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Stanley Low Angle Block Planes

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Blog entry by Geedubs posted 09-04-2010 03:43 AM 6047 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am looking for a block plane and the Stanley low angle planes appears to get a lot of good comments. I notice that there is more than one model out there, however. For example, one is the Stanley 12-139 Bailey No.60-1/2 Low Angle Block Plane and another is the Stanley 12-960 Contractor Grade Low Angle Plane. Can someone explain the differences (other than the obvious price differences?)?

I am also interested in finding some good online videos demonstrating techniques for sharpening chisels and plane irons. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.



9 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2402 days


#1 posted 09-04-2010 04:00 AM

The 60 1/2 has an adjustable mouth that lets you set the cuts to courser or finer shavings. it’s also a bit bigger and heavier which helps with the cut. It also has lateral blade adjustment which I’m not sure if the smaller plane has. these are the basics.

regardless – both will require you some prep work if bought new – mainly flattening the sole. I spend a couple of hours doing that on the 60 1/2 and tuning it, but after that it performs like a champ.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1726 days


#2 posted 09-04-2010 04:11 AM

I have the Bailey 60-1/2 (a modern one… its the youngest plane in my collection) It is OK (not great). I use it a lot and it holds up well. But the fit and finish are a bit lacking… though it cost less than $30 so I can’t complain.

For sharpening their is some good info here
http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?cat=517
search utube for other videos of Deneb Puchalski. He works for Lie Nielsen but he really has an economical approach to sharpening that I like.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

632 posts in 1824 days


#3 posted 09-04-2010 04:14 AM

couple hours to flatten and prep really?

I have a veritas low angle black plane, when it came I honed the blade, 4000 , 6000, 8000

I’ve had it for a few months now I think i’ve honed it a second time, but still no grinding or lapping the blade or sole.

Blade pre lapped and sole was perfectly flat

If you have to do work to a plane buy a used one and spend some time, but if your buying new it should not need hours of work to get it ready to use.

I spend about 5 mins honing

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables http://www.canadianwoodworks.com

View Geedubs's profile

Geedubs

143 posts in 1983 days


#4 posted 09-04-2010 04:52 AM

Thanks for all the info above. Swirt, where did you find the 60 1/2 for less than $30? It looks like most of them cost between $75-99 new?

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

View cwdance1's profile

cwdance1

1145 posts in 2013 days


#5 posted 09-04-2010 05:40 AM

I too would like a nice plane but the price and prep have kept me from buying.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3524 posts in 1725 days


#6 posted 09-04-2010 06:16 AM

I’ve got an old Stanley standard block, a Buck Brothers standard block (from Home Depot), and a Groz low angle block (from Woodcraft) and I spent about an hour on each one to sharpen/hone the irons and they all work fine as far as I can tell. I bought the old Stanley block when it cost about $7.95 new, in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The Buck Brothers block was, I think around $20 last year and looks very much like the Stanley, but the grip is not as nice. I think the Groz low angle block cost me about $29, compared to $45 for the new Stanley. I guess the Groz planes get mixed reviews on here, but I like mine. They are not perfect right out of the box like a Lie Nielsen, or a Veritas, but with a little tune up they work fine; and I have my whole collection including a 14” jack and a 18” fore for less than one 6” plane of the boutique brands would cost. I may go for one of the new Woodriver V3 #4 10” smooth planes if they ever go on sale. They look real good and I could stand to have one plane for around $100.

Geedubs, The Stanley “Sweet Heart” line has a #60 1/2 low angle block that sells for around $100. The Bailey #60 1/2 is around $30 at Lowes.

As far as grinding/honing is concerned, I got a granite sink cutout from a granite shop for free and I stick silicon carbide sand paper (wet/dry paper some folks call it) to the top using 3M #77 spray adhesive and clamp my iron into a honing guide and roll away. I start at 220 grit, then 320, 500, 600, 800, 1000, then 1200 final. It takes about 5 minutes on each grit and a couple of minutes to change the paper between each step (you have to wipe off the glue with solvent) This is called my version of the scary sharp system. You can Google the term “scary sharp system” for more info. I have been using some variation of this for about 40 years so it’s not a new idea. It just works really good.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2402 days


#7 posted 09-04-2010 07:10 AM

Paul – yes – really. the sole was considerably out of flat. did I get it perfectly flat ? NO! but I got it good enough for what a block plane needs it to be. I have heard of numerous people that got the same plane (sells at lowes for ~$30) and experienced the same thing with the sole needing some work. all I have at my disposal are sandpaper and granite slab. so it took some time.

the blade wasn’t too bad. just needed some clean up and honing. it actually came with a decent blade.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

632 posts in 1824 days


#8 posted 09-04-2010 05:43 PM

don’t get me wrong I also have a groz block plane for like $15 bucks, I spent about an hour flattening the sole and the typical blade stuff, works very well…... it i’m concerned about tear out though I will go to my Veritas just seems to get less tear out, maybe blade quality, I don’t know as I sharpened and honed exactly the same.

I didn’t know the Stanley was a $30 dollar plane I though around $100, so for $30 and an hours work you really can’t complain

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables http://www.canadianwoodworks.com

View Geedubs's profile

Geedubs

143 posts in 1983 days


#9 posted 09-04-2010 07:47 PM

I am learning as I go. I have discovered that the 60 1/2 model that preceded the current Sweatheart 60 1/2 is actually the Stanley 12-960. Their is also a 12-920 which appears similar but a little smaller. The prices on the 12-960 vary but Lowe’s appears to carry it for $31.98. The 12-960 also appears to have the adjustable mouth…which I assume is a positive. So far, this appears to be the way to go since I can’t quite understand the value of investing $99 in the new Sweatheart version.

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

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