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Paul Pless
04-27-2010, 04:41 PM
Sweethearts

http://www.woodenboatstore.com/images/835112.jpg

http://www.woodenboatstore.com/Stanley-Planes/products/243/

Besides the 60-1/2 there's a No.9-1/2, a No.92, a No.4, and a No.62 available.

Mrleft8
04-27-2010, 05:22 PM
They're pretty much junk. Need hours of tuning, and fiddling. Stanley should have spent a few extra hours at the factory before they sent these out. I would rather buy a flea market beater to restore than one of these overpriced pigs.

donald branscom
04-27-2010, 06:00 PM
They're pretty much junk. Need hours of tuning, and fiddling. Stanley should have spent a few extra hours at the factory before they sent these out. I would rather buy a flea market beater to restore than one of these overpriced pigs.

Do you mean this exact one Mrleft8?

simonmags
04-27-2010, 06:31 PM
Any advice for a guy that needs to buy both a block plane and a smoothing plane in the near(ish) future?

I have looked a few second hand ones but don't really know what i should be looking for in order to get one, happy enough to buy a new one as well though.

Are the Veritas planes okay? http://www.veritastools.com/

I have not seen the prices of these yet, but will make sure I'm sitting down when I do look :)

cookie
04-28-2010, 09:25 AM
They're pretty much junk. Need hours of tuning, and fiddling. Stanley should have spent a few extra hours at the factory before they sent these out. I would rather buy a flea market beater to restore than one of these overpriced pigs.
i recently bought and restored an old (60's/70?) 60 1/2
I had to flatten the sole, LIFT the mouth piece, make the mouth and bed plumb. Pretty much re-shape the whole stock, so to speak. It was fun to do, but if you have to charge for hours (and it really took many hours), it is not a fortunate decision.

So my advice for a new plane buyer would be to either get Lee Valley, Lie Nielsen or pre-war Stanley.

cookie
04-28-2010, 09:40 AM
Any advice for a guy that needs to buy both a block plane and a smoothing plane in the near(ish) future?


You might like this thread, and a couple others on the forum.

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?t=101309

Mrleft8
04-28-2010, 04:37 PM
Do you mean this exact one Mrleft8? Yes.
I looked at several to make sure I wasn't just looking at one bad apple.
Castings were rough, frog beds on the jack plane were off square, and adjustments were sloppy. You'd do just as well to buy the cheap Anant planes from India and but a Hock replacement blade for the amount of time needed to tune the sweethearts up.
Personally, I'd look in yard sales, flea markets etc. for older Stanleys, which are very good quality planes.

Tom Robb
04-28-2010, 04:47 PM
Simon,
LV - Veritas planes are awfully good. They cost more than a repairable old one. Some here love resurecting the old ones, and are very good at it, but it is some work and it's, again, you pays yer money and you takes yer choice.
I've done it both ways. I'm satisfied with the fixer-upper, but I love the LV.

goodbasil
04-28-2010, 05:23 PM
You don't have to go pre-war for Stanley. (Which war are you referring to?)
It was 1962 that Stanley started to drop quality, and models.
Stanley never was a real high quality tool company. There stuff was good and a few things were really good, but they were innovative. They had a tool to address every problem.
What Stanley wouldn't do is go the extra inch, or even about 3/16". For instance I have a LN block plane and 3 or 4 Stanley 60.5's. If they lengthened the lever cap about 3/16" they'd have a pretty good one. Shove in a thicker after market iron, flatten the sole and you've got a good plane. I like the feel of the Stanley 60.5 much more than the LN or LV ones.

As for price, I don't find the LV over priced. I'm not worried about wearing it out or breaking it, just having it stolen.
Remember that about a 100 or so years ago a simple brace would cost a woodworker about a weeks pay. So they often had a small number of tools and learned how to use them and of course make their own.
I'm sure many here own an axe, but how many can use it to it's full potential.
Not many I would think. Yet there are people who with an axe and a sharpening device will go out in the bush and build a five masted schooner.
My brothers late father-in-law who was born in Japan in 1902 owned about a dozen tools. Funny saws which cut on the pull stroke, (he had them mailed here before we west folk discovered them,) he would work with incredible speed. Hire him to build you a house and move in that night. I think there are still some of his houses still standing around Slocan, B.C., where he stayed after spending WW2 in an interment camp.
Trouble is when people like Lee Valley bring out a new plane then suddenly everything I've been using becomes obsolete. It is now impossible to build anything. Of course thousands of homes, boats and coffee tables have been built with these tools and more will be.
I think I'm a marketers dream.

