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Veritas Bevel-Up Jointer Fence Review

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Alf

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So you're thinking to yourself “funny, I don't remember a review of the plane”. Well no, that'll be because I didn't write one. 8-[ The example I had was a little too far off the production line track to make me quite happy about doing a proper review of it. Plus there's only so many times you can the same things about adjustments (good), rear totes (let's not go there), non-machined sides (shoot, no shooting :( ) and one's own idiosyncratic habits (who wants a #7-a-like anyway? :wink: ). Also I didn't have the fence to try with it, and that seemed to me one of the most interesting features of the plane. Well now I do have a fence to try, and as there's not much about on the face of the 'net concerning it, here's a quick guide.

First up, the observant reader might be thinking “hang on, I though the plane you got didn't have the necessary holes for the fixing the fence?” That's true, but it's amazing what you can do with the correct drill 'n' tap (Thanks Steve at LV) and a cavalier attitude to making holes in ductile iron... :whistle: So my home-grown holes; no-one would be deceived into thinking they were production line, but they do the job. Not being a lefty, I decided not to bother with the pair on the other side, so confusion awaits the collector of tomorrow. :wink:



The fence itself is an 11” length of black anodized aluminium extrusion, with two brass knobs to fix it to the plane, and a set screw to adjust it for square. It has as many holes in it as your average Swiss cheese; top middle (indicated) is the set screw; the two outer ones line up with the holes in the plane and are the ones used for actually fixing the fence; next to them are two threaded holes to take the brass knobs when the fence is stored; finally, the central hole allows access to the lateral set screw for the iron without having to remove the fence. Nice touch. Below those are two holes to take an additional wooden facing, different versions of which can be made in order to accommodate any angles you might want to plane. That's the theory anyway. In practice it does rather assume you have the means to create the required angle without needing an angled fence on a jointer plane... :roll: :lol:



The set screw bears on the side of the plane and can be adjusted in and out to get the fence square to the sole.



Sighting along the sole with the clamping knobs loosened, you can see the fence is fairly out of square. Turning the set screw clockwise is necessary. There's quite a lot of leeway in this adjustment, which is good.



And here it is dead on. Once you've done this once, it shouldn't need adjusting again even when you remove and replace the fence. In practice the set screw is a fairly loose fit in its hole, so it could get turned by accident; I'd be inclined to check it every time, just to be certain.



So being good to go, I cast about for a suitable bit of stock to joint. My first choice was this bit of cherry, but it quickly revealed one of the drawbacks of using a jointer fence. If the fence is deeper than the stock is wide, 2” in this case, the fence will foul the bench top and the plane will ride on the fence edge and never reach the wood. Just the nature of the beast, but a good illustration of why you can't depend entirely on this sort of add-on.



No matter; I found a piece of oak that'd do instead. Pretty gritty though, so a quick burst with the scrub first then lots of passes until the whole length is being planed. Essentially the rear hand is providing all the motive force, while the front hand puts pressure on the fence to keep it against the face of the board. With the bevel-up's natural tendency to hug the wood, I really didn't feel any need for pressure downwards at the toe. Another disadvantage of using a fence cropped up before I was done though; only about half the blade was doing all the work. #-o So with this rather tough old oak a brief stop to hone the iron was required. Straight edge, of course. :roll:



With the fence guiding the 90° angle, and the length of the plane dealing with straightness – the BUT may be the length of a #7, but I'm reliably informed the location of the mouth gives it the effective length of a #8 - it was just up to me to do the mindless donkey work. Which I kind of resent, to be honest. The thing that'll sell this to an awful lot of folks, really annoys me; there's no skill in it at all. I might as well have been using a powered jointer, 'cept I could hear myself huffing and puffing... :oops: Foolproof? Quite possibly. Pretty close to it, anyway. Either that or I'm a jointing genius and managed to conceal it all these years... :-s



Of course there are alternatives out there, from an antique Stanley #386, right through to a rebated bit of wood and a couple of clamps. The Stanleys et al with their ability to be easily set for different angles have the edge, IMO. Individual wooden sub fences for angled work do not wow me in any shape or form; I know I'd make a hash of making them, and as for storing them for future use, well don't get me started... However, I got to thinking about an alternative and decided to kludge together something to see if my thought held up to actual use. A quick raid of the scraps box found a couple of bits of oak that would do. First a rebate on each piece.



A short length of piano hinge, some itty-bitty screws and a lot of swearing later and I had the basis of an adjustable fence. Please don't laugh. [-(



No suitable #10 screws were to be had to fasten it to the fence, but I did have some #8s a mere 1/2” long, which did the job admirably. Saving everything just in case isn't the total lunacy TPTBs claim it to be... Once it was on the fence, I realised I probably should have put it a little lower to give some clearance. No matter, a quick swipe with a block plane to create a bevel and it was good enough. I mulled over all sorts of fancy ways to hold the desired angle, but in the end went with a block of wood stuck between the two halves with double-sided carpet tape. I call this The Block(TM) - I think I've been hanging round with the Woodrat too long... You could get fancy and cut it to the right angle or something I suppose, but this is just a prototype, remember? So an arbitary angle on the bevel gauge, and I set it up.



Surprisingly, it wasn't that tricky to use. With some pressure over the area where The Block(TM) was stuck everything stayed tight without too much effort.



And the resulting bevel was just fine and dandy. The angle did alter slightly as The Block(TM) bedded down, but there's enough adjustment in the fence set screw to tweak that if a particular angle was required. All in all, quite promising and I may well take the trouble to think up a better way to hold the angle and make an improved version.



