Was in Woodcraft today. Had been thinking about a shoulder plane for a
while. Didn't really want to spend for a Lie-Nielsen and would like to
see the Veritas before buying, so I was on the fence. Well, they didn't
have a Lie-Nielsen medium, but they did have, sitting on its price tag,
a Stanley 92. Well, I'd read Very Bad Things about the current
production 92s but I decided to take a look at it anyway. Didn't look
too bad, seemed square and flat anyway, didn't expect it to come sharp
(I don't expect _anything_
but razor blades to come sharp, and 5 years
back I started using a straight razor so I guess I don't trust _them_
anymore). So, first step, chuck a piece of 2x4 in the vise and see what
happens. Basically nothing much. The edge of the throat cuts
better than the iron. Well, that's expected. So, flatten and sharpen the
iron. Few minutes on the diamond plates, then go to the black Arkansas and
strop and it's happy. Next, flatten the sole--took a while on the coarse
diamond plate--turns out that the two sections weren't quite in the same
plane--close, but not quite, but got it done.
So, put it together and see how it cuts. Turns out it cuts fine, on one
corner of the iron, with all the adjustment in the opposite direction
used up. Not good. So, did I screw up the iron while I was sharpening?
Thickness is uniform as close as I can measure, edge is square, that's not
it. How about the sole? No, seems to be square with the edges. So, on
this plane the ramp is easily accessible--is it not quite parallel to the
sole? Set the ramp on the medium diamond plate and put pressure on what
would have to be the high side and see what happens. Well, turns out the
ramp isn't flat, so this is a worthwhile exercise regardless.
Give it about 30 strokes, reassemble, and see what happens. Better, not
perfect. 30 more and I can get a uniform shaving with all the adjustment
used up. 30 more and it seems OK. Meanwhile I've cut quite a sizeable
little rabbet in my piece of 2x4.
Tear it down again, clean it, wax the sole, put it back together and it's
So now I've got a nice little shoulder plane, 50 more bucks in my pocket
than I would have had if I'd gotten the Veritas, and I got my workout for
today. So it's a win all around.
Shame Stanley can't get their quality up, but I guess they'd have to
charge as much as the others.
Had hoped to get the pattern vise mounted, but it didn't happen, that's
for tomorrow I guess. When that's in the bench with neither me, the
bench, nor the vise broken, I'll be a much happier camper. I can tell
already though that I'm going to need to build a heavier bench at some
-- --John to email, dial
"usenet" and validate (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)