Here's really good news for all you hand tool enthusiasts: Lee Valley has added an updated version of the Record No. 044 plow plane to their line of Veritas hand planes. If you've searched eBay long and hard for a complete 044 (see Tool Nut, page 14), look no longer. The Veritas plow plane is just as good–actually, it's better. A plow plane is used for cutting grooves and rabbets that go the full length of a board, as in frame-and-panel construction or drawer-making. The Veritas is a pleasure to hold and works extremely well, provided you remember one odd thing about all plow planes: to make a consistent, straight groove, you start the cut at the far end of a board and work your way backwards. The plane comes with a 1/4-in. A2 steel blade. (A2 steel holds an edge longer than high-carbon steel blades.) Four other blades (1/8-, 3/16-, 5/16- and 3/8-in.) are available separately. Like the 044, the Veritas has an adjustable fence and depth stop, but no nickers to score the wood when cutting dados across the grain (those came with the Record 050 combination plane). The fence can be set 1-1/2-in. away from a 1/4-in. blade, while the depth stop can be set to make grooves up to 1/2-in. deep.
Lee Valley, www.leevalley.com, (800) 871-8158, Veritas Small Plow Plane, #05P51.01, $199. Additional blades, $16 each.