Dieter Schmid's Fine Tools

Instructions how to use the Small Veritas Router Plane

The Veritas Small Router Plane is indispensable for any work that requires an area cut to a precise and consistent depth, such as recesses for installing hinges and lock strikes, or relief carving. The body of the small router plane has been shaped not only for comfort, but also for ideal registration to the workpiece. The flared footprint and bridge ensure maximum contact with the workpiece, even when approaching from the side or working the edge. The spring pressure supplied by the blade locking knob will hold the blade when making adjustments and the position of the clamping knob behind the blade will ensure chip clearance, but will not block visibility.

plane description

Blade Adjustment (Caution: Blade is sharp)

To initially set the blade, back off the locking knob, then feed the blade up through the clamping mechanism from the bottom of the plane. Spring pressure will prevent the blade from falling free while setting the depth of cut to an established dimension or incrementally while creating a cut. Tighten locking knob to secure blade. The blade can be adjusted to a depth of 1 inch

Blade Orientation

The blade may be positioned inboard for regular closed-throat use (Figure 2) or outboard for true bullnose work (Figure 3), where the cutting edge of the blade extends beyond the body. To switch from one orientation to another, loosen the locking knob, remove the blade, and withdraw the blade clamping mechanism. Position the blade clamping mechanism in the desired orientation, reinstall the blade, and tighten the locking knob.

Inboard plane orientation and Outboard plane orientation

Figure 2: Inboard plane orientation.                 Figure 3: Outboard plane orientation.

Blade Sharpening

The 1/4 inch wide high-carbon steel blade has the bevel ground at a 25° angle and is best sharpened on a water stone. Hone the bevel and lap the bottom on a stone, as illustrated in Figures 4 and 5.

Sharpening and honing the blade

Figure 4: Sharpening the blade.                 Figure 5: Honing the blade.

Care and Maintenance

The body of this plane is ductile cast iron and comes treated with rust preventative. Remove this using a rag dampened with mineral spirits. Clean all machined surfaces.

We recommend that you initially, then periodically, apply a light coat of oil to seal out moisture and prevent rusting.

If storage conditions are damp or humid, the plane should, in addition to the treatment outlined above, be wrapped in a cloth or stored in a plane sack. This precaution will also guard against dings and scratches.

Every so often, take the plane apart to clean it. Remove the blade and blade clamping mechanism from the body. Clean all parts with a cloth dampened with a dab of light machine oil. For corroded plane bodies, we recommend you first remove the rust with a fine rust eraser, then treat as described above.

The bright finish on the brass components can be maintained as above. If a patina finish is preferred, simply leave the brass components unprotected until the desired level of oxidation has occurred, then apply a sealant. If you want to make them bright and shiny again, you can revitalize the surface with a brass polish.

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