Hand Tools, Lie-Nielsen, Shop Talk Live, Wood Talk
Comments 9

Shooting with the Veritas Bevel-Up Jointer Plane

Veritas Bevel-Up Jointer Plane

Santa brought me a Veritas bevel-up jointer plane this past Christmas. I was sooo impressed that he has an account with Lee Valley. Don’t ever under-estimate how well-connected Santa is; I suspect he has an account with all the best plane makers. 🙂

While doing research on which plane to put on my Christmas wish list, my final options were the Veritas bevel-up jointer and the Lie-Nielsen #7 jointer. Both manufacturers are highly regarded – I would easily buy from either company; but there is a significant price difference between the two planes. The Lie-Nielsen costs about $125 more when compared to the Veritas equivalent outfitted with their premium PMV11 blade. So, to me the decision to get the Veritas bevel-up jointer was pretty simple.

But I did see one negative review of the Veritas plane. The poor critique centered on the fact that the Veritas jointer is not suitable for shooting end-grain. Since I don’t ever plan on shooting end-grain, this was not an issue for me, but I did wonder why Veritas designed their jointer with sides which are not flat (note the photo above).

Today, I heard the answer in an episode of Fine Woodworking’s Shop Talk Live podcast. In the podcast, Fine Woodworking’s Asa Christiana is interviewing Lee Valley’s Robin Lee. At about the 34 minute mark Robin starts talking about their product line. He states that their low-angle jack plane is designed for shooting; not their jointer or even their smooth planes.

Listen to Shop Talk Live here.

For me, an answered question which has been nagging at me a little. Robin Lee also stated that their design for the Veritas bevel-up jointer really makes it more like a #7 1/2 bench plane, adding further value when compared to the LN #7. But, if you intend to do shooting and want a jointer to do it with, you would have to look more closely at Lie-Nielsen.

Do I really need a jointer plane?
Also this week I listened to Wood Talk episode #177, a podcast episode devoted strictly to the subject of hybrid woodworking. I was a little surprised when Marc, Matt and Shannon recommended against the purchase of a jointer plane if a woodworker has the option of buying a stationary powered jointer.

Listen to Wood Talk #177 here.

It seems that all the laborious work involved with surfacing a board by hand makes using power tools a lot more pleasant. I got my jointer plane to supplement what I can not accurately do with my powered jointer – joint edges on long boards or flatten the face of wide panels. Their final advice was to do woodworking which makes you happy. Mastering the jointer plane would make me very happy, so I’ll be keeping mine for the time being.

Concerning the bookcase project
There has been a lot going on at our home in the past two weeks and I have made very little progress on my daughter’s new bookcase. I have purchased some cherry and have begun milling the legs. Last night, I tried to use my jointer plane on the rough edges of the 8/4 cherry – I have a lot to learn about setting up my jointer plane to make good cuts. Ironically, just like the guys at Wood Talk recommended, I turned to my power jointer for this task.

I’ll have a more detailed update next week.

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9 Comments

  1. I very nearly purchased the same jointer and I may yet. I joint edges with a jointer, and from what I understand, that is it’s main function. I’ve only used one jointer table that really worked-and it was a monster at the Acanthus workshop. I think a good jointer plane is easier to use when it comes down to it-as well as safer.
    I’m glad that you wrote about this-if I pick up a new jointer it will be the Veritas, so it’s good to have a point of reference. Thanks.
    Bill

    • Bill, the Veritas is a beast. Very heavy; an impressive tool. BTW, the podcast does not address the reason for the lack of flat sides. It simply states that the jack plane is what they see as a shooting plane.

      • Shooting end grain is something that I’ve rarely had to do. I do most of the cross cutting on my table saw. The rare occasion when I shoot a board is usually done with a jack plane. I’ve found shooting to be inaccurate. Not that you can’t get a square edge, but in that if you need to take more than two or three passes you are invariably changing the dimensions of the cut. I guess there are ways to compensate but I would rather not, personally.
        Thanks.

        Bill

  2. I own the Lee Valley low angle jack and actually bought it specifically for shooting. I would suggest not completely ruling shooting out, Jeff. A simple-to-build shooting board and a good plane make squaring up the end of any workpiece a very simple task; and can be equally good with 45-degree or any complicated miters too if you build the features into your setup. The low angle jack is just a nice all purpose plane as well. What I like about all of these new planes most however is the stout quality of the irons that are available for them! Compared to my dad’s old #5 Stanley plane blades nowadays really deserve to be called “irons”!

    • Dave – thanks for your thoughts. I will keep an open mind about shooting end grain. I am getting more enjoyment from my smoothing plane as I have become better acquainted with setting it up, etc. It could very well be that someday I’ll be using a jack plane for shooting.

    • Maverick09 – at the moment, bevel-up is working very well. I have been using my jointer plane in the evenings this week and it is cutting better than my bevel-down smoother (I just need to better adjust my smoother). To better understand the two orientations, click here.

      • maverick09 says

        I see what you mean. I have a couple of old Stanley planes with the bevel up on the cutter which I usually use for end grain or fine finishing. I would imagine that you and me are at each end of the spectrum though. You seem to be very well equipped in your workshop whereas mine is very very compact. I’ll post a pic for you.

  3. Feel free to post a pic. My shop may look big, but it feels small due to the unfortunate location of support poles and mechanical stuff. 🙂

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