There’s Nothing Plain About This Plane

It’s a thing of beauty – a true intersection of art and craft. The new Bevel-Up #1 plane from Veritas (Item 05P5751) is exquisitely simple and carries with it superior aesthetics and ergonomics. This is a block plane/Norris plane hybrid with panache. It has a sole measuring just 1-25/32″ wide and 5-13/16″ long, and “this diminutive plane is light enough to use one-handed, similar in use to a block plane, and more manageable and maneuverable than a full-size bench plane for small-scale work”. It shares the same features as other planes in the Veritas bevel-up series including a Norris-type adjuster for easy, accurate blade setting, and guide screws to center and fix the blade. By swapping in a blade honed with a different micro-bevel, you can easily alter the effective cutting angle of the plane. The adjustable mouth can be closed to a narrow slit for fine shavings with minimum tear-out, or opened for heavier cuts, with the toe position secured with a locking knob. The plane body is fully stress-relieved ductile iron. It is accurately machined and ground so that the sole is flat and the sides are square to the sole. The wooden front knob and rear handle provide a comfortable grip. The blade is bedded at 15°, resulting in an effective cutting angle of 40° with the supplied 25° lapped blade. It can be ordered with a 1-7/32″ wide blade in either O1 or PM-V11 tool steel. Woodworkers like O1 steel because it’s easy to sharpen and delivers a very fine edge that lasts well. The other common tool steel, A2 (not an option here), takes longer to sharpen and won’t deliver the same fine edge as O1, but holds its edge longer – especially when ground at higher angles (28 degrees and above). The new #1 plane from Veritas can be ordered with either an O1 or PM-V11 iron, and this latter is quite popular with serious hand tool experts. It takes a little longer to fine hone than the O1, but delivers an excellent edge and seems to last longer than either of the other two common steels. The plane with an O1 iron is $189 USD, and with the PM-V11 iron is $199 USD.