Well I don't know about any Brits out there reading this, but I'm currently feeling like I'm in imminent danger of drowning under a sea of Union flags. What with HM Queen's Jubilee this weekend (God bless her), the upcoming Olympics later this summer (God help us), and even the European football championships (God will be asked, but honestly, we haven't a prayer), you can't get away from the patriotic fervour. So if you can't beat 'em...
The observant will have noticed that a) Lee Valley Veritas have started supplying their plane blades in nifty clamshell cases, and b) You can buy said handy cases separately. See? Veritas Plane Blade Cases. A useful accessory that had been long-promised, and finally realised - via (and this is a the patriotic bit) UK manufacturing! Yes, I know - I wasn't sure there was any left either, but there ya go.
So because I've been very good, eaten all my greens, and clean living apparently really does pay (could have sworn that was a fib), I have an example or two here chez Alf. Behold:
They hold blades:
And, well, that's where you want to be careful. If, like me, you see a device designed for item X and immediately wonder if it'll hold item Y, be careful. Turns out not all irons for Bailey style planes are the same. The Hock I knew wouldn't fit, owing to its distinctive square top, but when the *cough*Lie-Nielsen*cough* turned out to be too long, and the Quangsheng only just made it, I thought I'd do the assembled and visiting multitude a favour. Viz: Nick the pic off LV's website and apply a few crude but hopefully helpful measurements.
Turns out when LV say 8" long, they mean from the very tip of the hang hole, so watch it if you're wandering away from Veritas irons and the One True Canadian Path, eh?
But they're good. I like them very much - they clip shut nice and positively, look after your precious sharp edges, and I shall be investing in some more in due course for my other bevel-up irons, once the coffers have refilled (but that's another story).
However, if you know me at all, it's that any spare Bailey pattern irons tend to be stored in, well, "spare" Bailey pattern planes. It's one way to justify them, I suppose... As a result, I asked El Presidente if he'd object to spreading the beneficence a little rather than let things lie around gathering dust, and he said Go Ahead.
So, in a Jubilee kinda way, FREE, GRATIS and for NOTHING, two lucky persons can find a UK-made bevel down blade case upon their doormat in virtually no time at all. You'll need a UK mainland address for me to send it to, but if you're Yuri in Odessa you can still enter, as long as your mate in Basildon is willing to accept the parcel and send it on. i.e. As long as I'm just sending it within the UK, that's fine. Just email me before midnight BST Friday 8th June to enter (address is on the website). I was going to come up with a question or something, but failed; so if you can come up with a relevant (and amusing) one for me I'll stick an extra entry in the hat for you instead.