Veritas / LN comparison

I brought home a Lie Nielsen #4 hand plane in iron today. I'm sitting here looking at it next to my #51/4W Veritas plane and thought someone might be interested in an opinion. While deciding what to buy, I found several comparisons between LN and Clifton and others but not much on LN versus Veritas. At least in the limited searching I did.
I have done absolutely no work to either one other than lapping and honing the blade on the Veritas. I have been using the Veritas some, but it has been treated with care.
Both planes are machined very nicely. Checking the sole longways against the blade of my Starrett combo square, I can see no light at all with the LN. With the Veritas only a bit of light is visible between the straight edge and the adjustable mouth piece. The rest of the sole appears to be perfectly flat. Checking both planes crossways with the combo square the Veritas shows just a sliver of light in the center checking in various places while the LN shows none until you get to the rear 1/4 where a faint light becomes visible. I can see no value in further flattening the sole of either plane and I've become rather anal about this sort of thing lately.
The LN takes a slight lead in fit and finish. The casting is smoother inside and the handles have been rounded with a little more care. The bronze frog and lever cap on the LN look nice on it but I find the overall look of the Veritas quite attractive as well.
Both planes came with A2 steel blade machined nicely but not honed. The Veritas was easy to lap as it was quite flat out of the box so I just had to remove the grinding marks to get a mirror finish. The LN blade appears at first glance to have been ground with a finer grit but I think I can see some deeper scratches in there. I'll know better once I lap and hone it.
I find the Veritas rear handle much more comfortable since it's a little taller and I can get my fingers wrapped around it. I don't have gorilla hands so I can imagine this being even more of an advantage to some. Right now, I feel the Veritas is a better value and will probably lean that way when choosing where to buy my next plane. Assuming both companies I'll have to use both side by side to be sure. I feel genuine pride in owning both planes.
I'm going out to make some shavings now!
-Chris
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Please give us your impressions on both after you hone the iron on the LN and use them both.
-- Bill Rittner R & B ENTERPRISES
snipped-for-privacy@cox.net
"Don't take this life too seriously.......nobody gets out alive" (Unknown)
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I have both brands, have honed both, used both. Veritas will get my dough on the shoulder plane if I can convince the family that dad needs another plane.

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George wrote:

Great, I can see the next step on the slippery slope to Paddy's Neander Land. Life was so much simpler when pocket hole screws and biscuits, along with a brad or two, were "all I'm ever going to need to put things together.".
charlie b
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I was fortunate enough to get to test the Veritas low-angle smoother side-by-side with the LN #164, and I believe the Veritas plane is a better value. As was noted, the LN gets an edge in fit and finish, but Veritas has added functional improvements such as the longer toe, lateral set-screws, and a Norris-style adjuster. The tote is also a taller and thicker than the LN, and while it appears "clunky" compared to the graceful LN, in use it fits my mitts perfectly.
The blade clamping mechanism is also simplified compared to the LN which is based on the original Stanley. You do have to be a bit careful when re-setting the iron, as it can slip more easily than the LN, but it is so much easier to remove for honing/sharpening, that it is a definite improvement, IMHO.
I have noticed no difference between the two in how the irons take and hold an edge.
Anyhow, I do most of my smoothing with low-angle planes, and the Veritas has replaced the LN as my go-to plane. I still use the LN, but the combination of subtle improvements made by Veritas make it more "user-friendly" in the long run. Given the price difference, I can definitely recommend the Veritas as the better value.
Chuck Vance
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handles and ended up not really saying anything. That's a good way to say it.
-Chris
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I would be happy to do so. Just keep in mind that I'm still a newb.
-Chris
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What do you think of the Veritas adjustable throat system?
Veritas seems to be quite innovative. Their new shoulder plane has some interesting refinements to the Stanley or LN - a hole behind the iron for you finger for a better grip, a "handle" that's looks like it would fit the hand better than the traditional shoulder plane "handle" on the Stanley and LN. The equivlent LN is about $225, the Veritas $140.
I like the Clifton shoulder plane I bought but I'd like more gripping options like the ones on the Veritas.
Anyone tried the new Veritas shoulder plane in a real situation?
charlie b
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I have the Veritas shoulder plane and like it. I have not used it much; just played with it to make sure that it did work. I have a project coming up with lots of shoulder plane work and will know more later. Sure does seem nice though.
--
Alan Bierbaum

Web Site: http://www.calanb.com
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I like the adjustable throat but I don't have enough experience using other plane designs to say it definitely makes an improvement in a given situation. I was a little worried about having a moving plate on the sole of the plane but the machining is very precise so I've had no trouble with it. The throat adjusts very easily and seems to stay in alignment.. My first day using my 51/4W, I set it up as a smoother with a tiny throat opening, the chipbreaker close to the edge and barely a hint of blade protruding through the sole and planed the surface of some Mahogany so smooth it was amazing to me. It took only a few minutes to setup and adjust like that. I'm sure the Lie Nielsen will be the same way though.
I've got the Veritas shoulder plane also but haven't really used it yet. If I make the progress I'm hoping to, I should be using it to finish up the shoulders on some tenons next weekend.
-Chris
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Yup. Just spent the weekend doing many simple shaker panel doors with short stub tenons that fit into the panel dadoes. The shoulder plane can take thinner-than-paper shavings, and did more than three dozen tenons and still doesn't need rehoning (after the first touch up out of the box). Highly recommended.
--
Jeffrey Johnson
jajohns_200(at)charter(dot)net
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