A very nice Veritas plane...added some pictures

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Review by gko posted 12-20-2010 01:03 PM 5313 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A very nice Veritas plane...added some pictures No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My Amscope review was my first review so this is my first real wood working tool review.

I picked up the Lee Valley Standard Low Angle Plane while on a trip to Vancouver. Somebody told me that there was not that much planing quality difference between the three low angle block planes. The more expensive ones sure looked sleek and sexy but there were some other things I wanted to buy there and felt I needed to cut costs if there was not going to be a big enough difference. I got it with the A2 25 deg. blade that comes standard. I also bought the toothed blade and the A2 50 deg. blade. Fit and finish on my plane was excellent and every thing moved very smoothly. Blades were not sharpened very well but that’s the norm and I like to sharpen it myself anyway.

There are several adjustments that are available on the plane. There is a toe adjustment that adjusts the mouth area in front of the blade edge. I’ve found this is one of the most important adjustments for fine shavings. For the finest shavings I try to get it about 1/32” evenly away from the blade. For roughing I open it up a bit. Loosen the knob above the toe, adjust (careful not to nick the blade) and tighten. There are two screws that adjusts the front of the blade laterally from side to side. Minus is that if its too tight you can’t move the blade at all so it must be loosened to make any depth or lateral adjustments to the back of the blade. I try to get it snug but still able to move. Then there is a large knob above the blade which holds the blade against the body. You loosen it before making any adjustments. Its best to loosen it just a bit so its snug but the adjusters can move the blade. I find you have to loosen it a bit more to make lateral adjustments. There is a usual blade depth adjuster and integrated with that is the lateral adjustment. Getting a full width even shavings involves adjusting the two screws at the front of the blade and adjusting the lateral adjuster in the back.

I’ll start with the standard A2 25 deg. blade. You have a choice of the A2 or the softer O1. With no sharpening the blade was ok but was difficult to get the fine shavings. After sharpening shavings were what I expected from a good plane. Very fine, delicate shavings. The 25 degree bevel with the 12 degree blade angle gives you a 37 degree final angle. It was excellent on end grain with just a bit of chatter at times. One of my Japanese planes also with a 37 degree blade angle is awesome at end grain and the only plane that will better this one. Very nice shavings with the grain from poplar to oak and maple. Glass like surfaces with very good reflectivity.

Next I tried the toothed plane. Now this is one fun plane. Run it all over the place, with the grain, against, across. Just chops it up with out tear out. I only tried it on maple and it was great not having to constantly think about tear out. Not sure if this would be true with every wood out there but so far its a fun plane. Just plane off the ridges and be careful when you get into planing the body of the wood.

I glued two pieces of maple and left one end with one board lower than the other to create a leveling problem. Initial planing with the toothed blade. Planed in every direction I could think of, with grain, against grain, across grain, the four diagonals (two diagonals but in both directions). Seemed to work best at diagonals.

Within seconds I cut down the higher board and was ready for smoothing plane.

Picture of shavings cut with a regular plane.

Final board after planing with the 50 degree blade. Been raining so picture is with a very cloudy source of light. Total time including flattening with the toothed blade and smoothing was about 3 minutes. I need to work on the two corners of the back of the 50 degree blade. Getting a bit of ridge from the edge of the blade. Its the opposite of bevel down blades where you work on the bevel side so the corners of the blade doesn’t dig into the wood.

Finally, I bought the A2 50 degree blade for hard woods and difficult grain. It has a total 62 degree angle. In my review of the Amscope I messed up the initial honing and at first thought the higher angle plane was just a myth. After finding my error I went through my usual sharpening routine and I am now a believer.

This is a great blade for hardwoods and difficult grain. On grain where I get tear out this one does it in stride. If I go totally against the grain it sometimes planes it nicely while sometimes there is a bit of tear out. My other planes would have left large chunks which takes a lot of work to clean up. Surfaces are glass smooth and has good reflective qualities. Again not as good as my Japanese plane or my other lower angle planes but working hardwood with difficult grain without worrying about tear out is priceless. With wood that reverses grain I usually have to plane in one direction and then plane in the opposite direction. The area between the two tends to be like walking through a mine field. Planing with the high angle plane makes working these area almost fool proof. Its just great.

Sample of shavings after sharpening. I was edging some plywood with maple and used the plane to give it a nice surface. Was able to get even finer shavings the next day.

I really like this plane with the different blades. Its like getting three planes for the price of one. The 25 degree blade is a bit redundant to the other planes with similar angles but it a small price to pay. I don’t like having to loosen the blade every time I have to adjust the blade but the blade never moves once you found the perfect setting. The 50 degree blade is more difficult to sharpen as the bevel is very narrow. I have to skew the blade more than 45 degree when I’m sharpening otherwise its very difficult to hold the angle when doing it by hand.

