Over the past half-century, plane makers have focused more on cutting production costs than on making planes work better. For our planes, we chose to focus on better adjustment and feed mechanisms, features to prevent blade vibration, and blades offering a choice of bevels and metallurgical properties to suit your preferences. We’ve also introduced customizable planes.
Materials, Manufacturing and Design
All Veritas plane bodies are fully stress-relieved ductile cast iron, which is dimensionally stable and takes hard knocks without cracking. To allow fast, accurate adjustment, parts are machined to exacting standards in our factory, ensuring a precise fit. Milled and surface ground to a high degree of finish, the soles are flat and square to the sides. Most of our bench planes have extra-large side wings for stable shooting, and a large hardwood front knob and rear tote that provide excellent control and comfort. Most also have a Norris-type combined feed and lateral adjustment mechanism for easy and accurate blade setting. On all bench planes, shoulder planes and block planes (except the apron plane), set screws in the sides prevent the blade from shifting when it hits a knot.
Choice of A2, O1 or PM-V11 Lapped Tool Steel Blades
Veritas bench, bevel-up and block planes (standard and low-angle) come with lapped blades made of O1, A2 or our PM-V11 tool steel. Choice of blade type depends on your preferences – how you like to work, how much planing you do and your sharpening methods.
Our O1 blades are oil-quenched and double-tempered to Rc58-60. While O1 sharpens more easily than A2 or PM-V11, it also dulls more readily. O1 blades are a good choice for rapid honing, but require it more frequently. Our A2 blades are air-quenched and double-tempered to Rc60-62. They hold an edge longer than O1 but require more effort to sharpen. A premium blade material, our PM-V11 tool steel (Rc61-63) has a fine, consistent grain structure that provides significantly greater resistance to damage from both impact and wear than O1 or A2, yet is as easy to sharpen as A2. PM-V11 has metallurgical properties particularly well suited for plane blades. It can take a keen edge and hold it at least twice as long in use as an A2 blade before needing sharpening; once dulled, the edge can be quickly restored using water stones or other common sharpening methods. Visit pm-v11.com for more information on the performance of these steels.
We lap all of our blades* on the face to a flatness tolerance of 0.0005" or better over the working surface†, with an average roughness of 0.000005" or better. While the blade faces are smooth and true, the intersecting bevel should be honed before use.
* except Veritas scrub, scraping, router and flush plane blades, and all Veritas A2 toothed blades.
† On regular and bevel-up blades, the working surface extends from about 1/8" below the screw slot to the edge; on shoulder and bullnose plane blades, it is the widest section of the face from the shoulder to the edge.