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Giving Stanley a 2nd chance...

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Blog entry by Rick Boyett posted 10-09-2010 05:51 AM 1026 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some of you might have read my review on the Stanley Sweetheart no 9 1/2 block plane. I wasn’t very kind and rightfully so. The plane had great promise but was totally ruined by bad quality control..

But a few days ago I read David Craig’s very positive review of the no 60 1/2 block plane which was downright glowing. I also read a blog entry by Woodworking Magazines editor Christopher Schwartz in which he stated he was in the beginning stages of testing an improved version of the plane. He said, The Stanley planes look about 100 times better

So I sent and inquiry to Stanley, through Facebook, asking if there was a way to identify these improved planes. Unfortunately there wasn’t any method but I was surprised that within a week I found myself on a conference call speaking with the project manager of Hand Planes for Stanley.

He said that he read my original review and confessed that there had been some quality control issues at their plant in Mexico. He then promised me that those issues had been corrected. He even offered me a Stanley No. 62 low angle jack plane to review.

It was at least five seconds before I finally thanked him and turned down the sample. But I was very much impressed with Stanley’s response. So tonight I ordered a brand new Stanley no 62 low angle jack plane. I plan to put this one through its paces and give another complete review.

BTW, I got it off Amazon.com for $151.87. That’s a pretty good discount off the original price. The have all of the Stanley Sweetharts discounted right now.

I’ve got Amazon Prime, so I should get this plane on Monday or Tuesday. I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes….



7 comments so far

View swirt's profile

swirt

2117 posts in 2433 days


#1 posted 10-09-2010 03:06 PM

WOW. You turned down the free plane because???

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2576 days


#2 posted 10-09-2010 04:48 PM

I gess you turned the free plane down so nobody cuold give you a fixed plane
and no one cuold say you only made a good rewiew becourse you got it free-bee

still one thing I wuold have thought over one more time before I wuold do that

but my hat of for you but also for stanley calling you to a conference even thow its maybee
only was a try to close your mouth

lookingforward to heare more

Dennis

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 2673 days


#3 posted 10-09-2010 09:52 PM

Dennis pretty much nailed it. I really did take more than a few moments to consider that but in the end I decided I wasn’t in it for a freebie. I’m in it for a good tool and hopefully to post up some useful information.

If Stanley has finally fixed the woes of these tools, then I think they could be very much worth everyone’s consideration. IMO the plane I originally reviewed would have been nearly as good as a Veritas if it hasn’t had so many flaws. That is going to be of real interest to a lot of people. I think this starts to matter more when you consider that Stanley is planning to release more high end woodworking tools under the Sweetheart name. They have already announced a new set of woodworking chisels.

I’m actually going to try this a little differently than my last review. This time I’m going to plan things out a bit and document everything like I would if I were designing a virtual data center (that’s my real job). If something goes wrong, I’m going to give Stanley a chance to fix it and report on the results.

I’m also thinking of pre-reporting my findings to Stanley and giving them a chance to respond. Do you guys think that will be useful?

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 2317 days


#4 posted 10-09-2010 10:09 PM

Rick you did good.
I’m looking forward to your review. It will be HONEST.
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2576 days


#5 posted 10-09-2010 10:42 PM

I think if they want to come back in business with tools that work out of the box
then it was something they shuold have done from day one and not let this kind of
work be up to others to do
if so they shuold pay them for there time used to drag there failier thrugh the maschineri

but on the other hand you if you do it I think its fair game to let them respomce to it
after you said A and had the meeting with them you also have to say B
but first after you public it let Stanley answer in public and let them responce in
the way they produce there tools and quality control

Dennis

View swirt's profile

swirt

2117 posts in 2433 days


#6 posted 10-10-2010 04:20 AM

They took the time to listen the first time around. It might be worth it to share your findings with them first, but I am not sure you are under any obligation to do so. The real question would be, lets say you told them something they didn’t want to hear, is that something you are going to end up not sharing with the rest of us.

I look at it like this. If they were a small company and had no possible budget for testing/proving and vetting their production, then it would be a huge help for you to report to them first. Stanley, if I am not mistaken is the largest hand tool conglomerate in the world. They could hire 50 people like you on full salary without even blinking, so if they truly care about quality they will have already done so. They are not new to making quality tools. They shouldn’t have to be educated about their version 1 tools as though it is some kind of beta test. They should be able to look at a tool and know whether it is up to quality or not.

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

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 2673 days


#7 posted 10-10-2010 05:54 AM

A good point swirt. I’ll take that to heart.

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