Veritas Combination Plane Comparison #5: Thoughts on Use

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 09-11-2017 01:19 AM 1820 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Rods and Fence Comparison Part 5 of Veritas Combination Plane Comparison series Part 6: My Conclusions »

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. General Comparison
  3. Irons Comparison
  4. Rods and Fence Comparison
  5. Thoughts on Use
  6. My Conclusions


Thoughts on Use


So… Realizing that this is going to be completely subjective and strictly my opinion based on my limited use of the Veritas plane, both Dave and I used both the Veritas and the Stanley (Type 15) back to back in a few different scenarios.


The first thing we tried was just a simple groove along the face of a board, much like one would do for a drawer or box bottom. We used the ¼” irons for both, since that’s the only one we had for the Veritas at the time. We used the sliding skate on both, though with ¼” it’s technically optional. Both planes got the job done effectively, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that either one of them did a demonstrably better job than the other.

One difference that I noticed was that the Veritas plane felt more stable to me. With the Stanley #45 it felt like it had more of a tendency wobble side to side, causing the plane to not always be perpendicular to the work piece. I didn’t notice the wobble as much when I was using it, but the Veritas definitely felt more effortless in operation. I’ve also had many hours of practice with the #45 as well, so I didn’t have any problems with it. I did notice it a lot more, and almost immediately, when Dave first used both. I’m sure he’d get the feel for the #45 after using it for more time, but it seemed like for a first time use scenario the Veritas was easier to handle.

I think the stability difference, at least with the ¼” iron, may be down to the width of the skates where they contact the bottom of the groove, and the tolerance of the skate walls fitting to the iron better. With the wider skates on the Veritas, it probably had a little more of a positive feel for when it was and wasn’t square to the work. The other thing was that blade alignment knob on the sliding skate pushes the sliding skate right to the edge of the iron every time. Something that’s more difficult with the Stanley since you have to eyeball it and do it by feel.


  Center Beading

The next operation was to center bead. Since we didn’t have a Veritas beading iron, we used a ¼” Stanley beading iron on both planes. Again, the blade alignment knob in the sliding skate made the set up a lot easier on the Veritas, since it more or less did it for you. Again there was no demonstrable difference in either planes ability to put a bead in the center of the board.

Neither plane really did a whole lot better than the other when the fence was at the far end of its long rods. You still have to be careful not to rock the fence while planning with both of them. Even the Stanley camrest doesn’t fully solve the problem, as you have to keep remembering to adjust it frequently. If anything, I’d saw the previously mentioned stability of the Veritas plane probably lets it edge out an ever so slight lead here.



The last thing we did before packing up was to cut a dado. Again we used the ¼” irons for both planes. We set up to do the edge of the face, similar to when we cut the grooves; just going cross grain this time.

Setting up the knickers on the #45 is easy, you take out a screw, turn the spurs, and put the screw back in. The Veritas is a little more involved, and lets you fine tune things as you need to. There’s a screw that holds the spur, and another set screw that can adjust the distance from the body or skate, to get it perfectly lined up with the edge of the skate. The knickers on the Veritas are shaped much more like the slitting iron on a #45 but only beveled on one side.

It was a little tricky to get the Veritas knickers set just right. The common problem with a screw holding something down is that tightening down the screw caused it to move a little bit when one side grabbed and the other hadn’t yet. Not a huge deal, but noted none the less.

It was strange, however, when we actually used the knickers on the Veritas. We were only using a pine board for the demonstration, and the first time or two that I pulled the plane backwards across the board, one of the knickers had the tip curl over. “Was that like that before we set the knicker and we didn’t notice? I’m not sure”, so we flattened it out, reset the knickers, and tried again. The plane worked, and it scored the wood, but afterwards we noticed the other knicker now had the same problem. This may have been poor heat treating due to the small edge, or it could be an issue with the shape and size of the tip (being pointed), we’re not sure. I would probably sharpen these to eventually be rounded, and look more like a fingernail than pointed, as that may hold up better with use.

That issue aside, before the tips curled, the Veritas plane’s knickers worked much more smoothly than the Stanley’s. The issue with the knickers on the Stanley is that they’ve got 2 settings; Engaged and disengaged. There’s no depth adjustment beyond just filing and sharpening one of the 3 spurs shorter. In the pine, the heavy depth of the knickers on the #45 was noticeable, and some parts along the edge had some tearing where the wood didn’t cut cleanly on the back stroke. The Veritas was much more like a marking knife line, and worked well.

After that both planes cut the dado fine, and behaved much like the grooving operation.

It may also be of note, that Veritas didn’t really get much accomplished to solve the mouth jamming up with shavings, especially with thin or narrow shavings.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

6 comments so far

View bandit571's profile


21550 posts in 2860 days

#1 posted 09-11-2017 02:43 AM

Nice write up… would the Veritas do when doing Match plane cuts?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Mosquito's profile


9500 posts in 2469 days

#2 posted 09-11-2017 01:35 PM

Didn’t have a chance to try it out on the Veritas, but from the other trials we did I don’t think it would be any different than with the #45. In my exerpiences T&G with the #45 works, but I think i’d rather have a more dedicated plane for that if I were going to be doing it frequently

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View WayneC's profile


13776 posts in 4274 days

#3 posted 09-11-2017 02:47 PM

I had heard others complain about the nickers. Would shop made replacements improve them?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View AnthonyReed's profile


10041 posts in 2617 days

#4 posted 09-11-2017 03:14 PM

Thank you Mos.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile


9500 posts in 2469 days

#5 posted 09-11-2017 03:58 PM

I had heard others complain about the nickers. Would shop made replacements improve them?

- WayneC

I think so, and they wouldn’t be terribly hard to make either. I’d be really surprised if this issue sticks around though. I would hope that Lee Valley would address the issue going forward, if it’s a widespread one…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2707 posts in 759 days

#6 posted 09-11-2017 04:17 PM

I had heard others complain about the nickers. Would shop made replacements improve them?

I think it’ll be easy enough to improve the nickers without making full replacements if Veritas / Lee Valley don’t do something. The very tips of them folded over, and filing them flat seemed to address the problem – got thicker metal now, and they didn’t fold over again once I’d done that.

That said, I retracted them later in the day to cut a few grooves with the grain, but unless they just weren’t hardened correctly, I’m sure I’ll eventually manage to sharpen / shape them so they work well. And if not, they look pretty darned easy to replace if I must.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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