One of the dealers I frequent carries several lines of hand planes.
Since record went belly-up, he began carrying Stanley planes imported
from the U.K. Are these better, worse, or the same as what I might buy
at a local borg under the Stanley name? Visually, they don't look half
bad with respect to fit and finish and the price ($40 for an adjustable
mouth block plane) is tempting.
They're crap, just not quite as crap as the US ones. The bench planes
aren't as good as Record (old stock is still common), but Record's
block planes were shockingly bad.
#92s are OK though, and always were better than US Stanley.
Thanks, Andy. I'll pass on my temptation and head back toward the land
of Lee Valley and Steve Knight.
Actually, I have had good experience with building my own plane (hock
blade) and buying a couple of chinese wood bodied smoothers, but they
were experimental purchases on my part.
Someone may correct me but I believe all the Stanley planes have been
made in the UK for some time now. The bench planes are generally not
made with the same quality as older US made planes, and besides, they
have plastic handles. OTOH, a few here on the NG have reported good
results with them after tuning.
I do have a modern manufacture Stanley low angle block plane that
works pretty well, I think the model number is 12-060. I would say
it's as good as a 60 1/2, but, if you look around you can probably
find a decent 60 1/2 for less than $40.
To my great regret, I recommended that the Construction Trade School at
which I teach carpentry ordered and bought
several Stanley No 5 planes. They are crap.On some of them the frog
cannot be adjusted because the webs between the frog seat on the base
are preventing the frog sitting properly except in one position. All of
them have curved soles; studnts trying to face and square a piece of
wood end up with something that looks like a section from a very large
cart wheel. One of he students was unable to make his plane cut. On
inspection I found that the mouth was too narrow to allow the blade to
protrude through the sole! The lateral adjusters are a piece of thin
sheet metal pressing which bends in use, and also has cut the fingers
of students. The cutters and back irons, however, are quite reasonable.
A dozen of these planes, wrapped tightly in chain, would make fair
anchor. I have advised the students to attend flea markets, garage
sales and the like, to buy old Stanley, Record and Bedrock planes, and
bring them in so that I can teach them how to fettle a plane.
Iv've fettled my own planes, and perhaps I've gone a bit too far,
because I've styled the handles and knops on the grips on a target
rifle I was once shown. Anyone who is interestd can see them on the
E.K.B.T.S. web site, I think they're on the "facilities" page.
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