A new concept in plane design, Veritas custom bench planes can be customized to fit the work you do and the way you do it. To get planing right away, you can choose our standard configurations, such as the jack planes offered here, or the planes can be customized with alternative parts and accessories to suit your needs; you choose the frog angle, the blade material, and even the size and style of the knob and tote, allowing a level of personalization previously limited to handmade planes. Each part of the plane is machined in our shop for accuracy and fit, ensuring that the plane functions as a unified whole no matter which parts you choose. To order a fully custom plane, please contact our customer service department.
Both jack planes’ bodies are fully stress-relieved ductile cast iron. The soles are machined flat and square to the sides and have extra-large side wings for stable shooting. The planes have a Norris-style combined feed and lateral adjustment mechanism for easy and accurate blade setting. Two set screws register the blade in the throat. The movable toe plate allows quick mouth adjustments – loosening the front knob lets you close the mouth to a narrow slit for fine shavings and minimum tear-out or open it for heavier cuts. A stop screw in the throat retains mouth settings and prevents accidental contact with the blade. The cap iron registers on and attaches to a low-profile blade carrier attached to the blade, which allows you to easily restore the cap iron to the same position after removal for blade sharpening. Two tapped holes in either side allow the mounting of an optional fence, available separately. Patented. Made in Canada.
The #5 jack plane is 14" long and 2 1/2" wide, and uses a 2" wide blade. Useful for rough work where flattening or stock removal is the goal, its size also makes it good for smoothing or jointing, depending on the scale of the workpiece. It weighs 5 1/2 lb.
The #5 1/2 is a large jack plane at 15" long and 3" wide. The wider 2 3/8" blade lets you remove more wood with each pass, making rough flattening and dimensioning work more efficient. Its 6 lb 9 oz weight provides more inertia when planing. It can also serve as a jointer for smaller work; lighter than the #7 jointer plane, it is less tiring to use.
The standard configuration for the #5 plane includes a 45° frog, PM-V11® blade, Veritas standard knob and Veritas medium tote. The standard configuration for the #5 1/2 plane includes a 45° frog, PM-V11 blade, wide knob and Veritas medium tote.
The PM-V11 blade has a lapped face and is ground with a bevel that requires only final honing to 30° before use. Hardened to Rc61-63, it has a fine, consistent grain structure that provides significantly greater resistance to damage from both impact and wear than O1 steel, yet the edge can be quickly restored using water stones or other common sharpening methods.
The 45° frog offers a cutting angle that is suitable for most work. Also known as common pitch, it is the most frequently used bed angle for bevel-down planes.
The knobs and tote are made using domestic torrefied maple – wood treated with a heating process that changes the structure of the wood at the cellular level, stabilizing it against the swelling and shrinkage caused by humidity changes.
The standard Veritas knob, recommended for the #5 plane, is the same found on most of our bench planes. It has a more spherical shape, standing 2 3/8" tall with a maximum diameter of 1 3/4". It provides a balance of features between the other two knobs, useful if you alter your grip depending on what kind of work you’re doing.
The wide knob, recommended for the #5 1/2 plane, has a relatively flat profile, standing two inches tall overall with a 2" diameter. This provides a large bearing surface for your palm, which improves comfort if you need to press down on the toe of the plane. It also gives your fingers more purchase when lifting the plane at the end of a stroke, helpful for long or heavy planes.
The standard Veritas tote is the one currently used on our line of bevel-up planes. It is a relatively vertical handle, designed to allow a comfortable grip that keeps your forearm closer to parallel with the plane's sole. This allows you to bring more forward force to bear because it encourages you to push with the heel of your hand rather than the web of your thumb. The medium size is comfortable in most hands between 3 1/8" and 3 7/8" wide at the palm.
Accessories, optional components, and additional blades for these planes are available separately.