Let me tell you how bad it is. I have to tap a nail into the wall later to hang a picture. I have no idea how I'm going to do it untill I get a pair of those new Lee Valley skew block planes. I feel so helpless right now.

Bob Cleek
04-28-2010, 08:49 PM
There's a developing "vanity" market for hand woodworking tools, now that the mass producers have felt the bite of competition from Lie Nielsen. Veritas has been at it a while and now Stanley has jumped in. "Tools for looking at." Pride of ownership and all that. Curiously, Lie Nielsen is limiting production, even though they could make and sell more than they do. The guy at WoodCrap told me that Lie Nielsen decided to quit selling their tools to WoodCraft because they didn't want to expand their production facilities to meet WoodCraft's demand. LN wanted to remain a small company that didn't have to lay off workers when things got slow and didn't want to dilute their "cachet" by flooding the market with their products. So, WoodCraft simply came out with their own line of "premium" planes with their house brand, Wood River.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Images/products/150285_230.jpg

http://www.woodcraft.com/Family/2021170/WoodRiver-Planes.aspx

The WoodCraft Wood River plane, an obvious clone of now design-patent-expired Stanley Bedrock models, was much better finished than the Stanley Sweetheard that was sitting next to it in the store, and more reasonably priced. Comes in a nice fingerjointed wood box for somewhere between $100 and $150, depending on the size.

If you can find any pre-sixties Stanley or Record planes, by all means grab them. As long as they aren't destroyed beyond belief, they should be the equal of anything you can buy today, short of a new Lie Nielsen or one of those megabuck custom jobs. You're paying more for the bronze and the quality iron in the LN's, but, if you can live without the bronze, you can buy a used Stanley or Record and stick a good iron in it and you'll be bucks ahead and won't have to stay awake nights worrying that somebody's going to rip it off. (BTW, Stanley still sells all the parts for their discontinued tools, so repairing them is a no-brainer.)

Keith Wilson
04-28-2010, 11:11 PM
I have quite a few prewar Stanley planes, and a couple pre-1900, all bought for not much money and put back to work. (No Bedrocks) You can get them on eBay easily. They're perfectly serviceable tools, but in no way the equal of the Lie-Nielsen or Veritas planes.

The reviews of both the Wood River and Stanley New Sweetheart planes have been ambivalent at best. The Stanley I looked at seemed to be well-made; the iron's good steel and is very thick, but there was an absurd amount of play in the adjuster - like 1-1/2 turns. The adjuster pin was loose in the hole in the blade; that's not at all difficult to machine very accurately.

Lew Barrett
04-28-2010, 11:29 PM
There is no benefit to the Stanley planes when an LN can be purchased for just a few dollars more. I am delighted with both my Lie planes (probably would be with the Veritas/LVs as well) and all I ever do is polish the iron on a waterstone from time to time. Especially with a block plane....not to painful at only $100 (when I got mine). Maybe a No. 4 or a specialty plane is harder to justify, but really, almost anybody with a job can reasonably buy a great block plane from these guys and never look back.

Like Keith, all my larger planes are old Stanleys. But if I need another bigger tool, I will figure out how to buy the LV or LN, even on my retirement (lack) of income. .

StevenBauer
04-29-2010, 12:17 AM
I wonder how much those old Bedrocks cost when they were new. I don't think these Sweethearts or the Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen planes are that expensive. I'm just a carpenter and it would take only a few hours pay to buy one of these block planes. Half a day for the larger bench planes. Could a pre-war carpenter buy a Bedrock plane for a days pay?

Steven

goodbasil
04-29-2010, 01:16 AM
http://www.roseantiquetools.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/astanley1934new.pdf

1934 Stanley #4 $ 4.20
Stanley #4C $ 4.25
Bedrock 607C $8.20
60.5 $2.35
A Stanley 45 would set you back $15.00

I'm not sure, but these prices may be wholesale.

cookie
04-29-2010, 02:08 AM
How much did the average carpenter make in those days?

