Every woodworker knows that tools from Lee Valley and Veritas are top of the line, and that the company is extremely innovative in tool design and quality. While at IWF 2016, one of the first stops made was to check out what offerings were coming from the tools supplier from north of the border. Hang on because you won’t be disappointed.
Many woodworkers, including myself, have long sung the praises of the company’s Wonder Dog and Wonder Pups. If you’ve been using these workbench clamps in your dog holes, you need to take a look at the Veritas Quick-Release Wonder Dog ($59.50). As does it’s older cousin, the newest Wonder Dog on the block fits snugly into a 3/4″ dog hole. The new version, however, has a cam-action to it that allows fast adjustments when moving between uses – I must admit that I often spent time twirling the post endlessly to gain or lose length so I could nuzzle the head against my workpiece. Release the cam, slide the head into position then thumb the lever tight to set the hold.
As we toyed with the new Wonder Dog at the show, I was impressed. I do have a few questions, such as how much hold it has and whether the lever of the cam stays out of the way during use. But I’m sure those questions will be answered when we get a Cam-action Wonder Dog in the shop to evaluate. (According to the company, these clamps will be available in September 2016.)
Veritas also showed new Mortise Chisels at IWF. The five new chisels – 1/8″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ – are available in PM-V11 or A2 steel. These chisels are built the way you would expect a good mortise chisel be built, and what has become normal for Lee Valley & Veritas. A tang, with flats to keep the handle from rotating, extends into the handle, the end of which is shaped to fit into a stainless steel ferrule. Blade sides are relieved, which easily allows minor corrections as you work. All blades, directly from the company, have a 25° primary bevel and a 35° secondary bevel. Mortise chisels are priced from $69 to $105, depending on the tool steel selected, and are sold in sets of five at $299 for A2 and $399 for PM-V11.
Down-cut bits are perfect for inlay work because as they cut the material, you’re left with clean, tear-free edges. A new series of down-cut spiral bits were on display at the Lee Valley & Veritas booth. These bits are 1/8″ shank to fit rotary tools, but with a bushing adapter, also in the new release, these mini bits useful in a trim router, too. Three of the bit diameters match those of the company’s inlay tools. Plus, a 1/16″ and 1/8″ diameter are available. Each of the bits is priced at $16.50, with an adapter at $4.90.
The design (narrow web) of the new mini bits, according to the company, “makes them best suited for shallow, progressive passes, cutting no deeper than their diameter.”
I have the perfect upcoming project to put these bits to the test, and I can compare them to small-diameter inlay bits that I’ve used for the last decade. Can’t wait.
If you have questions about the products shown, contact the company, use the links for more information or drop me a comment. I’m happy to help in any way.