Though I need another sliding bevel like I need a goat in my living room, I recently ordered one of the new sliding bevels from Chris Vesper Tools in Australia and have been putting it through its paces.
I reviewed Vesper’s sliding bevels in the April 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking. I also wrote about Vesper for the Fine Tool Journal , you can read the article for free here. Yes, Vesper is that young. (One female editor on our staff has used the word “cherubic” , not “Cherubinic.”)
If you are too lazy to click though the link above, let me boil down the story: Vesper makes the best sliding bevel I’ve ever used. This is both very difficult and very easy to do. It’s easy to make a really good sliding bevel because almost all of them on the market suck eggs. They don’t lock well. Or when they are locked, the locking mechanism won’t let the tool lay flat on the work.
Do the manufacturers not actually use this tool?
Vesper’s bevels use a locking mechanism based on an old patent. And it locks down better than anything else I’ve ever used. And the locking knob never , repeat, never , gets in your way.
So what’s new about this particular bevel? There’s no wooden infill. Instead, Vesper added a nice engraving on both faces of the tool. This actually reduces the cost of the tool a bit. And in my opinion, it looks as nice as the one with the infill.
These don’t come cheap. The 7″ bevel cost about $160 U.S. , what with the sorry state of the U.S. dollar compared to the Australian dollar. But I like Vesper’s work, and was more than happy to open my wallet in the name of a bevel I don’t have to worry about every time I reach for it during a project.
– Christopher Schwarz