LumberJocks

Stanley block planes question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by athomas5009 posted 03-30-2014 03:52 AM 662 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View athomas5009's profile

athomas5009

110 posts in 365 days


03-30-2014 03:52 AM

I was looking to get a block plane soon and was looking for a little advice / information.

Is there any performance / quality difference between the regular stanley no 18’s and the stanley sweetheart no 18’s?

-- Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.


15 replies so far

View Luke2220's profile

Luke2220

9 posts in 292 days


#1 posted 03-30-2014 04:20 AM

If it has the sweetheart logo it tends to be a higher quality than the others. Means less work getting the plane tuned up and working like it should. The cheaper ones you may spend a couple of hours doing this, while the sweetheart may only take about 5 to 15 minutes or it may be just fine right out of the box.

View Paul's profile

Paul

586 posts in 313 days


#2 posted 03-30-2014 04:24 AM

The LN and expensive plane experts will rip a new one into me. There’s not much difference as long as you can sharpen your blade properly.

If you can’t properly sharpen a blade you might as well be using a HD Buck Bro’s plane.

being able to properly tune your planes and properly sharpen the blades makes more difference to me than make or model.

Paul

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#3 posted 03-30-2014 06:29 AM

My first “real” plane was a Stanley Sweetheart block plane. I still have it. It isn’t a bad plane…. but it’s not a good enough plane for the price. You can get a Veritas block plane for about the same amount of money. After working with both Sweetheart planes and Veritas planes I’d go for the Veritas. If the “sweetheart” planes cost half as much as the Veritas planes I would have a fleet of sweetheart planes.

One thing I can say in my favor of my Sweetheart block plane is that the plane iron is quite thick and is A2 steel.

And I can say with conviction that a Home Depot Buck Bros. block plane is awful in every possible way. Even with a perfectly sharpened iron, it’s worse than worthless. I damn near gave up on woodworking entirely because of that metal pile of crap.

EDIT: I may have spoken too soon about the price differential between Veritas and Sweetheart planes. Rockler has the 9 1/2 Stanley Sweetheart for $90. A Veritas “standard” block plane is $150.

I’d still get the Veritas but it appears I may have overstated the price of the Stanley versus the Veritas.

View Paul's profile

Paul

586 posts in 313 days


#4 posted 03-30-2014 08:08 AM

I initially bought a HD buck bro to learn the in and out of a plane. I have since spent hundreds on top notch planes.

I still reach for my buck bro, a custom fit plane is just that.

No one can tell you what tool has a better fit in your hand than you.

Paul,

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

1643 posts in 637 days


#5 posted 03-30-2014 08:19 AM

I think he’s referring to vintage sweetheart planes, not new.

-- Never confuse mistakes with failure. Kevin

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#6 posted 03-30-2014 09:18 AM

If you can get the Buck Bros plane to work for you, more power to you.

View athomas5009's profile

athomas5009

110 posts in 365 days


#7 posted 03-30-2014 05:52 PM

Yes I was referring to the vintage models. I also have another question about Stanley no 65’s, are all of them considered LA block planes? Just curious because I’m looking for a LA block and like the knuckle cap.

-- Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7486 posts in 1431 days


#8 posted 03-30-2014 07:19 PM

I have two Stanley 9-1/2s a #110 and a SW #103. All seem to work for me. Really like the 9-1/2s though.

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

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#9 posted 03-30-2014 09:01 PM

Bandit571: Is your 9 1/2 a new Sweetheart or a vintage one? I’ve got the new 9 1/2 and I’d be curious as to how the old 9 1/2s compare to the new ones like mine.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7486 posts in 1431 days


#10 posted 03-30-2014 09:03 PM

Sorry, all I have are the vintage ones. That includes the #103. It was made back in the 1920s…

I seem to like the Stanley ones more than the sargent ones.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

15541 posts in 1315 days


#11 posted 03-30-2014 10:14 PM

My #65 is my go to block. I love the #18 as well, and the SW logo is just that, a logo. The older models perform just as well.

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

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

384 posts in 2490 days


#12 posted 03-30-2014 11:03 PM

On the Stanley vintage planes the sweetheart is just a trademark. There is nothing special about a sweetheart plane versus a non-sweetheart plane. Users and collectors like the sweetheart era planes because it helps to determine the manufacture date, the sweetheart trademark was introduced around 1919-1922 (depending on which source) and continued through about 1932. A Stanley plane iron with the sweetheart trademark does not make that iron any better. It’s just a trademark/logo, nothing more.

To say that any plane is better quality or is easier to tune because it has a sweetheart trademark stamped on it is just not accurate.

-- Mark

View Luke2220's profile

Luke2220

9 posts in 292 days


#13 posted 03-31-2014 02:14 AM

I agree with Mark E. on the vintage Stanley planes. On the newer planes it seems that Stanley has several levels of hand planes with the sweetheart being the highest quality that they offer. In my opinion, the vintage Stanley hand planes are best ones! Wood Magazine has an article posted on restoring old hand planes. Electrolysis works remarkably well.

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

499 posts in 477 days


#14 posted 03-31-2014 08:01 AM

60 1/2 is a good plane

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#15 posted 03-31-2014 09:50 AM

Please bear in mind that if the Sweetheart logo is something that is only stamped on the iron then someone may be able to swap a Sweetheart logo iron onto a non-Sweetheart plane. So using the Sweetheart logo to date the plane may be fruitless.

Still, it’s better than nothing as a method of dating a plane.

The contemporary Sweetheart line is Stanley’s highest end line of planes.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase