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Veritas Custom Bench Planes

Veritas Custom Bench Planes

Custom built by Axminster

You choose the body and blade, the frog angle and the size and style of the knob and the tote. This allows you a unique level of personalisation previously limited to handmade planes.

All New Evolution Virtual Woodturning Mask

About

Machining of each part of the plane takes place in Veritas’ own work shop for accuracy and fit...

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All New Evolution Virtual Woodturning Mask

Body

There are five bodies to choose from: two smoothers, two jacks and a jointer...

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All New Evolution Virtual Woodturning Mask

Blade

To accompany your plane body Veritas offer a choice of blade: in either O1 or PM-V11 steel...

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All New Evolution Virtual Woodturning Mask

Frog

A microscopic look at a shaving will reveal a series breaks across the grain...

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All New Evolution Virtual Woodturning Mask

Tote

Veritas use Canadian maple to manufacture all the totes and knobs...

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All New Evolution Virtual Woodturning Mask

Knob

A choice of three styles, all turned from Canadian maple, heat treated to stabilise it...

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How it works

A new concept in bench plane design, bench planes customised to fit the work you do and the way you do it.

About the Custom Process

Veritas Custom Bench Planes - Diagram

Machining of each part of the plane takes place in Veritas’ own workshop for accuracy and fit. The plane you put together will function as a unified whole no matter which parts you choose. All the plane bodies are fully stress-relieved ductile cast iron. The soles, machined flat and square to the sides, have extra-large side wings for stable shooting.

The planes have a stainless-steel Norris-style combined feed and lateral adjustment mechanism for fine control and accurate blade setting. The movable toe plate allows quick mouth adjustments; a narrow slit for fine shavings or wider for heavier cuts.

The cap iron attaches to a low-profile blade carrier located on the blade. This ensures you can easily restore the cap iron to the same position after sharpening the blade. The blades come with the option of choosing O1 tool steel or the latest Veritas PM-V11 steel alloy. The backs of the blades are precision lapped they only require minimal honing of a micro-bevel before use.

The totes and knobs are specially heat treated Canadian maple, finely polished and finished. There is nothing to beat the feel of plane handles made from natural wood.

Start building your plane

O1 Blades

PM-V11 Blades

Choosing a Body

There are five styles of body

Choose from No.4 or 4.1/2 Smoother, No.5 or 5.1/2 Jack or a No.7 Jointer. The bodies are fully stress-relieved ductile cast iron, precision machined to a very high standard in the Veritas workshop.

Each plane body comes with a lever cap, Norris style adjuster and a cap iron.

Start Building

Choosing a Blade

To accompany your plane body

Veritas offer a choice of blade: in either O1 or PM-V11 steel. O1 is a modern tool steel used extensively for woodworking tools. It sharpens easily and quickly resulting in an excellent, fine cutting edge. Veritas O1 blades are oil quenched, double tempered and hardened to HRC 58-60.

PM-V11 is a powdered metal (PM) alloy. Hardened to HRC 61-63, PM-V11 provides significantly greater resistance to both impact and wear.

It can take a keen edge and hold it at least twice as long before it needs sharpening. Once dull, the edge can be restored using water stones or other sharpening methods.

Lapping ensures all Veritas blades only require minimal honing of a micro-bevel before use.

Start Building

Choose a Frog

A microscopic look at a shaving reveals a series of breaks across the grain

As you push your plane forwards, the blade acts as a wedge, lifting a tiny splinter of wood. The angle of the blade forces this splinter upwards until it breaks. The next splinter lifts then breaks and so on, forming a continuous ribbon. This is why a shaving curls.

Higher blade angles create shorter splinters. The breaks in the splinters occur closer to the timber’s surface, thus leaving a smoother finish. Lower angles can leave a coarser finish. Higher angles require greater effort to push the plane. Lower angles work much better on end grain. The lower angle helps to cleanly sever the ends of the timber’s fibres. Higher angles are better for timber with wild, interlocked grain. They produce a better finish as the action is slightly closer to scraping. Chose a frog for the work you most frequently undertake. You can always add an alternative frog at a later date, giving you more than one option on a single plane.

Start Building

40˚ Frog

A 40° frog provides a low cutting angle that is easier to push and leaves a clean cut surface. Cleaner cutting on end grain, good for softwoods.

45˚ Frog

The 45° frog offers a cutting angle that is suitable for most work. Also known as common pitch, it is the most frequently found bed angle on bench planes. Common pitch, good for general work, the all-round frog angle.

55˚ Frog

The 55° frog provides a higher cutting angle. Sometimes referred to as middle pitch, it helps to minimise tear out in highly figured timber. Middle pitch is the best choice for working wild or difficult grain.

Choosing a Tote

Veritas use Canadian maple to manufacture all the totes and knobs

The timber undergoes a treatment know as torrification, a heating process, that changes the structure of the wood and stabilises it against swelling and shrinkage caused by changes in humidity or temperature. There are two tote styles to choose from the ‘standard’ Veritas tote and the ‘traditional’ tote.

Both totes are available in three sizes. To find your size, measure the width of your palm along your knuckles

  • Small - 75mm (3”)
  • Medium - 78mm to 97mm (3-1/8” to 3-7/8”)
  • Large - 100mm (4”) and above
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The standard Veritas tote is relatively vertical, designed to allow a comfortable grip whilst keeping your forearm more parallel with the plane’s sole. This allows you to bring more forward force to bear. It encourages you to push with the heel of your hand rather than the web of your thumb.

The traditional tote has a more pronounced forward lean and curvature. This allows you to apply more downward force and makes the plane more comfortable to use on a lower bench.

Choosing a Knob

A choice of three styles

All styles turned from Canadian maple, heat treated to stabilise it against swelling and shrinkage.

The wide knob has a relatively flat profile, standing 50mm tall. The 50mm diameter provides a large bearing surface for your palm. It improves comfort if you need to press down on the toe of the plane. It gives your fingers more purchase when lifting the plane at the end of a stroke.

The standard Veritas knob has a more spherical shape. It is 60mm tall with a maximum diameter of 45mm. It provides a balance of features between the other two knobs. This is useful if you alter your grip depending on the kind of work you are doing.

The tall knob stands 66mm high, making it a good choice if you prefer to grip with your whole hand. At 40mm, it has the smallest maximum diameter of the knobs. It is the easiest knob to grip for users with smaller hands. The high waist of the knob gives more clearance when pushing with the crook of your thumb.

Start Building

Wide Knob

50mm tall and 50mm diameter offering a large comfortable bearing surface

Standard knob

More spherical shape, 60mm tall, max diameter 45mm, good balance, allows altering grip to suit the work

Tall Knob

66mm high with a maximum diameter of 40mm making it easier to grip with your whole hand