Veritas - Combination Plane (Rating: 5)

I've been waiting for this plane for quite a while-a year or so? I don't think I've been so eager to get my hands on a tool since I decided to jump into woodworking and got my first #5 and old disston. At Handworks I had walked into the barn wondering if I'd see this plane on display, and sure enough, Rob & Terry were there showing it off. The price, $399, made me pretty nervous, but the case and two blade boxes included for preordering took the edge off a bit.

This is my first plow or rebate plane of any sort (closest thing I have is a Veritas Router Plane), thus my excitement, but unfortunately I can't offer a comparison to older Stanleys or Records. I've had some time to try out on some scraps, and as it stands, I'm very happy with the Combination Plane. This will be faster, easier, and more precise than using a handsaw and/or router to do rebates and grooves.

On to the details. The pictures up top show the overall kit. The plane comes with a single 1/4" blade, to which I added a 1/8", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4" and the widest 1 1/16" option. I figure that'll cover me for now, and I'll add blades as I desire them for specific projects. Next time I do a batch of picture frames I plan to pick up some of the beading/reeding/fluting bits for adding details.

When first holding the plane, it feels substantial, precise, and built to last. Somewhat unexpected bonuses to me were an extra set of longer fence rods (shown in the plastic tube in the third picture up top) and the wooden fence piece. Other than the blade selection, the base plane is a complete kit, no compromises or shortcomings.

Wood Hardwood Wood stain Flooring Composite material

The knobs are confusing at first, but after a few minutes of fiddling, are second nature. On the fence there are two locking knobs for fixing the whole fence assembly onto the rods. Lower on the fence are two more locking knobs paired with a fine tune knob that has an addition roughly 1"? of travel. Similarly both depth stops have a locking knob and another knob for depth adjustment. There's a little play in the depth knob that seems out of character with the precision on the rest of the plane, but still works well. Two spears each have a pair of allen screws; one to lock the depth and the other to fine tune the side-to-side 'splay' of the blades.

The handle feels a bit tall for me, I found myself shifting my hand lower to get behind the plane rather than on top of it. See the first picture up top, there's space between the horn and the top of my hand. I'm chalking it up to being a newbie, but at first the plane felt a bit wobbly and hard to find vertical, even with the fence. After some practice this became easier, though.

At handworks I was surprised to learn they also had a box/case for the plane and blades. I had planned to make my own, but this one is plenty nice. The case and the blade boxes are made of fairly nice plywood (I am not a plywood expert). The blade boxes include rubber bands to hold the lid on, and have a dedicated slot in the case. Here I ran into a bit of trouble. With the rubber bands, fitting the blade boxes into the case is a little finnicky. Also getting the case cover on/off over the blade boxes was a bit tricky; it's a tight fix. I just omitted the rubber bands (the case will keep the blade box lids on), and everything fits together much more easily.

Alright, that's about all I've got to say. I'll try to comment back when I've used the plane more on a real project-the end table I'm currently building will have a drawer in it and involves some rebates and grooves.

Moar pictures!

Wood Rectangle Flooring Wood stain Hardwood

Musical instrument Wood Gas Electronic instrument Hardwood

Wood Tool Bumper Composite material Hardwood

Musical instrument Wood Bumper String instrument accessory Hardwood

Wood Rectangle Bumper Automotive exterior Tool

Hood Wood Automotive design Automotive exterior Bumper

Wood Musical instrument Bumper Bicycle part Musical instrument accessory

Wood Trigger Shotgun Air gun Hardwood

Wood Eyewear Auto part Automotive lighting Jewellery