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Advice on Block and Bench Planes.

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Anonymous

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Having bought every modern model of Stanley plane that ever was, to discover that the build & manufacturing quality of these planes has little to desired. Has anybody out there got a good word for them? As anybody in the woodworking world who is anybody seems to dislike them and prefer the Lie-Nielsen.

Anybody else got another point of view. Thanks inadvance

Cheers
Tim Pickles :D
 
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Anonymous

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they're good to practice plane fettling on :)

and the iron's good to practice sharpening on, on the basis it's very difficult to ruin an already rubbish blade...

although I quite like my modern stanley scraper plane.
 

Waka

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Tim

Its only when you use the LN, Clifton & veritas that you realise how bad the Stanley's really are.

I'm sure the experts will be on the line shortly to give you their views.
 

Philly

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Tim,
they do look nice in their boxes, on the mantlepiece.
One for the Co##ectors
Philly :twisted:
 

Chris Knight

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Tim,

These planes can be made to perform very much better - you only have to use a similar plane tuned up by David Charlesworth to appreciate a world of difference.

However, it takes a lot of time and effort and a fair bit of know-how to do it and most people confronted with the reality of that elect to spend money on a good plane and short circuit the business.

Even good planes often benefit from some tuning so it's true that the Stanleys etc will serve well for practicing fettling skills as suggested by Esp.
 

Alf

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Tsk, you plane snobs.


Welcome to the forum, Tim. The truth is the modern Stanleys can be tuned, but given their cost as compared to an older Stanley, the fact the modern, uncured casting is quite liable to move again after you've tuned it (unlike an old Stanley), the nasty plastic handles (unlike an older Stanley) and the fact you have to budget for a replacement blade too... Well it makes them a bit of an uneconomic proposition, in both time and money. But they're not totally hopeless. I mean they're better than a Hilka...


Cheers, Alf
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chris

waterhead37":dji2fqvc said:
Double gloat alert!!! I have seen mention of this wondrous thing this before from Alf. I think a yellow card is in order.
It comes with the territory when you're a Master Cabinetmaker,you just know these things. :wink:

Cheers
Neil

PS Now where is that bunker. Gill, Gill.
 
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Anonymous

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So, what's wrong with the Hilka then?

Tim
All owners of LN, Clifton and Veritas planes have been where you are now. I spent literally 2 whole days fettling my Stanley #5 and then bought a new Hock blade £25+ for it and an new Clifton chip breaker £20+. I thought it was pretty good. :lol: :lol:

Then I tried a Clifton #5 which out performed my tuned Stanley by a long way OUT-OF -THE-BOX!!!!!

The rest is, as they say, slippery and history....
 

Alf

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Ah, the Hilka. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

...

...

...

Okay, I give up. Can't think of any.
I just thought of something; say woodworker X's SWMBO get's woodworker X a present. The only hint she drops is "it's for planing and it begins with H". Can you imagine the let down when woodworker X opens his gift to find not only that it isn't the Holtey he'd been hoping for, or even the Hock blade he'd been expecting, but it can't even plane wood either...?


Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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Alf,
Isn't Hilka the Argos one?
I made that mistake in my early days......
That block plane-Urgh! :x
cheers
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Philly":6qdnd5ty said:
Isn't Hilka the Argos one?
That's the jobbie. At the time it was the cheapest way to get a lever cap I needed, plus extra Brownie points for providing the block plane as a donation for the Chapel's Crimbo bazaar.


Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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Alf
Ah yes, I remember know. Makes Home-made look preofessional. :lol:
I bought the set, smoother and block plane.
Free to any member with 3 months spare to fettle. :lol:
cheers
Philly :D
 

Midnight

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Oi Vey.... how many ya got Tim..??

Like the others have said... if you spend a bunch of time on them, they can be made to work; soles need flattening, frog beds need refining, mouths need de-flashing etc... none of it rocket science... but IMHO it should all be done before it leaves the factory...

FWIW.... I've hears an argument that provided you use them on the material they're <using the term VERY loosely> "designed" for... they should be fine... as evidenced by countless carpenters and joiners... apparently softwoods is their preferred media... I know from bitter experience that hardwoods tax them beyond their limits.

Handles supplied with em will trash your hands with prolonged use, but as Tony has demonstrated, suitable replacements can be made or bought if you're so inclined.

They do have advantages.. strange though it may seem, those soft blades will accelerate your learning curve when it comes to sharpening. Any mistakes can be polished out and re-done quite easily. The blades themselves can be swapped out for after-market upgrades with a corresponding increase in performance...

If you stick with em for a while, they'll teach you one of the most important lessons.. how to read grain direction.. they'll let ya know in no uncertain terms when you're doin something wrong... trust me...

I wouldn't say they're a write off... but given the chance I woulda steered you in the proper direction loooooooong before you had a bunch of em....

Welcome Aboard...
 
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Anonymous

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Well it’s good to know that there are other people out there who have had the same experiences as me…! I thought buy British made tools there the BEST. I was wrong. The small American tool makers seem the best so far. It’s a shame that our tool making industry has gone the way it has.

Thanks for the people who have taken time to respond to my initial question. Thank you :ho2
 

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Hi Tim

I've just seen your mention of Heckmondwike.

I have had the pleasure of visiting the great metropolis in the past, as one of my suppliers is on Station Lane.

Cheers
Neil
 
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Anonymous

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Hi folks, this is my first post on this excellent forum. I couldn't resist adding my thoughts about Stanley planes and the more expensive alternatives, since I've been through it :)

I began woodworking with a Stanley #4 and block plane, and didn't know much about fettling. Frustration was the result. I finally learned how to fettle a plane, but as money became available I started buying "better" tools. I now consider myself very fortunate to own a few LNs, a Clifton, and a LV low angle block plane. All of these perform beautifully and are a joy to own and use.

That said, I have a Stanley #5 that I put a lot of work into, and fitted it with a Hock blade and chip breaker. I then replaced the plastic tote & knob with wooden ones (it deserved them). Now it's a very nice plane with a total investment of about one half the cost of a new #5 LN.

Still, if the funds are available I don't think there would be any regret in the purchase of a Clifton, LN, or LV.

Bart Hovis
 

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