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Hock Blades Stanley 2 3/8 replacement for #5 1/2

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Review by Don W posted 770 days ago 3893 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hock Blades Stanley 2 3/8 replacement for #5 1/2 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After restoring some 200-300 bench planes this was my first replacement iron purchase. After purchasing a Stanley type 11 #5 1/2 at a flea market, (Seen here, along with some restoration pictures) i decided to purchase a new iron for the worn out existing one. Since Lee Valley was running a no shipping promotion, I decided to go with the #19P2005, 2-3/8” x 7” Hock Plane Blade.

The plane arrived slightly before I finished the restore. First this is an earlier type 5 1/2 which original took a 2 1/4” blade. I had measured it before ordering and the blade was actually 2 5/16”, so I wasn’t sure which one it really was, and maybe it wasn’t original. I figured removing 1/16” if need be wasn’t an issue, and that exactly what I wound up doing.

These pictures are with the hock blade straight out of the package. First are pine second set are red oak.

While doing the above testing, both for the restored plane and the new iron, I noticed the mouth was a little tight with no allowance for a more aggressive cut. I’ve heard others say no modifications were required for a new Hock iron, so I started doing a little comparison. I went as far as sharpening and putting the old iron back in. It was still very tight. I happened to have 2 other Stanley #5 1/2s in the shop so I started measuring and sure enough, the recently restored plane was much narrower than my other two, and they both have the original Stock irons, so a few swipes with a file to widen the mouth was in order.

I then took the Hock to the DMT’s. The back was perfectly flat, so no work was needed. The majority of work was to get the corners rounded to eliminate the strike marks. Honing was simple and easy. Noting again this is my first new blade I must say its the easiest iron I’ve honed.

So after honing oak shot.

I’m still not an advocate of replacing stock Stanley (or any manufacture for that matter) irons just because it saves some plane tuning time, but if the iron has been sharpened out, and the end is near, I can now recommend the Hock Plane Blades.

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




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Don W

14671 posts in 1172 days



21 comments so far

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2938 posts in 891 days


#1 posted 770 days ago

I wonder how well the new steel will hold up?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View CharlesAuguste's profile

CharlesAuguste

126 posts in 1146 days


#2 posted 770 days ago

Oh no problem there, that new steel will outlive all of us for sure!

-- "the future's uncertain and the end is always near" J. Morrison

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5259 posts in 1203 days


#3 posted 770 days ago

Kind of suprising this is your first one. Especially since WC has had a few of the IBC/Pinnacles without the flat tops : ) on sale for a while. Thanks for the review.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14671 posts in 1172 days


#4 posted 770 days ago

I’ve watched the WC sales and would like to put a new IBC on my 604, but that size never seems to go on sale. I really want to compare the 2.

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

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4396 posts in 1045 days


#5 posted 770 days ago

Great to get your seasoned opinion on the Hocks Don. I’m glad to hear it worked well for you too.

Thank you for taking the time to post your findings.

-- ~Tony

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ShaneA

5259 posts in 1203 days


#6 posted 770 days ago

Yeah i have been eyeing the 2” blades too, need those to be on sale!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1694 days


#7 posted 770 days ago

Thanks for the review.
Sure looks sweet.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Brit

5109 posts in 1447 days


#8 posted 770 days ago

Great review Don. It means a lot coming from someone with your knowledge and experience.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Dave's profile

Dave

11142 posts in 1445 days


#9 posted 770 days ago

Don is there a noticeable difference between the feel of the stock irons and the Hock blade? Such as smoother adjustment, chatter and edge holding.
Nice review.
I need some new iron. And Hock is on the list.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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Don W

14671 posts in 1172 days


#10 posted 770 days ago

Dave, remember my opinion is based on a few minutes of testing, but as for regular use, I didn’t see any difference than a well sharpened stock iron. I’ll post back if that changes as I use it.

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

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Dave

11142 posts in 1445 days


#11 posted 770 days ago

Thanks Don I am interested.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Johnnyblot's profile

Johnnyblot

318 posts in 881 days


#12 posted 769 days ago

Hi Don
I wasn’t sure from the pic if you were using a new chipbreaker too?
As I have mentioned elsewhere, when I was with David Charlesworth, he was using his no.5 1/2 with a Hock blade & chipbreaker. Obviously it was ‘highly tuned & honed and worked beautifully. This was the plane he used all the time. So I have no doubt you will be more than happy with your setup.
Cheers

John.

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View Don W's profile

Don W

14671 posts in 1172 days


#13 posted 769 days ago

John, I never had a doubt that I would be happy with its performance. My anticipation came from the thought that a new, thicker blade would really produce an edge unobtainable with a stock iron. We hear so much marketing hype, and many many woodworkers who buy replacement blade for all of their planes, just because they believe they are better, that I’ve always wondered if it was true. I’ve restored a lot of stuff over the years and have developed a need to keep as much original as I can while making the piece as good as it gets. Its often a trade off, but if I can fix an original part, I usually will. I’m betting some day an original vintage iron will find its way back into this plane, because I now know the shavings will be exactly the same. That’s not a knock again Hock, its a fine blade, but so are most of the vintage blades already in the planes. Of course I’m talking pre-wwII when they still put a decent amount of metal in them.

To answer you question, I am using the stock chip breaker. I suppose in all fairness I should test that as well, but I’m betting I already know the answer. For the guy who doesn’t want to be bothered to learn all that is needed in tuning a plane, its probably paramount a new blade and chip breaker be purchased.

I still believe the best results comes from learning how the tool works, and making the tool perfect.

Whew, off my soap box now. I should of had my second cup of coffee first.

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

View Johnnyblot's profile

Johnnyblot

318 posts in 881 days


#14 posted 768 days ago

Don- I totally see where you are coming from and I applaud you for it. You are right about the marketing hype! We are constantly led to believe that the latest shiny- whirligig thingy-majig is the absolute have-to-have item!
It is also essential, as you say to master the fundamentals of how and why a tool does what it does.
This is why on the first week of David Charlesworth’s course is spent sharpening chisels & plane blades. Then stripping down your plane, tuning it and reassemble it. My point is this for me was a lesson in what planes should ideally be like. So from then on I’ve strived to achieve the same level (IMHO) as my no:5 1/2 Lie Nielsen, (still my most favourite plane :-)
You are so very lucky that you seem to have an almost unlimited supply of pre-ww2 planes. Here in the UK we pay through the nose and then some- to own those vintage planes.
So the (few) planes I’ve ‘acquired’ have been very cheap Stanley’s from 1960’s era. By this time if there was a short cut to be had- they’d make it. That’s not to say that these planes are useless, it’s just that by the time I get my mitts on them they are rusty (I know preaching to the converted here lol) but the blades are crap and the chipbreakers are worse. I know I can replace these easily ( and cheaply) for approx £30, with a 3mm Quangsheng cutter/chipbreaker. The hard part then is only to find a plane with a good shiny chrome lever cap. They are more difficult to find The rest I can sort out with TLC & elbow grease:-) At the end of the day I should have a plane as good as (almost) my LN.
Off my soap box now and have a cup of tea.
Carry on the good fight mate. I often have a laugh to myself when I remember you and your “heavy luggage”. You must be an airlines worst nightmare? Lol.
Cheers,
John.

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

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Brit

5109 posts in 1447 days


#15 posted 768 days ago

Is Don travelling in his suitcase now then? :o)

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

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