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UK-Stanley No 92 Not Worth The Money Saved

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Review by HorizontalMike posted 1204 days ago 6609 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
UK-Stanley No 92 Not Worth The Money Saved UK-Stanley No 92 Not Worth The Money Saved UK-Stanley No 92 Not Worth The Money Saved Click the pictures to enlarge them

In the process of building my first “major” WW project, a 21st Century Workbench, I found the need for acquiring a shoulder/rabbet plane to help clean up the shoulders on my dovetail cuts. I had already grunted through making my tenons via a single blade of my TS (precise but way too many cuts to clear the excess wood).

Off I went to my local WC to shop for a shoulder plane. This #92 was offered up by the salesperson as the one they personally used the most and from prior dealings with this person, I trusted their judgment. After forking over requisite $135 (product + tax) I headed for home to hone the blade and try this baby out.

When I got home and started disassembling the plane, I started noticing things. The stock blade ended up being 0.0160” TOO WIDE, as in that much wider than the body (body came out = 0.7515” and and the blade +0.7675”). You can actually see the blade sticking out the side of the plane in the attached picture. While this distance may seem small when just looking at the number, I can assure you that this interferes with getting a flat shoulder on one side of the plane while in use. I will have to grind the blade to make it narrow enough to match the plane body. The blade itself, also had a really bad stock grind on it, as both corners were rounded over requiring much more work to reset a clean angle prior to honing. I was partially warned of this by the salesperson but didn’t fully understand just how bad the grind was until getting home and putting it to stone. When one is sharpening by hand, this adds up. As a matter of fact I am still working on the blade.

I also noticed that the adjusting screws were of inferior quality. These screws, particularly the slots, are about the poorest I have seen. They have been slotted manually by a hacksaw prior to being chromed. The smaller slot is off-centered and is barely deep enough for a slotted screwdriver to use without destroying the slot. The larger slot was not evenly cut. I will probably go to the local “Fasteners” store and try and replace these screws/bolts. Don’t know if they are metric or SAE at this point.

Bottom Line—The extra $40 or so that it would have cost me for a Veritas is looking like a missed bargain at this point because of all the extra work and time that will be required to “fix” this UK-Stanley #92 Rabbet/Trim Plane.

I will make this plane work. By the time I make all the needed adjustments I am sure this #92 plane will be well used in my shop. LESSON LEARNED—I will most definitely look much closer at “higher quality” items in the future when shopping for tools. Bargains are NOT always what they are promoted as.

Additional pictures here.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."




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HorizontalMike

6697 posts in 1414 days



13 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4037 posts in 1357 days


#1 posted 1204 days ago

Mike, before you grind off the blade
It helps line up the square quickly
You are only using one side at a time so you have one side flush and you can feel the blade protruding and know that the blade is square after each adjustment without looking

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 TominTexas's profile

TominTexas

42 posts in 1336 days


#2 posted 1204 days ago

I’m sorry to hear of your frustrations with the shoulder plane. Stanley seems to be struggling with their hand tool quality on a number of fronts. I have the Veritas medium shoulder plane and it’s a well made tool with little or no tweaking required out of the box. I know you’ve put some time and effort into the Stanley but can you return it? Perhaps you can correct the disappointment.

Best of luck

Tom

-- East Side of Big D

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 1972 days


#3 posted 1203 days ago

Blade is supposed to be wider than the body. You reference it (plus a hair more) to the side of the plane you will be running up against the shoulder.

p.s. At the Woodcraft store I go to, they will let me open up a box and inspect before buying. Nothing wrong with asking if you can do that next time.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View OttawaP's profile

OttawaP

89 posts in 2227 days


#4 posted 1203 days ago

Been there, done that…but not on a shoulder plane. Bought the LV med right off the bat and it’s spectacular. Perfect in all points and cuts like a dream. It’s helps that I’m 3 min away from the head office/store but I would have bought it any way. To be frank, for $135 it’s a pretty cheap lesson in the world of tools and woodworking, be thankful it wasn’t a $3k saw or worse…Save your nickels and pick up the LV when you can and put this annoyance behind you….

-- Paul

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11605 posts in 2188 days


#5 posted 1203 days ago

Why can’t you just simply return it and opt for the higher quality one instead ?

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2163 days


#6 posted 1203 days ago

Mike—Bummer! I have one of the Sheffield-manufactured Stanley No 92’s, so after I read you review I pulled mine out of the drawer to see how mine compares to yours.

I bought mine from Highland 3 or 4 years ago @$95.00. When I got it, I fettled the back of the iron and sharpened it, and have been very happy with it … I use it a lot. The body on mine (right in front of the throat) measures .7530, and the iron comes in at .7535. Not dead on, but close enough for me. The hardware on mine is hefty and well-machined, and I would rate the fit and finish on my plane as more than acceptable.