CByrneiv
04-29-2010, 02:25 AM
How much did the average carpenter make in those days?

In 1934? That was a pretty bad year. The average construction wage was about $3 a day; and if you had work, you worked about 300 days a year (in comparison, we in the US work an average of 225 of the 250-260 or so "business days" a year. I should also note, that number is skewed by the relatively large number of paid vacation days of military and government workers. Non government workers work on average 240 or so days a year).

It had been as much as $7 a day a few years earlier (pre '29)

Skilled carpenters, electricians, and plumbers, made about twice that; as much as three times that for a master cabinetmaker etc...

So, best case, somewhere around $2700 a year, worst case somewhere around $900.

A Bedrock, at $8.20, would represent about a days wage for a master cabinetmaker, or 3 days wage of a typical rough carpenter.

Median annual earnings for a carpenter in the US today, about $40,000, on an average 240 working days; a days wage of just under $170.

Master cabinetmakers median is around $75k for that same 240 days; a days wage of just under $315.

That's the power of productivity and wealth creation. Today, we work 1/3 less, and earn several times as much, in terms of relative purchasing power. Even with inflation, we are considerably better off in standard of living.

The one thing where that isn't necessarily the case, is housing. These days, the house you got for $5,000 in 1934, would be $500,000. But most of that price inflation occurred in three big spurts, from 1969 to 1984, then from 87 to 94, and 2004-2008. Home pricing, for equivalent homes, actually went DOWN slightly, between 1929 and 1954, and only climbed slightly from '54 to '69.

All this is published data from google searches by the way.

cookie
04-29-2010, 03:02 AM
Good data, thanks.
They were making more than I expected. My dad told me last week that when he bought his first suit in the late forties at a normal store it cost something like 3 weeks wages.

Goodbasil, was 1962 also the year the changes the 60.5 stock sole thickness, best seen at the mouth where the blade rests?

goodbasil
04-29-2010, 03:10 AM
I dunno.

Boston
04-29-2010, 04:01 AM
I wish I had a picture of my old grand fathers block plane
thing had a million attachments
you could even make molding out of it
had an adjustable fence
the works
not sure what happened to it but if thats the case my brother probably has it and just isn't talking

cheers
B

Mrleft8
04-29-2010, 07:27 AM
Master cabinetmakers median is around $75k for that same 240 days; a days wage of just under $315.



WOW! I want whatever those Google guys are smokin'!:eek:

CByrneiv
04-29-2010, 10:32 AM
WOW! I want whatever those Google guys are smokin'!:eek:

I think their assumption was full, and fully paid, employment for an entire working year.

The guys I know who own their own shops, and stay fully employed, make a fair bit more than that.

The ones who don't... not even close to that.

Boston
04-29-2010, 11:21 AM
agreed
my work load is at best part time these days and its hard to survive at that

cheers
B

CByrneiv
04-29-2010, 12:54 PM
agreed
my work load is at best part time these days and its hard to survive at that

cheers
B

I'd hate to be a small business owner, or independent contractor in Massachusetts these days.

My dad is still a stonemason in Weymouth, though at his age, he mostly manages the shop. His business is down 80% from four years ago.

Lew Barrett
04-29-2010, 01:57 PM
Cabinet shops have fallen on hard times these day, but who hasn't?

During the boom real estate years here, the ambitious self employed contractors who could stay busy did pretty well. It was hard to find people to do even medium sized jobs at the time. Now the going rate here for skilled day labor/carpentry is hovering around $25 an hour, and at that rate I know some very competent woodworkers who can fit you in. Fine furniture or high end cabinetry by commission may be a bit more, and if you go through a contractor with the whole kaboodle to cover, it will be more still. But I know a few people who are taking work just to stay busy.

Tough times but based on the numbers, these better tools still look like they are in line in respect to price.

StevenBauer
04-29-2010, 04:59 PM
I wish I had a picture of my old grand fathers block plane
thing had a million attachments
you could even make molding out of it
had an adjustable fence
the works

That wasn't a block plane, Bos.
Probably a molding plane:
http://hardwareaisle.thisoldhouse.com/images/2007/09/25/routerplane.jpg


http://www.antique-hand-tools-value.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/ANTIQUE-KEEN-KUTTER-K64-COMBINATION-MOLDING-PLANE-SET-250.jpg


Steven