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Thread: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

  1. #1

    Default Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Considering smoothers, specifically the Veritas Low Angle Smoother (LAS) or the Bevel Up Smoother (BUS).
    Which one did you pick + why? What do you see as the pros + cons?
    And if you see this as an apples+oranges question I'd be interested in why you think that as well.

    So far as I've seen, the BUS is a bit more massive/heavy/wider.
    Whereas the LAS has square sides in case you want to use it for shooting.

    ???
    It's not about you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    I have the BUS, and chose it over the LAS at a LV plane day last January. Deciding factor for me was the shared blade with the other bevel up planes, but I thought carefully about the LAS, and darn near walked out with both. The BUS is very different as a pure finish smoother from anything else I had (mostly refurbed Stanley/Baileys), whereas the Low Angle Jack and the LAS have a lot of overlap with one another.

    Basically, the LAS is more versatile, the BUS is a fairly unique specialist.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    I bought the BUS for 2 main reasons.
    1. I like that it shared blades with the LAJ (and Jointer with I don't own)
    2. it has a tremendous reputation at a great price.

    It is definitely my "go to" smoother when things get tricky, but, I have to say that when don't need it I use my old National #4. So if you aren't doing a lot of work with tricky grain, you might prefer the smaller LAS.
    Cheers,
    SPCHT

  4. #4
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    Darren Brewster

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Of course, there is also the new Small Bevel-Up Smooth Plane to make the decision even harder.
    Darren Brewster
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

  5. #5
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    Mike

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    LAS for 3 reasons:

    1) narrower blade, easier to push especially at high angle on tough wood
    2) can shoot
    3) $30 cheaper, which can be applied to an extra blade right away

    I actually don't have either plane. I have a #4, #4 1/2 and a LV low angle block plane. I use #4 for the majority of smoothing. For tricky stuff, I use low angle block plane with the blade set at 45-50 degree. 4 1/2 never get touched (I should probably sell it).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    The short answer is that these are two different planes, each with strengths and weaknesses.

    The LAS is a smaller and lighter plane, more easily approximated by a Stanley #4. The BUS is a larger, heavier plane, more easily approximated by the Stanley #4 . The LAS offers more direct “feel”, while the BUS has heft and this translates into added momentum and “control”.

    Overall, the performance of these two planes is similar, if not potentially identical, but the BUS is able to achieve it with greater ease (that momentum thing).

    The BUS is a dedicated smoother. It has no other use. The LAS has a wider range of uses. The BUS cannot be used on its side since it is not flat. The LAS is perfect for using on a shooting board, and really excels in this mode.

    In short, the BUS excels as the ultimate smoother. The LAS is the choice for those that seek to use a plane that excels on the shooting board as well.

    That the BUS shares blades with other LV planes is a moot point: I would only use a high angle blade with the BUS since it will only be used for smoothing difficult grain. The LAS, on the other hand, would benefit from 2 or 3 blades to cover a wide range of bevel angles.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
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    Talking Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    I think you should try both if you can and see how they feel to you. I know I find the BUS clunky; the weight is too far forward, towards the toe, compared to other heavy planes like infills that have more weight closer to the tote. I don't feel the like I control the plane, especially compared to the LAS which I find much more balanced. So even if I were going to get a dedicated smoother, and not shoot with it, I'd still get the LAS.
    Just for reference I'm not averse to heavy planes, and use my 4 1/2 on a regular basis. I don't actually own either of the 2 LV planes (although I've tried them on various projects) because I'm not overly fond of low-angle (12 degree) planes.
    Frank
    SPCHT

  8. #8
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    Alejandro

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Instead of having a BU plane with two blades, you could also have two BU planes (12 and 20 degrees beds) with just a blade (cutting angle 35 degrees) . There are BU block planes with 12 and 20 degrees beds, why is not the same with the smoothers?
    Alejandro
    Last edited by Alej; 09-08-2011 at 01:14 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alej View Post
    Instead of having a LA plane with two blades, you could also have two LA planes (12 and 20 degrees beds) with just a blade (cutting angle 35 degrees) . There are LA block planes with 12 and 20 degrees beds, why is not the same with the smoothers?
    Alejandro
    I agree with half your question. I've never heard a good reason why you would want a smoother with a bed at 12 degrees. I can tolerate the arguments for it on the LAJ, but for the smoother? My wallet will remain snugly in my pocket.

  10. #10
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    Mike

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Just wondering, why is a 12 degree bed angle not good? Wouldn't that make the plane more versatile? I find plane blade at 25 degree bevel is not as durable as 30+ degree. At 12 degree, you almost always use a higher angle bevel (i.e. more durable edge), isn't that a good thing?

  11. #11
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    Ummmm....Frank? :-)

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Hey Art. I have both, and am currently putting the small BUS through it's paces. It comes down mostly to your long term goals. Is this for sure a one-plane-only purchase? Or is there a chance you'll aquire both?

    If I HAD to choose one or the other, it'd have to be the LAS. In a nutshell, it will do everything the BUS will do (admittedly with more effort), but the same can't be said for the BUS.

    If you are just smoothing, get the BUS. If you are looking for more utility (shooting, etc), then the LA is the way to go.

    R
    I dream of a better world, one where chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ERic In Nova Scotia View Post
    I agree with half your question. I've never heard a good reason why you would want a smoother with a bed at 12 degrees. I can tolerate the arguments for it on the LAJ, but for the smoother? My wallet will remain snugly in my pocket.
    I suppose the answer could be "why not". I mean if you are going to make a low angle smoother, why close off the lower bed angle range? What would you gain with it, less of a wear bevel and easier sharpening for high angles? Those are decent reason, maybe Rob can jump in to tell us why they went with 12...

