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Thread: Don't buy new stanley planes????

  1. #1
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    Don't buy new stanley planes????

    That is what I told someone on this forum just a few days ago, I might have to change my advice. I have been aware that Stanley was going to offer improved handplanes, but have not seen pictures until now. Christopher Schwarz at Popular Woodworking/Woodworking magazine has some pictures on his blog.

    They look very good except for the handles as someone comments on the blog. Take a look.

    http://blog.woodworking-magazine.com...e+Arrived.aspx

  2. #2
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    dont ya just hate it when we say something and then they go and fix it and we have to spit out those feathers maybe actually another thing i read some time back was the iron in the later planes is actually ductile iron rather than the old cast and is tougher bill, against breaking. setup might still be poor but the iron is tougher..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    I need a little water to get the feather taste out. It should be interesting to see what happens in the woodworking tool market in the next few years. A lot of companies and people have gotten into the market. I do not think there is enough market out there for everyone. I think there is going to be a shakedown of vendors. I wonder who will be the ones to drop by the wayside. On the handtool side, I hope that Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen are able to survive, along with all the really small time guys. I don't know, when the big boys start moving into your market it is hard to complete.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 06-02-2009 at 01:07 AM.

  4. #4
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    Bill, you pose and interesting topic there for debate. Its all good and well for these guys to be developing a new tool but at this stage they seem a bit late to the party. What surprises me is the tool market on a global scale.
    The way they are marketed in North America one would think this is the only market in the world.

    I have had several discussions with Toni in Spain about the availability and cost of tools in Europe. You would think that some of these companies would be looking at fostering the woodworking market further afield.

    I mean look at what Sawstop are selling a saw in Japan for. In a recessionary market. It was cheaper for Stu to import his on a one off basis. So if they kill the cat in that manner I have absolutely no sympathy for them.

    Added to this Stanley is going to have to do a great deal of marketing to persuade me they are the tool company they used to be. They used to stand for quality. But that was back in my farthers day.

    Considering the changing demographics of the US / Developed nations, there are a lot of possibilities out there to market to. But the market development needs to be done. Most of these big organizations seem unable to use their buying power to be able to develop a market in a new country. I think there are too many CFO types that dont think outside the box and see a whole world as a market.

    The issue is they still have it too easy selling in their home market and are too lazy to get on a plane and take the product to new markets to ensure their survivability. Here Russia has been non communist since what 1990's and we hear of a deal now for Opel in Europe that will access the Russian car market. Why was this not considered by GM years ago. Just as Toyota and all entered the US market.

    Oh i better get of my soapbox this subject really gets me going. I hate seeing good manufacturing jobs going out the door because of the execs that lack imagination and drive but want the big bucks and perks.

    With the schools not teaching shop in a large number of places, these tool manufacturers need to start to think strategically to look at their long term futures. They need to put more into grass roots woodworking just as the guys who sell fishing tackle do with Dad and kids tournaments etc. Same as the sport guys do.

    Sorry for the hijack ( you started the deviation though) i shut up now.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    looks like stanley is shooting straight for lie-nielsen and lee-valley...and using a formula that has worked for grizzly in the power tool market.

    there`s a couple of big differences in the plane market though, first being plane users by and large are very sentimental about their tools, some like old with a history and others really like knowing that they`re supporting north american innovation. and second it`s very unusual to wear out a plane, no motors to burn up etc. so in reality a plane is truly a lifetime purchase and most folks look at it as such.

    i think that if stanley really wanted back into the craftsman's tool box they`d reopen their eastcoast foundry, tool up with modern equipment and set out to reproduce the tried-n-true using today's technology....not likely unless upper management trims it`s ranks and uses the suit-n-tie dollars to pay r&d and production costs....

    as for the small producers, the guys who make one plane at a time....they`ll not even know stanley is importing more stuff
    Last edited by tod evans; 06-02-2009 at 11:12 AM.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
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    After acquiring several older planes over the past couple of years from companies like Millers Falls, Stanley Bailey, Stanley Bedrock, and Record, I can't help but think that the same expenditure for a nice used plane gets higher quality metallurgy, and better initial machining than a new Stanley or Woodriver plane, not to mention that a 40 year plane has likely been tuned and fettled at least once already....and that history/nostalgia thing is pretty powerful!

