Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

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paulchapman
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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by paulchapman » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:35 pm

Rob Lee of Lee Valley recently published some pictures of the new Veritas skew rebate (or rabbet) plane on the Australian forum. I was very excited about this plane because it appeared to overcome many of the defects inherent in other planes of this type. I was therefore delighted to see that Matin Brown of BriMarc had two (a left-hand and a right-hand) on his stand at Yandles last Saturday. They had arrived from Canada only a couple of days beforehand.

Martin and I had a play around with the right-hand version and my delight with how well it worked must have been very obvious, because Martin asked whether I would like to borrow it and do a review. I jumped at the chance ;D

Rob Lee describes the plane as being inspired by the (no longer available) Stanley #289 pictured below

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The plane that most people will be familiar with which is most like it (but without a skew blade) and currently available is the Record #778. Here's mine

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Here are some general pictures of the new Veritas

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The plane body is made from ductile cast iron and the various knobs from brass. The blade, which is skewed at 30 degrees, is made from A2 tool steel and the back is lapped dead flat on Lee Valley's super lapping machine.

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The handle and knob are Bubinga.

The design and engineering of this plane ooze quality and it is worth highlighting certain features which make it such a joy to use.

The plane has the now familiar grub screws to assist with the location of the blade

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The blade adjuster has a thick, stainless steel washer with a peg which locates in the slot in the blade

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This does not revolve when adjusting the blade and the conbination of this together with the grub screws means that the blade does not skew out of alignment when adjusting the depth of cut - in my view a very important feature.

The depth stop slides on two beautifully machined grooves and is secured with a brass knob

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Now for the feature which sets this plane apart from all other fenced, metal, rebate planes - the cross-grain scoring blade. This is in the form of a wheel which is attached to an axle off-centre. This enables it to be raised or lowered. To do this, slacken off the screw behind the front knob

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Then adjust the wheel

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Now for the best bit. When in use the scoring wheel needs to be aligned with the outside edge of the blade. No other similar plane has a mechanism for doing this but Rob Lee and his team have come up with a brilliant solution. Remove the front fence rod and inside the hole you will find a short rod with a slot. Insert a screwdriver and adjust the rod which allows the scoring blade to be moved in and out.

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When set, tighten the screw behind the front knob. For me, it's worth buying the plane just for this feature 8-)

I did wonder whether it would be possible to re-adjust the wheel without disturbing the fence setting, should this be necessary. I found that it was by simply removing the front fence rod and leaving the rear one in position.

The fence is particularly nice. It's held in place by a collet and brass nut arrangement which enables the fence to be adjusted by hand

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The fence is drilled to enable you to fit a wooden facing if you wish.

To assist with honing the blade, Veritas make a skew registration jig to fit their Mk 2 honing guide. I didn't have one of these but it was easy to make up a setting block to position the blade for honing

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I tried out the plane on various woods but here it is in use on some mahogany-type wood. I started off by scoring the wood by drawing the blade backwards with the scoring blade lowered

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I then took quite thin shavings as I was working across the grain

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When using the plane, it's important to maintain pressure against the fence. I found that there was a convenient position just in front of the blade so that I could maintain downward pressure with my thumb while pressing against the fence with my fingers

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This picture shows the nice crisp, clean cut I was able to make

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I then made some cuts along the grain, taking much thicker shavings

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As I neared the finished depth, I adjusted the blade to take finer shavings - this is where the precise blade-setting ability came into play enabling the blade to be adjusted without it moving sideways. I was able to line up the depth of cut precisely with the cross-grain rebate

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In conclusion, I found this plane stunning in its design, engineering and operation. Rob Lee and his team have taken a long, hard look at fenced, metal, rebate planes and have sorted out all the problems that have, in the past, made them so cumbersome to use. The Veritas skew rebate is an absolute joy to use and I'll probably shed a tear or two when Martin asks for this one back :'(

Martin did not have the UK price available at the time of writing but I'll update this post with details as soon as I know them.

