Veritas on the other hand seems to start with an almost blank piece of paper and a good deal of knowledge about what a specific tool is intended to do, how it does it and how it's used to do it - theory and practice. Their new shoulder plane (medium shoulder plane to be exact) is a great example.
Ever tried to find a comfortable way to grip a Stanley, Clifton or Lie-Nielsen shoulder plane? Veritas has solved that problem - 3 ways:
- The heel is large and has nice rounded edges so it fits the palm of your hand nicely.
- They added a swiveling "knob" that you can adjust to fit comportably in the webbing between thumb and the hand- accomodating lefties in thr process. The knob is smooth where it should be smooth and knurled where you need to grip it to lock its position.
- And then they added a finger hole through the sides of the plane, between the "cap iron?" and the iron itself. The hole is even beveled so there's no sharp edges - a nice extra touch. You pick up the tool to use it and the grip is intuitive,comfortable and it works - without thought or effort.
They also addressed another shortcoming of the "classic" design - iron alignment. With four, not just two, set screws, the iron stays aligned during throat opening adjustment. If it feels a little dull you won't hesitate to remove it and touch up the edge because there's no fiddling and fussing when you replace it.
Corners that need to be sharp and square are sharp and square. Edges that are going to come in contact with your hand while using the tool are all nicely beveled.
They've gone after bench planes, spoke shaves, scaper holders and sharpening guides, getting very good to great results using innovative approaches on how to do it. (ok the sharpening guide could use a little refinement to square irons and bench chisels)
Veritas - "Innovation in Tools" - right on the box. Kudos to Veritas.
Now if I could just learn exactly how to pronounce it - vur-EYE-tass, VUR-i-tahs - sounds latin - truth?