    With regards to Derek's moot shared blade point. I guess I'd tend to agree with that. While it was a selling point for me, on reflection I probably use my high angle blade +95% of the time.
    Cheers,
    SPCHT

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    For me it's 2 things, both of which you mention, Matt: clearance and sharpening angle. I know the theory that 12 degrees of clearance is enough, but I do see the difference in how long the plane cuts effectively. My main reference is my block planes: I use my standard 20 degree block plane as a small smoother; the low-angle block does not do a good a job. Blades also keep their sharpness longer at angles around 30 degrees compared to 40 or 45, which is what you have to use if you have a 12 degree bed. So to avoid skipping (loss of clearance due to wear bevel) and have longer blade sharpness, I much prefer a standard angle bevel-up smoother. I'm like Eric: I won't buy a low-angle smoother. Look at Holtey's 98, or Spiers' improved mitre, or Auriou's BUS. It seems to me that companies like LV or LN could come up with a smoother with a higher bed angle and still sell enough to break even. I could be wrong... But I do know quite a few people that think like me. I guess that may be one reason that bevel-down bench planes have not lost their appeal.
    BTW I can also compare my 2 low-angle jacks (LN and LV) to my bevel-down smoothers. If I got another small smoother it would be a #3 bench plane (I use a 4 and a 4.5 now). I do have an improved mitre infill kit waiting to be made, but that's been on my to-do list for 10 years...sigh.
    Last edited by Frank D.; 09-08-2011 at 12:00 AM.
    Frank
    SPCHT

  14. #14

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt View Post
    With regards to Derek's moot shared blade point. I guess I'd tend to agree with that. While it was a selling point for me, on reflection I probably use my high angle blade +95% of the time.
    I made the point originally, and I would agree with that characterization as well - the BUS blade wanders off to the others far more than vice versa.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    There is a good argument for BU smoothers to have a 20 degree bed rather than a 12 degree bed. Since the cutting angle is at least 50 degrees, honing a 30 degree hollow ground bevel is easier, even a 35 degree bevel is still reasonable to hone freehand. The wear bevel is less likely to be intrusive, and the blade will be easier to camber.

    Holtey has a 22.5 degree bed on his #98 smoother, Philip Marcow has a 20 degree (but that was my nagging), and I built an infill BU smoother with a 25 degree bed (so a 35 degree hollow ground primary bevel yields a cutting angle of 60 degrees.

    This is one fantastic user!



    Excellent in use ..



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    I bought the BU Smoother after trying out a friend's plane. It is a great value IMO! Massive, well-balanced and comfortable in my largish hands and works like a dream. Beautifully made too!

    I will buy the smaller bevel-up smoother as well for boxes, toys and the like since the BU smoother is too big to use comfortably on small objects. I currently use a low angle block plane for the purpose but I find it less than optimum for that use.

    Ken

  17. #17

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Shervill View Post
    Hey Art. I have both, and am currently putting the small BUS through it's paces. It comes down mostly to your long term goals. Is this for sure a one-plane-only purchase? Or is there a chance you'll aquire both?

    If I HAD to choose one or the other, it'd have to be the LAS. In a nutshell, it will do everything the BUS will do (admittedly with more effort), but the same can't be said for the BUS.

    If you are just smoothing, get the BUS. If you are looking for more utility (shooting, etc), then the LA is the way to go.

    R
    Long term goals... Hmmm, it's a hobby, I just want to have fun and build nice furniture and enjoy my toys!

    Seriously, I would like to use handplanes a bit more. I've got an old Stanley #4, an old #5, and an old #7c. They're all pretty good. l've heard some good things about the low-angle smoothers, and I thought one might complement what I've got. I doubt that I'd buy both anytime soon. (hence the post. As well, when I googled around I couldn't find any review that really compared the two of these.)

    Next time I stop by the store I should check out the new Small BUS and see how it fits my hands.

    ...art
    It's not about you.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMulder View Post
    ...As well, when I googled around I couldn't find any review that really compared the two of these.)
    ...art
    Try ...

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...0Smoother.html

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...g%20Plane.html

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  19. #19

    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt View Post
    maybe Rob can jump in to tell us why they went with 12...
    I can't speak for Rob, but I do sympathize with the position he must be in. I've read before that in hand tool wood working there some mandatory "sexy words" that you need to be able to attach to new products. I'd include in that Low angle, high angle, skewed angle, adjustable, premium, A2, left hand, right hand, interchangeable. The list goes on and on of seemingly critical, but not always useful features. We live in a world that preaches that more is better, so why would you want the boring standard angle when you could get a sexy sounding Low angle?

    I really can't fault any of our favorite manufacturers for bowing to the pressure of making sure that all the new woodworkers pick up each of their tools, and think, "but this one goes to Eleven".

    You can argue that the low angle is better for (edit) end grain, but I counter with both the #9, and the #51, both considered the masters of (edit) end grain, both an effective angle of 45 degrees.

    You can argue that the low angle means you can you can smooth at lower angles and less effort on tame woods, but give me a break if you don't have the strength to push a plane at 45 degrees on tame wood, you really need some exercise or a bowl of Wheaties or something!

    And this whole swap your blades bit? Different planes require different cambers as much as different bevels. If you are swapping your blades between planes, I respectfully suggest you rethink what you are doing it for.

    Don't drink the kool-aide.
    Last edited by ERic In Nova Scotia; 09-08-2011 at 08:21 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Veritas LAS vs BUS ?

    I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with the BUS as a single purpose pure smoothing plane. It works. Period.
    Paul

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