|Review by Gerry||posted 03-04-2014 08:00 AM||8086 views||0 times favorited||16 comments|
Unbelievable! This is my first experience with a “reputed to be” a premium level wood plane. I am what one might call a “Hybrid” woodworker, and find myself using hand tools more and more.
In using a very old Stanley No. 4 Smoother with my shooting board, even thought it works OK when well sharpened, I’ve not been entirely happy with the way it feels when cutting, nor with the results.
Recently, Fine Woodworking put up a video about low angle bevel up jack planes by Garret Hack. His observations about the utility of the plane intrigued me.
So I began looking at the bevel up jack plane offerings. Of course, cost is usually an issue for most tools, and this was no exception. I found what appears to be a smokin deal on Amazon: No.62 Stanley Sweetheart for $109! I read some recent reviews, which were more positive than not, so I bought one.
Below is my review.
As a bit of a disclaimer, I’ve never owned or used a premium plane. My current stable is a Stanley no 7, a No 5, an older no 4, a no 92 shoulder plane, and 1 low angle and 1 std block plane.
The Sweetheart No. 62 arrived, well packaged, with the usual coating of oil to keep it clean. Dis-assembly was no issue, I wiped the oil from all the surfaces I could access, tightened the tote and handle screws, and began my checklist.
1. Check for flat base in both directions. Results were the base was flat to within 2 mils, more than adequate for any plane I’ve ever used before. Also check for and burrs or anomalies on the base. No issues.
2. Check Sides for square, and found it to be square and true.
3. Check sharpness of the blade ( paper test). Out of the box it was quite sharp, but I did flatten the back and hone the bevel to 6000 grit.
4. Adjust blade position and mouth for a fine cut, by backing the blade completely off, and sneaking up to a thin shaving, centered cut.
5. Lay it on a shooting board and take some end grain cuts. HERE was the first indication of a super tool: Planing end grain of Honduran Mahogany, I achieved a ribbon shaving cut, like you would expect if you were planing a face or edge of a board. Wow!
6. Then I tried it out on some fairly gnarly Mesquite on an edge. Not only did I get a consistent and thin shaving, but even where the grain went sideways, the cut was almost as smooth as it was on the rest of the board.
7. I also tried it on a few other woods, and got excellent results, at least for me.
So, I’m really pleased with the purchase. It may not be a Veritas or Lie-Nielsen, which I am sure are superior tools, but this plane is significantly better than any I’ve ever used. That said, I believe this plane will serve me well for years to come.
-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”