you’re wrong, but I had always understood that the track would only fit their shooting plane (I see they also say it works with their shooting sander). But any other plane? I’d never seen that and I ordered the fence last summer, not long after it was first released. I have a L-N low angle jack as a shooter, which is one reason why I never considered the whole board.

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