My Stanley 60 ½ block plane makeover-PM-V11® blade upgrade

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Blog entry by Brad posted 02-21-2014 09:17 PM 2270 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is one of the first woodworking tools I ever owned.

According to Patrick Leach of Patrick’s Blood and Gore Stanley plane pages, on the one hand “The plane is a must-have for woodworkers,” while on the other hand, you should, “Definitely stay away from the maroon colored block planes; Stanley must have hired some Greenwich Village arteest to come up with this hideous color.”

Personally, I LOVE it. Mostly because it’s one of the few woodworking tools that my Dad owned. I think he bought it in the 1970s. And it saw so little use in his possession that I can still read the handwritten $8.95 price on the finger rest knob.

When I first got it, I tuned it up and have loved using it ever since. Then, Lee Valley came out with their new steel alloy, the PM-V11. I wanted to try it, and decided to upgrade my maroon beauty with a blade forged from the new metal. Here’s a side-by-side look see.

The iron that came stock with the plane is a bit over 1/16” thick while the new LV blade is 1/8” thick with a 25° bevel.

Minutes after the postman’s delivery, I finished polishing the back and bevel to a mirror finish, and put it in.

Here’s what she can do with some mahogany end grain.

The new iron sliced quite nicely through the end grain, leaving a very fine finish. It handles it with ease. And it’s been able to take a more aggressive cut than what I could shave with the stock blade.

It’s also nice not to have to sharpen it as often as the O1 blade it replaced. So far, the only drawback was the $36.00 + postage price. That needs to be balanced against the lifetime’s use I expect to get out of it. And it’s an improvement that future family members will benefit from as well. Though by the time it gets to them, the magic marker price will have worn off.


-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

8 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


10164 posts in 2650 days

#1 posted 02-21-2014 09:32 PM

Brad, nice review. I may have to look at one for my 140!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 02-21-2014 10:44 PM

$36 is peanuts compared to some of the money we throw around in this lifestyle. Looks like a wise investment to me.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Brad's profile


1139 posts in 2939 days

#3 posted 02-21-2014 11:40 PM

Oh, BT, you’re a sweet-talkin enabler, you are.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Don W's profile

Don W

19007 posts in 2766 days

#4 posted 02-21-2014 11:56 PM

Nice upgrade Brad.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2152 days

#5 posted 02-22-2014 02:38 AM

I have a question, is that the same plane in both sets of pics? The first few are the maroon 60 1/2 but the “action” shots look like a knuckle cap 65?

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View Brad's profile


1139 posts in 2939 days

#6 posted 02-22-2014 06:02 AM

Excellent eye AF. I got my pics mixed up on the action shots.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18389 posts in 3875 days

#7 posted 02-24-2014 05:04 AM

Sounds good. Thanks for the info ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15694 posts in 2817 days

#8 posted 02-24-2014 05:43 AM

It’s Cordovan, and a #4 Cordovan smoother I have now is the only bench plane my dad ever bought, too. Very nice block plane you have, and congrats on the upgrade.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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