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Not a premium plane out of the box but after tuning its a fine user. Amazon price is 112.25 free shh

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Review by Dan posted 03-05-2012 07:27 PM 4639 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not a premium plane out of the box but after tuning its a fine user. Amazon price is 112.25 free shh Not a premium plane out of the box but after tuning its a fine user. Amazon price is 112.25 free shh No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just checked Amazon.com and found that they have now dropped the price on this plane to 112.25 with free shipping included. I think this plane is well worth the sale price.

The sides and sole are polished and looked nice but the black finish job on the plane was done poorly. Not only did the finish look poor it has also started to chip off on a couple areas of my plane. I have only used my plane a handful of times and the black finish has all ready chipped a little on the front toe part and on the blade cap. I am personally not all that upset by this because I paid far less then retail for the plane so I can live with a little paint chipping. However Stanley really needs to correct this for future releases. I read a lot of reviews where people had the same problem with the chipping paint.

I think the rear tote/handle for the plane is ugly, especially when compared to the shape of the vintage Stanley planes but thats just my opinion and I did not mark it down for that. Even though I think its shape is ugly the tote and knob are very nice cherry wood and well finished. The handle at first felt really uncomfortable when I was holding the plane but after using it I was not bothered at all by its grip. So my complaints are strictly cosmetic.

The iron/blade is very thick and it was pretty sharp out of the box. It had a nice straight 25 deg bevel on it and the back was pretty flat. It did take me some time to polish the back and hone the iron but I think thats to be expected with any blade.

After sharpening the iron I went to try the plane out to see if it would require any more work. After just a few minuets of planing I ran into my first problem. The bottom edges all the way round the bottom of the plane were very rough and sharp. I was planing a piece of soft wood and what was happening was if I was not careful the front bottom edge would put a dent in the work. Even just setting the plane down on the bench or on a board it could dent it if you were not careful. The edges were sharp enough to damage the wood. I fixed this problem by taking a sanding block with 180 grit paper and I sanded along the edges to take that sharp edge off. This only took me a few minuets and I consider it a minor issue but I did mark the plane down for this and I do believe Stanley needs to fix that issue as well.

I also discovered that the adjustable mouth on the plane will not close enough to allow the plane to have a very tight throat opening. I did not measure the mouth opening and personally this is not a real big issue for me but the mouth should have been made to close tighter. I can see where many would complain about this and this is another area I marked the plane down for.

The last issue I had with the plane was the sole not being flat. Before ever using the plane I checked the sides and sole with my straight edge and they both looked flat. I must not have looked close enough because I later found the sole to be cupped in the middle. I was not getting real consistent shavings with the plane and it was very hard to get a full width shaving. I checked the iron and that was square so I checked the sole again and thats when I realized there was cup. That must have been the problem because I lapped the sole of the plane, which took me a while, maybe because of the type of iron? After much time spent I got the sole flat and noticed a big improvement with the consistency of the shavings size.

I believe Stanley was on the right track with these new SW planes. Other then the poor paint job I would consider these planes premium when it comes to the materials used to make them. The issues that I found with the plane are just minor things that would be really easy for Stanley to fix on later models. I personally consider the minor flaws nothing more then kinks that need to be worked out. Keep in mind these are Type 1 of the new Stanley planes. Looking at Stanley’s plane history and type study you will find that with each type Stanley made little improvements. Hopefully Stanley has realized some of these issues and will fix them when or if they plan to release future models. I would have been a lot more disappointed with my purchase had I paid the near 200 dollar retail price but for just over a hundred dollars I am not upset that I had to correct a few problems. There are only a few options for a new low angle jack plane and the Stanley on sale is a lot cheaper then the other options.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"




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Dan

3543 posts in 1538 days



12 comments so far

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 1870 days


#1 posted 03-05-2012 07:59 PM

I bought one of these about a year and a half ago after speaking with the product manager for the Sweetheart line of tools. I had reviewed their block plane when it first came out and there were some serious quality control issues. He assured me that the planes were now up to snuff but he couldn’t give me any way to tell I was buying a poorer quality plane or the newer ones..

I decided to give it a shot and bought the plane off Amazon. I’m guessing that I got one of the older ones because the paint was flaking off of the cap iron and parts of the body. The blade also had a slight skew to it in relation to the body of the plane. These could have been corrected but I wasn’t willing to put out the effort.

I seriously question the long term durability of that aluminium cap “iron”. Obviously I didn’t keep it long enough to find out but it just seems flimsy to me. Keep a good eye on it and let everyone know how it goes over the next few years….

Regards.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15045 posts in 1225 days


#2 posted 03-05-2012 08:13 PM

Good review Dan.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1538 days


#3 posted 03-05-2012 08:15 PM

Rick, I think if someone is looking for this type of plane (low angle jack) and they want it pretty much ready out of the box then they should get a LN or Veritas. When buying the Stanley SW I think its better if you expect to have to do some tuning to it. I expected it would need work based on the reviews I had read so when I got it, it was no surprise that it needed to be tuned up a bit.

If I was buying it in hopes that the plane would be ready for use with no issues to correct then I would have felt the way you did and I may have sent it back as well.

I think the aluminium cap will hold up but if it goes I will have to test Stanley on the Lifetime Warranty that comes with the plane.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 1870 days


#4 posted 03-05-2012 10:24 PM

I do agree with you Dan with one exception. Stanley marketed these tools as premium planes. They are not. I did end up buying a Veritas LAJ and have been extremely satisfied with it. All my hand planes are Veritas or LN at this point.

