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Thread: New Stanley planes

  1. #1
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    New Stanley planes

    I want a Stanley #4, and I'm thinking of getting one of the new ones. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with the new models 12-204, 12-404, and 12-904. I don't need to know that they are not as good as a Lie-Nielson or Veritas which I can't afford, but I do want to know if they are a good value for the price, or should I continue to look for a used #4 at about the same price (<$60). I have a decent Canadian made knock-off #4, but I am a Stanley fan.

    TIA
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
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    I've no experience with the new Stanleys, but I do suggest you take a look at the new "WoodRivers" at Woodcraft. They've reworked earlier designs a bit, and are now on 'version 3' or 'V3'. They're really nice planes for not a lot of money, and like the Lie-Nielsons, are pretty much a clone of the old Stanley Bedrocks.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Roger, take a look at this write up on the new Stanleys by the guru himself Christopher Schwarz http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/c...wstanley-1.asp
    cheers

  4. #4
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    As you live over there and don't have to pay shipping like I do, I'd wait for a good used one, then replace the old blade with one of the new blade chip breaker combos and call it a day, an old bedrock tuned up with a new chipbreaker/blade combo might be as much as a new Stanley, but you will have a better tool, IMHO.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Rob, thanks very much. I may go for a #4, although there seem to be issues with the jack plane and the block plane. I own two #5s, one from the late 60s, and one from about 1949, and they are excellent. I also have a pair of newer Stanley block planes of the old pattern, a high-angle and a low-angle, and they are both fine.

    Stu, I'll look out for a good used one. Shipping on the eBay planes averages about $40, which is extortionate, and often more than the asking price for the plane. Planes offered in the local media are usually on a pick-up basis, and more reasonable all round. I have kept the original blades on all the used planes I have bought, although I have considered the purchase of a Veritas blade for some of my planes. Buying the thicker blade would usually mean that I had to file the mouth wider, which I am unwilling to do.

    I looked in Canadian Tire for a #4, as I had seen on the internet that they were a source for the new Stanleys. Although they carry a lot of Stanley tools, they do not carry Stanley planes, and the tools manager told me they never have. I looked at the Chinese-made Mastercraft #4, and it had no frog adjuster, and an obviious twist to the sole, possibly as much as 1/16" corner to corner. I put it back.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    As you live over there and don't have to pay shipping like I do, I'd wait for a good used one, then replace the old blade with one of the new blade chip breaker combos and call it a day, an old bedrock tuned up with a new chipbreaker/blade combo might be as much as a new Stanley, but you will have a better tool, IMHO.
    I 1000% agree with Stu too.
    cheers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    ......Stu, I'll look out for a good used one. Shipping on the eBay planes averages about $40, which is extortionate, and often more than the asking price for the plane. Planes offered in the local media are usually on a pick-up basis, and more reasonable all round. I have kept the original blades on all the used planes I have bought, although I have considered the purchase of a Veritas blade for some of my planes. Buying the thicker blade would usually mean that I had to file the mouth wider, which I am unwilling to do.....
    Try shipping to Japan but yeah, I hear you.

    Why are you unwilling to file the mouth a bit wider? You are not collecting these planes are you? I thought you wanted a good everyday user, a tool to be worked.

    I put an Pinnacle IBC/Rob Cosman Blade & Chipbreaker set in my #4-1/2 smoother (and yes it cost $80) but I'll put my old Stanley #4-1/2 smoother up against anything the LV or LN sells on performance and it will at least match them. I have a total of $190 into that #4-1/2 smoother and while it may not be as pretty, it works so VERY well.

    The plane as it sits today with the new blade & chipbreaker set.


    Not easy to take a picture with my iPhone, but the mouth is very tight.
    When I fit the new blade set, I had to file it maybe 2mm?

    In my old #4 I have a Veritas blade, better than the original, which was worn out, but at the time I did not know about the Pinnacle IBC blade chipbreaker sets, I would rather have that set up.

    A bonus is that the blade sets are made in Canada.
    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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    I have not seen either one in person, but between Stanley and WoodRiver V3, I would suggest the WoodRiver. That is solely based on my perception that WoodRiver has more commitment to improving their product and the fact that Rob Cosman is willing to be a spokesman for them and sells them from his website. Woodcraft has the no. 4 on sale for $119.99 US. Too bad you cannot try out both before buying.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Why are you unwilling to file the mouth a bit wider? You are not collecting these planes are you? I thought you wanted a good everyday user, a tool to be worked.
    Actually, I'm afraid of making a hamhanded mistake and hurting the plane. I have some planes I would take the risk with, but others, not so much.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    Actually, I'm afraid of making a hamhanded mistake and hurting the plane. I have some planes I would take the risk with, but others, not so much.
    There is very little risk, you just do it slowly and carefully.

    Here is Rob Cosman's video on how to do it.



    The biggest mistake people make it taking too much off, well just do a bit at a time, count your strokes, also make sure the safe edge of the file is the edge near the side of the mouth on the plane, don't use a large file, but make sure it is clean and sharp. Use masking tape to mark out the area that you want to remove metal and then go slow. Good idea to practice on a real beater of a plane first, but really it is not hard to do, the metal is grey cast and it files very nicely.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 11-03-2013 at 01:30 AM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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