Crazy for Chamfers
Anyone who has worked with me for about five minutes knows that I really like chamfers on my work. Stop chamfers, such as those found on early English and American work, are particularly attractive to my eye.
I also like through-chamfers, and my favorite tool for making those is the Veritas Chamfer Guide. This $22 accessory for the Veritas Block Planes is beyond clever. It beats up and steals the lunch money of traditional chamfer planes. I have a nice English version of one of these old planes that I bought years ago from Patrick Leach, and it just does not compare.
The genius of the Veritas guide , patented in 2003 , is that you can set it to make chamfers up to 1/2″ wide with unerring precision. Set the guide to the chamfer you want. Keep stroking until the plane stops cutting. Victory!
There is one downside to the guide: Veritas doesn’t make it for other brands of block planes. I’m sure it would be a nightmare for the company to offer it for other brands because there are as many kinds of block planes as there are flavors of gum.
I tried fitting the Veritas guide to some of the Stanley block planes in my shop and could find only one (the venerable Stanley No. 65) where this worked well. The only problem with the retrofit on the Stanley No. 65 was that I had to scavenge a knob off my Veritas plane to prevent the host from rejecting the transplant. So that’s not much of a solution.
So if you do have a Veritas block plane, I highly recommend this attachment. If you don’t own the plane, I highly recommend you try freehanding things. This weekend I was planing some chamfers sans Veritas and used my old Sandusky jack plane instead.
My chamfers weren’t as tidy, but they looked good enough. And the nice thing was I could do the chamfers at any angle, not just 45Ã?Â°. To make the chamfers, I laid out the two lines , one on the face of the board and one on the edge , with a marking gauge. Then I went to town with the jack. When I got close to my scribe lines, I switched to a plane that took a fine cut to finish the chamfer.
Both techniques work better (for me) than a router with a chamfer bit, which can leave nasty chatter marks that have to be sanded or planed out anyway.
– Christopher Schwarz
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