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Thread: "New" Stanley Sweet Heart #60 1/2 Low Angle Block Plane Mini Review

  1. #1
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    "New" Stanley Sweet Heart #60 1/2 Low Angle Block Plane Mini Review

    First off this was just a 15 or 20 minute look at this plane, not much more than that, but I think I got most of the info one would need to figure this plane out.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the plane in question.

    My friend Sugita San brought it by the Dungeon, it is not his plane, a friend of his bought the plane and then could not make it work, and asked Sugita San to have a look at it. Sugita San was also left scratching his head, so he came to me looking for a second opinion and some advice.

    Let me show you what we found.....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I could make a decent shaving, but, as you will see, something is amiss

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    Looking down the bottom of the plane, you can just see the edge of the blade, it is even and does pull a decent shaving, every thing looks OK.... right?

    Well wait a minute, now looking down into the mouth, from the bottom of the plane.....
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    ..... something don't look right here

    I tell you, it was like a "Skew Plane"

    That is how much I had to skew the blade to get it coplanar with the bottom of the plane, so forget adjusting the adjustable mouth nice and tight to get rid of any tear-out

    Looking at the bed of the frog, it looks to me like it is not straight......

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    ...... the machining is not as smooth as I would like it to be, not nearly as smooth as the machining on my Veritas DX60.

    The other big disappointment was with the feed adjuster, the knob you turn to advance the blade forward, or pull it back in the body of the plane.

    On Sugita San's Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Adjustable Mouth block plane, there is about 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn of play in the mechanism, from push out to pull back, on the Veritas Dx60 there is about 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn of play, on the Sweet Heart 60 1/2 there was 2 3/4 turns of play, yep, nearly THREE FULL TURNS of play in the mechanism

    That is REALLY bad, you can see the threaded block is VERY loose on the threaded rod, VERY loose.

    I have to say I was really disappointed in this plane , I was hoping these planes would be better, I mean for $99.99, if this plane was NOT messed up, I think it would be filling a lot of tool boxes. I'll hold out the hope that maybe we got a lemon, but man is it ever a lemon.

    Some good points, the blade is nice and thick, looks like quality steel, and it was really sharp right out of the box. The plane itself is substantial, it has some heft to it, you would NOT want to carry this one around in your apron pocket all day! The castings look good and they are seriously thick.

    I really do hope that this is just a lemon, and this this is not indicative of the level of quality that will come from Stanley, I hope we got an exception, but man does it suck.

    Sugita San's friend has no choice really he has to send it back, and I very much doubt that Woodcraft will cover the shipping, which means, in the end he will be out a fair chunk of change and have nothing to show for it, but disappointment.

    This is one reason I very much like to order quality tools from overseas, you have a much better chance of NOT getting a lemon, and if you do get something with a flaw, the company will stand behind it.

    I'm not piling on Woodcraft either, they have been nothing but good to me when ordering stuff overseas, lots of companies in the US don't bother.

    Well there you go, a mini review, for what it is worth.

    Stu
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review, Stu. It's always a shame when a product doesn't live up to your expectations, whether it's just a bad unit, or if they're all like that.

    BTW, really good photography in your posting. You seemed to be able to get very close to the element of interest and focus on just that.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
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    That could be a bad unit, or is that Stanley is just continuing with the concept that made them fall from a reputed brand to a low one and almost dissapear from the bussines.

    If the throat is not square that could be a bad unit in a batch, but the machining marks, and the play on the adjusting knob can't be considered an occasional flaw IMHO but just plain bad quality.

    Besides if that unit passed their quality control process (if any) should have been discarded.

    Thanks for the review Stu.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  4. #4
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    Thanks Stu,

    Very disapointing news. Toni your point on qaulity control is a good one.

    I would have thought that a simple go no go jig would have been used to catch the casting defect before machining. This is not a small error they have there.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    Was the blade sharpened square? Or was the machining on the casting that bad off? Either one could cause that problem and I wonder if the blade was just off?

    But this is why I really like the old ones better.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Thanks for the review, Stu. It's always a shame when a product doesn't live up to your expectations, whether it's just a bad unit, or if they're all like that.

    BTW, really good photography in your posting. You seemed to be able to get very close to the element of interest and focus on just that.

    Mike
    Thanks Mike, those pics are with my cell phone camera yet

    Actually, my cell phone is more of a camera than a cell phone, it is a Sony Cyber Shot cell phone, 5.4 mega pixels or whatever, it is 1 1/2 years old now, but when it came out, it was the cat's pajamas, and it takes great pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    That could be a bad unit, or is that Stanley is just continuing with the concept that made them fall from a reputed brand to a low one and almost dissapear from the bussines.

    If the throat is not square that could be a bad unit in a batch, but the machining marks, and the play on the adjusting knob can't be considered an occasional flaw IMHO but just plain bad quality.

    Besides if that unit passed their quality control process (if any) should have been discarded.

    Thanks for the review Stu.
    I agree Toni, it does not lookg good for Stanely. These units are not made in China either.............. Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Thanks Stu,

    Very disapointing news. Toni your point on qaulity control is a good one.

    I would have thought that a simple go no go jig would have been used to catch the casting defect before machining. This is not a small error they have there.
    Yep, if it is just one bad unit fine, but it is worrisome, I would not buy one, the shipping alone would kill the deal, the risk is not worth it. If I could walk into a store and take it out of the box and check it over, that would be very different.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    That is bothersome but not too unexpected. Next week I'll stop by woodcraft and check out the ones they have and let you kn ow what I find.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    That is bothersome but not too unexpected...
    These are pretty much my sentiments too....which is really unfortunate when you think about it. It's so hard to fix a tarnished reputation, and things like this don't help. Hopefully it's just a bad one that slipped through the cracks. It's cool looking plane.

    Thanks for posting Stu.
    Got Wood?

  9. #9
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    I have to say that I really did want to like this plane, I futzed around with it for a while to try to get it to work but

    Maybe they wanted to make a "Skew" plane
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Was the blade sharpened square? Or was the machining on the casting that bad off? Either one could cause that problem and I wonder if the blade was just off?

    But this is why I really like the old ones better.
    I forgot to mention, that I did check the blade and it was square (nice catch Jeff) but I thought you could fix the problem by sharpening the blade off square
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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