Tool Talk

Woodworking Forum => Woodworking Forum => Topic started by: Jim C. on October 03, 2013, 08:24:29 PM

Title: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 03, 2013, 08:24:29 PM
Link to Hand Planes Thread Index-  http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=10243.0;topicseen (http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=10243.0;topicseen)

I like hand planes.  They're fascinating tools, having many diverse patterns and functions that are absolutely invaluable to those who enjoy woodworking.  Planes can be used in just about every aspect of working with wood.  They can be set so precisely as to remove a shaving that's nearly transparent and floats (not falls) to the ground, or they can hog off material and  dimension stock better than no other hand tool.  A plane can fine tune a joint to create a seamless union between parts and will leave a sheen on the surface of a work piece that cannot be replicated mechanically or otherwise.  Yes, I like hand planes.  I use them, I collect them, and I enjoy learning about them.  To those who already know the utility and pleasure of using planes out in the shop, then I hope you'll join in the conversation.  To those who are thinking about using that old plane left to them by a loved one, or simply the plane they picked up at a flea market for a couple bucks, I hope you'll be inspired to give it a try.

Stanley #4: 

Stanley started making the #4 in 1869 and is probably still making some version of this plane today, although I suspect that the earlier models, made prior to 1950, were superior in overall fit, finish and quality.  The #4 is most likely one of the, or the most popular, and useful planes ever produced.  So successful that it has scarcely changed in design or appearance in all of its years of existence.  Its size and weight make it suitable for a number of tasks to include smoothing, fitting, finish work, and general carpentry, all depending on the user's personal preferences and the project at hand.  The #4 is commonly found at garage sales, flea markets, and online.  They're relatively inexpensive and should be in EVERY woodworker's arsenal of tools.  Even the DIYer should own one of these, and know how sharpen the iron, tune it up and use it efficiently and effectively.

The plane depicted below is a Stanley #4 with a smooth sole.  It's a Type 16, produced between 1933 and 1941.     

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on October 04, 2013, 07:40:57 AM
Great post, Jim!
Are you going to continue to educate those of us not so educated on planes?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 04, 2013, 09:47:45 AM
Great post, Jim!
Are you going to continue to educate those of us not so educated on planes?

I'm hardly the hand plane expert, and would more likely categorize myself as an enthusiastic user and collector.  The best education one can receive is usually self imposed.  If this thread acts as a catalyst for that curious individual to take the next step, then that's great.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on October 04, 2013, 10:29:27 AM
Hi, Jim C.

I too like hand planes and find them fascinating.  Some would say that I am obsessed with hand planes -- just because I try to build miniature versions of some that I have seen and like.  I have learned how to really appreciate a part as simple as a lever cap by building some in 1/4 scale.  And I have looked at frogs from both sides now - from up and down, and now, somehow, I really understand how frogs work and how to build one.  But I really don't know enough about hand planes at all.  There is so much to know about the #4 alone, let alone the great variety that have been produced throughout history.  Thank you for sharing your views on my favorite (also), the #4. 

Ralph 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: RedVise on October 04, 2013, 10:49:12 AM
  Even the DIYer should own one of these, and know how sharpen the iron, tune it up and use it efficiently and effectively.
       

I have seen this expression before, tuning a plane, would like to know the basics.

Thanks

Brian
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on October 04, 2013, 02:46:42 PM
For those of you not familiar with planes, more specifically the myriad of planes that were made by Stanley, check out Pat Leach's site called "Stanley Blood and Gore".  There is a wealth of info there on every plane Stanley ever made.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 05, 2013, 07:22:15 AM
Like Papaw said, great post.  Planes can be addictive though.  I can't seem to pass them up.  Going through some boxes just out of storage recently, I discovered I have accumulated something like a dozen block planes over the years -- don't have the faintest idea how I got most of them. 

Even if a plane is not really tuned, if it has a good, sharp blade it is a very satisfying tool to use.  I think I have six wood bodied smoothing planes as well as a couple of Stanleys, a metal bodied Ohio, a no-name my wife pointed out to me in a junk shop (had to buy it to encourage her help...), and a Baker so unused that it still has its paper label.  Got Stanley #5s in plain and corrugated, a pair of #7s ditto, a #5 1/2 that I probably use most.  Recently picked up a #75...  Have several hand made wooden planes made by Viet-Namese carpenters, and a bunch of wooden planes from 5 to 30 inches long, and a selection of wooden molding planes as well as two Stanley #45...

Did I say addictive?   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 05, 2013, 02:15:23 PM
........Going through some boxes just out of storage recently, I discovered I have accumulated something like a dozen block planes over the years -- don't have the faintest idea how I got most of them.......

You make an interesting point.  It's so easy to accumulate tools over the years, and the circumstances behind their acquisitions is often forgotten or obscured over time.  At some point in the future, our loved ones will be blessed, or saddled, with OUR tools.  Unfortunately our prized possessions may not have the same sentimental value to our heirs.  Keeping that in mind, when I started buying planes about twenty years ago, I kept track of my acquisitions.  EVERY plane that I bought was accounted for on a handwritten list and on a duplicate 3"x5" card.  I've since started keeping the same information on a computerized spreadsheet too.  The information I keep on each plane includes, the manufacturer, it's age, condition, date acquired, how I acquired it, and how much I paid for it.  Although I probably overpaid for a few of them, at least when the time comes, my kids will know approximately what they're worth and will hopefully realize their value if they decide to part ways with them.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 09, 2013, 08:08:43 PM
Every tool box, whether it belongs to a serious craftsman, or an "average Joe" homeowner, and everyone in between, should have a simple block plane in it.  They're so versatile and absolutely perfect for so many jobs.  Set properly, with a super sharp cutting iron, they can trim end grain for the perfect fit, or knock the edge off long grain for a smooth finish.  Any time I'm working with wood, there's usually a block plane on my bench within reach.  Block planes were manufactured in several different patterns, some more useful than others.  The basic block plane is usually about six or seven inches long, with a fixed non-adjustable throat, and an iron bedded at approximately twenty degrees. 

Stanley #9 1/4:

Over the years, Stanley and others made dozens of different block plane patterns, and literally sold millions of them.  The #9 1/4 was about as simple as they come.  It was most probably marketed to the homeowner as an inexpensive, easy to use, handy tool.  Although one could use it for fine woodworking, it is probably more suited to DIYer applications.  Sturdy and dependable, it can handle most general woodworking jobs and deliver acceptable results.  Stanley manufactured the #9 1/4 from 1947 into the early 1980s.  The #9 1/4 is a relatively easy plane to come across at garage sales, etc., and not really expensive.  If you've never tried a plane and wanted to get the hang of it, this is a good one to start with. 

The plane depicted below is a Stanley #9 1/4, Type 23, produced between 1956 and 1959, at the end of Stanley's truly golden age of hand plane production.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 10, 2013, 07:01:14 AM
Every tool box, whether it belongs to a serious craftsman, or an "average Joe" homeowner, and everyone in between, should own a simple block plane.  They're so versatile and absolutely perfect for so many jobs.

Amen to that!  It's probably the reason I have picked up so many.  There are three next to my bench, and there's one that lives in my go-to window tool box.  Endlessly useful.  The one in the window box is a 60 1/2.  Wide enough for window sash.  The ones next to my bench now are the newest versions of the venerable block plane, and I have found them very satisfactory.  They have a good weight in the hand and definitely do the work.  One I picked up a year ago in a box lot of tools, and it has the non-adjustable mouth.  The other two are adjustables, one narrow like the 60 1/2, the other wider.  (What I like best about the adjustable mouth is that closes enough to protect the edge of the blade when it's bouncing around in a tool box.)

For planing end grain, that 20 degree angle makes it tops.  For one handed use, it's the champ, and it takes up just about no space in a tool box.

Stanley now makes a holster for these, by the way.  Makes them even handier on the job. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 10, 2013, 10:00:42 AM
  Even the DIYer should own one of these, and know how sharpen the iron, tune it up and use it efficiently and effectively.
       

I have seen this expression before, tuning a plane, would like to know the basics.

Thanks

Brian

Hi Brian,

Tuning a plane is term that basically means "perfecting" the plane so that it performs at its highest optimal level.  Contrary to popular belief, most planes are not ready to use right out of the box.  That was particularly true of the antique planes that I plan to show you in this thread.  They were mass produced items that needed a little more work on the part of the final consumer to get them cutting and functioning correctly.  One of the first things a new plane, and most garage sale/flea market planes need is a super sharp iron.  A REALLY sharp cutting iron is half the battle.  Although it might seem sharp, the irons on new planes are about half as sharp as they need to be in order to cut properly.  Old plane irons usually need to be re-ground/re-shaped (depending on its intended use) and definitely re-sharpened.  Then there's the matter of the plane's sole.  Many were not actually flat from the factory, and may need some lapping to get them to where they are truly flat.  Moving parts need to work freely.  Sometimes that's just a few drops of oil to loosen things up.  Other times it's more involved rust and crud removal.  The union of parts, for example the joining of the cutting iron and the chip breaker on a bench plane, need to fit perfectly, so that wood chips don't jam between them.  The same can be said of the union between the frog and the sole of the plane,  sometimes some light filing is necessary.  For more information about hand planes, I highly recommend checking out a book called "The Handplane Book" by Garrett Hack.  It's a great book that discusses the various types of planes that were manufactured over the years, as well as how to "tune" them and use them.

Now, with all that being said, if you come across a collector quality plane, you would be GROSSLY de-valuing it if you did anything to it like I just described above.  Leave it in "as found" condition.  Don't try to clean it, never use a wire brush or wheel on it, do not try to enhance the japanning or finishes on it.  Just leave it alone.  There are soooooo many user quality planes on the market that it would be a shame (almost a crime) to destroy the tool's originality.  The two planes I've depicted above are mint, collector quality planes.  Using them at this stage of game would de-value them.  Although they're very common planes and easily found in used condition,  finding them in superior, NOS condition, is rare.  If you plan on using planes, which I hope you do, go for the ones that are in "user quality" condition.  You'll pay a lot less for them too.  Just as an example, the Stanley #4 above, in the same NOS condition is probably worth approximately $75 - $100 to a collector.  The very same user quality plane could be had at a flea market for $5 - $10.  If a plane is super rare, even the user quality examples can command big money, just like any other collectible tool.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on October 11, 2013, 10:55:55 AM
  Jim is absolutely right about "collector quality" planes.
 There are people willing to pay a lot of money for 100% factory paint on a tool.
 Not almost new, but perfy perf perfect, new new new.  Nobody can explain why, but old things that are still new is the biggest appeal in the world to many people. These are also the people willing to spend far and away the most money to get it. They don't want to do anything with them. They just trade them back and forth as commodities of value.
  Boxes are worth even more. A simple cardboard box meant to be tossed when you got home with the tool? These are often worth more than the tool inside, by a wide margin.