Cheers ;)

Paul

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by lynx » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:42 pm

Paul, nice review - thanks for taking the time
LyNx

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by mrgrimsdale » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:26 pm

Phooarr look at the brass knobs on that!!

cheers
Jacob

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by telos » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:48 pm

Well, quite.... wot Jacob said. Excellent review and fantastic brass knobs! What more could you want? Thanks, Paul. Almost makes me want to swap my Festool router for... nah, maybe not. ;)

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by engineerone » Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:17 pm

nice review paul, just reinforces my feeling that when rob and his guys introduce something they have looked at all the advantages of the original, and then seen how they could make it even better able to fit in modern life where fewer people have the skills that the older tools require.

mucho quodos to you and brimarc/lee valley for letting you review it ::)

presumably it might be quite good for fielded panels too??

paul ;)

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by paulchapman » Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:56 pm

engineerone wrote: mucho quodos to you and brimarc/lee valley for letting you review it ::)

presumably it might be quite good for fielded panels too??
I don't think Lee Valley knew that I was reviewing it. Hope Rob doesn't mind...........

Yes, you should be able to do small fielded panels with it. You could start off with the shallow rebate like I did, then remove the fence and free-hand plane the slope, using your fingers as the fence. Alternatively, you could make up a shaped wooden fence facing to do the sloping bit with the fence.

Cheers ;)

Paul

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by engineerone » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:23 pm

one thing about rob is he is happy to hear proper reviews which are fair and practical ;D

paul ;)

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by kaaskop » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:31 pm

engineerone wrote:one thing about rob is he is happy to hear proper reviews which are fair and practical ;D

paul ;)
mr. Gr.d wants one for free to review. LV put him on the shortlist!

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by engineerone » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:14 am

i don't want to imply that i have any influence on rob,

all i do know is that he and his company have what i call an old fashioned attitude toward customer service which involves
listening to customers.

although i have not used my small router as much as i should have recently, it too is a neat bit of kit, wish i was as able as paul to take decent pictures ??? ;D

paul ;)

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by mrgrimsdale » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:38 am

kaaskop wrote:
engineerone wrote:one thing about rob is he is happy to hear proper reviews which are fair and practical ;D

paul ;)
mr. Gr.d wants one for free to review. LV put him on the shortlist!
;D ;D
Be happy to oblige.
So they are left/right handed. Does that mean you need to buy two, and two skewed sharpening jigs?
That'd be a lot of brass knobs - you could be blinded by the dazzle :o :o

cheers
Jacob

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by toobyefore » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:35 am

Paul, I'll just stick my feet up and let you get on with it. ;) ;D Looks good - I admit I'm sorta avoiding reading it in case I do get off my posterior and do one myself.

As for the right-hand/left-hand thing, you'll be pleased to know the skew registration jig is two-handed, Jacob. ;) As for whether you need both, I reckon it says an awful lot that Rob has said elsewhere that right-handed woodworkers could do well to team up with a leftie in order to get the advantage of the buying-the-pair deal. I haven't actually tried the left-handed one yet - an example sits behind me as I type - so we'll see. Assuming the getting up off my posterior as noted above. ;)

Cheers, Alf

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by roblee » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:59 pm

paulchapman wrote:

I don't think Lee Valley knew that I was reviewing it. Hope Rob doesn't mind...........

(snip)

Cheers ;)

Paul
Hi Paul -

No worries here... we only send out tools to the mags for review, anyone else gets them for the time and effort they spent giving feedback on prototypes. I'd say it's Andy that's been scooped, if anyone... ;D

Nice work with the photography too....

Cheers -

Rob

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by modernist » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:07 pm

That looks a really nice piece of kit. a RH one might team up with my LH LN 140 so avoiding duplication and cover a wider range of jobs.

Who is going to tell us the price?

cheers

Brian
Cheers

Brian


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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by modernist » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:28 pm

Just to answer my own question, albeit some time later, I had an email this evening from Classic Hand Tools to say they would be in stock shortly and be about
Cheers

Brian


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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by paulchapman » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:30 am

It's quite expensive, Brian, but well worth it, in my view, if you will use it a lot. I would rate it as one of the best planes Lee Valley have produced.

