Check out the newest addition to their line of planes:
I was fortunate enough to get a chance to test this plane and here
are some of my observations.
First impression: It is massive; just the sort of heft that lends
itself to really hugging the work.
The heft also worried me a bit, as it took a bit of time to get the
hang of gripping the plane. I like the wooden knobs on it versus brass;
great idea to add one at the toe. The tilting rear knob is extremely
handy and comfortable to use. Also, there are angled, tapped holes on
either side near the front so that the front knob can be set at an
upward angle in use. Nice touch, that.
I played around a bit with how the finger-hole can best come into
play. Found that it works nicely when holding the plane upright with
the middle finger in the hole. I also played around a bit using my
thumb. One negative: The sharp edge on the inside of the hole could be
a bit painful for extended use. I suggested they might want to bevel
the inside like the outside is, but understand that could be
The sliding toe-piece adjustment is great. Simple and very precise.
Combined with the side set-screws and the Norris-style adjuster, it
was very easy to get an extremely light cut with a very small mouth
opening, and do so repeatedly. (I still think the side-screws may be
the best enhancement LV/Veritas came up with. For someone who likes to
hone his irons often, it takes any doubt out of my mind that I can get
things set up in a split-second just like they were before I removed the
I'm wondering if the clamping mechanism could be made with a slightly
larger screw. It's not necessarily a problem as it is, but it might be
a bit more comfortable in use. (But I expect that could cause problems
by extending past the sides.)
OK, now my overall impressions of it in use. I didn't have any
tenons to trim, so I just used it on endgrain. Without any honing, and
only a bit of adjustment, it was taking perfect endgrain shavings in oak
and figured maple. I also tried it on pine to see if it could handle
the soft stuff without terrible breakout at the end of the cut. It was
The mass was very handy, and the combination of two knobs plus the
fingerhole really does seem to give me some decent alternatives for
gripping the plane as it's used in various positions. I am not
experienced with large shoulder planes; the only thing I have to compare
it to is the L-N large plane, which I have played around with for a
total of 30 minutes or so. But I must say, the LV plane is much easier
to handle. With the L-N plane I couldn't figure out where to put my
hands to get a secure grip, while with this one it's a matter of
choosing the best alternative grip. It was actually pretty easy to
control once I experimented with different grips a bit.
The iron is nice and beefy, and came well-sharpened (though I'll
probably hone it a bit more before using it on any projects). The fit
and finish were quite good, especially for a pre-production plane.
Priced at $169, this is definitely an outstanding buy. Those who
have been considering the high-end L-N shoulder plane would be
well-advised to look closely at the Veritas plane first.
Chuck Vance (no affiliation, etc.)