The New Stanley

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Forum topic by bondogaposis posted 07-28-2012 02:10 AM 2458 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4719 posts in 2345 days

07-28-2012 02:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

I wanted to give a friend a nice block plane. After losing a number of auctions on ebay for a vintage Stanley 60 1/2 I thought I’d try a new one. What a a surprise. I have not not bought any new Stanley tools for many years except maybe a tape measure. What a piece of junk the new plane is. The castings are horrendous, the sliding mouth is made of stamped sheet metal! The new mechanism for adjusting the plane is barely functional. Junk, junk junk. The label clearly states, “assembled in Mexico from global components”, must be the latest euphemism for made in China. It’s as if Stanley is trying to knock off their own tools, and doing a poor job of it. Mr. Bailey must be rolling in his grave. I just convinced myself to bid a little more next time and the new plane is going back from whence it came. Anybody know if the new Sweetheart Stanley planes are of reasonable quality?

-- Bondo Gaposis

22 replies so far

View ksSlim's profile


1275 posts in 2884 days

#1 posted 07-28-2012 03:27 AM

I was given a 60 1/2 Sweetheart. Casting is OK. Hand to tweak the frog a little. Lateral adjust is a little fussy.
All in all, for the price, not too bad. Doesn’t compare to a Lie Nelson but is much less expensive.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#2 posted 07-28-2012 03:28 AM

I faced the block plane dilemma last week.
Instead of ending up with something I may not be happy with I splurged for a veritas low angle block plane.

Buy once, cry once…

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View felkadelic's profile


218 posts in 2534 days

#3 posted 07-28-2012 03:42 AM

I got a new Stanley #62 a couple weeks ago. Returned it the next day after I saw how poorly it was made. Will get a Veritas Low-Angle Jack or equivalent Lie Nielsen as soon as finances allow.

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2371 days

#4 posted 07-28-2012 03:53 AM

Hit up the yard sales and flea markets/swap meets. I usually see a couple small vintage block planes for sale in varying conditions. Most of the time since they are small people sell them cheap; $5-$10. I’ve gotten quite a few of them this way and have passed them around to friends and family. Great gifts to anyone who works wood no matter what their skill or how much they do it.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2571 days

#5 posted 07-28-2012 04:36 AM,41182&p=48942

I like the veritas block plane “G” around 85.00 plus shipping. It’s well machined and worth
the extra money.

View bandit571's profile (online now)


19961 posts in 2677 days

#6 posted 07-28-2012 05:02 AM

I’ve seen TWO different Stanley block planes at menards, one supposedly a Bailey. $30+ ??? Why would I pay that much for a single little block plane, when i could spend that same amout and get these FIVE?

A Stanley 9-1/2, two Stanley 120s, a Millers falls 700, and a Sargent 107. And, I just bought another Low angle Dunlap for $16. 80, so that will make six block planes, and I am just at $30. And since i can get all of these any time I wish, and get a few more, WHY spend $80 on ONE little plane?????

Just go Vintage, you can always get a new iron for them, IF you should feel like you need some “points” about buying things.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2627 days

#7 posted 07-28-2012 01:21 PM

Hmmm. I bought a new Stanley 60 1/2 about a year ago. I had to sharpen the blade of course, but otherwise, it was flawless.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#8 posted 07-28-2012 03:36 PM

@waho6o9; the apron plane (g) is a great little plane and one I plan on adding very soon.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3353 days

#9 posted 07-29-2012 02:50 AM

IMHO, unless you buy LV or LN, you’re almost certainly going to be disappointed. If cash isn’t a problem, the LV is a VERY nice plane (I hear the LN is also fantastic, but I haven’t used one).

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2946 days

#10 posted 07-29-2012 03:45 AM

Sikrap, maybe you would be disappointed. To assume someone else will be because they didn’t spring for a high end block is pretentious and not accurate. Fact is, there are some outstanding users out there that cost fractions less than either of those you mentioned and work every bit as good as those two.

I currently own two block planes: a LN rabbet block plane and a Millers Falls (can’t remember the model number). In the past, I have owned a couple of Stanleys, a Record, and another Millers Falls. Never owned a LV, but used one once at a woodworking class I attended in Germany. That is a pretty fair representation of the various manufacturers out there and they ALL had one thing in common: properly tuned, not one was better than any of the others. My LN block plane was purchased because it is a rabbet type, which are scarce with vintage Stanleys and priced higher than their worth. So I went with it. It serves as a block plane and does some shoulder plane duties as well. But for straight up block plane work, it is definitely no better than any of the others I mentioned. Same goes for the LV. It does not do a better job.

I would not buy a new Stanley based on poor reviews. But there is a huge amount of old user block planes available out there and if you tune them right, they will work just a well as any others out there. Look around and you will find some.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2280 days

#11 posted 07-29-2012 07:25 AM

Easy, paratrooper. He said “IMHO”—in my humble opinion. An opinion cannot be inaccurate and it’s not pretentious.

New LV and LN block planes are nicer than old users. That’s a fact (IMHO). Whether they are “worth” the extra money is a matter of opinion.

-- John, BC, Canada

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#12 posted 07-29-2012 12:01 PM

It was worth it for me for some of the features veritas implemented (optional handles, setscrews to hold lateral blade position, side grips, etc.) as well as the out of the box experience. The sides are square to the sole within .0015 (checked with a square and feeler gauges; I couldn’t get a .0015” feeler between the square and plane), the sole was flat, next to nothing on backlash. The blade is sharp out of the box but I’m honing it anyway. Easily worth every penny.

There’s nothing wrong with vintage; in fact Dave buys and restores many vintage planes.
I personally didn’t want to spend a lot of time tuning it. With the higher priced planes (Veritas, LN, etc.) you get what you pay for.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 2126 days

#13 posted 07-29-2012 01:44 PM

Swap Meets are your friend guys …

I go to swap meets all the time and always keep my eye out for old (made in the ole USA) Stanley planes.

You’d be amazed how common Stanley planes are … and the average price??? About $20. Baileys, Handyman’s, even old school pre-1940s. Again, all “Made in the USA” stuff.

These guys at the swap meet pick em up at estate sales, garage sales, storage locker auctions and such … they have no clue what they have, and their customer base isn’t that large or educated on planes.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2562 days

#14 posted 07-29-2012 02:12 PM

This was $5 at a flea market. (of course a bit rustier)


I paid $10 for the one on the left (not really an #18, its a 9 1/2 with a #18 knuckle) the rest were $5 or less.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2946 days

#15 posted 07-29-2012 03:19 PM

Sikrap, I want to apologize. I didn’t realize how offensive my post was when I wrote it last night. My intent was not to offend, really sorry if it did.

-- Mike

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