Veritas large vs. Medium shoulder plane?

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 10-03-2016 01:54 AM 2478 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bbasiaga's profile


1240 posts in 2145 days

10-03-2016 01:54 AM


As I’m working more with mortise and tenon, i realize I really could benefit from a shoulder plane. Trimming the tenon itself with a router plane is working fine, but adjusting the shoulder with a chisel is down right dangerous at times.

So I’d like to grab either the large or medium veritas, but need some advice on which.

I do a lot of 3/4” material, and make a lot of tables. So my typical application is a stretcher or apron that is 2-4” in width, with a 3/4 to 1” tenon on the end. I’m worried that this might be too small to effectively use the large shoulder plane on. For those of you that have one, is there a piece that’s too small for that plane? I think I’d generally prefer the larger one if it would work.

I have another project coming up wihere I think I’ll use bread board ends. I’m guessing the tenon on that end will be an inch or more wide, but I haven’t designed it yet. For that, I’m worried the medium would be too small.

I’m looking for the goldilocks solution here – not too big, not too small for the work I normally do. And I only really want to have one.

Couple other things – I do not plan to clean up dados with them, as I have the router plane that works very well for that. I also considered other brands, but perhaps missed something. The Wood river were closer enough in price to the Veritas that I thought Veritas would be worth the extra. The LNs are quite nice looking as well, but the Veritas design has some great things that they don’t. And the new Stanleys are not well reviewed.

Thanks for the advice!

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

14 replies so far

View Kirk650's profile


567 posts in 898 days

#1 posted 10-03-2016 02:07 AM

I got the medium, though I can’t remember if it was Veritas or LN. I think it’s the Veritas. The large one would just be too big, and I work on stuff the same size as you do.

I also have a small one, made in Switzerland, that has replaceable razor inserts. Can’t remember the name of it, but it’s a great little tool. Super handy little plane. Just looked…it’s a Rali Pocket Rabbet Plane.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3797 days

#2 posted 10-03-2016 03:39 AM

I suggest some Iwasaki files for the cheeks. They also
work well on end grain.

Anyway, I recommend the heavier shoulder planes because
the mass helps in cutting end grain.

View bandit571's profile


21321 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 10-03-2016 04:27 AM

Wood bodied, skewed Rebate plane….

Ohio Tool Co. Has an 1-1/4” wide iron. I use it on a lot of tenons. Cost me a whopping…$10.

It is shown here getting fitted into the lid of a storage case.

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

View JohnChung's profile


415 posts in 2224 days

#4 posted 10-03-2016 05:22 AM

Since you are working on 3/4 thickness the shoulder is well below 1”. The medium shoulder would be fine…..

However if the shoulder is 1” then the large plane is needed.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5097 posts in 2643 days

#5 posted 10-03-2016 11:07 AM

I have the LN large, medium and small. The large size is almost unwieldy, the medium is what I use most often, though I have to admit the small is very good for stub tenons. But if I had to pick one it would be the medium. the large one I have is so unhandy I’ve often though about selling it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bondogaposis's profile


5000 posts in 2501 days

#6 posted 10-03-2016 12:47 PM

I have the Veritas Medium shoulder plane and it works very well, but what I find myself using more for trimming tenons is the LN Rabbet Block Plane and since it also doubles as a low angle block plane it is very handy.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View rwe2156's profile


3095 posts in 1630 days

#7 posted 10-03-2016 01:05 PM

This is a matter of personal choice, but if I were buying 1 shoulder plane it would definitely be a large. I don’t find the mass objectionable and like Loren said, it helps cutting across grain, particularly on a long tenon.

For cope and stick joints or short tenons under 3/8”, I use a medium.

For long tenons over 1”, I also think a rabbet block plane is excellent.

I have a large LN, a medium LV and LN rabbet block plane. Between those three I can tackle about anything.

I really like the lateral adjusting screws on the LV, but the knob I find obtrusive so I take it off.

For the applications you describe, I would go with the large LV.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Kirk650's profile


567 posts in 898 days

#8 posted 10-03-2016 02:31 PM

I also have a LN Rabbet block plane, and really do like it. Very handy for several uses.

View JohnChung's profile


415 posts in 2224 days

#9 posted 10-03-2016 03:17 PM

I have a LN rabbet block plane. Very nice but not useful for the shoulder.
Can trim tenons well.

View jmartel's profile


8159 posts in 2300 days

#10 posted 10-03-2016 03:27 PM

I’d go with a medium unless you see yourself doing a lot of tenons in 8/4 or thicker wood. That’s what I ended up buying myself.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 925 days

#11 posted 10-03-2016 05:24 PM

Medium size works well for me. I have the LN one. I adjust the position of the blade (laterally) with my fingers, which is actually quite effective and easy. The thing works like a charm. LV is Canadian and will therefore have a silly accent.

View AandCstyle's profile


3165 posts in 2407 days

#12 posted 10-03-2016 09:45 PM

Hey, Brian, I have the medium Veritas myself and am totally satisfied with it. I routinely trim tenons that are 1 to 1&1/2” without any issues.

-- Art

View bbasiaga's profile


1240 posts in 2145 days

#13 posted 10-04-2016 02:06 AM

Great advice guys. I’m leaning towards the medium at this point. I think you talked me in to that AND the LN rabbet block plane. Gee, thanks! The rabbet block plane will wait a bit though.

I wish there was a place to go look at these. Woodcraft only has their brand, and Rockler only has Stanley. I wasn’t disappointed with the LV router plane having bought it sight unseen, and I’m sure I won’t be with their shoulder plane either.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


492 posts in 1612 days

#14 posted 10-04-2016 03:43 PM

I use the veritas medium shoulder plane myself. If you can wait, hit or miss but cyber monday lee valley has a sale. Most of the planes are seconds at a reduced price. Got my last year and I can’t find a blemish on it. With that said. They probably won’t have a shoulder plane on sale this year. Never know what you will find.

-- John

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