Believe the Hype...

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Review by Ollie posted 07-31-2010 03:07 AM 9464 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Believe the Hype... Believe the Hype... Believe the Hype... Click the pictures to enlarge them

Ok, I took the plunge, my two previous block planes were annoying me.
On the Irwin 60 1/2 low angle, the blade just kept moving no matter what I did,and the adjustable throat was always out of square since I got it.
The Stanley 9 1/2 was Ok but the throat is huge and it can tear out even a gentle wave in the grain, also fairly pointless on end grain.

I read all sorts of block plane tests online and in magazines, the conclusion seemed to be that the Veritas or Lie Nielsen planes were both very good. I must have read 100 articles on planes, and gradually started seriously digressing into expensive Bridge city toolworks territory.
Anyway after much deliberation I decided on the Veritas they are a bit cheaper than Lie Nielsen in the UK and that swayed my decision.

So it arrived, I opened the package with some trepidation as I feared some level of let down.
I was amazed by the fine finish on every part, serious quality.
I followed the supplied instructions, which are excellent by the way.
Cleaning and oiling as instructed.

Then came time to hone the blade, in picture 1 you can see the blade as it came, sharp but not what I would call sharp enough.
I flattened the back with 1000 grit then 8000 grit waterstones for some reason I forgot the 4000 grit!..
then I sorted the bevel side . As I was sharpening the bevel I removed the secondary or micro bevel just getting it 100% flat and decided not to do another micro bevel at this stage. Picture 3 is after honing.
The A2 blade is very thick and thus nice to sharpen, it just “gets sharper” than a Stanley or Irwin blade for some reason. I assembled the plane as instructed, leaving it roughly set, I attacked a piece of oak…..Wow it just shaved off a fat curl of at least 1mm thickness with absolute ease leaving an almost polished surface.
I adjusted the throat nice and small and wound the blade in, this time attacking a piece of black walnut, the perfect shaving was produced with amazingly little force.

In short my conclusion is that this tool is as near perfect and as fit for purpose as I have ever seen.
End grain is no issue for this plane and it leaves a fully finished surface on every wood I have planed so far.

So contrary to what Public Enemy said, you should, in this case Believe the hype.

sorry to ramble on. Ollie.

-- Ollie, UK.

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 4525 days

14 comments so far

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 4320 days

#1 posted 07-31-2010 04:27 AM

I love veritas planes, how much is it over in the uk?

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View velo_tom's profile


123 posts in 4266 days

#2 posted 07-31-2010 11:09 AM

I also own several Veritas planes including this one. I’ve always been extremely happy with their products and have absolutely never been disappointed. I’m also currious what they cost in the UK.

I’ve never had to flatten a back on any of the blades I’ve received. I’ve always been able to just polish them a bit on an ultra fine stone then leather strop. Don’t think I’ve ever spent more than about 5 minutes touching up a Veritas blade before putting it to work.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 4525 days

#3 posted 07-31-2010 02:28 PM

Hi guys, thanks for your comments.
To answer the burning question, it cost £136 with free delivery. From British Hardwoods Online.
In reply to velo-tom I only had to “polish” the blade really, just to get it super sharp. It is the best blade out of the box that I have seen on a plane.

Now I need to save up for one of its bigger brothers, maybe the bevel up smoother….
I wonder has anyone used the edge trimming plane that Veritas do, it seems like a good idea?

-- Ollie, UK.

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 4654 days

#4 posted 08-01-2010 01:28 AM

I don’t have the edge trimming plane but I do have the low angle, bevel up jack plane. It’s the best plane, in my opinion, if you use a shooting board. Like all of their planes, you can almost use it right out of the box.

Veritas is about 10-15% lower in price than Lie-Nielsen here in the US also, and every bit as good, again, in my opinion.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View Rileysdad's profile


110 posts in 4529 days

#5 posted 08-01-2010 01:40 AM

I have one of the new Veritas low angle block planes. The one that looks like it was born of a ‘63 Corvette. It’s a sweetheart. Great adjustment mechanism and a good beefy blade.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22460 posts in 4926 days

#6 posted 08-02-2010 01:09 PM

Nice when a tool or anything, for that matter, lives up to your expectations and justifies the hype, ain’t it !! I bet you will like planing with it so much, you’ll plane all your wood into shavings with any projects to post:-)) I remember the first time I tried out the Stout batery portaband saw when running conduit, it was so much fun to cut with that saw, I was afreid I’d cut al my conduit up and not get any run to pull the wire through.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mnguy's profile


310 posts in 4648 days

#7 posted 08-02-2010 06:28 PM

Ollie, I have the Veritas bevel up smoother, and it is just as wonderful as the block plane (which I also have). I don’t use planes a lot, but these two are great tools. I think you can tell a lot about wood working tools by the mfg descriptions and how much they tell you about their process and features – Veritas is an open book on their planes, and they are not hype.

View BigJimAK's profile


30 posts in 4541 days

#8 posted 08-04-2010 07:48 AM

You might want to consider adding their optional grips,41182 for the LA block plane. They attach and detach in seconds though you’ll rarely want to. <g>

If you read their articles, the grips came about when Veritas tasked its engineers with building a LA #3 and the prototype was essentially the block w/grips. It’s sweet!!

-- Jim in Alaska

View velo_tom's profile


123 posts in 4266 days

#9 posted 08-04-2010 10:37 AM

I have to agree with Jim. The grips are a great addition to the LA block plane. I don’t think I’ve ever removed them once they were installed.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

View Mark Miller's profile

Mark Miller

58 posts in 4414 days

#10 posted 08-04-2010 03:55 PM

Thanks for the review it was enlightening I live not to far from the Lee Valley main store, another reason to go in and …..... :-)


View wch's profile


45 posts in 4208 days

#11 posted 08-04-2010 08:20 PM

I have the grips too, and I like them a lot. However, they take a bit more than a few seconds for me to remove—I wish I could just install and remove the rear handle in seconds whenever I feel like the situation calls for it, but it’s not that easy. I have to remove the blade and lever cap to get to the screws that hold the handle in place.

View Benighted's profile


57 posts in 4112 days

#12 posted 08-05-2010 02:19 AM

Thanks for the review, this was what in the end persuaded me to order the Veritas LA block plane, looking forward to test mine :)

-- Jani, a Neanderthal woodworker in Sweden.

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4461 days

#13 posted 08-09-2010 09:17 PM

I have the same place. I got the little wood knob for the front so that I can easily increase pressure there and improves control. sweet little plane.

View a1Jim's profile


118267 posts in 4827 days

#14 posted 08-09-2010 09:33 PM

Congrats on your new plane enjoy


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