My New Sweetheart
Posted October 8, 2014
I recently built a 45" by 80" sugar maple butcher block tabletop. I put the low angle plane to use immediately. I flattened the sole with about 25 strokes against some 1200 grit sandpaper glued to a marble tile. I honed the iron, first at 1200 grit, then 2000 grit and got a beautiful shiny bevel (and backside) in just a few minutes. It is probably ready to use straight from the box for most uses. I flattened the end grain on the ends of the table in no time with zero tear-out (my original reason to purchase this plane). It feels like a quality piece in your hand. The 2+ pound weight helps get through tougher fibers and the edge stays sharp. It's quickly becoming my "go to" plane. It's one of those tools that I like even before I pick it up.
This is my first time purchasing...
Posted May 6, 2012
This is my first time purchasing a "great" plane. My only other plane is a Buck Brothers brand which cost less than $30. That plane indeed takes some fine tuning and sharpening, but it works. However, this Stanley Sweetheart low angle block plane is simply outstanding. I didn't do anything to it sharpen the blade, flatten the sole, etc.. I don't like monkeying around with all that nit-picky. I would rather spend time doing some actual woodworking. Out of the box, I got some very thin shavings and it was incredibly smooth to operate. There is some heft to this tool and that heft makes your job easier. The adjustments were very intuitive and wonderfully smooth. Seriously, everything worked out of the box. To be honest, I enjoy using power tools more than I do hand tools because I can usually get something done faster with a power tool, but I use both and there are some things a hand tool does better than a power tool. Also, there is something fun and rewarding with using a hand tool. I simply love this Stanley low-angle block plane. You probably could spend more money on a Lie-Nielsen or Veritas and get better tolerances on the machining by about .001 or whatever it is. However, this is a fantastic block plane and you can use it right out of the box. I can't give enough accolades for this plane. You'll be happy with this purchase.
This is my first purchase of...
Posted January 27, 2012
This is my first purchase of a block plane - I spent loads of hours researching and even purchased another brand and returned it the next day. I spent time to try to figure out how they work and how they are adjusted. I watched videos on their selection and use. I finally broke down and got the Stanley 9 1/2 Sweetheart and it is just that - a Sweetheart. First the construction is rock solid. The threaded parts don't stick - they turn like butter. When you set a piece to stay in place it does and it stays without jamming anything tight. I like tight, but there is no point in going to 'lock down' mode with the major threaded components here. Second - it works right out of the box - the blade is really sharp. The adjustments are great - within a few passes I was able to adjust and cut translucent curls that is cut nearly completely see through for you Navy guys and thin as toilet paper.I made a "practice run" at shaping the edges of 3/4" hardwood into a bullnose rounded nose on 1 edge and 2 ends. I made the basic shaping with this plane and finished with a light sanding of 220 grit. Because I could set the cut to so shallow shaping the ends was easy as well.Unless you have a straight edge you cannot tell where the imperfections are.