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Stanley Sweetheart 12-137 No. 62 Low angle Jack plane

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Review by Gerry posted 143 days ago 3925 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Stanley Sweetheart 12-137 No. 62 Low angle Jack plane Stanley Sweetheart 12-137 No. 62 Low angle Jack plane No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.

CHEERS!!

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”




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Gerry

253 posts in 1839 days



16 comments so far

View alexdom_89's profile

alexdom_89

98 posts in 895 days


#1 posted 143 days ago

So would you say that it would be a good smoothing plane if on a tight budget or strickly for shooting?

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b2rtch

4286 posts in 1647 days


#2 posted 143 days ago

Good but why not five stars?

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4286 posts in 1647 days


#3 posted 143 days ago

A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes
True but even better he/she knows how to make them look as done on purpose (as decorative elements or other)

-- Bert

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

476 posts in 1916 days


#4 posted 143 days ago

Bert, I believe Gerry did give it 5 stars.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

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b2rtch

4286 posts in 1647 days


#5 posted 143 days ago

I looks like 4 stars to me.

-- Bert

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1839 days


#6 posted 143 days ago

Alex,
Thanks for the question. I’m not sure, but I would think this could be configured as a smoother as well. The article / video done by Garret Hack indicates he uses his no. 62 ( not a sweetheart) for many purposes in his shop. The planes’ design does seem to make it a fairly flexible user for a wide range of application. ( Hence, Jack Plane)

Bert,
Mark is right. My rating is 5 stars. I think you are looking at the average rating for all 3 reviews. Also, David Marks told me he turns his mistakes into features, as you suggest.

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4286 posts in 1647 days


#7 posted 143 days ago

“Bert,
Mark is right. My rating is 5 stars. ”
I am puzzled as I can see only four stars on the whole page but I take your word for it.
Ho!! I just see it.

-- Bert

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12252 posts in 2696 days


#8 posted 143 days ago

I believe the 4 stars is the average of 3 reviews.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

679 posts in 1533 days


#9 posted 142 days ago

The top right of the page has the average, the top left (above the first picture of the plane) has Gerry’s rating which is 5.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1045 posts in 396 days


#10 posted 142 days ago

They have these for $100 on Amazon. Looks like my birthday present!

View Lumberpunk's profile

Lumberpunk

183 posts in 935 days


#11 posted 142 days ago

If you are wanting to use as a smoother get a spare blade and grind to around 38 degrees. I have three blades for my low angle jack ground at 25,38 and 52 degrees.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

100 posts in 588 days


#12 posted 141 days ago

Yes, get spare blades and reap the real benefits of this design – versatility! The same plane for end grain/ jointer work 25°, smoother 38°, and gnarly grain smoother @ 50°. $109 is a heck of a deal. Remember to inspect for the wear bevel on the backside of the blade when resharpening.

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b2rtch

4286 posts in 1647 days


#13 posted 140 days ago

OSU55
” Remember to inspect for the wear bevel on the backside of the blade when resharpening.”
Could you explain?
Thank you.

-- Bert

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OSU55

100 posts in 588 days


#14 posted 128 days ago

Rather than go into detail here, go to this link http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Sharpen/bevel%20up.html

Brent describes the BU wear bevel in detail and how to deal with it. He uses multiple micro bevels on the back side, I only use one.

View Bob Current 's profile

Bob Current

300 posts in 216 days


#15 posted 128 days ago

Gerry, Very nice review that was enhanced by watching the same video you did.
You review sort of puts it in layman’s terms,

-- When you are wrong admit it, when you are right forget it.

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