Opinions on Stanley block planes

Hey all;
I need a block plane, and can't afford the one I want (Veritas). It seems like they Stanleys aren't that bad, but I'm wondering if anyone here has a more experienced opinion on their recent offerings. Also, what is the actual difference between the 12-220 and the 12-920, other than 50%?
Thanks, Colin
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wrote:

Stanley sometimes gets a little beat up on this group, but I have to say that the 12-920 has served me well. I bought one about 15 years ago when I didn't understand much about planes. As my skills as a woodworker increased I slowly started to amass an arsenal of planed with a mix of LN, Steve Knight and various users. I also realized that sometimes a plane needs tuning. It seems ridicilous to have to tune a new plane but after I spent a few hours fettling the Stanley, most of which went into flattening the bottom, I can now pop off curls that almost match the Lie-Neilsens. For the last six monnths I've been doing a lot of boat building and this has become the most used tool in my shop. My only real complaint is the factory blade dulls somewhat quickly. Maybe some day I'll hot rod it with a Hock blade. Someone on this group once said the best way to think about Stanley is you're getting a plane kit that you have to finish.
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On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 14:55:03 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hopefully, the new ones will stay finished once you expend the effort.
--------------------------------------------- ** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html ** ---------------------------------------------
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Colin B. wrote:

I got my Stanley about a year ago and I wonder how I ever survived without a block plane. I like the idea of a small plane that I can reach for at any time.
I went through the same decision-making you're going through, and opted for the Stanley over the Veritas for the same reason. I regret that now.
There's nothing wrong with the Stanley, and I got it from Lee Valley. However, in the 12 months intervening, I've realized that the extra $50 would have been worth it in quality. I have other Veritas tools and I can't say enough about them.
Going through the same process again, I'd have scrimped to get a higher quality tool. Any plane I get from now on will either be a Veritas or a L-N.
--
Tanus

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Per the Stanleytools.com web site:
90-220 is a basic 21 degree cutting edge block plane with adjustable iron using a brass knob.
90-920 is also at 21 degrees, adjustable iron using a brass knob. It also has an adjustable mouth which for end grain use can be used to reduce, or widen the mouth of the plane. (an explanation beyond that I will leave for someone else.) This adjustable mouth is not just a gimmick to take your money. A setting of the mouth to the about the thickness of a piece of paper will help in some situations. Other times it needs to be wide open.
90-960 is the same as the 90-920, but the blade is low angle, sitting at 13-1/2 degrees. This makes this blade WAY better at fine tuning miter cuts on case work, or trim work, around doors and windows. Not as much needed today because of motorized miter chop saws are so good. This is the one I would recommend.
Phil
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http://www.leevalley.com/shopping/Instructions.aspx?p3287
http://planetuning.infillplane.com/index.html
http://www.toolpost.co.uk/pages/Woodworking_Tools/Veritas_P___S/veritas_p___s.html#Mouth
Or standard works on woodworking. They're right, too.
I've got a Stanley and a Lie-Nielson. They work well, I just feed the cheaper plane a rougher diet.
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wrote:

The rusty #18 knuckle cap I bought at a flea market in 1978 for $3.50 has served me well in almost daily use, even after I laid out the bucks for an LN low angle.
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On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 22:29:13 +0200 (CEST), "Colin B."
Don't get a new Stanley.
Get the Veritas (the low angle with the adjustable mouth). Don't even get the Veritas "apron plane".
If you really can't afford that, get an _old_ eBay Stanley and fettle it.
If you can't find a Stanley worth having, get an Anant, a Lucky Golden Hedgehog or something that is at least dirt cheap. Then get the Veritas.
If you buy a new Stanley though, you're paying an appreciable fraction of a real plane (the Veritas) and buying a piece of throw-away crap.
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...

...
I'll second both of those opinions! If at all possible, save up and buy the Veritas - you definitely won't regret it. Even if you get out of woodworking at some point, you'll be able to sell it for probably 90% of what you paid, if you take even half-decent care of it (i.e. don't store it in salt water).
In addition to old Stanleys, I'll add that old Sargent and Millers Falls planes can be good deals also - I'd definitely rather have one of those (greater than 60 years old) than anything made in the last 50 years (unless it's from LV or LN). I'd also recommend a low angle plane - generally easier to push on most wood, and can work well for end grain. If you do eventually want to use this plane on figured wood and want to use a high angle, you can resharpen your existing blade or get a separate blade to swap out.
You can be more confident of getting a good deal by going through a reputable used tool dealer. I'd try brasscityrecords.com, or here's a thorough list: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~alf/en/tools.html (No affiliations) Good luck, Andy
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