    So if you find a crispy new looking box from 1860, that has never been opened, with a new plane inside, it will buy you a house.
 Well almost that much.

         90% paint?  Not so much.
90% is not enough paint for them. It has to be 100% or nothing.
 90% is often not worth a nickel.
 Or any one of 100 other little things, that don't mean anything to a guy cutting wood, qualifies a tool for scrap, in the collectors' world.
    Perfy perf perfect, remember. Nothing else counts.
   
  This means only 1 in 1000 planes you see are tools that collectors might really go after.
  The rest you get to have cheap.  As many as you want.

  999 to 1?   I liked these odds. :)  These were good odds for me for a long time.   

Unfortunately the odds are changing as more and more people are starting to restore old tools and put them back to work and finding out how good they are to use.
  I was once considered a felonious vandal for restoring old tools, in the collector's world. But that is steadily slipping away. Pretty soon the fine cheap tools will be gone. So get them now if you want them.   
    yours Scott

 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 11, 2013, 01:17:40 PM
  Jim is absolutely right about "collector quality" planes.
 There are people willing to pay a lot of money for 100% factory paint on a tool.
 Not almost new, but perfy perf perfect, new new new.  Nobody can explain why, but old things that are still new is the biggest appeal in the world to many people. These are also the people willing to spend far and away the most money to get it. They don't want to do anything with them. They just trade them back and forth as commodities of value.
  Boxes are worth even more. A simple cardboard box meant to be tossed when you got home with the tool? These are often worth more than the tool inside, by a wide margin.

    So if you find a crispy new looking box from 1860, that has never been opened, with a new plane inside, it will buy you a house.
 Well almost that much.

         90% paint?  Not so much.
90% is not enough paint for them. It has to be 100% or nothing.
 90% is often not worth a nickel.
 Or any one of 100 other little things, that don't mean anything to a guy cutting wood, qualifies a tool for scrap, in the collectors' world.
    Perfy perf perfect, remember. Nothing else counts.
   
  This means only 1 in 1000 planes you see are tools that collectors might really go after.
  The rest you get to have cheap.  As many as you want.

  999 to 1?   I liked these odds. :)  These were good odds for me for a long time.   

Unfortunately the odds are changing as more and more people are starting to restore old tools and put them back to work and finding out how good they are to use.
  I was once considered a felonious vandal for restoring old tools, in the collector's world. But that is steadily slipping away. Pretty soon the fine cheap tools will be gone. So get them now if you want them.   
    yours Scott

 

I guess it's all a matter of opinion that I won't debate, but for the sake of clarity, I want to make sure that we're all on the same page when it comes to the actual finish on an antique hand plane.  They weren't really "painted," but rather "japanned."  The process involved coating some of the plane's surfaces with a black material consisting of natural asphaltum resins, dissolved in linseed oil and thinned with turpentine.  The substance was then hardened onto a surface by means of baking it at high heat.  The process of japanning falls somewhere between painting and enameling.  It was very commonly used in the metal wares industry, and thus was an easily obtainable, relatively inexpensive way to provide a protective coating to a variety of items including hand planes and other tools.  As a user and collector of old planes, I've found that various companies, like Stanley and Sargent, must have had their own secret recipes and processes for japanning tools.  When comparing two planes that were manufactured in the same era, by the two different companies, I've found that the quality and consistency in their applications is different.  Generally speaking, the japanning on the Stanleys seemed a little more durable in my opinion.

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: RedVise on October 11, 2013, 04:39:40 PM

Hi Brian,

Tuning a plane is term that basically means "perfecting" the plane so that it performs at its highest optimal level.  Contrary to popular belief, most planes are not ready to use right out of the box.  That was particularly true of the antique planes that I plan to show you in this thread.  They were mass produced items that needed a little more work on the part of the final consumer to get them cutting and functioning correctly.  One of the first things a new plane, and most garage sale/flea market planes need is a super sharp iron.  A REALLY sharp cutting iron is half the battle.  Although it might seem sharp, the irons on new planes are about half as sharp as they need to be in order to cut properly.  Old plane irons usually need to be re-ground/re-shaped (depending on its intended use) and definitely re-sharpened.  Then there's the matter of the plane's sole.  Many were not actually flat from the factory, and may need some lapping to get them to where they are truly flat.  Moving parts need to work freely.  Sometimes that's just a few drops of oil to loosen things up.  Other times it's more involved rust and crud removal.  The union of parts, for example the joining of the cutting iron and the chip breaker on a bench plane, need to fit perfectly, so that wood chips don't jam between them.  The same can be said of the union between the frog and the sole of the plane,  sometimes some light filing is necessary.  For more information about hand planes, I highly recommend checking out a book called "The Handplane Book" by Garrett Hack.  It's a great book that discusses the various types of planes that were manufactured over the years, as well as how to "tune" them and use them.

Jim C.   

Jim C.  Thanks for that info!

Brian
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on October 11, 2013, 05:30:52 PM
         Again 1000% true
 Japanning is a very early form of hardened enamel paint. Not quite the fused glass enamel jewelers use, but certainly harder than regular paint.
         And its a pain in the butt!!

  Its as thick as molasses in the wintertime.
 You paint it on, air dry overnight, and then fire it. Not once, but at least 3 times to truly harden.
 If you try to bake it all the way up to final heat in one pass, it bubbles on you..... (grrrr)

 [Regular paint can be fired too btw. Any traditional oil based alkyd enamel (rustoleum etc).
  But you have to fire even longer, and more times working up to final heat. (bake for 1/2 hour, ...cool it down. Bake again for an hour, ...cool again.  and so forth, until final heat and hardness occurs)
 It takes --a lot-- more coats because true japan paint is so thick.
 But in the end it will harden to a very durable finish itself. I have done it a number of times and Wiktor does it everyday on his restored-better-than-new Millers Falls hand drills. ]

 The factories did this by just dunking them (once for most companies, twice for Stanley, I think) and then firing after. The bright parts, or bare metal parts, were sanded off smooth afterward.

  They used a form of precision sanding called linishing. Its still in use today.
 If you drop off your cylinder head to get milled at the machine shop, they actually sand it.
 True milling or high precision surface grinding takes too long, and its overkill.
  Linishing is close enough and its a whole lot quicker.

 The plane companies were going to machine these surfaces anyway, so why not just wait until after it had been painted?

   I am pretty sure Stanley did all this twice.  Nobody else comes close to the thickness of finish Stanley used before WW11.

    I have some alphaltum japan, made to the original recipe (as good as could be anyway) and even though it is thick enough to stand a brush up in, it still takes at least 2 complete fired coats to make a finish as thick as Stanley used. 

    Neither Sargent, Millers Falls, Auburn or Ohio are anywhere near as thick.   
      yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 17, 2013, 03:05:55 PM
In my last featured plane post, I included a few pictures of the Stanley #9 1/4 block plane.  That got me to thinking of just how MANY different types, patterns, and sizes of block planes that Stanley actually made during their most diverse and productive years.  There were literally dozens of them.  Some were nickel plated, some were japanned, some came in a combination of both finishes along with some brass trimmings.  Some had adjustable throats, while others were manufactured with fixed throats.  Some had mechanical iron adjustments, and others had to be adjusted by hand.  All, at least in the eyes of Stanley, were produced to fill some perceived niche in the market place.  Many of the block planes Stanley, and others, produced were extremely useful and successful.  Those are the ones that lasted and stood the test of time.  Others seemed like good ideas on paper, but in actuality, had design flaws, or weaknesses, or characteristics that made them non-user friendly. 

Stanley #130:

This is a double ended block plane, whose body is cast with two ramps that will accommodate the cutter on either end of the plane.  It's one of those planes that I see as an "oddball."  One end functions like a regular block plane, while the other end has a bull nose, allowing the iron to cut very close to the end of the plane.  Useful?  I don't know.  I've got a "user" version of this plane and I've never had a reason to use the bull nose end, instead opting for other more capable tools to make those sorts of cuts.  Like any cast iron plane, the #130 is very prone to damage if dropped on the floor.  The bull nose section on these particular planes are often cracked off.  The casting is extremely fragile around the bull nose, simply because there's not much metal there to begin with, so, a good knock and the bull nose snaps off.  Because so many are found broken, they are often altered on the bull nose end, and turned into chisel planes (more on chisel planes later).  I think the angle is a little high for a chisel plane, but I've seen more than one that has been "fixed" to become a chisel plane, so I know they're out there.  Just beware that they were not originally manufactured like that.  Personally, I think the #130 is a little bit too large, and therefore limited in its uses.   At eight inches in length, it's almost as long as a #4 bench plane (see post #1 above).  There are several more block planes that I like to use well ahead of the #130.  Although it functions just fine, it's not my favorite to use.  From a collector's point of view, well, I really like odd ball planes and this one fits the bill.  In used condition, the #130 is relatively inexpensive and they do occasionally turn up at garage sales and flea markets.  (If you absolutely still must have one, contact me....) 

Stanley produced the #130 between 1884 and 1955.  The example depicted below was probably manufactured in the late 1920s or early to mid 1930s.  Notice the remains of the Stanley logo on the pressure cap.  They were decals that didn't survive regular use, simply by virtue of their location on the plane, right under the user's palm.  The decals were affixed to several different models during that time period, and were usually found on the handles, totes, and pressure caps, depending on the plane.  This particular plane appears to have never been used, and still retains its original factory grind on the cutting iron.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 20, 2013, 06:48:37 AM
It's no secret, I've said it before, I really like old hand planes.  As a user and collector, I frequently receive planes from people (family, extended family, friends, co-workers, neighbors) who want to help me along with my collection.  Many of the planes I receive are well used and often abused, with broken, missing, and/or poorly repaired parts.  I can't count how many times I've received old wooden bodied planes that are cracked and well beyond repair.  Still, I accept them all with a smile and a genuine appreciation, because someone took the time to think of me.  Many of them end up in my "parts box" which occasionally yields that one little screw, washer, chip breaker, etc., that can be re-used on another plane.  Over the years, I have received a few nice user quality planes to include some block planes, a Stanley Bedrock #608, and a pretty good Stanley scrub plane #40. 

Along the way, I ended up with a couple "Razor Blade Planes."  One of them actually belonged to my grandfather.  He was a "tinkerer of the highest order."  He actually made and smoked corncob pipes, enjoyed making model houses and scenery to display in a winter setting under his annual Christmas tree, and was famous for re-cycling old pallets and turning them into bird houses.  His collection of tools was meager to say the least, but he made do with what he had.  After he died, I ended up with several of his tools, to include his razor blade plane (The Little Giant).  The other plane (Wil-Kro) was given to me by my dad, who recalled buying it in the late 1950s when he was working on building a model ship.  According to him, it was almost useless, and that was that.  It ended up in the bottom drawer of his workbench never to see the light of day again...... until he gave it to me a few years ago.  I really don't collect these things, or use them, but their origins are special, so I keep them.  I'm sure these planes are found in "grandpa's basement shop" all across America. 

Razor Blade Planes:

These were most likely produced in the 1950s and into the 1960s, for the home hobbyist.  They actually used a safety razor blade as the cutter.  I don't think they'd cut much more than balsa wood, or some really soft pine.  I've heard that they may have provided some utility working with leather, but I'm not entirely sure about that.  The Little Giant, manufactured by Wilson Bros., in Springfield, Missouri, came in a flat soled version (see below) and a curved version (which I do not have), patent number 2781804.  The Wil-Kro version, manufactured by Craft Master Tool Company, in Cleveland, Ohio, was a four in one model that could allegedly function as a flat sole, bull nose, chisel and curved sole plane, depending on the configuration of its four parts.  If you're really interested in seeing more about this plane, its patent number is 2289504.  Razor blade planes must have had some level of popularity at some point, because there were several models and manufacturers, to include Select, Raza-Plane, Zip Plane, and Sollingen Balsa Planer to name a few.  I believe that Lee Valley even made a version of the razor blade plane.  These planes may have sold well because they promised a multi-functional tool with a forever sharp blade, that would be useful for the home handyman.  In the end, I don't think they actually lived up to their hype.  I don't believe that razor blade planes are in much demand on the collector market either.  I see them frequently at garage sales, flea markets and online, usually for less than a couple dollars.  As for small planes, that actually work, there are MANY superior choices to be had.  We'll save some of those for another day.
       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 21, 2013, 06:24:38 AM
Thank you for the information and the pictures.  I've seen some of these on eBay from time to time and thought about getting one to play with.  I find planes more than a little addictive...  Like you, I have a number that have been given me, and am glad to receive every one.  I picked up two because my wife found them in a junk store we were cruising through -- I appreciated her looking out for tools for me.  (Her latest find was at a yard sale -- a working Makita battery in its charger that cost me $2)  Someone else found a Stanley low knob 5C at a garage sale and got it for me.  Good user.
And I have a box of plane parts somewhere in storage. 

Looking forward to more posts from you like this.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on October 21, 2013, 09:52:06 AM
Razor blade planes. How cool. Got to love them. The definition of the word Cockamamie heeheh
   
  Here is what happens to the 130 bullnose planes when the front section snaps off.
These ends are ridiculously fragile anyway.  Not to mention, whose idea was it to have a tool that will --almost-- work into a corner?
 So here's mine. The blade is about twice as thick as Stanley's offering, for stability. The lever cap is solid steel to mop up vibration too.
  (http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/chisso.jpg)

 Also here is what you need for the really tight places.
 (http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/auction/chiselnose8.jpg)
 
 yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 21, 2013, 01:47:07 PM
Thank you for the information and the pictures........Looking forward to more posts from you like this.

You're most welcome.  I'll try not to bore you. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 21, 2013, 01:57:16 PM
Good looking planes Scott, and a nice fix on that #130.  You're right... It's a silly design that's prone to breaking, and "almost" get's the user into the very corner of a workpiece.  The key word is "almost." I tried to make clear to anyone who may come across a #130, that it's really one for the collectors.  Even in used condition, it's far from being one that I reach for when I'm in need of a block plane.  I'm not sure who's reading any of this, but wait until I break out the #131.....  Just as silly and even more fragile! 
   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on October 21, 2013, 03:40:39 PM
Millers Falls also made one of these abominations, although they drew the line when it came to the No. 131.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: rusty on October 21, 2013, 03:57:10 PM
> I'm not sure who's reading any of this
All of the 2,405,518,376 people on the Internet  ;P

I always read these threads, people who, in fact, use tools know them better
than people who just see how many shelves they can fill up :)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 21, 2013, 04:17:56 PM
Millers Falls also made one of these abominations, although they drew the line when it came to the No. 131.

Mike

Yes Mike, a version of the #130 was manufactured by a few different companies.  Sargent also got in on the act, producing its double ended block plane, the #227, between 1901 and 1943. 

The Stanley #131 is certainly a "contraption" to say the least, and as far as I know, was only produced by Stanley.  It's one of those planes that is the result of some very fertile imagination and much less the result of principled engineering. That's another one best left to the collectors, because it's tough to find undamaged in any condition.  I would never consider using a #131 because the chance of breaking the iron adjusting mechanism is pretty high.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 21, 2013, 04:28:41 PM
> I'm not sure who's reading any of this
All of the 2,405,518,376 people on the Internet  ;P

I always read these threads, people who, in fact, use tools know them better
than people who just see how many shelves they can fill up :)

I don't know if 2.4 billion people are reading about hand planes online or not.  Maybe so..... And while I will admit that I have several planes that I use regularly, about a dozen or so, there are many, many, many more that are sitting in boxes on shelves in my shop that will most likely never be used by me.  Thanks for reading along with the other 2.4 billion people.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 27, 2013, 08:07:48 AM
In a previous post, I mentioned that I have about a dozen or so antique planes that I use frequently.  There's something good about using an old tool.  In some instances, the old tool is often better than new tools that are available and being made today.  I really enjoy making furniture, or working on projects that require a higher level of precision than general carpentry.  Over the years, my skills have gotten better, but I still have a long way to go.  Like any craft/art form, metal working, ceramics, painting, etc., etc.,  woodworking has no beginning and no end.  There's just learning, practicing, experimenting, refining, perfecting and more learning.  Woodworkers were lucky that plane manufacturers recognized the need for tools that could achieve high levels of accuracy and make precise cuts.  Rabbet planes were such tools.  When outfitted with a sharp cutting iron and its throat set for a whisper of a shaving, the rabbet plane has the ability to fine tune some high end furniture joints that no other machine or tool can.

The rabbet plane's sides are ground at right angles to its sole, and with an iron that protrudes approximately 1/64" beyond both sides of the plane, it is able to get into the very corner of a joint (see last picture), such as a rabbet or lap, and square them up or remove the slightest amount of waste so that joints mate perfectly.  As seen in the picture below, by removing the nose section of the plane, it also functions quite well as a small chisel plane (third picture).  I find this feature to be extremely handy at times.  I'm currently replacing most of the window sash at my house.  That's another story for another time....  Anyway, the rabbet plane depicted below has been absolutely invaluable to have on hand during this project.  If you're interested in upgrading your woodworking skills, and making things that require precision joints, then a small rabbet plane is a "must have."

Stanley #90:

For many years, Stanley and others made some version of small rabbet planes.  This type of plane is also known as a shoulder plane.  The #90 bull nose was a classic, and as I've already stated, a most useful plane.  The #90 was one of several that Stanley made along with other models to include the #11, #90A, #90J, #92, #93, and #94.  We'll get to a few of these at some point down the road.  Stanley started making the #90 in 1898 and continued to do so well into the 1980s and possibly beyond.  The plane I've depicted below was probably manufactured in the late 1930s.  Although it has not changed much over the years, it's interesting to note that the model number cast into the nose was reversed at some point.  Looking at the fifth picture below, you'll see that the 1930s version of the plane (on left) was cast with the model number facing away from the user, while the 1920s version (on right) was cast with the model number facing the user.  I don't know that either one is any more rare than the other.  I think the Stanley #90 is a plane that a serious woodworker should own.  They're not as common as some planes that one might see at a garage sale, but still readily available.  The nickel plating on them does wear off and will dull with use, but that will not even remotely effect its ability to function properly, and produce some exceptional results.  From a collector's point of view, the condition of the nickel plating is everything.  For the user, the key to these planes is their accuracy.  They shouldn't be abused.  Even if you purchase a "user" make sure its sides and sole are perpendicular to each other, that it's throat is undamaged, the iron advances and retracts smoothly, and that it has no cracks or repairs.

Jim C.       
   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 27, 2013, 10:06:39 AM
Very timely!  I just acquired one of these.  I hadn't had time to figure out it could be used as a chisel plane.  Now I like it even more.  Dressing rabbets and lap joint cuts was exactly why I wanted it.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 27, 2013, 10:10:04 AM
Very timely!  I just acquired one of these.  I hadn't had time to figure out it could be used as a chisel plane.  Now I like it even more.  Dressing rabbets and lap joint cuts was exactly why I wanted it.

It will also do a great job fine tuning the cheeks and shoulders of tenons.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 02, 2013, 09:37:19 PM
I was out in the shop today working on a small cabinet, and as always, had a couple planes on my bench.  So, I thought I might feature one of my "users" this time.  This plane, a Stanley #103, was given to me by a co-worker about ten years ago.  Knowing nothing about old hand planes, she still picked it up at a farm sale in Wisconsin because she thought I might like it.  Well, I do like it.  First, because someone thought of me, and second because even with its 80+ years of patina, it's still a very good, functional, useable tool.  It's far from collector quality, but in some ways it's MUCH better.  Use an old plane like this and you'll see what I mean.  It's an honest, well made, well used tool.  At some point, it received some green and red paint, and had a little rust on it, but with a good cleaning and a sharp iron, it can still slice off some really fine shavings.   

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2013, 04:48:52 PM
Collecting and using old tools is something that I'm guessing all of us here enjoy.  Otherwise, why would we be here in the first place?  For me, trying to determine when a tool was manufactured is part of the fun.  Unfortunately, with the exception of a few examples, it's nearly impossible to know EXACTLY when a tool was manufactured.  In most cases, we have to rely on manufacturing clues, packaging, instruction manuals, old catalogs, and our own research or the research of others.  Still, at best, we may only be able to determine a date range/era that a particular tool was made.  That's definitely the case with old hand planes. 

Over the years, Stanley made little changes to their planes, packaging, etc.  By continuing to educate yourself, gaining some experience, and knowing some telltales, one can roughly determine when a plane was produced.  The following example will briefly discuss tool finishes, packaging, and old brochures/instructions.  Stanley was never a company to waste anything, so they used everything until it was gone.  Boxes, labels, instructions, even plane parts were mixed and matched at the factory.  Several times I've seen planes in original mint condition with parts that appeared to be from the end of one production mated with improved/changed parts from the immediately following production.  Stanley didn't care about future collectors and all their "Type Studies."  The same went for boxes, labels, and brochures.  They used the old stock until it was gone.

Below are two Stanley #271 router planes.  It's one of my favorite models and very useful for cleaning and flattening the bottoms of grooves and dados.  It was produced by Stanley from 1926 well into the 1980s.  It could be used with an open or closed throat and included one 1/4" cutter.  A very simple, but very effective plane.  After tracking down some of the basic models, keep your eye out for one of these.  In trying to determine when each plane was manufactured, I'd first examine the boxes.  The box on the left has a yellow to orange colored paper covering it, while the box on the right is a drab grey to olive green cardboard with no paper covering.  Immediately that tells me that the drab box was produced very near in time to WWII.  For some reason, Stanley boxes from that era all look like that, versus the yellow and orange boxes that came before and after WWII.  (Some VERY early Stanley boxes were a light green color.) Also notice the labels on the boxes.  The one on the left appears to be more modern.  Still, one cannot base a plane's approximate age on the box or the label alone.  All the clues must be considered.

Let's look at the planes themselves.  I should mention that the Stanley #271 depicted below was traditionally manufactured as a nickel plated plane before and after WWII.  However, notice that the plane on the right has a japanned finish.  Both are in mint condition, so which one is older?  Here's where "continuing education" and some experience come into play.  During WWII, nickel was being used for the war effort.  As a result, Stanley started finishing their normally nickel plated planes and tool trimmings with black japanning.  This practice went on at Stanley from the time the United States entered the war until the war ended.  Again, because Stanley didn't waste anything, old stock japanned planes produced during the war could still be found on hardware store shelves well into the early 1950s.   

Finally, let's take a look at the brochures that came with each plane.  The content in each is virtually the same, but notice the cover of the brochure on the right.  If you look at the the lower portion, you'll see that it celebrates Stanley's one hundred year anniversary, 1843 - 1943.  Furthermore, looking at the back of both brochures, you'll see that one was printed in 1951, and the other was printed in 1943.  Taking ALL of the clues into account (the boxes, the labels, the planes, the brochures, and some education) I can confidently say that the plane on the left was most likely produced during the early to mid 1950s, while the plane on the right was produced most likely near the middle or end of WWII.

What do you do if you don't have the benefit of original boxes, brochures, etc.?  Again, educate yourself.  Read available research done by others or do some of your own.  Compare known older examples of planes to their newer versions.  Many times subtle changes were made to patent dates, model number placement on castings, casting marks, mechanical parts, and logo stampings.  Knowing these little details can still aid one in determining a plane's approximate age.

Jim C.

(We'll talk more about WWII era planes in a future post.)             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 11, 2013, 06:35:01 AM
Thanks for this information, Jim.  I picked up one of these some years ago, basically NOS -- the blade hadn't even been honed (and still hasn't).
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 11, 2013, 08:59:18 AM
Many thanks to Jimc for starting this thread.  In the past few months, I have picked up a few user grade old planes. I have a couple of transition Stanley's that belonged to my wife's grandfather. I have used an old Stanley 220 block plane for many years. Just this past week, I bought a Stanley 45 on ebay. I have a lot to learn about that one. A month or so ago I bought an underlined Craftsman rabbet plane that has a second frog on it that let's you move the blade and use it as a bullnose. I am not sure that it is the best idea ever conceived, but it is in unused condition and I could not resist. I'll post pictures later of these and the pair of #27  Stanley transitions.  One was a tune up and use and the other got the iron parts re-japanned. Anyway, thanks again Jimc for a great thread!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 11, 2013, 09:12:12 AM
Thanks for this information, Jim.  I picked up one of these some years ago, basically NOS -- the blade hadn't even been honed (and still hasn't).

I love finding NOS hand planes!  Still, I'm always conflicted when I do find one because I want to try it out and see how it works.  At the same time, I know that it will only remain NOS if I leave it alone and don't do anything to it, like sharpening the iron, etc.  That's when I go find a "user quality" plane for purposes of satisfying my itch to give it a try.  The Stanley #271 is easily one of my favorites to use.  I have one from the 1930s with most of its nickel plating worn thin or completely missing in spots.  It works perfectly and it's a pleasure to use.  The two #271s depicted above spend a lot of time in their respective boxes.  They only come out for pictures, reference, and comparisons to other examples for educational purposes.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 11, 2013, 09:42:17 AM
Many thanks to Jimc for starting this thread.  In the past few months, I have picked up a few user grade old planes. I have a couple of transition Stanley's that belonged to my wife's grandfather. I have used an old Stanley 220 block plane for many years. Just this past week, I bought a Stanley 45 on ebay. I have a lot to learn about that one. A month or so ago I bought an underlined Craftsman rabbet plane that has a second frog on it that let's you move the blade and use it as a bullnose. I am not sure that it is the best idea ever conceived, but it is in unused condition and I could not resist. I'll post pictures later of these and the pair of #27  Stanley transitions.  One was a tune up and use and the other got the iron parts re-japanned. Anyway, thanks again Jimc for a great thread!

Thanks John.  I'll try to keep it light, educational, and motivating.  I really do appreciate your kind remarks.  If it gets boring, confusing, or uninteresting, just let me know.  We're on a public forum here so constructive criticism is expected and welcomed.  Part of the reason I started the thread was to see what others have in their collections and on their workbenches.  I'm hopeful that you and others will post pictures, comments, and relate their experiences using and collecting hand planes of any era, make, condition, and preference.  I'm partial to Stanley cast iron, but I hope that will not dissuade anyone from joining in the thread.     

Back to the planes.  I'm glad to hear that you've been adding to your collection.  The Stanley #45 is A LOT of fun to play with.  There's a book still in print (I think) that's soley dedicated to the Stanley #45.  It was written by David Heckel.  It's a "must read" for any combination plane enthusiast/user/collector.  Your Craftsman plane sounds like the Stanley #78.  That was one of Stanley's most popular planes.  There's a pretty good chance that your plane was manufactured for Sears by Stanley, or Sargent.  Post a few pictures.  Let's see what you have there.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 11, 2013, 12:09:25 PM
Jim, you inspired me to go looking in some of the darker Hidy holes in my basement. I came up with 15 planes.  I didn't realize that I had that many.  A couple weeks ago, I was at the Family Sharing Thrift Store and bought a Stanley #27 Transition Plane.  I got it home and discovered that I already had one!  So I torew them apart and started into a user restoration. Wash with mineral spirits, rotary wire brush the rusty blades and chip iron, sharpen and a couple coats of Galoot Mix and voila! One of them is a good, clean user. The other one had a nicer tote and knob and the beech was in better shape, so I went through the same drill only I stripped the japanning off. It was almost gone anyway. I don't have the secret formula for japanning, so I used a modern product that is a lot easier and almost as tough. POR 15.  It is an automotive restoration paint that I have used extensively on my Model A Ford.  It is, of course, a proprietary formula that the manufacturer is kinda secretive about. As near as I can figure, it is Super Glue with black pigment in it.  It flows out beautifully, and dries in a few hours to a very tough gloss black finish that is about as tough as powder coating. It was a little too glossy for my taste, so I buffed the shine down with OO steel wool.  I like the results.  The POR 15 sets up  like Super Glue with humidity. The drier the air, the longer it takes to set.

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3103_zpsc179ce81.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3103_zpsc179ce81.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 11, 2013, 01:34:24 PM
Jim, you inspired me to go looking in some of the darker Hidy holes in my basement. I came up with 15 planes.  I didn't realize that I had that many.  A couple weeks ago, I was at the Family Sharing Thrift Store and bought a Stanley #27 Transition Plane.  I got it home and discovered that I already had one!  So I torew them apart and started into a user restoration. Wash with mineral spirits, rotary wire brush the rusty blades and chip iron, sharpen and a couple coats of Galoot Mix and voila! One of them is a good, clean user. The other one had a nicer tote and knob and the beech was in better shape, so I went through the same drill only I stripped the japanning off. It was almost gone anyway. I don't have the secret formula for japanning, so I used a modern product that is a lot easier and almost as tough. POR 15.  It is an automotive restoration paint that I have used extensively on my Model A Ford.  It is, of course, a proprietary formula that the manufacturer is kinda secretive about. As near as I can figure, it is Super Glue with black pigment in it.  It flows out beautifully, and dries in a few hours to a very tough gloss black finish that is about as tough as powder coating. It was a little too glossy for my taste, so I buffed the shine down with OO steel wool.  I like the results.  The POR 15 sets up  like Super Glue with humidity. The drier the air, the longer it takes to set.

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3103_zpsc179ce81.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3103_zpsc179ce81.jpg.html)

Wow!! You did a GREAT job restoring that plane John!!  How does it cut?  I'd also like to see and hear more about that old Ford.  Have you considered starting a thread about it?

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 11, 2013, 04:16:31 PM
The planes cut nicely.  The Model A has been on the back burner for a couple of years.  I'm getting back to it now, but damn, it is cold out there in the garage.

Here is the Craftsman rabbet plane.  I would date it as late 40's.

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3109_zps41f64457.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3109_zps41f64457.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3108_zps895ba863.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3108_zps895ba863.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3106_zps10fa078d.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3106_zps10fa078d.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 11, 2013, 05:36:22 PM
The planes cut nicely.  The Model A has been on the back burner for a couple of years.  I'm getting back to it now, but damn, it is cold out there in the garage.

Here is the Craftsman rabbet plane.  I would date it as late 40's.

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3109_zps41f64457.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3109_zps41f64457.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3108_zps895ba863.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3108_zps895ba863.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3106_zps10fa078d.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3106_zps10fa078d.jpg.html)

John,

Thanks for posting a few photos of your Craftsman rabbet plane.  It looks to be in great condition.  After looking at some of its features, to include the little horn/handle at the front of the main casting, I'd have to say that your plane was most likely made by Sargent.  Your plane is VERY similar in appearance to the Sargent #79, which was produced between 1910 and 1953.  Unfortunately, I do not have an example to show you, but if you do a little research, I'm sure you can find out more about the Sargent #79 and possibly more about your plane.  I do know that when Sargent initially started producing the #79, it did not have the little horn on the front of the casting.  The little horn showed up on much later versions of the plane.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 12, 2013, 07:20:26 AM
>After looking at some of its features, to include the little horn/handle at the front of the main casting, I'd have to say that your plane was most likely made by Sargent.  Your plane is VERY similar in appearance to the Sargent #79, which was produced between 1910 and 1953.

I have one of each, and they are identical.  The bar for the side stop of the Craftsman fits the Sargent, pretty sure.  I'll have to check again.  My Craftsman has a little surface rust, but is otherwise in the same condition.  Alas, though it has the bar, the stop and the depth stop are missing.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 12, 2013, 08:37:31 AM
>After looking at some of its features, to include the little horn/handle at the front of the main casting, I'd have to say that your plane was most likely made by Sargent.  Your plane is VERY similar in appearance to the Sargent #79, which was produced between 1910 and 1953.

I have one of each, and they are identical.  The bar for the side stop of the Craftsman fits the Sargent, pretty sure.  I'll have to check again.  My Craftsman has a little surface rust, but is otherwise in the same condition.  Alas, though it has the bar, the stop and the depth stop are missing.

Hey Branson, thanks for the confirmation.  I kind of thought that John's Craftsman plane was actually a Sargent product in disguise, but it's always best to see the planes up close, and hold them in your hands for more accurate comparisons.  A few pictures of your Sargent and Craftsman planes side by side might be nice if you have the time to post a few.  Thanks again.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 12, 2013, 10:08:36 AM
I noticed earlier today that I was coming up on my 100th post to this web site, so I thought I might commemorate the occasion with something a little out of the ordinary.  Many years ago, when I discovered that using hand planes in my woodworking was at times easier, more accurate, and more enjoyable than just using power tools, I bought a Stanley #1.  It came from the estate of a man who had recently passed away.  The man's son worked with my wife and knew I was a woodworker (of sorts).  Anyway, I went to the man's house with my wife's co-worker, and ended up bringing home a pretty good collection of older, well used woodworking/hand tools.  Among the tools were a few planes to include this Stanley #1.  As you can see, it has some nice patina on it, and it has been fairly well used but not abused during it's lifetime.  Believe it or not, I still USE this plane.

Stanley #1:

This is one of Stanley's more collectible planes.  It's relatively rare, although it was produced for several decades between 1867 and 1943.  The example below was probably manufactured in the early 1920s.  I think it's miniature size has something to do with its collectibility.  It's technically a "bench plane" just like its more common, and larger, siblings (#2 though #8).  If you ever run across one, know what you're looking at!  These little guys can be pricey and buying one that's damaged, non factory altered, or an outright forgery, can be an expensive mistake.  Here's a few things to keep an eye out for:

1. All Stanley bench planes had their respective model numbers cast into the main body of the plane themselves.  The #1 never had it's model cast onto it anywhere.... ever.

2. The #1 never had a lateral cutting iron adjusting lever.

3. The #1 was only produced with a smooth sole.  It never came with factory installed corrugations milled into its sole.

4. The #1 is 5 25/32" long and 1 17/32" wide.  Measure it using a ruler with graduations as fine as 1/32".  Don't try to "eyeball it."

5. Do your homework before buying. 

Jim C.  (100th post)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on December 12, 2013, 11:52:57 AM
      Gorgeous #1 Jim! A sweetheart!!

  The Sargent made Crafty is probably slightly lesser quality than a standard Sargent marked plane of the same time period.
 Many companies made planes for Sears over time. But Sears demanded such a low wholesale buying price that corners were invariably cut to meet the demand.

 I had a Millers Falls made Craftsman that was major lesser quality. While riding by on a fast horse it wasn't so bad.
  But on closer inspection, to say nothing of actual utility, that plane was an embarrassment to the great Millers Falls company!
 
 I have another Craftsman marked Millers plane, that is --much-- higher quality, and in fact is my go to "rough out" jack plane, and has been for 30 years and thensome. It was a gift from a friend and has local history. It has one of the first totes I ever carved on it too. 

 Hardware chain marked tools are like that a lot of times. Some will be bad, some will be good and some will be outstanding.  Montgomery Wards' Lakeside brand is one of the most variable. I have seen some completely dismal tools with the Lakeside brand and I have a few chisels I swear were made by Whitherby. As good as it gets.

 Keen Kutter, HS&B's OVB line, Stiletto, and Vaughan & Bushnell marked goods are always top quality in my experience.    Some hardware chains sold only the best.

Sears, Monkey Wards, LF&C, Bellnap, Western Auto, in later days JC Penny.........
  These are all a serious crap shoot.
       yours Scott

 
 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 12, 2013, 01:41:47 PM
Thanks for the additional info Scott.  You know, I have noticed that rebranded planes do occasionally have some quality control issues, or that they're not exactly like the original.  It makes sense that Sears demanded a lower buying price (because it could) and consequently caused the manufacturer (Sargent) to make up the difference somewhere else such as in materials, finish, packaging, and overall quality control.  I wonder how the prices compared between the original and the rebranded planes.  Using John's Craftsman rabbet plane as an example, which would have had the higher retail price?  The original Sargent #79, or the rebranded Craftsman?

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on December 12, 2013, 02:21:12 PM
An original Sargent would have never sold as cheap as Sears sold their model.
 
  It is my understanding that Sears was the "fall back" buyer when a company needed money in the worst way. When regular sales were in a slump, they could sell to Sears for practically the price of materials.
 No profit would be made but they could live to fight another day. 
  A few companies just set their sights on Sears as a market, and made marginal quality goods from the get go. Sears was not too picky, as long as the item was barely adequate, and cheap.
   
   On the other hand, I have never had any item marked OBV (Our Very Best, from Hibbard Spencer and Bartlett) that was not at the pinnacle of production for the time.
Its one of the things to look for when looking for tools and such.

  Most seasoned collectors are leery of any hardware marked goods for the reasons we are talking about. (except Keen Kutter or Winchester and this is just all about the name)
 They overlook all hardware brands, dismissing them as inferior at a glance. 
 
 OVB was one you should never overlook.

   yours Scott

 PS Vaughan and Bushnell is another. Tip top goods is why Vaughan is still in business, (mostly hammers),  even today.

 PPS  The picture is of celluloid backed giveaway pocket mirrors, in case you don't recognize them offhand. These were very popular in the early 1900's with some going longer. Not sure how many girls wanted a purse mirror advertizing tools or laxative. But I guess that is why they are rare. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 12, 2013, 03:14:32 PM
Thanks Scott!  Like I said earlier, a lot to do with collecting old tools, or anything for that matter, is getting an education and some experience.  A person can never have enough of either one.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on December 12, 2013, 07:00:22 PM
Some of the most overlooked bench planes are the Keen Kutters that are marked K3 thru K8(there may have been a K2).  Unless you have had one apart, you won't know that these are the same as the early Stanley Bed Rocks with the round sides but without the Bed Rock price.  Do not make the mistake of buying the ones marked KK and thinking they are the same as the K's because they aren't.  They are the same as the common Stanley bench planes but with a different lateral adjusting lever.  These are nice planes!

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 12, 2013, 08:58:46 PM
Some of the most overlooked bench planes are the Keen Kutters that are marked K3 thru K8(there may have been a K2).  Unless you have had one apart, you won't know that these are the same as the early Stanley Bed Rocks with the round sides but without the Bed Rock price.  Do not make the mistake of buying the ones marked KK and thinking they are the same as the K's because they aren't.  They are the same as the common Stanley bench planes but with a different lateral adjusting lever.  These are nice planes!

Mike

Have any pictures Mike?  I don't know too much about Keen Kutter planes.  I'd like to see them and learn more, particularly if they're like old Bedrocks.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on December 12, 2013, 10:04:46 PM

 Finding Keen Kutters of any kind cheap, is not easy anymore.
 More people (as in swap meet, junk shop and antique dealers) know the name Keen Kutter more than they do the name Bedrock.

 As far as I know, the K-number planes -are- actual Stanley roundside bedrocks.
 But marked round side Bedrocks already sell for considerably less than square side Bedrocks anyway.
    yours Scott

 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 13, 2013, 06:53:25 AM
I have two 45 combination planes.  Both are clearly Stanleys, but one is from Sears and the other is from Wards.  One came to me with a leatherette carrying case and a full set of blades in their wooden holder.  Quality of materials, fit and finish are just as good as a Stanley (I used to have one  Stanley as well).  Once I had to t&g a bunch of boards, so I set the Sears for tongue, and the Wards for groove.  Perfect. 

The Craftsman duplex seems to be equal in quality to the Sargent, and both seem as good as my old Stanley, and my English made Stanley.  (I don't know how I ended up with several of these.)  The English job had been dropped and the handle was cleanly broken off -- JB Weld seems to have fixed it just fine for a worker.  It came with all the bells and whistles.  I suspect it got dropped before the PO had a chance to use it even once.

I'll see what I can do about getting pics of the Craftsman and the Sargent.

Yeah, there's the crap-shoot factor.  But so far I've been lucky.  Except that years ago I bought a new Kunz spokeshave that was bad to the bone straight out of the box.  I thought about throwing it across the shop, but gave it away instead.  Replaced it with an old, used Stanley.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 13, 2013, 07:06:24 AM
Yes, I like hand planes.  I use them, I collect them, and I enjoy learning about them.  To those who already know the utility and pleasure of using planes out in the shop, then I hope you'll join in the conversation.                 

Joining in.  Planes are one of my favorite tools, and I have a lot of them.  The smallest ones are those little finger planes, the largest is a wooden jointer.  I've got a bunch of wooden molding planes, slightly fewer skew rabbet planes, and one set of small carriage makers planes that weren't completed.  More block planes than is probably sane...

Yes, the do their jobs, and a lot of times do the job better than power tools.  For quick fixes, they do the job faster as well.

I like the way you can feel the work happening as the plane passes over the wood.  And the sound of a sharp plane at work is just music!  Ah, and wonderfully quiet.

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 13, 2013, 08:35:55 AM

 Finding Keen Kutters of any kind cheap, is not easy anymore.
 More people (as in swap meet, junk shop and antique dealers) know the name Keen Kutter more than they do the name Bedrock.

 As far as I know, the K-number planes -are- actual Stanley roundside bedrocks.
 But marked round side Bedrocks already sell for considerably less than square side Bedrocks anyway.
    yours Scott

I've got this Stanley #605 1/2 smooth sole Bedrock that is one of my ALL TIME favorite planes to use.  It's a great plane.  It's just one of those few planes that only needed its iron sharpened and it was ready to go.  It cuts beautifully, all of its parts fit perfectly, and it's just the right size for a lot of the work I like to do.  Maybe I'll feature that one next.  That one plane alone inspires me to want to go out in the shop right now and start making something!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 13, 2013, 08:45:17 AM
Yes, I like hand planes.  I use them, I collect them, and I enjoy learning about them.  To those who already know the utility and pleasure of using planes out in the shop, then I hope you'll join in the conversation.                 

Joining in.........

Thanks for making it official, but honestly, I had already counted you in as an "official member" of the thread way back at Reply #6.  Thanks for joining!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 14, 2013, 08:07:10 AM
Dave Heckel's book on the Stanley 45 came yesterday. WOW! He sure did a great job researching it.  From what I have read so far, mine is a Type 8 from 1907-08. There are a few pieces missing and the box, that I paid dearly for, is not a Stanley 45 box. I am missing the beading cam, the slitting tool and the rosewood strip on the fence. It looks like all of the missing stuff is on ebay. I am bidding on a fence currently. Plating is only about 50%, but after a hundred and some years, I would say it looks normal and well cared for. I need to sharpen a few blades a see how it works. I plan on making a new drawer for my Star Tool Chest that has one missing. It will bead the top of the drawer front and cut the rabbets on the drawer front after I cut the half blind dovetails. If I can find some chestnut wood, I might make a repro box for it. The mind boggles at what this tool can do.

I got a chance to fondle a couple of very old core box plane this last week. I'll post about that later.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 14, 2013, 10:01:20 PM
Dave Heckel's book on the Stanley 45 came yesterday. WOW! He sure did a great job researching it.  From what I have read so far, mine is a Type 8 from 1907-08. There are a few pieces missing and the box, that I paid dearly for, is not a Stanley 45 box. I am missing the beading cam, the slitting tool and the rosewood strip on the fence. It looks like all of the missing stuff is on ebay. I am bidding on a fence currently. Plating is only about 50%, but after a hundred and some years, I would say it looks normal and well cared for. I need to sharpen a few blades a see how it works. I plan on making a new drawer for my Star Tool Chest that has one missing. It will bead the top of the drawer front and cut the rabbets on the drawer front after I cut the half blind dovetails. If I can find some chestnut wood, I might make a repro box for it. The mind boggles at what this tool can do.

I got a chance to fondle a couple of very old core box plane this last week. I'll post about that later.

Hey John,

I kind of thought that if you liked old Stanley combination planes, you'd like Dave Heckel's book.  He did do a fantastic job researching it and presenting the information.  That book is the last word when it comes to the #45.  Dave is an extremely active member of the Mid West Tool Collectors Association and is great to talk to about not only Stanley #45 planes, but also old Sargent planes, and many other old hand tools.  He's a very knowledgeable guy, who's friendly and approachable.  Earlier in the thread, I suggested that people who are interested in old planes should educate themselves.  Well, Dave is one of the people I turn to for education. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 22, 2013, 12:40:45 PM
Back at Reply #32, I mentioned finding New Old Stock (NOS) planes, and being conflicted about using them because they're NOS only once.  After sharpening the iron, tuning them up, and using them, they obviously start to lose their "factory fresh" appearance and original characteristics.  From a user's point of view, it's a brand new tool ready to go to work, just like any other.  From a collector's standpoint, it's the ultimate find, that should be preserved in its original factory state forever.

In future posts, I'll feature some planes that are in amazing condition for their age, but aren't in NOS condition.  Some of those planes I use, and some I don't for various reasons.  In this post, I'll show you an NOS plane.  Identifying a NOS plane is pretty easy.  It will look brand new and its finishes will be 99% unblemished.  Often their bare cast iron soles and sides may have some staining from sitting untouched for decades.  They frequently have original brochures, retailer price tags, sales receipts, and other original packaging in their boxes.  (Notice the Stanley logo tag still tied to the tote.)  The cutting irons still have their factory grinds on them.  The rosewood knob and tote have no dents, chips or cracks, and their glossy finishes haven't been dulled by a workman's hands upon them. 

If you ever come across a plane like this, even if it's a run of the mill, common model, before you take it home and start using it, take just a second to reconsider that urge.  The plane will only be in factory condition once.  The opportunity to study it and compare it to other planes of its era, and eras that came before and after its manufacture can be invaluable to users and collectors alike. Clean, unquestioned, unaltered, unused factory examples of tools that are many decades old are in short supply.  For the most part, well cared for user quality tools are still readily available for work in your shop.  Any old NOS tool should be preserved in its original state.  Looking beyond its premium monetary value, it should be preserved for its historic and educational merits.

Stanley #6C:

Stanley manufactured the #6C beginning in 1898, and continued with its production well into the 1980s.  The "C" in the model designation stands for corrugated sole.  The plane itself is identical to the Stanley #6 in every way, except for its sole corrugations.  The #6 size bench plane is technically considered to be a "fore" plane.  It's a little longer than a #5 "jack" plane (14" to 15" long) , but shorter than the #7 and #8 jointers (22" to 24" long).  Fore planes usually run about 16" to 18" long.  Many consider them to be an odd size.  Actually, I think their size may have been well suited to the craftsmen of old who carried their tools with them from job to job.  At 18" long, the fore plane could fit into a portable tool box and still function as a short jointer without the extra weight, length, and bulk of a larger, more traditional jointer like the #7 or #8.  The plane depicted below is an early Type 16, manufactured by Stanley between 1933 and 1941.  This is a true NOS plane.  As much as I'd like to sharpen the iron and test it out..... I don't dare!!

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on December 22, 2013, 09:43:03 PM
Thanks Jim C.  I do love hand planes, and this thread has been quite an education for me.  Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: WiebeLC on December 22, 2013, 10:29:04 PM
Thank you for doing this thread Jim C. My dad started collecting tools and planes and especially planes when I was young, well younger anyways (I'm 18). I've always had a special fascination with the planes. This thread is a good education and an opportunity to see examples of the rare planes that never found their way up here to northern Alberta. I just started my own collection this summer with a matched pair of D. Malloch and Son hollow and round.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 22, 2013, 11:19:21 PM
Thanks Jim C.  I do love hand planes, and this thread has been quite an education for me.  Ralph

Thanks Ralph, but I'd have to say that we are all learning something from you.  What you're doing with tools is fascinating!  I've been enjoying your thread immensely!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 22, 2013, 11:51:23 PM
Thank you for doing this thread Jim C. My dad started collecting tools and planes and especially planes when I was young, well younger anyways (I'm 18). I've always had a special fascination with the planes. This thread is a good education and an opportunity to see examples of the rare planes that never found their way up here to northern Alberta. I just started my own collection this summer with a matched pair of D. Malloch and Son hollow and round.

I'm glad you're enjoying the thread.  If you and/or your dad have planes, we'd all like to see them.  Post a few pictures if you get a chance.  It's good hear that a younger guy is getting into old hand tools.  I got interested in hand planes after I discovered how useful they could be.  I read about them, bought a few at garage sales, and asked a lot of questions at tool club meets.  The more I used them, the more I wanted to grow my collection.  Over time, my focus turned from user planes to collector quality planes.  I met a few gentlemen who really mentored me early on, and they helped me develop and refine my collection.   I made some mistakes along the way, but that's part of the learning process.  Not knowing how to use a plane correctly can cause a poor work product and thus, wasted wood.  Not knowing what you're doing as a collector can be expensive!  Take your time, read, research, and ask questions.  Using and collecting antique hand tools can be a lifetime endeavor.  You're off to a great start.  I hope you'll be checking in often.  I'll try to keep things moving and current.  Still, don't be afraid to post pictures of planes that YOU have, or may be using on a project.  My true intent for starting the thread was actually an attempt to lure others out of the "wood work" so that I could see and read about THEIR hand planes.  I'm just using mine as bait.     

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on December 23, 2013, 10:59:20 AM
Back at Reply #32, I mentioned finding New Old Stock (NOS) planes, and being conflicted about using them because they're NOS only once.  After sharpening the iron, tuning them up, and using them, they obviously start to lose their "factory fresh" appearance and original characteristics.  From a users point of view, it's a brand new tool ready to go to work, just like any other.  From a collector's standpoint, it's the ultimate find, that should be preserved in its original factory state forever.

In future posts, I'll feature some planes that are in amazing condition for their age, but aren't in NOS condition.  Some of those planes I use, and some I don't for various reasons.  In this post, I'll show you an NOS plane.  Identifying a NOS plane is pretty easy.  It will look brand new and its finishes will be 99% unblemished.  Often their bare cast iron soles and sides may have some staining from sitting untouched for decades.  They frequently have original brochures, retailer price tags, sales receipts, and other original packaging in their boxes.  (Notice the Stanley logo tag still tied to the tote.)  The cutting irons still have their factory grinds on them.  The rosewood knob and tote have no dents, chips or cracks, and their glossy finishes haven't been dulled by a workman's hands upon them. 

If you ever come across a plane like this, even if it's a run of the mill, common model, before you take it home and start using it, take just a second to reconsider that urge.  The plane will only be in factory condition once.  The opportunity to study it and compare it to other planes of its era, and eras that came before and after its manufacture can be invaluable to users and collectors alike. Clean, unquestioned, unaltered, unused factory examples of tools that are many decades old are in short supply.  For the most part, well cared for user quality tools are still readily available for work in your shop.  Any old NOS tool should be preserved in its original state.  Looking beyond its premium monetary value, it should be preserved for its historic and educational merits.

Recently I picked this up.  The box is tore, a corner is ripped inside, and there are small spill or other marks on it.
The plane has not been trued up at all, but the plane has stroked some pine (it seems like just to test, not much.)

How far from NOS is this with the damaged box.

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on December 23, 2013, 11:03:35 AM
More pictures... not sure what happened. ?.. 
I'm sure I'll get the gang of this soon.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 23, 2013, 12:30:44 PM
Chillylulu,

That looks like an NOS plane if I ever saw one.  Just running it over a piece of pine a few times really doesn't devalue the plane from a collector's standpoint.  If the iron still has the original factory grind on it, pristine unaltered finishes are present over 99% of the plane, and it retains all of its original parts, the plane is still NOS in my book. 