    This isn't to say that the new planes can't be made to work well, but I really don't think they'll offer the best value possible. $100 buys a very, very nice used plane from a someone who buys, tunes, and resells old planes....heck, generally $50 buys a very, very nice used plane.
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  7. #7
    I think this is a good thing. One has to remember that Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen stole the original plane designs off from Stanley and others and simply added refinements too them. There is nothing wrong with that, the patent rights were up and refinements are what makes this world get better. I mean what good is it to invent the wheel when whoever invented the wheel and axle was the real visionary!

    Still we as woodworkers would all love to be the victims and point out corporate america as being greedy, but maybe if we just take a look at ourselves for a moment, we will see that what Stanley and other plane makers did was give us just what we wanted. Cheap tools. There is no doubt they found out how low in quality they can go, but plane sales were dropping off so they needed to do something to stay competitive...reduce the price and sacrifice a little quality was the logical way to go.

    Did they go too far? Probably, and it did not help that the old die hard plane makers were willing to buy high quality hand tools that slowly made a climb these last 30 years. No large scale company could afford to grow a sideline that slow.

    So now they realize there is a market for medium-priced hand planes and they jump back into the fray tool up. It is too bad these planes were not made in America/Canada but at the same time Lie Nielsen and Lee Valley also have some over-priced junk out there too floating around.

    Is there a market hoovering in between the lower production, but higher cost Lie Nielsens and Lee Valley planes; and yet above the Buck Brother's paper weights? I think so. It won't take much to improve the quality of Stanley's yesterday offerings and yet it won't take much for me to buy a lower priced plane then Lie Nielsen and fuss with it a bit to get the same quality tool. In the meantime supply and demand, market price and woodworkers perception just might force Lie Nielsen and Lee Valley to align their prices a bit more towards working man wages.

    We (as woodworkers) complained about prices of tools 40 years ago and Stanley gave us what we wanted with cheaper tools. Of late, we have complained about poor quality and now they giving us again what we want.

    Nothing but good can come from this. Nothing but good!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8
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    One has to remember that Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen stole the original plane designs off from Stanley and others and simply added refinements too them.
    I think that is incorrect on a number of levels.

    Firstly, neither LV nor LN "stole" the design from Stanley. Stanley had long since abandoned making the #62, and the patent for the design was but a distant memory. The fact is that LN began making the #62 as part of their aim to resurrect planes that were no longer in production.

    Secondly, the LV version is not a rebuild of the #62 ... it is termed the #62 1/2 because it is longer and wider. There are so many differences between the LV and the originalk Stanley that they would make your head swim. I know - I own both.

    LV/Veritas and Stanley #62 ..


    In the meantime supply and demand, market price and woodworkers perception just might force Lie Nielsen and Lee Valley to align their prices a bit more towards working man wages.
    You get what you pay for. The profit margins of LN and LV are low -they are not gauging the public.

    Wait until there are reviews available of the Stanleys, and then compare their costs against the LN and LV. Decide what quality you expect. Then decide then which you would prefer to spend you money on.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Articles and reviews at www.inthewoodshop.com

  9. #9
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    Got 'em in...

    Well, I work at the Grand Rapids Woodcraft store, and we got the first shipment of the new Sweet Hearts on Friday. I didn't have an opportunity to take a real close look at them, but the next time I work I will try to report on the machining, and fit and finish. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to try them out.

    I do find it fascinating how we suddenly have a sizable selection of hand planes now. I wish I could still get my hands on Record planes.

    Hutch

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    Well, I work at the Grand Rapids Woodcraft store, and we got the first shipment of the new Sweet Hearts on Friday. I didn't have an opportunity to take a real close look at them, but the next time I work I will try to report on the machining, and fit and finish. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to try them out.

    I do find it fascinating how we suddenly have a sizable selection of hand planes now. I wish I could still get my hands on Record planes.

    Hutch
    Hutch - I've plucked Record planes from several sources in the past couple of years....Ebay, Ebay UK, Ebay Australia, Ebay Canada, and free woodworking forums. Some of the deals are attractive enough to offset shipping.




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