We don’t typically include tools in this column that we’ve not actually tested, but we’re making an exception for these five new bevel-down planes from Veritas (Nos. 4, 41⁄2, 5, 51⁄2 and 7 in the Stanley numbering system).
I got a preview of these at Lee Valley Tools in Ottawa in August; they were publicly released Sept. 13 (just days before this issue was printed). So far, I’ve only taken apart and partially reassembled one of the planes; we’ll have a full review when we get them in.
So why are we breaking our own rule? Quite simply, if these planes perform well, they could have a significant impact on the handplane market.
These bench planes will be stocked in three standard frog angles – likely 40°, 45° and 55°. You can, however, order any frog angle from 40° to 65° in 1⁄2° increments (the frog and the Norris-style adjuster were redesigned to support the range of 51 available angles) for a $10 upcharge and with just a couple days’ wait. And the frogs are easily interchangeable; you can switch them as needed for various planing needs.
In addition, the “torrefied” (roasted) maple totes and knobs can be changed. Totes are offered in two styles: a standard Veritas handle or a traditional Stanley curved style; both are available in small, medium or large. (There will be information online and in stores about how to determine the correct size for the user.) The knobs are available in three styles: low, high and mushroom-shaped (shown in the picture above).
The ductile iron bodies and stainless components feature a streamlined shape, and there are fence-mounting holes on all the bodies. There’s an adjustable toe to set the mouth openings and, because a “blade carrier” supports the O1 or PMV-11 iron, the tools can be used with or without a cap iron.
At press time, prices weren’t available, but they are expected to be in line with other well-made manufactured bench planes.
Web site: Lee Valley
From the November 2014 issue, #214