In Praise of Veritas

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Chris Knight

Established Member
14 Jan 2004
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SE London - NW Kent
I have a couple of shooting boards that have served me faithfully for many (fifteen or so) years but on a recent job, I realised that my mitre shooting board was losing accuracy and I got fed up with correcting it by shimming work-pieces with scraps of paper and playing cards. As it is close to Christmas, I decided to treat myself and bought a Veritas shooting plane and shooting board.

I had anticipated lots of setting up would be needed and indeed the two sets of instructions that came with the plane and shooting board suggested that some preparatory work was in order. As it turned out, all I had to do was hone the 25 degree secondary bevel on the supplied iron for the plane and I was good to go. The mitre assembly on the shooting board was a perfect 90 degrees and the track for the plane was set to the width of the shooting plane with just enough microscopic clearance to permit smooth operation without a hint of sideways movement.

The shooting plane itself is a beautiful piece of engineering. Everything is as it should be. The side and sole of the plane both register 90 degrees exactly with my Starrett squares, the movable toe works smoothly and precisely, and my first couple of cuts have been effortless and flawless.

Possibly a Lie-Nielsen 51 would be as good a shooting plane but for only a tenner more, I get both a plane and an excellent adjustable shooting board, and I honestly cannot see how the Lie -Nielsen could be better. For one thing, it lacks the adjustable toe of the Veritas but more simply, I see nothing on the Veritas that could be bettered - fit, finish, tolerances etc. are all superb. And, were I to price my time realistically, a new shooting board I make would cost a good deal more than £10.

I lusted after a Stanley 51 and 52 for years (as a user rather than a collector) but now with the Veritas duo, that itch has been quieted at long last.
I've never had the board, but I bought the veritas plane to have temporarily while I was making an infill shooting plane. I figured that if I couldn't do a better job, I'd keep the veritas. It only took me a short 80 hours to build a plane that works marginally better (I say that as a joke - it was 80 hours or so of balls on floor sweat hogging it getting metal splinters to get a plane that is only a tiny bit better in the cut - made of materials that are almost the price of the veritas completed plane).

I sold the veritas to a friend. I was delighted with it. He's delighted with it. It's a bit of a gentleman's tool by some peoples definition, I guess, but I cannot argue that is isn't definitively better than using a bench plane or wooden plane on a shoot board. It just clearly is as soon as you use it.
Chris, I put the Veritas and LN head-to-head. I own both planes, with the LN #51 a dream-come-true as it replaced a Stanley #51 in a Stanley #52 shooting board. Then I was provided with the Veritas courtesy of input with the prototype and preproduction.

I prefer the traditional looks of the LN, and anyone would be happy with either plane (using either is an absolute pleasure). But the fact is that the Veritas simply left it for dust with edge holding. This was not due to the steel, but the angle of the bed.

Review: ... Plane.html



Earlier review of LN: ... Plane.html

Regards from Perth

I have the Veritas, with home-made but adjustable shooting boards using Veritas track. Simply my favourite plane, perfectly designed and engineered. I just look forward to squaring and edge now!

The skew cut is IMO much superior to using a regular 5 1/2 or whatever, and with now-arthritic hands and tendon issues, the comfort is way superior; in fact I can hardly hold and push a conventional plane on its side. It's going to extend my years of woodworking!
Chris Knight":k4o77u7q said:
Thanks Derek, that's good to know. I got the PM-V11 blade with mine so I am looking forward to not having to sharpen it too frequently.

You'll still be sharpening it plenty, but it won't be that much of a chore.

I tested V11 and a bunch of other irons a few months ago and found it to last about twice as long in the cut on long grain vs. a hard O1 iron, but not as relatively long in end grain. I don't remember the numbers - 10-20% or something. Softer O1 irons get beat up in end grain than do harder ones, so comparing LV's O1 to V11 would probably prove larger disparity.

There's one catch, though - the V11 iron is easier though the cut, even at the same sharpness (there's less resistance in the cut - probably due to a huge amount of chromium in V11)

Of the three irons that LV offers, the V11 is by far the best, though, if edge holding is what you're looking for. I couldn't think of a reason that anyone would buy A2 from them going forward.