I was going to take pictures with the plane and some shavings but I have an open garage and its storming here in Hawaii. It’s raining cats and dogs. I haven’t had a lot of time with the plane but so far the toothed and 50 degree blades I know will find a lot of use in my shop.

-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu

View gko's profile


83 posts in 4090 days

11 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3702 days

#1 posted 12-20-2010 01:16 PM

Nice Review.

Thanks for Sharing


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4632 days

#2 posted 12-21-2010 03:08 AM

Thanks for the review. Appears it works much like the bevel-up jack that I have. Thanks also for the review of the toothed blade. I wondered how well it would work.


-- Go

View Ken90712's profile


17902 posts in 4034 days

#3 posted 12-21-2010 01:32 PM

Nice review! They sure make nice hand tools!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4310 days

#4 posted 12-21-2010 06:21 PM

Been looking at the toothed blades for awhile now. I’m convinced, gotta have one. Thanks, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View AaronK's profile


1511 posts in 4310 days

#5 posted 12-22-2010 03:22 PM

i’ve read about toothed blades on larger planes for use on nasty grain like interlocked mahogany, etc. how useful is it on a smaller plane like a block plane? would you use it differently or just on tiny little patches?+

View PurpLev's profile


8584 posts in 4494 days

#6 posted 12-22-2010 05:36 PM

great review – and indeed a great plane.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View gko's profile


83 posts in 4090 days

#7 posted 12-23-2010 06:51 PM

Hi Aaron,

I just posted some pictures. The board of maple was about 18” by about 9” (2×4.5”) and I took about 2 minutes to plane it flat using the toothed plane. This included experimenting with going in as many directions as possible. I might have luck out when I planed with the 50 degree blade to smooth the board as I didn’t run into any tear out. I purposely mismatched the two boards to see how easy it would be to plane them flat and it was. Now I never glue stuff badly like that, LOL!

-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu

View AaronK's profile


1511 posts in 4310 days

#8 posted 12-23-2010 06:58 PM

cool – thanks for the update. it looks like its quite handy!

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3675 days

#9 posted 12-29-2010 07:35 PM

This is the only handplane I currently own and I do all planing work with that (after sizing on the power planer/thicknesser), up to the finishing. So far the only wood I had tear out on was the Padauk I used for my stepstool. Somehow I forgot that I could just put on a micro-bevel to get more than the 25 degrees. I usually do have a micro bevel that is more, but not a whole lot, so maybe that would’ve adressed the padauk tearout issue. I’ll try that next time.

Overall I can only say that it’s a great plane to have if it’s the only one you can afford and you do not work on really big projects, like me (so far). I did get the wooden front knob, however I wasn’t able to get the back handle, but I guess I’ll be able to afford some other bigger plane at some point which will replace the wish for that handle maybe.


View gko's profile


83 posts in 4090 days

#10 posted 12-29-2010 10:51 PM

Hi Peter, I would really recommend getting the 50 degree blade. It’s really nice to just pop off the 25 degree, pop on the 50 and plane away. Just yesterday I was planing a piece of maple and didn’t realize I was planing against the grain. There was no tear out and I only realized it when I felt the board and it didn’t have that glass smooth feel. Turned it around and it went back to smooth like glass feel. The 25 degree is great on end grain and softer woods. The 50 just chatters on end grain and a lot of tear out.

I also bought the wooden front knob and gives it a great feel. I might just buy the 38 degree blade to see how it works. I think the 38 (50 total) would give a nicer finish on hard woods but the 50 is already so nice. I put a micro bevel on some of my bevel down blades but especially on the 25 I like it to be as close as possible to 37 degrees on end grain. I have a 37 and 40 degree Japanese planes and the 37 cuts so much better on soft woods and end grain.

So far I love this plane. Also bought the chamfer guide and it works pretty good. You have to add the included shims to make it either level or just a touch higher than the sole for really nice cuts. Doesn’t cut as well if its even slightly below the sole. A bit difficult to keep aligned and square with the edge but its usable.

-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu

View ChuckM's profile


652 posts in 4512 days

#11 posted 12-31-2010 07:12 PM

If you only have a LA block plane, here’s a trick to turn it into a standard block plane:

Get another blade from Lee Valley at 38 degrees and regrind/hone it to 33 degrees. The LA block plane has a bed angle of 12 degrees and it becomes a standard block plane (effective cutting angle at 45 degrees) when you put the 33-degree blade in it.

You can turn it into a smoothing plane by getting the tote:,41182,41189,41715 3 planes in 1!

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

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