So, final thoughts. The aluminium can be a bit “sticky”, but a squiggle of wax sorts that out. I like the thought put into the knob storage, the easy access to the lateral set screw and the adjustment for square. I reckon the woodworker who can't, or doesn't wish to, learn to joint freehand will love it. If it was adjustable for different angles, I'd be all over it like a rash.

Bevel-Up Jointer Fence - £35.95

NB: In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that this is another one of those goodies Lee Valley have very kindly said I can keep. I know, it stinks doesn't it? There you are, drooling over it but without one and here's me with one and picking holes in it. If it's any comfort the review took me quite a long time to write, so you're probably better off buying one really. As it is, I had other things I wanted to do instead, so I reckon I was well able to keep any favourable bias from my review, but you, the reader, will always be the final judge.
 

DaveL

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Alf,

I think you should patent The Block(TM) and sue anyone who uses anything like it. :roll:

Heath would be proud of you. :wink: But it does make the factory made fence into a very usable tool, I am surprised LV have just produced the fixed angle jobbie, maybe a MKII will be along for a feature upgrade.

Thank you for spending valuable shop time for our benefit, I want a BUP but don't think the fence will be on the list.
 

Philly

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Cheers for the review, Alf!
Some interesting insights.
And no, we don't feel bad you getting these tools sent out to Darkest Cornwall. It's kinda a missionery thing, yeah? :wink: :lol:
Thanks again
Philly :D
 

Waka

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Alf

As always very good review thanks.

I did look at the jointer fence (assume its the same one) on one of my very few tool shopping trip to Axminster its a nice piece of kit.

I tired it on the Clifton #7 to see if I could modify the plane i,e,. drill holes for fixing but in the end was two scared to do this. Might ask my neighbour to see what he thinks.
 

Alf

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Chuckle. Probably an attempt to bring light to the heathen, yes. :lol: I was just so bored with the sensible discalimer I thought I'd do a bit of a BriMarc with their T&Cs and make it at least vaguely amusing. It's not a whinge about my precious time etc; the other thing I wanted to do will end up as a review too! :roll: :lol:

BTW, if anyone has any bright ideas for fixing the angle setting I'm all ears. Practically everyone else is better at thinking "outside the box" than I am. :(

Waka, that might have been the original one with the magnet fixing maybe? I haven't tried that one, but it wouldn't need any hole drilling which would be in its favour for the non-BUT owner.

Cheers, Alf
 
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Thanks Alf

I heard from Veritas that mine has just been posted out - along with a production model Jointer to compare to my pre-production tester (hammer) :eek:ccasion4:

Nice to hear it works so well as I much prefer jointing by hand rather than machine, although the depth of 2" sounds more than I expected

I like your little jig too, addition of an adjuster screw would make it into a very useful addition to your toolkit :wink:
 

Chris Knight

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Alf,
Thanks for another excellent review. I think that the little adjuster set screw is a very good idea.

For common angles, I think I might be inclined to cut a few appropriately sized wedges that can be easily attached to the fence (with small threaded studs perhaps) rather than fiddle with an adjustable fence.
 

Alf

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Tony, I dare say we'd all remark on your suckage, except presumably for a dyed-in-the-wool LN man that's actually Bad News... :lol:

waterhead37":3ucirnu1 said:
For common angles, I think I might be inclined to cut a few appropriately sized wedges that can be easily attached to the fence (with small threaded studs perhaps) rather than fiddle with an adjustable fence.
Arrgggghhhh, noooooooooooooo! You're playing right into their hands, Chris! #-o

Cheers, Alf
 

Scott

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Thanks for the review Alf.

By the looks of it it does rather take the fun out of jointing the "normal" way (IMHO)

Cheers
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Nice one Alf.

Pipped me to the post. Even some of our pics look the same! I, too, have built an alternate jointer fence for the BUJ, although mine is dedicated to a 45 degree bevel. Want to see it? :D You'll have to wait until the write up is complete. Soon. :)

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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Anonymous

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I owned one of these LV jointer fences for quite some time and eventually made a fence using LV rare earth magnets along with a set screw to register the fence square to the sole. Worked like a charm.

Dan Clermont
 
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To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee: "That's not a jointer fence, THIS is a jointer fence!" :shock:



This was a jointer fence patented by John Woodville of Cincinatti, Ohio in 1866. Probably a prototype since it was cast iron and would have been a real workout to use! It was one of my very first old tool "finds".
 

Frank D.

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I got hit by a car once and had to walk with crutches for six months (sad but true)!
(running and ducking)
 

Alf

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Tut, tut, Frank. [-X Would you rather people were using a jointer plane, or a jointer with a tail? If a fence gets them doing the former, then I say huzzah. Eventually you realise it'd probably be a good idea to learn to do without, and by that time the dye is cast and you're half way down The Slope. :wink:

Roger, that'd be the bomb-proof model I take it? :shock: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 
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I'd say the LV model has a better chance of commercial success! :lol:

I really can't imagine how John Woodville thought that design would be practical to manufacture or to use.

For that matter, has anyone used a jointer fence on a long term basis? Most people I know, including me, put them away after using them for awhile.
 

Alf

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Roger Nixon":304th30b said:
For that matter, has anyone used a jointer fence on a long term basis? Most people I know, including me, put them away after using them for awhile.
Only for angles, hence my small fixation. :oops:

Cheers, Alf
 
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