A Stanley Sweetheart surprise!!

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Review by poopiekat posted 05-15-2011 10:58 PM 8200 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A Stanley Sweetheart surprise!! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Here on the prairies, good lumber and tools can be hard to get your hands on. At a local flea market today, I nabbed an absolutely beautiful, brand new Stanley Sweetheart #4 plane! Still in the box, it still had its wax paper wrapping and plastic bag. Wow! This #4 has a huge, 1/8” thick blade, and an adjustable mouth! And the sweetheart logo is the cherry on top of this great find. Incredibly, this plane was mine for $90, and in Canada the usual list price on these babies is $189-$229! Then, I snagged a set of Stanley #45 dado cutters for $20, which was a good deal for me because I’m swimming in bead and sash cutters, I mostly only use the plow cutters. That’s a story for another day. I love the cutter height adjustment above the frog, and the finish is better than any Stanley tool I’ve ever known. The Stanley #4 will get a light hone, and then I’ll give it a spin. I’m hoping this beauty performs as well as it looks. More pix: Photobucket Photobucket

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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13 comments so far

View therookie's profile


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#1 posted 05-15-2011 11:31 PM

nice find and what a deal.


View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 04:09 AM

Nice plane…looking forward to seeing the results once you have tuned it up

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 3408 days

#3 posted 05-16-2011 04:32 AM

Great find. Congratulations!

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3926 days

#4 posted 05-16-2011 11:46 AM

nice deal :-)
I like you got the ploughblades so cheap … congrats

take care

View poopiekat's profile


4781 posts in 4545 days

#5 posted 05-16-2011 03:20 PM

Thanks, everyone for your kind replies! I own a lot of planes, and came to the realization today that this plane is only the second one I ever bought that was brand new. It will be an interesting journey for me to get this tool honed and adjusted. Already I’m looking askance at my menagerie now. Should this number 4 become my primary user, or should I preserve it for future gifting someday?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3504 days

#6 posted 05-16-2011 03:52 PM

Poopie, I’m terribly happy for you, especially on the plow blades. Yours is the first positive thing I’ve heard about the new SW #4. I’m anxious to hear how it performs.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 5029 days

#7 posted 05-16-2011 08:35 PM

The best price I could find on the web for this plane is $127 U.S with shipping. Looks like you got a great deal.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3985 days

#8 posted 05-16-2011 08:50 PM

Enjoy it !!

My “first” plane was a waste of money—the Buck Bros, from Home Depot. It’s not useless, but DID give me a bad impression of what hand planes were about.

My 2nd, though, was a new Stanley Sweethart #4. A few days ago, I lapped the sole plate, flattened and honed the blade, to 8000 grit.

The thing is an absolute joy to use. Feels great in my hand, well balanced, and … just skims off shavings like a hot knife through butter.

THIS … as I’ve learned … is a hand plane !!

So … you picked well, and got a great deal. Congrats !

-- -- Neil

View poopiekat's profile


4781 posts in 4545 days

#9 posted 05-17-2011 02:49 PM

I gotta admit there was this feeling of rapture for me, somebody who has always done the rescue thing with hand planes that I’ve scrounged and brought back to life. To hold this thing in my hand, see the workmanship and finish of a just-born plane a big WOW came over me. Beener: My highest grit is only #2000, I’ll get the #8000 as you mentioned, and see what it does. Charlie, yeah, there are prices on these that come close to what I paid, but here in Canada the shipping is always a deal-breaker. I don’t even know where I could go locally to find a Stanley on a merchant’s shelf. Yes, there’s a Lee Valley in town, and I’m like a kid in the candy store when I gaze into the Veritas showcase cabinet, but nothing Stanley there. It’ll be a week or 2 before I can spend some quality time with this plane, either some gratifying news or some sobering revelation soon to come!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 4023 days

#10 posted 05-23-2011 09:46 PM

Make sure you check the machining of the body along the integrated frog. Stanley had early QC issues with their planes and the poor machining caused the blades to have a skew in them. The product manager for this product said that they had corrected this issue but I haven’t seen an example with everything fixed..

Another QC issue was the paint used. It would flake off. However that too is supposedly fixed.

Beyond the QC issues, my only concern for this tool is the Aluminum cap iron. I’m not sure that part is going to be durable over the long haul.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4523 days

#11 posted 06-10-2011 06:35 AM

PK, have you had a chance to put it through it’s paces yet? About how much does it weigh?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Dominic's profile


34 posts in 3703 days

#12 posted 06-21-2011 04:58 AM

I love my Stanley Sweetheart #4. I use at as a smoother and it leave a glass-like surface with thin fluffy shavings. It’s usually the last tool to touch the wood prior to finishing. I didn’t have any quality-control issues with mine, and no durability problems with the aluminum cap iron (I’ve had this place for about 2 years, lots of usage in that time).

-- Dominic P.- Duxbury MA

View torema's profile


1 post in 111 days

#13 posted 04-25-2020 07:09 PM

This thread has been an eye-opener in a number of dimensions. I recently acquired a new #4 Sweetheart plane and was deeply disappointed before I even completely unwrapped it. It is so easy to get stuck in your ways and have your opinions formed before you really give it any thought. I have been an antique Stanley Bailey plane bigot for longer than I want to admit. I have restored a number and have developed absolute Type favorites and have been convinced no one ever had or ever would produce a better plane than the Stanley planes from before WWII. I saw the “new” iron adjuster and “assumed” I would hate it. I was sure having the frog made as part of the sole was the sign of a cheaply made second-rate plane. I have always hated a keyhole slot as opposed to the “kidney” slot on a cap plate. And, on and on. I assumed this thing was junk. It is still in the box. And now I read all of these well considered reviews and opinions! The fact this one is heavier means you can use a #4 on a shooting board! The thicker iron is, apparently, a real plus. I will be taking this new plane to the bench for a quick tuning and I’m looking forward to the possibility of making this my primary #4. Thanks to everyone of you!

-- Jim, Massachusetts

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