Yes, those really are hockey pucks on the back cover, just below a newly released Veritas plane. Both originate from our product development staff, and deserve a bit of explanation.
The plane is an addition to our bevel-up series, and is sure to become a favorite. In between a block plane and a smoothing plane in size, it is well suited as a general-purpose plane and can be used for everything from small box work to full-size cabinetry. It is a capable smoother for work of all sizes, and can be used for shooting. A century or so ago, it could have been called a "Gent’s plane", a finely made, smaller tool suitable for precise work. Truth be told, our working name for it was actually the "Charlotte" plane, as we originally set out to make a plane that would be more appropriately sized for the daughter of one of our staff. Of course, implying that the design was intended for children would be the kiss of death for a serious tool, so we vowed not to use that name publicly. Until now, that is.
"Bench Pucks", however, is a strong name with an athletic association that evokes an image of hard work and exertion. Hockey pucks, being 3" in diameter and 1" thick, have an ideal form to use as the basis of a workbench spacer – just apply grip surfaces on both sides. Of course, many Canadian households have at least a puck or two hanging around the garage, so all we had to do was provide the adhesive grip discs to enable you to make inexpensive, useful standoffs for workbench use. Upon further thought, and once we found out how affordable pucks were when purchased by the truckload, we decided we should offer the pucks as well. After all, many of us play hockey, and these are a great price. The only thing we’re unsure of now is whether we’ll have more hockey players or more woodworkers buying them.
All of this just goes to show that not every idea ends up leading us where we thought it would.
Robin C. Lee