Dear Customer,

"Firsts", good or bad, are always memorable.

One of the more esoteric tools we had in our 1978 inaugural catalog (page 30, for those who have a copy at hand) was a cast iron edge-trimming block plane. In those early years, it was common to have backorders on a tool like this and, despite copy that warned of erratic supply, this was one of those products few customers ever cancelled. When the manufacturer, (Ken Wisner, a one-man band) advised us that he would be wrapping up production, I placed an order for what was to be my first high-quality tool. By the time he quit producing, my backorder had been open for more than a year; we had been able to fill all of the open orders but one – mine.

In 1987, the second major product Veritas designed (after the honing guide) was an improved version of that same plane. The sole was a bit longer, the grip re-sized, the bed angle lowered, and the blade skew increased. In 1990, a further modified version in manganese bronze supplanted the original, with increased cut capacity (1") and a lever blade feed. This year we are releasing our third iteration of that classic plane. Of course, we couldn't resist tweaking the design just one more time, adding set-screw blade pivots and an improved feed mechanism.

Earlier this year, I finally managed to buy one of the original Wisner planes through an online auction, some 26 years after first deciding to order it. Mind you, it’s now too valuable for regular use, as is the quarter-century old graduation gift of an engraved bronze Wisner plane I also have. So, I will be buying the new Veritas model as well, bringing my personal edge-trimming block plane collection to an indefensible three.

All of this just to say that we have first-hand knowledge here of the quandary we put each of you in by adding or improving products on an ongoing basis. We definitely understand the difference between "need" and "want", and are not immune to the effect either.


Robin C. Lee


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