|Review by gko||posted 1176 days ago||3040 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
- Veritas Low Angle Block Plane with toothed and 50 deg. blades
- Brand: Veritas | Category: Hand Planes
My Amscope review was my first review so this is my first real wood working tool review.
I picked up the Lee Valley Standard Low Angle Plane while on a trip to Vancouver. Somebody told me that there was not that much planing quality difference between the three low angle block planes. The more expensive ones sure looked sleek and sexy but there were some other things I wanted to buy there and felt I needed to cut costs if there was not going to be a big enough difference. I got it with the A2 25 deg. blade that comes standard. I also bought the toothed blade and the A2 50 deg. blade. Fit and finish on my plane was excellent and every thing moved very smoothly. Blades were not sharpened very well but that’s the norm and I like to sharpen it myself anyway.
There are several adjustments that are available on the plane. There is a toe adjustment that adjusts the mouth area in front of the blade edge. I’ve found this is one of the most important adjustments for fine shavings. For the finest shavings I try to get it about 1/32” evenly away from the blade. For roughing I open it up a bit. Loosen the knob above the toe, adjust (careful not to nick the blade) and tighten. There are two screws that adjusts the front of the blade laterally from side to side. Minus is that if its too tight you can’t move the blade at all so it must be loosened to make any depth or lateral adjustments to the back of the blade. I try to get it snug but still able to move. Then there is a large knob above the blade which holds the blade against the body. You loosen it before making any adjustments. Its best to loosen it just a bit so its snug but the adjusters can move the blade. I find you have to loosen it a bit more to make lateral adjustments. There is a usual blade depth adjuster and integrated with that is the lateral adjustment. Getting a full width even shavings involves adjusting the two screws at the front of the blade and adjusting the lateral adjuster in the back.
I’ll start with the standard A2 25 deg. blade. You have a choice of the A2 or the softer O1. With no sharpening the blade was ok but was difficult to get the fine shavings. After sharpening shavings were what I expected from a good plane. Very fine, delicate shavings. The 25 degree bevel with the 12 degree blade angle gives you a 37 degree final angle. It was excellent on end grain with just a bit of chatter at times. One of my Japanese planes also with a 37 degree blade angle is awesome at end grain and the only plane that will better this one. Very nice shavings with the grain from poplar to oak and maple. Glass like surfaces with very good reflectivity.
Next I tried the toothed plane. Now this is one fun plane. Run it all over the place, with the grain, against, across. Just chops it up with out tear out. I only tried it on maple and it was great not having to constantly think about tear out. Not sure if this would be true with every wood out there but so far its a fun plane. Just plane off the ridges and be careful when you get into planing the body of the wood.
I glued two pieces of maple and left one end with one board lower than the other to create a leveling problem. Initial planing with the toothed blade. Planed in every direction I could think of, with grain, against grain, across grain, the four diagonals (two diagonals but in both directions). Seemed to work best at diagonals.
Within seconds I cut down the higher board and was ready for smoothing plane.
Picture of shavings cut with a regular plane.
Final board after planing with the 50 degree blade. Been raining so picture is with a very cloudy source of light. Total time including flattening with the toothed blade and smoothing was about 3 minutes. I need to work on the two corners of the back of the 50 degree blade. Getting a bit of ridge from the edge of the blade. Its the opposite of bevel down blades where you work on the bevel side so the corners of the blade doesn’t dig into the wood.
Finally, I bought the A2 50 degree blade for hard woods and difficult grain. It has a total 62 degree angle. In my review of the Amscope I messed up the initial honing and at first thought the higher angle plane was just a myth. After finding my error I went through my usual sharpening routine and I am now a believer.
This is a great blade for hardwoods and difficult grain. On grain where I get tear out this one does it in stride. If I go totally against the grain it sometimes planes it nicely while sometimes there is a bit of tear out. My other planes would have left large chunks which takes a lot of work to clean up. Surfaces are glass smooth and has good reflective qualities. Again not as good as my Japanese plane or my other lower angle planes but working hardwood with difficult grain without worrying about tear out is priceless. With wood that reverses grain I usually have to plane in one direction and then plane in the opposite direction. The area between the two tends to be like walking through a mine field. Planing with the high angle plane makes working these area almost fool proof. Its just great.
Sample of shavings after sharpening. I was edging some plywood with maple and used the plane to give it a nice surface. Was able to get even finer shavings the next day.
I really like this plane with the different blades. Its like getting three planes for the price of one. The 25 degree blade is a bit redundant to the other planes with similar angles but it a small price to pay. I don’t like having to loosen the blade every time I have to adjust the blade but the blade never moves once you found the perfect setting. The 50 degree blade is more difficult to sharpen as the bevel is very narrow. I have to skew the blade more than 45 degree when I’m sharpening otherwise its very difficult to hold the angle when doing it by hand.
I was going to take pictures with the plane and some shavings but I have an open garage and its storming here in Hawaii. It’s raining cats and dogs. I haven’t had a lot of time with the plane but so far the toothed and 50 degree blades I know will find a lot of use in my shop.
-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu