My Stanley 60 ½ block plane makeover-PM-V11® blade upgrade

This is one of the first woodworking tools I ever owned.

Stanley #60 1/5 with new PM-V11 blade

According to Patrick Leach of Patrick’s Blood and Gore Stanley plane pages, on the one hand “The plane is a must-have for woodworkers,” while on the other hand, you should, “Definitely stay away from the maroon colored block planes; Stanley must have hired some Greenwich Village arteest to come up with this hideous color.”

Personally, I LOVE it. Mostly because it’s one of the few woodworking tools that my Dad owned. I think he bought it in the 1970s. And it saw so little use in his possession that I can still read the handwritten $8.95 price on the finger rest knob.


When I first got it, I tuned it up and have loved using it ever since. Then, Lee Valley came out with their new steel alloy, the PM-V11. I wanted to try it, and decided to upgrade my maroon beauty with a blade forged from the new metal. Here’s a side-by-side look see.





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The iron that came stock with the plane is a bit over 1/16” thick while the new LV blade is 1/8″ thick with a 25° bevel.



Minutes after the postman’s delivery, I finished polishing the back and bevel to a mirror finish, and put it in.

P05-Stanley-No- 60-and-half-block plane-Inserted-blade


Then I applied it to some mahogany end grain.


P01-Stanley-No-60-and-a-half-Shavings P02-Stanley-No-60-and-a-half-Shavings-closeup

The new iron sliced quite nicely through the end grain, leaving a very fine finish. It handles it with ease. And it’s been able to take a more aggressive cut than what I could shave with the stock blade.

P06-Stanley-No-60-and-half-block plane-mahogany-end--grain-surface

It’s also nice not to have to sharpen it as often as the O1 blade it replaced. So far, the only drawback was the $36.00 + postage price. That needs to be balanced against the lifetime’s use I expect to get out of it. And it’s an improvement that future family members will benefit from as well. Though by the time it gets to them, the magic marker price will have worn off.




About The Write Biz

By day, I'm a mild-mannered copywriter who harnesses frontal-lobe creativity (right brain) to help B2B marketers generate leads and sales. By night I pick up hand tools to create wooden masterpieces...and give my black lab Bella the "red dot" laser to chase after.
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5 Responses to My Stanley 60 ½ block plane makeover-PM-V11® blade upgrade

  1. john sayles says:

    in your photo essay, your maroon 60 1/2 suddenly becomes a Sweetheart era 18 or 65?

  2. Gary Cook says:

    Nice idea. And a lot cheaper than buying a new LN plane, or similar.

  3. Bruce says:

    Hi, The maroon block plane was a favorite gift to children for their tool boxes, and for the kitchen maintenance drawer. I bypassed the PM-V11 blade for my block thinking it would not work. Will need to look deeper… I have a mutant MillersFalls/Stanley/Craftsman that is my favorite.

    • Hi Bruce,
      I did not know that the maroon block was targeted for kids and household handymen. I have smaller hands, so the size of the plane fits well in my palm. My decision to buy a PM-V11 iron was based on what I use most. So the first one to get it was my Veritas, LA #5. Then the block plane. Those two planes touch most every project, so I felt justified in purchasing them. Plus the fact that I use my LA #5 for shooting. And the stock blade was dulling quickly. I’m liking the longer life of the PM-V11 iron for that role as well.

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