The Stanley 12-137 No. 62 Sweetheart Low Angle Jack Plane is a versatile hand plane designed for woodworking enthusiasts and professionals alike. This plane is part of Stanley's "Sweetheart" line, which pays homage to the company's rich history of producing high-quality woodworking tools. In this review, we will dive deep into the features, performance, and usability of the No. 62 plane, exploring its strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision about whether it's the right tool for your woodworking needs.
Specifications for the Stanley 12-137 No 62 Sweetheart Low Angle Jack Plane:
- Model: 12-137
- Type: No 62 Sweetheart Low Angle Jack Plane
- Design: This is a low angle jack plane meant for smoothing and flattening surfaces at a 15 degree bed angle. The low angle reduces tearout on certain wood grains.
- Age: This plane was manufactured during Stanley's Sweetheart era from 1904 to 1958. The Sweetheart logo designates this.
- Body Material: The body is made of cast iron.
- Blade Material: The blade is made of high carbon steel.
- Blade Length: The blade length is 5 1/4 inches.
- Cutting Width: The cutting width is 2 1/4 inches.
- Bed Angle: The blade bed is at a 15 degree angle to reduce tearout.
- Handle Material: The handle is made of wood, presumably beech.
- Knob Material: The knob is metal, presumably cast iron.
- Weight: The plane weighs approximately 2.5 to 3 pounds.
Blade Material and Sharpness
The No. 62 Sweetheart plane comes with a high-quality A2 steel blade that measures 2 inches wide and 0.125 inches thick. This material ensures excellent edge retention, and the blade arrives sharp and ready to use straight out of the box. However, you'll still want to hone the blade to achieve a razor-sharp edge for optimal performance.
One of the standout features of this jack plane is its adjustable mouth. By loosening the front knob, you can slide the mouth piece forward or backward to control the size of the opening in front of the blade. This allows you to find the perfect setting for the type of wood you're working with and the desired finish you want to achieve.
Low Angle Design
As a low angle jack plane, the No. 62 is designed to excel at end grain work and handle difficult grain with ease. The 12° bed angle, combined with the blade's 25° bevel angle, provides a 37° effective cutting angle, making it ideal for slicing through end grain and tackling challenging grain patterns.
Hefty Cast Iron Body
The No. 62 plane boasts a solid cast iron body that provides a reassuring heft and stability during use. The plane weighs approximately 6 pounds and measures 14 inches long, making it a substantial tool that can tackle demanding woodworking tasks.
Stanley's patented lateral adjustment lever allows for quick and easy one-handed adjustments of the blade's depth and lateral position. This feature is particularly useful when switching between different types of cuts or making fine adjustments to achieve the perfect shaving thickness.
Performance and Usability
End Grain Performance
As a low angle jack plane, the No. 62 excels at end grain work. The cutting angle is well-suited for slicing through end grain cleanly and efficiently, reducing the risk of tear-out and leaving a smooth, polished surface.
The No. 62 Sweetheart plane is a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of woodworking tasks, from smoothing and jointing to shooting miters and trimming tenons. The adjustable mouth allows you to fine-tune the plane for different materials and types of cuts, making it a reliable workhorse in your hand tool arsenal.
Comfort and Balance
The ergonomically designed tote and front knob are comfortable to hold and provide excellent control during use. The plane's heft and balance make it easy to wield, allowing you to work for extended periods without fatigue.
While the lateral adjustment lever is a convenient feature, some users may find it takes a bit of practice to master. Additionally, the depth adjustment can be a little finicky at times, requiring patience and finesse to achieve the desired blade position.
Build Quality and Durability
The Stanley No. 62 Sweetheart plane is built to last, with a sturdy cast iron body and a high-quality A2 steel blade. The fit and finish of the plane are generally good, although some users have noted that the machining of certain parts, such as the sole or frog, may require some tuning for optimal performance.
Price and Value
The Stanley 12-137 No. 62 Sweetheart Low Angle Jack Plane is priced competitively compared to other high-quality hand planes on the market. It offers a solid blend of performance, versatility, and durability, making it an excellent value for the money.
In conclusion, the Stanley 12-137 No. 62 Sweetheart Low Angle Jack Plane is a reliable and versatile hand plane that excels at end grain work and can handle a wide range of woodworking tasks. While it may require some tuning and practice to achieve optimal performance, its blend of features, build quality, and competitive price make it a worthy addition to any woodworker's hand tool collection.