While it lacks the sharpening port feature of the Work Sharp, the Veritas’s easy-to-set-up tool holder and rest make quick work of grinding and honing virtually every chisel and plane iron in your collection. The platters that carry the abrasives on the Veritas are 8″ rather than 6″ and ride on an aluminum turntable. The larger platter is better for sharpening those wider plane irons.
The sharpener comes with four abrasive disks (80-, 150-, 220- and 1,200-grit) and two platters — one 4mm thick and the other 3mm. Three other grits are also available. In a pinch, you can stick most any adhesive-backed abrasive paper to a platter, and trim it flush with a utility knife. The manual gives directions for sticking cloth to a platter, charging it with honing compound and polishing blades.
The difference in platter thickness is designed to produce a micro-bevel. You apply the coarser two grits to the thicker platter and the finer ones to the thin platter. When you switch to the thin platter, it changes the bevel angle 1°. In my experience with the system, that resulted in a micro-bevel of about one-half the width of the full bevel. Not so “micro” after all.
Spinning at 650 rpm, the Veritas cuts aggressively, and it doesn’t bog down if you apply extra pressure on the tool. There is a risk of overheating, but I found that with my fingers on the tool blade, I was well aware of the temperature of the steel. Just quench the tool if it gets too hot.
Setup is straightforward. The tool-rest elevation establishes the bevel angle: the higher the rest, the steeper the angle. The post has marks and a positive detent every 5° between 15° and 45°. Adjust it to the bevel angle you want.
The blade projection from the tool holder is the same, regardless of bevel angle. A nifty setup jig helps you get it right every time. Securing short-bladed tools, like butt chisels, can be a problem. A shorter projection — set up using the same jig — is the solution, though it changes the bevel angles; a conversion chart is on the jig.
Unfortunately, Veritas doesn’t make any guides for sharpening gouges and V-tools. To sharpen a curved-edge tool, you have to position the tool bevel against the platter when it’s stopped, then grip the tool’s shank with your knuckles against the rest and rock the tool. Clearly, it would take practice to master this task.