Lee Valley gets into Shooting Sports

shootingplaneJust 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.

— Chuck Bender

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Lee Valley gets into Shooting Sports

  1. LGJohnnyAce

    Wonderful set of coincidences.. my birthday coincided with the introduction AND the introductory price. Just so happens that I’m left handed and in the market for a shooting plane! I’m now a proud owner and very excited with the results. SWMBO decided it was a good idea to order a second blade, but I don’t know how I’m ever going to wear out the first one because they’re really thick and really sharp right out of the box. Yes, I honed it anyway. I’ve planed about 6 linear miles already!

  2. tucker tuck

    I too am lucky to have ordered and received this plane. I also purchased the the new LV Cabinetmaker’s Trimming Plane – a great chisel plane. I’d been watching for the shooter since I heard a review of it from the guys at FWW in July.

    About a year ago I visited Lie-Nielsen and went over all the details of their shooting plane with Tom himself. I was also very impressed by the the nicest shooting board I’ve ever seen in their storefront. I left planning to budget for the purchase of the LN shooter. At $500, it’s 15″ long, 9 1/4 lbs, has a 2 1/8″ base, and has the frog skewed to the sole at a 20 degree angle. It is an amazing plane and performs with ease and precision. The blade is that full-size 2 3/8″ behemoth LN uses in many of their planes. Ditto on the LN frog.

    At $345 (with the PM-V11 blade), the LV version is just under 16″ long, 7 3/4 lbs., and also has a 2 1/8″ base. The bed is also skewed at 20 degrees. The blade came ground to 23 degrees with an additional 2 degree micro bevel. It was lapped dead flat. I plan to joint with this, using the 90 degree configuration as one would with the fence on a jointer; with a “jointing board” clamped alongside the stock being jointed. I went for the PM-V11 blade. As Chuck describes here, there are many settings to very precisely tweak the blade to be perfectly square to the stock being cut. I too thought the tote felt light at first, but I’ve grown to really like it. I really like the adjustable mouth and have used it to make micro shavings with some padauk. The plane comes with a mouth adjustment screw that prevents the mouth from hitting the blade; nice touch.

    This has been a lot longer than a comment should be so I’ll conclude. This plane is a very well engineered tool. It allows for very precise trimming of a workpiece. I’m very lucky to have it and am appreciating it more with each use.

  3. josemhj

    For a long time I drooled over the Lie Nielsen shooting plane. Every time they had a hand tool event in my area I would try it out and loved it. I found the price prohibitive, though. I would ask if they intended to come out with a left handed version. The usual answer was possibly if they get enough requests. Translation: When Hell freezes over. I happen to be left handed and up to recently was shooting using my #6 stanley. I didn’t want to pay that kind of money just to be forced to use my other hand. I started thinking about getting some angle iron and creating my own lefty version. Lo and Behold Veritas came out with their version which had all the features that I wanted my plane to have and more! I applaud them for having the courage to make a lefty version! I bought mine with the PM-V11. By ordering early, I also got a discount and only paid $315! I love my Veritas shooting plane! It is everything that I wanted for so long!

  4. Bill

    Looks like a sweet plane.
    I mainly wanted to comment that I liked hearing the metal or rock music on the clip as a nice change to the country that many/most other woodworking videos all seem to swear by.

  5. Marty

    Hopefully the review compares it against the Lie-Nielsen version, and addresses any shortcomings (reviews with no cons usually means a biased review, from my experience).

    1. Chuck BenderChuck Bender Post author

      My only bias is, I like the plane…not overly fond of the tote but you may be. I like the adjustability of it but it’s just a bit small for my hands. Other than that, there’s not much to complain about. Same goes for the Lie-Nielsen plane with the exception that the tote fits my hand better but lacks the ability to swivel. Good, solid tools both…pick your poison.

    2. deric

      A guy from Australia (forget his name, I think I read it on wkfinetoos) who does lots of tool making, reviews, blogging and so on did a comparison of the two planes. He preferred the Lee Valley with the powdered metal blade. (Just a note on powdered metal. It’s been around for at least thirty years and I had been wondering when it would hit the woodworking market since I first worked with it way back then.) You not only have the skewed angle with the LV but also a low angle. (Another side note, when I first saw the LN plane I wondered how long it would take LV to make a low angle version) Anyhow the reviewer said the PM blade held up much much longer than the A2 and especially O1 blades. Just as a reference his LN plane was given to him by Mr. Lie-Nielsen as a personal gift. He raved about it at the time but preferred the LV in side by side competition. Either way you really can’t go wrong but for my money I’m ordering the LV as it is the design I hoped they’d come out with. I have large hands also, so I might be altering the tote, oh well.

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