Looks like Stanley’s manufacturing standards may have slipped a bit.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)

HorizontalMike

6697 posts in 1414 days


#7 posted 1203 days ago

Well, I have been busy this afternoon working on the blade with my granite tile, 100-320grit, and my Arkansas hardstone. I ended up not quite as close as the Dane, but ~0.7540” on the front of the blade and 0.7515” on the rear of the blade. As you recall, the body is 0.7515” wide. When installed, my finger cannot tell the difference between the blade and body now.

I immediately put it to use on my workbench rail’s dovetails that I cut with the BS. Actually, I took the upper body off and used it as a chisel plane. I am now impressed at what this little plane can do.

I would not have felt right about returning the #92 to WC because I do NOT think it was misrepresented to me. I do, however, need to be more aware of initial quality and the little things to look for BEFORE committing to buy. I can only blame myself for that. I will replace the two top adjusting screws with something more substantial when I get a chance. And then, I’ll put all this behind me and enjoy using and owning the #92 shoulder plane.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2260 posts in 2027 days


#8 posted 1203 days ago

Mike,

As others have said, it is normal for the blade to be slightly wider than the body. This is from the instructions for LV shoulder planes:

Positioning the Blade
The ideal blade position will be achieved when the cutting edge is parallel to the sole and the adjacent edge projects slightly from the body on the working side. This is most easily done with the four blade adjustment set screws (two on each side of the plane). Back off the lever cap wheel to free up the blade, and adjust the pair of set screws on the working side of the plane approximately flush with the body. With your finger, shift the blade over in that direction to seat the blade against the set screws. Since the blade will sit proud of the body on the working side, but much farther than required, adjust the two contacting set screws (on the working side) until the desired blade position is attained (just proud of the side surface of the plane body). To finish, tighten the out-of-contact set screws until they touch the blade, then back them off 1/8 turn or less. (If the blade is in firm contact on all four set screws, depth of cut adjustment will be difficult or impossible.)

Note: As supplied, the blade is slightly wider than the body of the plane. You can position the blade relative to the working side as outlined above, or grind the sides of the blade down so that it aligns with the sides of the plane body.

The full instructions are here.

-- “A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” ― Mark Twain

View Hacksaw007's profile

Hacksaw007

582 posts in 1689 days


#9 posted 1203 days ago

I am glad that you are now happier with your #92 plane. I have only good things to say about them. We used them in Pennsylvania House for a long time, and many of them. They are simple, no bells and whistles, but do they work. Just like any new chisel or lathe tool you have some set up and sharpening to do. Before the plant closed there were many old planes still in use. I have 3 or more, a #93 and a #90, but the 92 is the best. I was the Quality control manager for Pennsylvania House for 15 years, going to Highpoint Furniture market, and used this plane many a times. I trained many a back room person at furniture dealers across the nation with this plane. If you want one of my training sheets on the Stanley #92 plane, just send me your e-mail address. The file is in a Word Format. Someday LJ’s will allow Word files to be used here, I have lots of training materials to share.

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View RandyMarine's profile

RandyMarine

235 posts in 1869 days


#10 posted 1203 days ago

I Have had the 92 now for about 5 months…and I have used it on every project I have made since. I LOVE it! I am sorry you seem to have gotten a bum model, but I have found this to be one of my best buys to date. It shaved right out of the box with no tweaking needed. I do need to sharpen it now, but that is from constant use.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)

HorizontalMike

6697 posts in 1414 days


#11 posted 1202 days ago

Unlike Veritas, Stanley #92 does NOT have adjusting screws for the blade position. To adjust the blade on the #92 you have to “tap” the blade side to side. IMO, that means the #92 blade width should very nearly match that of the body plus whatever overage one decides is needed for squaring the inside of the shoulder. I just found that 16-thousandths overage was quite literally over doing it and getting in the way. Something like a couple thousandths overage would have been more like it, though the Dane reported that his came with less than 1 thousandths overage.

Product variability is what will make or break a company and Stanley needs to get a handle on their current quality control. Hand-slotted screws in this day and age are unacceptable. My dining room drop leaf table has hand-slotted screws, but that table dates to 1846-56 just before machines were built to accurately slot screws. Now if I had a #92 that dated back to the mid-1800s, that would be a different story…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Jero's profile

Jero

74 posts in 1487 days


#12 posted 1192 days ago

I purchased a Stanley 92 right before the holidays and couldnt be more pleased with the results. I mainly purchased it to help fine-tune tenons that came off of the table saw. After setting it up, it takes off just the finest amount of material, allowing me to really hone in on the final thickness. Cant believe I went so long without it!

-- Jeremy - Marshfield, WI

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4025 posts in 1549 days


#13 posted 713 days ago

My 92 is made in Mexico and I like it very much, ti works well for me.

-- Bert

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