DX60 and NX60 Block Planes - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

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DX60 and NX60 Block Planes


The new Veritas DX60 and NX60 block planes (leevalley.com), are just as likely to attract attention as will their new dovetail saw. The planes are identical, except that the DX has a ductile iron body finished with a durable powder-coat polymer paint, while the NX has a unique ‘nickel-resist ductile iron’ body – the nickel is actually alloyed into the iron, making it rust resistant. At 1 ¾" x 7" (including the adjuster knob) these new block planes are 9⁄32" narrower than the Veritas Low-Angle block plane (#05P22.01/.51), and about the same length, and they share the same bed angle (12º) and Norris-style adjuster mechanism. In place of the slot screws on either side of the plane body that are used to adjust the blade, the new planes have hex screws. The A2 blades, at 9⁄64", are somewhat thicker, and have a 23º primary bevel with a 25º secondary bevel ground at the tip (as opposed to a single 25º primary bevel). One of the nice enhancements is a set- screw that limits the backward travel of the toe, effectively preventing it from hitting the tip of the blade, yet allowing for the narrowest of openings. What really distinguishes these new planes (apart from the radical new streamlined look) are the high tolerance levels. According to Lee Valley, “the sole and sides are flat and square to within +0.000" and -0.0015" over the entire surface... and the back of the blade is lapped flat within + or -0.0002" in the working area of the blade.” While quite comfortable in use, these planes definitely have a different heft and feel than the Veritas Low-Angle plane. We anticipated that they would perform flawlessly whether planning with or against the grain, and we were not disappointed. We really like these enhancements, and at a $40 premium for the DX60, find it reasonably priced for a purchase that will last a lifetime. The $155 premium for the NX60 is a little more difficult to digest on a woodworkers income, but....they’re so damn nice. #05P70.01 (DX60), $189, #05P70.11 (NX60), $299.