I scoffed a few months back when I opened a box from Lee Valley Tools in which was enclosed a 17-1/2″ Veritas Planing Stop. It’s a thin stick of aluminum with two steel posts that drop into dog holes. I could see how it would be handy, but hey – we’ve got garbage cans full of offcuts (the dumpster is sooooo far away); an offcut clamped across the bench (or just jammed up against a dog or two) makes an excellent planing stop. And it’s free.
However: I’ve been working double time for the last couple weeks to get a project done for the November issue (among other things), so when I needed to brace a thin panel for planing, I didn’t have time or the inclination to root through the trash for the perfect stick. Then I remembered the box at which I scoffed.
Well. This is some fine-tasting crow.
This piece of anodized aluminum is less than 1/4″ thick (so I had no concerns about running my planes into it, even when my panel was at finished thickness) and it is quite rigid; I experienced no flex, even when hogging off waste with a jack plane.
The two 3/4″-diameter posts (other sizes are available) slide in a T-track on the underside, and they’re easy to move into position for just about any dog-hole layout.
Does it work better than a stick? No, I guess not. But the posts are more convenient than clamps, I like the tip-to-toe low profile and there’s no risk of splinters. Plus, I no longer have to dig through the trash (there is some scary stuff in there). I’ve concluded that’s easily worth $28.50.
p.s. The project on which I was working? I sprayed the finish today. The photo shoot? It’s tomorrow. My stress level over the last week? Off the charts. I’m so very glad to be done and writing this, bourbon at hand!