In my last posting, I said that I had ordered a new Stanley Sweetheart No 62 low angle jack plane. I was really looking forward to testing this and putting it into the regular rotation for my hand tools.
Unfortunately the plane that was sent to me had issues right out of the box. Mostly cosmetic. Among the issues were:
1. Tote was loose and had a small crack.
2. Paint was peeling off the base of the plane from under the tote.
3. Paint pealed off the base and stuck to the cap.
4. Flaws in the body (or perhaps the paint) behind the tote.
5. Cap is aluminum and felt kinda flimsy. The cap screw bottoms out when securing the blade.
6. Paint is peeling off the bottom of the cap.
I did try the plane out for a while but I ended up sending ti back to Amazon.com. I feel like this isn’t one of the planes that was made before Stanley addressed their QC issues.
I will say this in its favor.
The sole of the plane was flat. REALLY flat. I used a precision straight edge and feeler gauge to test it out. I couldn’t get a 0.0015 feeler gauge under the straight edge.
The mouth of the plane closed completely when the blade was deployed. There have been complaints in the past that the mouth wouldn’t close. It simply isn’t the case here.
It performed pretty well out of the box. I got some nice shavings from black walnut. I’m sure I could have gotten even better if I had fully tuned the plane. The blade was pretty sharp, right out of the box, but I know I could have honed it more for a better cut. Also, I didn’t test the flatness of the blade.
Past reviews have mentioned that the integrated frog has machining issues that led to the blade having a skew. I had the same problem with Stanley’s no 9 1/2 block plane. There were no such issues on this plane…
I’m not writing a full review because I didn’t fully test the plane. Also, I feel that this is probably one of the flawed planes that Stanley originally released. I also think there is a chance I got a refurb’ed plane from Amazon.
So I think my recommendation here is “buyer beware”. I suspect that these early planes are still out on the market. I haven’t heard anything about Stanley recalling these early planes. It would probably be best to buy the plane from a retail outlet so you can check the plane out before hand. Otherwise, it is probably best to buy a Veritas. That’s what I’m planning to do…
BTW, you can see photos of the plane on my flickr page.