Oh the joys of smooooth wood

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Review by cajunpen posted 01-28-2008 06:04 AM 5464 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Oh the joys of smooooth wood Oh the joys of smooooth wood Oh the joys of smooooth wood Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is a review that I posted a few months ago, but I thought that as long as we were going to have a “Review” section on the Forum that it should be here.

The Veritas Bevel-Up Smoother Plane has added a whole new level to my woodworking projects. This is my first new plane and it is now my favorite. Right out of the box it was cutting wood as smooth as glass. I have since sharpened it and honed it and the cuts are even smoother. I hardly use sandpaper for my smaller projects now, I just make a few light passes on my project before assembly and it’s ready to apply the finish (of course after the dreaded glue clean up). I can’t recommend this plane any higher than the 5 stars or I would have.

Before breaking down and purchasing the Veritas plane I wondered how anyone could justify spending that much on a hand tool. After using it a few times I understand and have decided that all future planes will be high end planes – they are just better quality, at least in my opinion.

Below is some of the technical stuff provided by Lee Valley. I did not see any sense in retyping their words.

We have combined the generous width and weight of a dedicated smoother with the versatile inner workings of a low-angle bevel-up plane. The 12° bed angle, coupled with the 38° blade bevel, yields an effective cutting angle of 50°, what is commonly known as a York pitch. This is an ideal starting angle for minimizing tear-out when working difficult wood. It is easy to create a higher micro-bevel angle for very difficult grains.

The ductile cast iron body is fully stress-relieved, and has a 12° bed angle similar to a low-angle block plane. Accurately machined, the sole is flat. The adjustable mouth can be closed to a narrow slit for fine shavings with minimum tear-out or opened for heavier cuts. A stop-screw in the throat adjusts to whatever mouth opening you find ideal for chip breaking and chip clearance. This lets you open the mouth fully for blade removal (for honing) and replacement, yet quickly restores your exact mouth setting. The large wooden front knob and rear handle provide both comfort and excellent control. The adjustment mechanism, with its combined feed and lateral adjustment knob, makes blade setting easy and accurate. Set screws prevent the blade from shifting, but allow full lateral adjustment.

It weighs in at just under 5 lb, with an exceptionally low center of gravity. We have dubbed this plane a 164-1/2 H. It is an excellent choice for even the most demanding reversing grains, where even higher bevel angles (for creating Type II chips) are required to eliminate tear-out. The coffin-shaped body has a sole length of 10” and a width of 3-1/8”.

Includes a lapped 38° blade, 2-1/4” wide, 3/16” (0.187”) thick, made of your choice of A2 or O1 tool steel hardened to Rc60-62. Blade is the same size as our other bevel-up planes, allowing blades of various bevel angles to be interchanged between planes. See the price lines below for further blade options.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4834 days

10 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4757 days

#1 posted 01-28-2008 06:18 AM

Great review Bill. I have been thinking about one.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile


26416 posts in 4619 days

#2 posted 01-28-2008 06:37 AM

Nice tool Bill, thanks for the insight.

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

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4643 days

#3 posted 01-28-2008 11:41 AM

Like you, I rethought everything after buying a high-end block plane. Thanks for the review, I think this guy just made my “must-have” list.

View gizmodyne's profile


1784 posts in 4858 days

#4 posted 01-28-2008 04:21 PM

Interesting. Thanks for the review.

So the purpose of the smoothing plane is prep for finish?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4664 days

#5 posted 01-29-2008 02:30 AM

Bill – I’m considering which plane to get for my hand tools class coming up in May. I’m not sure what the difference is between this plane and this one,41182,41187&ap=1 – aside from the obvious looks. What is the advantage of one over the other? Do you know?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4656 days

#6 posted 02-03-2008 03:44 PM


One of the things I was saying in postings on old handplanes is that a new Veritas plane puts to shame most old handplanes, even if restored carefully. My first Veritas handplane (the #7) cured me of old plane restoration and helped me focus my attention to woodworking. It seems that you are roughly of the same opinion.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4567 days

#7 posted 02-14-2008 05:35 AM

Betsy, the one you give the link for is a standard 45 degree bed angle while the one reviewed is a low bed angle version meant primarily for tricky woods. Both are fine tools.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4590 days

#8 posted 02-15-2008 12:27 AM

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the review. I have been looking to improve my plane selection, currently I have a #5 and a #8, that were my father’s. Until I started seeing some of these posts they largely sat in my shop unused and unappreciated. Now I am beginning to see the value in using planes like these. This and a scrub plane are on my wish list.

Thanks, not only for the review, but for enlightening me as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View OttawaP's profile


89 posts in 4495 days

#9 posted 03-18-2008 03:02 AM

One big advantage of the LV bevel up planes is that you can interchange the three blades they offer in the three bevel up planes they offer. I own the amazing LV bu jackplane with all three blades. My next purchase may be the smoothing plane (-minus the blade). With the three blades you pretty have all woods and grains taken care.

-- Paul

View seanc's profile


2 posts in 3710 days

#10 posted 05-07-2010 07:57 PM

I realize this is an old review, but can you smooth with bevel up plane without creating tracks? I understand that this would require a camber but is that difficult to obtain without a grinder (water stones) ?


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