Good point about the Warranty. Be sure to let us all know if you do have any future problems.

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ShaneA

5306 posts in 1256 days


#5 posted 03-06-2012 12:30 AM

Thanks for the write up Dan. So the price is approx 1/2 of a LN?

View rustynails's profile

rustynails

463 posts in 1187 days


#6 posted 03-06-2012 03:46 AM

Rick what made you buy theVeritas LAJ plane over the Lie Nielson LAJ plane? As I have been looking at both of these planes but have never seen either one in person. I know both are good.
Thanks Richard

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#7 posted 03-06-2012 03:59 AM

Thanks for the review, Dan. I’ve only had a chance to fool around with my new SW 62, but so far I think it’s great. Like you, I bought it knowing there were some issues ahead of time.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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ShipWreck

536 posts in 2411 days


#8 posted 03-06-2012 11:33 AM

I was at the local WoodCraft store the other day speaking with a store associate who has been steering me into hand tools. He told me that the Stanley “reps” have been begging for any feedback from his customers about the new line of planes.. Hopefully this is a good sign for things to come?

View Don W's profile

Don W

15045 posts in 1225 days


#9 posted 03-06-2012 11:59 AM

The #62 is a little obscure, so I can see buying a new Stanley as long as you except its shortcomings. A vintage #62 is hard to find and has a lot oc collector value. I love my LN # 62 but agree they have a price tag that scares a lot of people.

But when it comes to a normal Plane, say a #4, or #5, why would you buy something of this quality? So can Stanley continue to make tools based on this type of quality?

I’ve heard several time that the Stanley “reps” have been looking for feedback. Grab a piece of wood and use the damn thing. It either works or it doesn’t.

I enjoy the challenge of bringing back a vintage tool. And I understand that in many cases these tools were NEVER tuned to work correctly. I can’t believe it cost that much more to make sure the bottom is flat, the mouth is square etc with all the equipment is right in front of you. And if your manufacturing engineers don’t know what it takes, I suggest they join LJ’s.

Dan, I think your review showed that for the price a Stanley #62 may be an affordable option, but most other easily found bench and blocks would be better found in the vintage market. That’s to bad for everybody.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2853 days


#10 posted 03-07-2012 02:59 AM

Thanks for the review. I have always wondered why any company (Stanley in this case) puts out a new product line, competing with known entities, knowing full well that guys like us will be trying them, evaluating them, and then discussing them on all the relevant websites, and can’t seem to get it right.

Don’t they pay someone to find manufacturers, give them the specs, and then test the pre-production pieces?
Can’t they see when the stuff is not good? Maybe they can & don’t care. Maybe their standards aren’t high enough, but then why bother to hype it as the old Stanley quality, the heritage, etc?

I suppose being honest wouldn’t really sell planes. (Hey, look at the new Stanleys…not as expensive as the good stuff, and not as good either) Oh, well, I’m just ranting here. Maybe it’s because I love the old Stanleys & I’d really love it if they could get the feeling back in the new ones, not just the name.

I can’t really afford the new premium planes, but I have a lot of old Stanley & Millers Falls planes that serve me well. I guess I’ll just stay with those. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 1870 days


#11 posted 03-07-2012 03:49 AM

@rustynails

Flip a coin man. You just can’t go wrong with either tool..

I actually wrote a review on the Veritas LAJ.

At the end of the day, I preferred the innovations of the Veritas LAJ and the Norris adjuster. The Veritas has a screw that lets you microadjust the mouth opening. It also has set screws on either side of the blade that come in really handy.

However I would never scoff at anyone that bought a LN. I’ve got my eye on buying a No. 51.

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3515 posts in 1136 days


#12 posted 03-07-2012 06:18 AM

I have two of the ln 62s and I don’t need a micro adjustment lever or the horrible tote found on the veritas the noris adjustment is a arguable issue as this could be a plus for the veritas however to me feel is everything and to me the veritas feels horrible in the hand that is the one thing that sold me on the ln the blades and the hotdog from ln are a few more selling points for me that mattered I am so glad that got a 62 that i bought a second one and then i got the 164 it is a dream too and nothing is better than the lifetime warranty on a ln plane that transfers with ownership

I have not written my review of the no4 and the low angle block planes that i got from Stanley but i will

everyone keeps talking about how stanley made premium planes in the past i will argue that point to the end of the earth stanley has never made a premium plane except for the bedrock line and they were not made to be pretty they were made to do the job well and they do that no the high end plane was brought to us by Thomas lie Nelson and it has been done very well i am constantly making old stanley plane as close to premium as i can get them but its hard to be something you never were . both of my new Stanley have been used a great deal i have had no issue with the paint but i wish they were japanned and when and if the paint wears off i will Japan it I would like to see lever caps that are higher end and i would like to see a stanley line of planes that cant be discounted to 125 or less per plane and I would like to see a real 300 dollar stanley that can rivals the best in the world you would probably like to see it too I bet we all would like to see it but that means made in new Brittan con and not Mexican made it means American made it means the finest in the world not just well designed and poorly executed like most things Stanley has done since 1950 if they want to return to greatness they need to make great tools and right now their is only one American company making large quantities of great tools and its lie nielson .

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

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