Cheers ;)

Paul

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by roblee » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:32 pm

paulchapman wrote:It's quite expensive, Brian, but well worth it, in my view, if you will use it a lot. I would rate it as one of the best planes Lee Valley have produced.

Cheers ;)

Paul
"so far.", Paul, "so far."..... ;D ;D ;D

Cheers -

Rob
(who agrees with you)

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by modernist » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:19 pm

Hi Rob, I'm sure you are right. I do have the small bull nose and it has proved to be a fine tool.

Don't we benefit from the special offer on the Canadian video over this side?

Brian
Cheers

Brian


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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by paulchapman » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:00 pm

Rob Lee wrote:
paulchapman wrote:It's quite expensive, Brian, but well worth it, in my view, if you will use it a lot. I would rate it as one of the best planes Lee Valley have produced.

Cheers ;)

Paul
"so far.", Paul, "so far."..... ;D ;D ;D

Cheers -

Rob
(who agrees with you)
Hi Rob,

Reckon you must be thinking of that premium range of planes we are all looking forward to ;)

Cheers ;)

Paul

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by roblee » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:33 pm

paulchapman wrote:
Hi Rob,

Reckon you must be thinking of that premium range of planes we are all looking forward to ;)

Cheers ;)

Paul
Hi Paul -

Well - the premium planes are a different class of good... but the skews were really well done. We have some other planes on the go that are quite exciting too... including one completely new plane - unlike any other... :o

I thought our folks did an exceptional job on the side rebate plane too - it's a very difficult plane to make well, and at the price we managed.

The next few in the regular line will each have something completely different - and not in a pythonesque way.... ;D

Cheers -

Rob

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Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by paulchapman » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:35 pm

Rob Lee wrote:We have some other planes on the go that are quite exciting too... including one completely new plane - unlike any other... :o


The next few in the regular line will each have something completely different - and not in a pythonesque way.... ;D
There you go, teasing us again ;D

I'd better start saving now......

Cheers ;)

Paul

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Re: Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by modernist » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:18 pm

Well I finally did buy one, second hand amazingly, from Karl (on the other side). Very little used, and spent some time adjusting it yesterday.

I noticed the fence collets were very tight when I picked it up and on my first test and, sure enough, the fence moved during the cut. Presumably this is why Karl had put them so tight. I cured this quickly with a drop of oil on the collet threads and it now sets solidly with little pressure on the collets.

I adjusted the blade to be a tad proud of the body using the grub screws and lined up the scorer as per the instructions.

First attempt was on a piece of American cherry which was quite hard and the results were spectacular. Lovely twisted ribbon shavings from the skew which ejected automatically from the mouth. This is why the skew is the ultimate and natural form for this application. The plane was also pulled into the cut by the skew and produced a clean square shoulder. One nice touch is the bevelled top edge of the cap iron giving a comfortable rest for the index finger for direction, if that suits you.

All this and I havn't even sharpened it yet.

My only criticism is that the bubinga handles could have had a better finish and the rear handle is a little small for my hands. I have yet to try Paul's grip under the fence, rather than the tote at the front.

All in all a superb and improved tool. Why make rebate planes any other way.
Cheers

Brian


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Re: Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by dunbarhamlin » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:12 pm

Does look super.
modernist wrote:Why make rebate planes any other way.
Because beech and box from The Great Corruptor feels wonderful to use!
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Re: Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by modernist » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:22 pm

Very nice - I was wondering where the fence adjusters were until the pic of the underside :oops: I think the key is a skewed blade, it makes all the difference in use.
Cheers

Brian


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Re: Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by sainty » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:30 pm

I have to say those Philly planes look good.

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Re: Veritas skew rebate plane - a review

Post by paulchapman » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:41 pm

sainty wrote:I have to say those Philly planes look good.
I've tried out several of them at various shows and they work really well.

Cheers ;)

Paul

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