Just how good is the new Veritas shooting plane from Lee Valley? All I can say is, it’s pretty sweet. For the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of having one of the first planes off the line in my shop (in case you were wondering, I’m liking this senior editor position) where it has been put through its paces.
The plane arrived at my shop in Pennsylvania right in the middle of a “Master’s Class” (I wrapped up the final classes at Acanthus Workshop East before the big move to Cincinnati). Several students gave the plane a try as well – there was great interest in the new Lee Valley plane.
Now I’m not usually a shooting board kind of woodworker. I have them in the shop and use them but I prefer to plane freehand; it’s just something I’ve gotten used to doing but this Lee Valley plane just might convert me.
There’s more in the November issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine (which arrives to subscribers in mid-October) but I wanted to give you a taste of what this new plane is like to use. There is just enough weight to give the plane good momentum for cleanly shooting hardwood end grain without being so heavy you get so tired you can’t push it anymore.
The other thing I liked is that it came ready to use right out of the box. The blade was very sharp and, even though I usually sharpen my new plane blades instantly (except of course on my Daed Toolworks planes), the excitement of trying this plane out got the better of me. As I said, it arrived in the middle of my Newport Block-front class and none of us could deal with waiting two to three minutes for me to grind and hone the iron before giving this thing a try. I’m pretty sure the shooting boards were coming out from beneath the benches before the box was fully open.
I’ve put together a short video showing the plane in use and highlighting some of my favorite features. With a little luck, it will give you a good idea what it’s like to use this plane yourself.
The Veritas Shooting Plane retails for $335 in either the right or left handed version with an O1 blade or $345 with a PM-V11 blade.