Category Archives: Tools

Stanley Sweatheart Socket Chisels

Last month I went back to Canada to spend some time with family. While there I made the obligatory stop at Lee Valley in Victoria. Always like to browse the store. Not really needing anything but looking for something that just might catch my eye.

For many years I have been using Japanese made chisels. They are fine examples of Japanese craftsmanship, good quality and well balanced in the hand. However a couple of years ago I got a Lie-Nielsen socket chisel. Only one. A 1/2″. It had a flat back, slender blade, good quality steel and it felt great in the hand. So I have been thinking ever since that I would like a set. The only thing that caused me to bock was the price and the fact that I already have 2.5 sets of good quality Japanese chisels. So I held off that purchase.

While at LV this time I spotted a set of socket chisels made by Stanley. I didn’t think much at first as Stanley has gone through so many changes over the years these chisels are probably just another re-branded, low quality knockoff. So while at the counter I asked to see them and was pleasantly surprised. They are very similar to the Lie-Nielsen socket chisels in all regards except the steel. Turns out in fact that the Lie-Nielsens are based on the original Stanley Sweetheart 750 socket chisels. And the steel doesn’t look all that bad. It may not be A2, O1, Aogami or Shirogami but the plain ol’ high carbon-chrome steel will likely hold an edge quite well. So I bought a set of 8.

Set of 8 Stanley Sweetheart 750 Series Socket Chisels with leather roll. Made in Sheffield England. Price $220.00 Cdn at LV.

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Shooting Board

For many tears I relied on machinery to do the job for me. Still do but more and more I am using hand tools so that means I need a few tools to help me.

I threw this shooting board together last night. And frankly I don’t know how I ever managed without one. Every shop should have one of these simple jigs that help us to get that joint just right. Makes a big difference.

There are better designs on the internet but for now this will do.

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My Workshop

Just for fun here is a recent photo of my work space. The Incra router table is a bit of a dictator but worth it.

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#708 Sargent Plane

Bought this nice little Sargent plane the other day. I just tuned up the blade and gave it a few swipes on some wood I am working with on my current project. It is a number 708, which is equivalent to a number 3 Stanley. However this one has a nice fine tune auto-set adjustment on the cap.

I like it.

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