As for the box, well, you saw the box that came with the #6C I posted above.  It was a little beat up, but still mostly intact.  Mint condition boxes certainly add to the value of an old tool.  More often than not however, the box, while damaged, is probably the main reason for the tool's amazing condition many decades later.  It takes the abuse while protecting the tool inside.  I have fair number of planes in their original boxes, but only a handful of those boxes are truly gem mint examples.  Paper and cardboard boxes containing relatively heavy items, in a shop environment, usually don't hold up too well over a long period of years, unless there was a conscious decision by the tool's owner to handle the box with care.  If a tool was used frequently, in and out of the box, over time, the boxes usually self destructed.  When looking for old planes, even user quality planes, I'm always drawn to those in a box.  I always hope to open the box and find a tool that was never used.  Usually that's not the case.  Still, the very existence of the box tells me that the prior owner valued the tool, and consequently thought enough of the tool to protect it in its box.  Based on my experience, a "user" tool in a box is usually in better condition than the same tool from the same era that was not stored in a box.  Maybe we'll talk more about boxes in a future post.

That's a great looking, NOS, collector quality plane.  Thanks for the pictures! 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 24, 2013, 09:11:27 AM
A lot of discussions I've read have not nice things to say about the Handyman planes.  I think, though, they're just a bit too fussy.  I'm putting a Handyman smooth plane back in order for a friend, and while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a Stanley #4 it seems to be a decent tool, and much of it uses good Stanley parts.  I'm sure he'll get good use out of it.  I'm to the point of sharpening the blade now.
The end of the cap iron of this plane  is painted red -- when was this done on Handymans?  Anybody know?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 24, 2013, 01:56:27 PM
A lot of discussions I've read have not nice things to say about the Handyman planes.  I think, though, they're just a bit too fussy.  I'm putting a Handyman smooth plane back in order for a friend, and while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a Stanley #4 it seems to be a decent tool, and much of it uses good Stanley parts.  I'm sure he'll get good use out of it.  I'm to the point of sharpening the blade now.
The end of the cap iron of this plane  is painted red -- when was this done on Handymans?  Anybody know?

Hey Branson,

You're right about the Handyman planes.  They were an economy line of planes offered by Stanley marketed directly to........  "The Home Handyman." Hence the name of the line of planes I guess.  Stanley was famous for trying to fill EVERY niche in the marketplace, real or imagined.  Still, Chillylulu's plane is in amazing condition for its age, and most certainly considered collector quality.  It's a nice plane just for its historic value alone.  As for the red paint on the cap iron, well, I don't know the answer to that one.  I'll do a little checking to see if I can find out. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on December 24, 2013, 05:09:46 PM
I wasn't sure if I was overpaying $20.00 + 3.00 commission. I liked it so I got it.

My first plane that I bought was an old Stanley 4C.  I have a friend who owns a blade sharpening business. He trued the plane up the first time for me. Its been smooth as silk ever since. The plane was used, I think I paid $45 for it 20 yrs ago. It was a lot less than new at the time.

It seems to me that plane prices have come down from where they were 15 yrs ago.  Is that at all accurate, or was I just looking in all the wrong places?

Chilly
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on December 24, 2013, 05:44:16 PM
 The antiques and collectible world is filled to the brim with people making up their own rules and price structures from the seat of their pants.
  Sometimes its very good for us.
 Sometimes its part of our "education".
 And nobody gets an education completely for free.
 
  I once saw a large shelf full of planes at an antique shop. All were priced at $25 each.
All were complete dogs, except one.
 Sheltons and unmarked and lowest grade hardware brands. Recently manufactured planes and missing parts planes and rusted to bits planes. Broken and missing wood handles planes. All the usual things that make a plane a true dog.

  But sitting there in the middle of the shelf was a Stanley #85 scraper plane in very near mint condition. All were priced the same.
  I was shaking as I reached for it. I picked it up ever so softly and hugged it to my chest, cradling it like it was a newborn child, and began moving deliberately toward the front of the store with a razor sharp eye to my footing.  Locked down concentration until I knew for sure it was safe. 
 

  Want to know how many dogs I bought before I knew that 85 was special?
  Want to see my "boneyard" of foolish decisions and well meaning gifts from others?
 Education takes time. It takes work and experience.

  There is nothing wrong with a Handyman plane in superb condition as a collectible. Especially with a decent box. Better a shelf queen though. While you can make a lesser plane work, with labor, it will never perform as well as an example from the best periods of plane manufacture.

 The more you know the better you will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff at a glance.   
   I scored a near mint Millers Falls #4 from the golden period of Millers (2 part lever cap) for a 10 spot this summer at a yard sale.
  I left three other planes priced at even less, where they sat, on the table.
 
  Education takes time and work and study.  Nobody gets it overnight for free. We pay up front.
           yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 24, 2013, 09:38:36 PM
^^^^^^ Pretty much what Scott says.  I'd say that's right on point.^^^^^^^

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 25, 2013, 03:11:55 PM
Merry Christmas!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 25, 2013, 03:55:36 PM
Merry Christmas to all! A special Thank You to Jimc for starting this thread. I have learned a bit about planes and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks again Jim.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 25, 2013, 09:35:43 PM
Merry Christmas to all! A special Thank You to Jimc for starting this thread. I have learned a bit about planes and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks again Jim.

I appreciate your kind words John.  Thank you.  I'll keep looking for interesting hand plane content to post here.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: OilyRascal on December 25, 2013, 10:28:32 PM
Thank you, Jim C.  This is a perfect example of the content that keeps me addicted to this forum.  My hat is off to you for your commitment to tools, the yearn for knowledge, and the desire to share!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 26, 2013, 01:32:15 PM
Thank you, Jim C.  This is a perfect example of the content that keeps me addicted to this forum.  My hat is off to you for your commitment to tools, the yearn for knowledge, and the desire to share!

You know, when I add posts to this thread, I frequently ask myself a few questions like, "I wonder if anyone is reading this stuff, and if so, is it having any impact on them?  Is it interesting?  Is it informative?  Does it make sense?  Is the information accurate?" Well, I'm very appreciative for receiving positive feedback, so thank you!  It makes me think that I must be hitting the mark at least some of the time.  I'll try to keep you coming back for more.

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on December 26, 2013, 01:51:13 PM
Well with 970 some views and 72 replies you must be getting somebodies interest, including me.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 26, 2013, 02:35:13 PM
Well with 970 some views and 72 replies you must be getting somebodies interest, including me.

The numbers may be a little misleading.  Of the 970 some views here, about 900 of them are probably just me looking to see if anyone is reading this stuff!!  Anyway, I'm already planning my next "featured hand plane" post, so check back in.  Thanks.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 27, 2013, 06:10:27 AM
The numbers may be a little misleading.  Of the 970 some views here, about 900 of them are probably just me looking to see if anyone is reading this stuff!!  Anyway, I'm already planning my next "featured hand plane" post, so check back in.  Thanks.
Jim C.

Well, some of them are me, checking them out again (and again).  Those count.  Your posts are worth revisiting!  Now waiting for the next installment.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 27, 2013, 04:31:01 PM
I've been following the amazing "Miniature Tools" thread by Art Rafael and was inspired to find something "miniature" to add to this thread.  Ralph's work is proof that good things do come in small packages.  With that in mind, I decided to do a post featuring Stanley's smallest plane.  There are times when I've added a small piece of molding or trim to a project and wanted to use more than just glue to attach it.  The options are limited, and for me, driving a nail or brad through the face of the wood, and then using wood putty to fill it is not one of my favorite choices.  It’s actually my least favorite.  On those occasions, a better idea might be to attach the molding with "blind nails."  This is simply a trick whereby a small shaving of wood on the molding is peeled back using a VERY SHARP chisel.  As the shaving is peeled back, one must be careful not to break it off from the work piece itself.  Once the shaving is peeled back, a brad can then be nailed into place and set slightly below the surface of the wood.  When the brad is set, the shaving can be pressed back into place and held down with a dab of glue.  This process is certainly nothing new, but Stanley came up with a little chisel plane (also called a chisel gauge) to help accomplish the task.  Stanley being Stanley, it was never a company to miss an opportunity to fill a perceived niche, so it came up with this:

Stanley #96:

As you can see, this little plane is about 2 ¼” long.  It’s useless without a chisel, while a chisel functions absolutely fine without the #96.  Still, it’s an interesting little gizmo that actually does work well with a sharp ¼” chisel installed.  The #96 was produced by Stanley between 1888 and 1922.  Those manufactured with a patent date, 4/10/1888, stamped onto their side (like the example below), are Type 1 models, produced between 1888 and 1906.  Unlike most of Stanley’s planes that were made from cast iron, the main body of #96 is nothing more that a piece of stamped steel that was bent into shape (much like the Stanley #118 block plane).  The lever cap holding the knurled slotted head screw is cast iron.  To be honest, I’ve never seen one of these little chisel planes at a garage sale or flea market.  They’re relatively scarce, and could very easily be lost at the bottom of a long forgotten toolbox, or buried in the drawer of “grandpa’s old workbench.”  I suspect that grandpa’s relatives have indeed found these and wondered what the heck they were and/or what they were used for.  Even their age alone could make them difficult to find.  They haven’t been manufactured in nearly ninety two years.  If you ever come across one of these I’d encourage you to buy it if the price is right.  Mint condition examples can be very pricey.  If you like the idea of using the blind nail technique on some of your projects, just remember that the #96 is not necessary to do so.  The same little shaving can be peeled back with nothing more than a sharp chisel and steady hands.  Like I said earlier, the #96 needs the ¼” chisel, however, the chisel does not need the #96.  This one might be better left to the collectors.

Jim C.                       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 28, 2013, 08:21:16 AM
I wasn't sure if I was overpaying $20.00 + 3.00 commission. I liked it so I got it.

My first plane that I bought was an old Stanley 4C.  I have a friend who owns a blade sharpening business. He trued the plane up the first time for me. Its been smooth as silk ever since. The plane was used, I think I paid $45 for it 20 yrs ago. It was a lot less than new at the time.

It seems to me that plane prices have come down from where they were 15 yrs ago.  Is that at all accurate, or was I just looking in all the wrong places?

Chilly

Generally speaking, I think that the prices of antique planes have dipped some in the last few years.  I guess that's just a sign of the economic times we have been living in.  Antique planes, like any collectible, are basically luxury items.  When times are tough, people stop buying and the demand for certain items drops and so do their prices.  Still, with that being said, I have found that top quality, mint condition planes have generally held their value even through the tough times.  When I buy a plane for my collection, I go for the VERY BEST one I can find, and rarely settle for anything short of NOS.  I'll pay more for that plane because I expect it to hold its value, but I'm not a dealer, and I don't buy them strictly as investments.  I've made the mistake of buying high quality "user" planes with the self imposed belief that I was buying "collector" quality planes.  When I encountered true collector quality planes, I quickly realized the error of my ways.  Most people know a "user" when they see one.  It's those planes that are in really good condition, but not NOS condition, that can fool you.  Those are usually the ones I've overpaid for.  Now days, I buy mostly NOS quality planes for the enjoyment of building a specific collection that's as close to factory fresh as possible.  I still buy "users" too, but now I'm a little more savvy, and I know that the prices of planes that are less than 98% perfect will fluctuate more than those that are factory NOS examples.

