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Thread: First Lee Valley experience...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default First Lee Valley experience...

    Over the last couple of weeks I had to make two trips for business in the downtown T.O. area. Figured I'd take the opprotunity on the way back home to Barrie and swing by the Lee Valley West location on Steeles. Being a complete newb in the world of handtools, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that during my first quick visit, I was intimidated by the place. Although I honestly expected it to be more focused towards woodworking in general, there was still an overwhelming amount of tools on display. I only had a few moments to spare before I had to hit the road again, so I didn't bother trying to talk to anyone.

    Fast forward to this last Tuesday. This time around, I was going with a purpose. I had spent a good amount of time reading various threads here on CWW and determined that I was going to make my first new plane purchase a Veritas apron plane. I was torn between it and the LA block., but figured I had come to a solid decision.

    While staring at the hand plane display case, I was fortunate enough to have "Ron", a member of the Toronto West's store staff come into my view. I asked him if he could spare a few moments, and it ended up being much closer to half an hour, if not 45mins. I gave him my very short background, and explained why I thought the apron plane was going to be my best bet. He then went on to explain both the apron and block planes to me, their intended usage, and what would best fit my needs. He also spent a very good amount of time detailing the ins and outs of sharpening, and what methods would be best for someone with the amount of experience I have. He was even kind enough to give me some advice on the old Stanley planes I've been collecting for the past while.

    All in all, I came away with the LA block with an O1 blade, rather than the apron plane. Also in the bag was the diamond paste 3 pack for honing my blades. I never had any doubt that I would end up with both planes at some point, but Ron felt that for my use the block would serve better as my first Veritas product, and after his lengthy explaination I had to agree.

    I really just wanted to take the time to thank Ron and of course the Toronto West Lee Valley location. I will without a doubt, be making the trip to their location without heistation again in the near future. If anyone feels like I did, and is concerned about making the right decisions in regards to Lee Valley purchases. Please don't give a second thought to leaning on the Lee valley staff for assistance. I simply can't speak highly enough of the help I received while there.

    Jarrett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Oh you've done it, strap yourself in and hold on for the ride, you'll be selling those power tools you've fixed up in no time!

    It's a slippery slope but a rather enjoyable process.

    The LA block was my first Veritas purchase as well (in A2 though).

    AK

  3. #3
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    Kris

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Welcome to the club of the damned;)

  4. #4
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    Mark Rose

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Jarrett good purchase! I bought mine 15+ years ago when they first came out. They are a nice plane.
    Cheers, Mark
    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.

  5. #5
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    Bob Blakeborough

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Just wait until you get your hands on the Bevel Up Smoother! No... Wait... The Low Angle Jack! Uhhhh... Make that the Large Shoulder Plane! Awwwww... I can't forget about the Small Plow Plane! Oh crap... Forget it man... You're just going to be another addict like the rest of us now. I am surprised Rob just doesn't offer "the first hit is free" type situation. One try and you are hooked!

    PS - I love my Veritas tools... Can you tell?

  6. #6
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    Kris

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by tirebob View Post
    I am surprised Rob just doesn't offer "the first hit is free" type situation. One try and you are hooked!
    No need for that, you go tothe plane days event and get hooked no matter what... I am glad I already have several of them Yeah, I love them too...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris in Toronto View Post
    No need for that, you go tothe plane days event and get hooked no matter what... I am glad I already have several of them Yeah, I love them too...
    I made it a point to ask when the next plane event was going to happen. My memory is fairly rough at the best of times but I think he mentioned something about Sept.

  8. #8
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    I.B.Woodworker

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    That is a wonderful plane. Some might say 2 in 1, as if you get the handle for the back of it, you have a pretty nice #3. I personally took the regular knob off the front of mine and replaced it with the larger wooden knob for $7.50. it makes the plane easier for my big hands to use.

    Enjoy. but now you will need to contend with the knowledge of what a well made plane feels like and compare it with the older ones that you have.
    Matt

    People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

  9. #9
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    A.B. Normal

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Jarrett, you're doomed and we're happy that you are because misery loves company.

    Unfortunately there are 3 LV stores in Toronto, in the past I dealt with the west store because it was the only one. That was fairly safe as it was a long drive from Scarborough.

    Then they opened one in Scarborough, it was so convenient, I was doomed.

    To add insult to injury they then opened one downtown (I work downtown).

    It's a plot I tell you, a plot to keep my bank account low..................Regards, Rod.

  10. #10
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    Bob Blakeborough

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by matt.mackinnon View Post
    That is a wonderful plane. Some might say 2 in 1, as if you get the handle for the back of it, you have a pretty nice #3. I personally took the regular knob off the front of mine and replaced it with the larger wooden knob for $7.50. it makes the plane easier for my big hands to use.

    Enjoy. but now you will need to contend with the knowledge of what a well made plane feels like and compare it with the older ones that you have.
    I did this as well... I had an issue with finger cramping, but with the wooden knob I find the issue solved.

  11. #11
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    Andrew J. Coholic

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    You guys who are within a drive to a LV store are lucky.. Being in Northern Ontario, I have only been at a LV store a handful of times (although I get plenty of orders via mail, and have been a customer since the mid 1980's).

    I too am still overwhelmed when I do get a chance to visit one of the stores. A wonderful place to hang out!

    AJC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario
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    1,685

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Welcome to the Lee Valley experience. I live across Ottawa from the LV store and it is my favourite place to spend both wish time and my hard-earned dollars. Veritas products are top notch in quality and value; I don't think that anyone has only one!

    By the by , I just received the parts to convert my plough to wide blade configuration but have not found the time to try out the tongue blades yet!

    Ken

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Burlington, Ontario
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    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajcoholic View Post
    You guys who are within a drive to a LV store are lucky.. Being in Northern Ontario, I have only been at a LV store a handful of times (although I get plenty of orders via mail, and have been a customer since the mid 1980's).

    I too am still overwhelmed when I do get a chance to visit one of the stores. A wonderful place to hang out!

    AJC
    LUCKY! Do you know how easy it is to spend money there! Thats like telling an addict he's lucky he lives next to. A dealer!

  14. #14
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    Jim

    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    heh, heh, heh ... Welcome! Nice post, common experience. Lee Valley still has the old fashioned customer service ethic. I don't have a local Lee Valley store, but every chance I get I drop into one to soak up the knowledge. The block plane is a good start.
    Jim
    --------------------------
    Wood, the final frontier

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Ottawa
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    Default Re: First Lee Valley experience...

    Welcome to the slope

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