It was shades of "A Christmas Story"

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Review by Texasgaloot posted 10-27-2008 05:28 PM 4255 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
It was shades of "A Christmas Story" It was shades of "A Christmas Story" It was shades of "A Christmas Story" Click the pictures to enlarge them

Anyone who has ever seen the movie “A Christmas Story” knows the elation of discovering that you had won a major prize. I have not had a new tool infiltrate my shop in a very long time. It would be even longer had I not won this plane from the Wood Talk Online podcast—thanks Marc and Matt. See, folks, if you aren’t listening to this podcast, YOU SHOULD BE! Even a guy who never wins a thing can win something over-the-top cool!

Okay: on to the plane (thank God it wasn’t a fishnet-stocking leg masquerading as a lamp!) This tool sat around in the house for a couple of days after I received it, partly because I figured I was going to need to take the time to hone the iron, and partly because I wanted to bask in the glory doing my best Darren McGavin imitation. (I was hoping some neighbors might wander by so I good exclaim it was a major prize as if I had won it based on my intellect and cunning, but that’s hard to have happen tucked away on a ranch…) I had to explain to my wife that I didn’t have the time to hone just yet, and when she asked why, I thought that it would be an opportunity to show her. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go very far to find a crow to eat…

This plane made whispy curls in fir, right out of the box! Now there’s a shocker. Perhaps most quality new planes do that sort of thing and I don’t win enough of them to know that, but it seems like most tools ship ready to hone, not ready to use. Anyway, I was thoroughly impressed with the quality, heft, and overall feel of the plane until I used it, and then I was blown away with it’s ergonomics.

Now, it could be strongly argued that this plane is less of a rabbet plane and more of a moving fillister, with it’s adjustable fence. I think perhaps the reason we might go with Veritas’ description is because it contains one nicker. Had it two, one on each side of the plane body, we might see where it could be used for plowing clean dados and grooves, but in it’s current configuration it is intended for a rabbet plane. And rabbet it does—both with the grain and across it, with equal enthusiasm and regardless of species! What surprised me the most came whenever I wanted to plane cross-grain after planing a number of rabbets up to the depth-stop, and found that it required no more effort than planing with the grain.

So here’s the thing, and why I wanted to offer this review. I have a project in my shop that is going to require a number of mortise and tenon joints in mesquite. The problem is that the stretchers that are going to require the tenons are too long for me to use my stacked dado blade to cut. Because of the scew, I can use this plane to whip out tenons quickly and accurately, hopefully with no tear-out. I’ll let you know how that goes, but prior to this plane entering my shop, I would never have considered it.

I realize that this a very non-technical review, but it is mostly written to say this: I would never have spent the clams on this plane. There are too many other specialty planes I thought I needed ahead of this one. Now that it’s here and I’ve begun to use it, it has lept to the top of my go-to tool arsenal. Consider seriously getting one of these, even if you are a power-tool person!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

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465 posts in 4559 days

12 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4063 posts in 4922 days

#1 posted 10-27-2008 05:59 PM

I think Ms. Debbie got one of these early on, shortly after her interview with the renowned and inestimable Robin Lee made the annoucement that a secret new plane was on the horizon.

Even though you’re on the ranch, keep an eye out for those @#$%& Bumpuses’ and their pack of flea-bitten hounds!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4603 days

#2 posted 10-27-2008 06:27 PM

That’s what I’m talking about. Veritas IS a quality plane. And yes, they are set up very well, right out of the factory. I’ve taken the blades out of the new ones I have and just touched them on the buffing wheel, mostly for my piece of mind, and they work great. Let us know how the tenons come out.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4733 days

#3 posted 10-27-2008 07:31 PM

Congrats on the win. No worries about shooting your eye out, either.

View Bob42's profile


457 posts in 4649 days

#4 posted 10-27-2008 10:49 PM

Great win!!

I hope you enjoy the prize.
Now you have to make something for your wife to show her how a new tool can make things better.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 5042 days

#5 posted 10-28-2008 09:52 AM

One of my absolute favorite movies ever!! Glad you are enjoying the plane my friend!

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4972 days

#6 posted 10-28-2008 05:10 PM

I’m glad the prize went to a real hand tool user! I loved your “A Christmas Story” reference. Have you read Jean Shepherd’s short stories that the movie was based on? If you haven’t you really need to. His books are even funnier! Particularly “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories: And Other Disasters”, which I think has all of the stories that made up the movie.

View Grumpy's profile


26628 posts in 4709 days

#7 posted 10-29-2008 12:40 AM

Well done Texas. Great prize.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4674 days

#8 posted 10-29-2008 06:19 AM

Nice score Tex,

I saw one of those for the first time in the Christmas flyer from LV. I started thinking about how much I use my 78 (occasionally). Then I thought about how my 78 is not an ambidextrous tool and how clever it was of LV to make both left and right handed varieties. Then I looked at the next page and thought about how much I would rather have that medium shoulder plane and how I already have a 78.

BTW, I don’t know how you can maintain your galoot image having that new fangled tool around so I’m gonna make you an offer that will allow you to redeem it.

Wanna trade for a 78?

-- Scott - Chico California

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#9 posted 10-29-2008 07:00 AM

Hi Tex;

Congrats on the win, and a very good review.



-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View FloridaUFGator's profile


39 posts in 4872 days

#10 posted 10-30-2008 05:03 AM

Hey, congrats on the win. What a awesome score! I can say that because the LOML bought me both planes (left and right) for my birthday. I couldn’t have said it better myself. These planes are solid and ready to go right out of the box. Man do they feel good in your hands. I really believe I can rip out a rabbet (or two) with one of these faster (and cleaner and more accurate) than I could having to swap out my table saw blade with my dado. And of course the side benefit – shavings instead of dust (always a good thing). I love sweeping up savings at the end of the day instead of vacuuming up dust.

-- ...and remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses - Norm Abram

View grovemadman's profile


689 posts in 4630 days

#11 posted 12-17-2008 09:44 AM

Lee Valley has always made quality products, and their service is great too! A good company to do business with and all of their stuff is usually worth every penny spent!!!
Congrats on the tool, and enjoy using it.

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View NeanderthalStPaul's profile


2 posts in 4282 days

#12 posted 01-10-2009 04:42 AM

My girlfriend bought me a pair of these for Christmas after seeing a Lee Valley catalog in my place. It was a shot in the dark, but I am a happy man. They work incredibly well.

-- Neanderthal

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