Lee Valley has recently introduced a newly redesigned Veritas small plow plane, along with new beading blades.
Even if you have no interest in plow planes, keep reading! There’s more to this story.
So, what’s a plow plane?
A plow plane is essentially designed for cutting grooves, rabbets, and tongues into wood. You wouldn’t use it for cutting very wide grooves into boards, although Lee Valley has introduced wider blades in recent years.
Let’s say you want to cut 1/4″ wide by 1/4″ grooves into the sides of a drawer, to accommodate a bottom. You could use a small plow plane for that.
Adding to their existing selection of standard, wide, and tongue and groove plow plane blades, Lee Valley has recently introduced several new beading blades.
A beading plane is designed to cut decorative beads into wood. Google’s image search should help describe what a bead is. If you still need help with the visualization, image cutting a dowel in half and then gluing the half-round to a board. That’s a rough approximation of what beading usually looks like.
Lee Valley’s new small plow planes work perfectly with the new beading blades. But if you bought a plane prior to 2/26/2016, your plane won’t work with the new blades. I’m guessing that’s when the last of the older plow planes sold out.
If you have an older Veritas small plow plane, you’re not out of luck and stuck having to buy a new plane if you want to use the new beading planes.
The small plow plane is priced at $229. It would hurt a bit if one had to buy a whole new plane just to do some beading work.
But check this out – Lee Valley is offering a Veritas small plow plane upgrade kit, where you can send them part of your plane for remanufacturing.
Having your small plow plane upgraded with the new design features and beading plane compatibility will set you back $59. If you buy the upgrade kit now and don’t wait for a free shipping promo, it’ll cost you another $10 for shipping.
This upgrade kit includes a shipping box, instructions on how to partially disassemble your plane for sending just the plane body back, and pre-paid shipping. Return shipping is also included.
What they’ll do is remachine your plane, and also replace the depth stop clamp.
Speaking of which, the depth stop clamp looks to have been improved, and a quick search shows that it has. If you have absolutely no interest in beading, you can still get the depth stop upgrade (part number 05P26.61) for free. If you send your plane back to Lee Valley for remachining, you’ll get the depth stop upgraded at the same time.
Lee Valley won’t offer this upgrade program forever; you must take advantage of this offer by August 31st, 2016.
I am already quite fond of Lee Valley’s customer service, and this just hammers in that sentiment further.
Fred emailed in this morning about the upgrade program, and his views mirrored my own. He says it better than I could:
Maybe not such a big deal in and of itself – but IMO how Lee Valley plans to take care of the buyers of prior versions of the plane is innovative and shows excellent appreciation of customer loyalty.
I agree with this 100%. Lee Valley could have very well come up with the redesign and told customers that they would need to buy a newer version of the plane in order to get beading blade compatibility.
Here’s an example of the norm:
A USA manufacturer of camera grip equipment (tripods, etc.) recently came out with a much improved redesign of a product I bought and hated but never returned. But nope, there’s no upgrade, buyback, or discount program. When I asked about whether there was, they told me I would have to buy a new model, but could sell my older one on ebay to recoup part of the cost. Gee, thanks.
Lee Valley, you guys rock!