It’s been pretty quiet around here of late. Why? Well because I have been over in Canada seeing the ever affable Tom Fidgen and spending
the housekeeping hard earned hobby dollars on some tasty kit at the Lee Valley store downtown on South King Street. After working all week I had an enjoyable Saturday afternoon sampling some of the local brews with Tom and being shown around the LV store by ex-pat Peter Riley. Tom and I spent a couple relaxing hours in the Bier markt (I recommend the Alexander Keith IPA) and I interviewed him on his techniques, tools and success as a very well known and widely emulated woodworker. The interview will be published in an upcoming article in Furniture and Cabinetmaking Magazine.
Following that I toured the LV store (perhaps having a few beers and then shopping was not the best of ideas…) but I managed to score a sweet Veritas left handed plow (sic) plane with all the trimmings and a DMT diamond stone for comfortably HALF what I would have paid in the UK so I wandered back to my hotel a happy camper.
If you are over in Canada I highly recommend
raiding the kids’piggybank saving up for a splurge at LV. Peter Riley was knowledgeable, was generous with his time and showed me the huge amount of stock LV carry in each store (along with Leonard Lee’s disturbingly comprehensive collection of machetes…).
What was really good to see was that they carry the full range of Lee Valley tools including the entire Veritas line. If you want a left handed plow plane here in the UK you are in for a long wait and a significant cost premium. The thing that really blew me away however was the price of the DMT diamond plate. A like for like diamond plate in the UK is £179.00 at a well known distributor whereas at the LV store it was $119.00…with the exchange rate at £0.54 to the Canadian dollar which translates to about £64.54. It was all i could do to not buy a complete set of PM V11 chisels! If you are planning a holiday over there you could get a heap of very fine tools for a snip. Case closed.
Normal service will be resumed this week.
– Paul Mayon