Popular Woodworking 2005-06 № 148, страница 65

Popular Woodworking 2005-06 № 148, страница 65

At Veritas, every tool has a checklist that must be followed at assembly-time. These checklists are continually fine-tuned for better results and faster work.

has a lever to assist this process, though I occasionally bang the shoe into the iron using this system. The Veritas is a bit different. There's no lever to help dial in the setting. But there is a small knob in front of the throat that acts as a stop (preventing you from hitting the cutter's edge) and it helps you dial in the throat opening precisely. I quite like the system.

The Veritas is wider - it has a 71/4"-wide cutter compared to the Lie-Nielsen's 7" cutter. Wider isn't always better; it depends on the scale of your work. The cutter on the Veritas is 1/16" thicker than the Lie-Nielsen's, and the Veritas is heavier - 5.7 pounds compared to 4.6. One significant design feature worth noting is the position of the mouth on each plane. The Veri-tas's mouth begins 43/4" from the toe of the tool. The Lie-Nielsen's begins 315/16" from the toe. Having the mouth set back a little makes the tool easier to start because you don't have as much of the tool hanging off the board. Also, positioning the mouth back a bit offers some advantages to planing the edges of long boards.

The other differences are subjective. I prefer the handles on the Lie-Nielsen, though Veritas has some forthcoming changes coming to its handles that could make them more comfortable for me.

Both companies also make a smoothing plane using the bevel-up configuration. For the most part, the differences between the brands mirror those for the jack planes. The one notable exception is that the adjuster on the Lie-Nielsen version, the No. 164, is quite different. It's actually a Bailey-style adjuster that has been reconfigured to work on top of the lever cap. It's a smooth-acting adjuster, but there are some extra parts involved, including a small plate that has to be affixed to the cutter to engage the adjuster. This plate has to be removed when sharpening with a j ig and has to be precisely placed for the adjuster to work. This is the way the original Stanley worked, and I've always thought it was a little fussy.


Every week, someone asks my opinion on which brand is better. Let me tell you what I tell them: Both brands are machined to tolerances that exceed those of vintage tools (and, in some cases, exceed what's necessary for woodworking). Both brands are made using materials that are superior to what's needed for home woodworking, such as the A7 irons. Both brands of tools can be tuned to do the finest work. I can consistently make equally thin shavings

(.001" thick or less) with either brand with equal ease.

So the differences come down to looks, price and features. And that's where my biases come into play. For bench planes, I favor the Lie-Nielsens. I prefer the Bailey-style adjuster, especially its location by the tote. I also like the wide range of plane sizes available. Though the Veritas line of planes makes sense as a system, I've found that after using all of the sizes available, I like having a small smoother, such as a No. 3, in my arsenal. And I also gravitate to

the long bench planes, including the No. 8. My preferences could be debated, but they are real.

For the bevel-up planes, I prefer the Veritas low-angle smooth plane to the Lie-Nielsen version. The adjuster is simpler and my fingers feel less crowded on the tool. For the low-angle jack plane, it's a toss-up. I cannot argue with the features or engineering of the Veritas. It's likely the best plane the company has ever built. But the Lie-Nielsen was one of my first premium planes, and I have a lot of miles on it. It's always appealed to my eye and my hands, and was the tool where I first discovered the benefits of a bevel-up tool.

So for this tool, I choose both. I keep the Veritas low-angle jack at work and the Lie-Nielsen version at home. Like many woodworkers, I end up using both brands of tools. And Lee says this is something he's seen time and again.

"The difference is like jazz or classical, which do you prefer?" he says. "We co-exist in the market. And the existence of the other is better for both businesses. And for woodworkers." PW

These two low-angle jack planes are quite different when you start comparing the details. They both work quite well, but different woodworkers will prefer one over the other.



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