I hate some of my tools. I love some. It doesn’t really follow any pattern. It is not the most expensive or the cheapest. I picked up some oddballs in my “collector” days and never really used them. Now, I am actually using them and see them in a different light. Here is a short list:
I hate my Stanley 45. It is the proverbial jack of all trades and master of none. The adjustments suck. The seating for the cutters is pitiful. It chatters. The screws shake loose unless you crank them down too tightly. It doesn’t track well. The skates on the body are too sharp and hang on everything. It is hateful to use. I can hardly wait until I get a decent plow plane. It is the most frustrating tool that I have ever used. It is almost easier to just cut grooves with a chisel. It is one of those tools that has so much promise and you keep trying and trying to find out what it is really good for and it falls flat every time.
My Stanley 66, on the other hand, is amazing. It is supposedly for holding scrapers for beading and reeding but much like Clark Kent, that is it’s mild mannered disguise. It has an alter identity. With the “other” cutters, it is one of the most wonderful small routers available. It gets into the tightest places, it actually rides it’s fence. You can actually adjust the fence from the top without tools. Unlike other small routers, it has nice big handles that you can hold and turn and it goes where you tell it You can lift one side and take a lighter cut and work your way down to full depth. The cutters don’t stick out as far as other routers and don’t hang and twist off in other directions like other routers. The cutters are cheap and you can make them whatever shape you want.
My cheap knock-off Stanley 95 clone (from AMT, anybody remember them?) is another special purpose plane that is really nice to have. It is not a plane that you use that much by itself but it is a great little secret weapon. Get ready to edge joint and make a couple passes with it to set the angle and then pull out the jointer. I can’t say that I would buy one of the new remakes at the premium price but if you find one that is cheap, don’t hesitate. Snap it up quickly.
Well, I got that off my chest. Have a great night.
-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/