Hand Tools

Re: Tell me where I'm wrong..(skew shooting infill

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Hi David

A while back, I put the Veritas Shooting plane and the Lie Nielsen #51 head-to-head. Both planes run on the Stanley #52 shooting board, and both planes are skewed at 20 degrees. The only difference is the Veritas is BU (12 degree bed) and the LN is BD (45 degree bed).

A number of different blades were used: A2 from each manufacturer (and at both 25- and 30 degrees in the LN), PM-V11 (used in both planes), and a few others.

The long and short of it was that the Veritas BU plane left the LN BD plane for dead in terms of edge longevity when shooting hardwood end grain. The article is here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/LVShootingPlane.html

It was my conclusion that a low bed angle does less damage to the blade edge than a high(er) bed angle. If you are going to build a shooting plane, build one with a low bed.

The next question is whether the low bed can be BD, rather than BU?

The answer is yes. I built a strike block plane with a 38 degree bed. With a 25 degree bevel, there is 13 degrees of clearance. More than enough. Might even get away with a 30 degree bevel ... however my experience with the Veritas BU planes (LA Jack and Shooting Plane), which both use a 25 degree bevel, demonstrates that the 25 degree bevel (even with A2) is safe as a bank. I have over 10 years of using A2 at 25 degrees in a LA Jack without any chipping. In short, a 25 degree bevel is a safe bet, as long at the bed angle is low.

The other plane I have used for shooting is a Veritas Custom #7 with a 40 degree frog. The bevel was 30 degrees (PM-V11), and this was equally a good combination.

Hope this helps.

Regards from Perth


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