Jim C. (sorry for the long winded answer)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: oldtools on December 28, 2013, 08:16:01 PM
OK! finally figured out what "NOS" was.. "(New Old Stock")
(too many different meaning listed in "Acronym Definition; NOS: Not Otherwise Specified: NOS: Network Operating System: NOS: National Ocean Service (NOAA) NOS: National Occupational Standards (UK) NOS") etc. etc...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 28, 2013, 09:54:02 PM
OK! finally figured out what "NOS" was.. "(New Old Stock")
(too many different meaning listed in "Acronym Definition; NOS: Not Otherwise Specified: NOS: Network Operating System: NOS: National Ocean Service (NOAA) NOS: National Occupational Standards (UK) NOS") etc. etc...

Thanks for the feedback.  Like I said earlier, after I write this stuff, one of the things I wonder is if what I wrote is clear to the reader.  Well, now I know that I need to do a better job and a little more editing prior to posting.  Enjoy the planes and I hope you'll forgive the writer!

Jim C. (learning as I go) 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: OilyRascal on December 29, 2013, 05:59:35 AM
OK! finally figured out what "NOS" was.. "(New Old Stock")
(too many different meaning listed in "Acronym Definition; NOS: Not Otherwise Specified: NOS: Network Operating System: NOS: National Ocean Service (NOAA) NOS: National Occupational Standards (UK) NOS") etc. etc...

We have a acronym dictionary on this forum to assist in the context of tools and our members:

http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=4357.msg28524#msg28524
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 29, 2013, 07:34:30 AM
Jim, although I hear and believe what you are saying, for most of us, it is a moot point. My monthly cash flow does not have room for dozens if not hundreds of $500 or $1000 dust catchers. My tool collection is not worthy of you guys who have the means to have a whole bunch of Cabinet Queens for tools. I first looked at a Donnelly auction and was amazed at both the high prices and the fact that most of the tools were fresh from the hardware store around a hundred years ago. I try for the best condition at a price that I can afford. When I am in tool fondling mode, one of the things that gives me pleasure, is knowing that far more expert hands than mine used the tool before I got it. I seek to preserve, reverse abuse and undo neglect. Each of us has different motives, but as for me, I am content restoring my Model A Ford and have no desire for a Duesenberg with only 11 miles on it.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 29, 2013, 01:13:59 PM
Jim, although I hear and believe what you are saying, for most of us, it is a moot point. My monthly cash flow does not have room for dozens if not hundreds of $500 or $1000 dust catchers. My tool collection is not worthy of you guys who have the means to have a whole bunch of Cabinet Queens for tools. I first looked at a Donnelly auction and was amazed at both the high prices and the fact that most of the tools were fresh from the hardware store around a hundred years ago. I try for the best condition at a price that I can afford. When I am in tool fondling mode, one of the things that gives me pleasure, is knowing that far more expert hands than mine used the tool before I got it. I seek to preserve, reverse abuse and undo neglect. Each of us has different motives, but as for me, I am content restoring my Model A Ford and have no desire for a Duesenberg with only 11 miles on it.

Hi John,

I think you have the right idea.  "Collecting" does have a different meaning for everyone.  The first two planes I ever bought were brand spanking new because I needed them for a project that I was working on.  They were much cheaper than the machine I "thought" I needed.  As I started getting the hang of using the planes, and seeing the results I could get with practice, I was highly motivated to buy more planes.  I started doing more research to see what planes were out there and of what use they could be to me on future projects.  I very quickly learned that a 1930 Stanley #4 in user condition was significantly less expensive than a new Lie-Nielsen #4.  I started buying old Stanley's because they were plentiful and I liked the idea of using old American made tools from decades past.  I joined a tool enthusiast organization and learned a lot more about planes from a few gentlemen who knew a lot more about planes than I did.  Over time, I struck up a friendship with a man who had one of the BEST collections of Stanley planes in the country.  Seriously.  He had them all, and most were NOS in their original boxes.  An amazing collection to say the least.  Well, he really educated me on collecting.  After having acquired a respectable array of planes that saw (and still see) regular use in my shop, I had sort of "hit the wall." How many user block planes and bench planes does one really need?  Well, with the help and encouragement of my friend, that's when I started drifting into the "dust collector cabinet queen" arena of hand plane collecting.  That was at least a dozen years ago, and I'm still at it today. I just love old planes.  If I see a great "user" I'll still buy it, but I admit that over the years my tastes have changed and with it, the contents of my collection.  Anyway, I sincerely hope that those who visit here don't come away thinking that it's just a thread for mint condition Stanley planes.  I started the thread purely for the love of ANY old hand planes in ANY condition, commonly seen, or otherwise.  Finally, I hope that the planes I post here will stimulate conversation, as well as encourage hand plane use, preservation, education, and collection.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on December 29, 2013, 01:32:18 PM
  Collector value is a funny thing.

   Nearly all collectors are "factory collectors".
 This means if Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci collaborated on a tool, it would have no value at all to them,  unless they ran a tool factory at the time. 
  Marked --factory production-- goods are all they want.

  They are mostly paint collectors as well.
 100% factory paint?
  High value. There are so many who want this, the value can become astronomical.
And yes it is the only value that holds up in a depression.
 All other tool values crash with the stock market, except factory paint.

   95% factory paint?  1/3 value and not an easy sell at that.
   90% factory paint? Zero value to the serious collector.
 Its all or nothing for the paint collectors.   Factory paint is everything!!

 A lot of this originally came from eastern seaboard guys who could go to any random swap meet on any random Saturday and fill 2 wheelbarrows with Stanley #4's, without even trying. Common tools were so easy to get, they had very little worth.
  So tools with a chip in the paint became completely worthless.
 They used to pile and burn transitional planes for fun, because nobody wanted them.
 It spiraled away from all reason after that.

 My tools are basically worthless on the collector market.  I don't even have any respect for factory paint.  They were merely assembly line dunked in a tank of paint and baked in the first place.  Not like careful hand work and fancy pinstripe work or whatever.
 Just unceremoniously dunked and baked, at pennies per hour, non-union, sweatshop labor. Some was even prison labor where men were forced to work at gunpoint, for nothing at all.
     And yet nearly all of collector value is attached to original paint or varnish. 
 
   Or as well known tool dealer Mike Urness  (the ratman) once said to me........
    Please leave a note in your shop that when you die, for the love of God, make sure your relatives ---Do Not--- call me!!

The good news is that this means that the rest of us have almost a clear field!
  We can have truly great tools for dirt cheap, if we hunt.
     yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 29, 2013, 02:21:50 PM
  Collector value is a funny thing.

   Nearly all collectors are "factory collectors".
 This means if Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci collaborated on a tool, it would have no value at all to them,  unless they ran a tool factory at the time. 
  Marked --factory production-- goods are all they want.

  They are mostly paint collectors as well.
 100% factory paint?
  High value. There are so many who want this, the value can become astronomical.
And yes it is the only value that holds up in a depression.
 All other tool values crash with the stock market, except factory paint.

   95% factory paint?  1/3 value and not an easy sell at that.
   90% factory paint? Zero value to the serious collector.
 Its all or nothing for the paint collectors.   Factory paint is everything!!

 A lot of this originally came from eastern seaboard guys who could go to any random swap meet on any random Saturday and fill 2 wheelbarrows with Stanley #4's, without even trying. Common tools were so easy to get, they had very little worth.
  So tools with a chip in the paint became completely worthless.
 They used to pile and burn transitional planes for fun, because nobody wanted them.
 It spiraled away from all reason after that.

 My tools are basically worthless on the collector market.  I don't even have any respect for factory paint.  They were merely assembly line dunked in a tank of paint and baked in the first place.  Not like careful hand work and fancy pinstripe work or whatever.
 Just unceremoniously dunked and baked, at pennies per hour, non-union, sweatshop labor. Some was even prison labor where men were forced to work at gunpoint, for nothing at all.
     And yet nearly all of collector value is attached to original paint or varnish. 
 
   Or as well known tool dealer Mike Urness  (the ratman) once said to me........
    Please leave a note in your shop that when you die, for the love of God, make sure your relatives ---Do Not--- call me!!

The good news is that this means that the rest of us have almost a clear field!
  We can have truly great tools for dirt cheap, if we hunt.
     yours Scott

Okay Scott..... everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.  6 15

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: OilyRascal on December 29, 2013, 08:18:56 PM
I've enjoyed the thread insofar, and hope that I might continue to do so.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 29, 2013, 10:09:28 PM
I've enjoyed the thread insofar, and hope that I might continue to do so.

Have no fear "Mr. Rascal." I intend to keep posting here about hand planes.  I'm glad that you've been enjoying the thread thus far.  I know that I can't please everyone all the time, but I'll keep trying to post interesting content.  Stay tuned......

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 30, 2013, 05:38:48 AM
Have no fear "Mr. Rascal." I intend to keep posting here about hand planes.  I'm glad that you've been enjoying the thread thus far.  I know that I can't please everyone all the time, but I'll keep trying to post interesting content.  Stay tuned......
Jim C.

Well, you've pleased me all the time.  I think Scott was on about the sort of collector values virginity more than usability, who views a good, used and usable tool with a certain amount of disdain.  Me, I'm certainly not going to pay collector price for a Stanley 96.  But if I find one that is remotely usable at a flea market or such, I'm sure to snatch it up.  Will I ever use this highly specialized tool?  Probably not really, but I'd like to try it out.  And there's enough of the collector in me to want to be the first kid on the block to get the whole set.  It's just that I like the potential use of old tools, and I don't care if they're virgins.  My 5 1/2 C has been broken and brazed back together and the tote has been replaced at some time with a post-war hardwood tote.  It works fine, and is one of my most used planes.  Zero collector interest, but 100% user.  My 7 C  and one #5 came from yard sales at a dollar apiece.

So?  I get to use them without guilt, and with great pleasure.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 30, 2013, 06:28:01 PM
Hey Branson,

Thanks for the encouragement.  Like I said earlier, I know that I can’t please everyone, and I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion.  That’s the beauty of a public forum.  Comments and differing perspectives are often rooted in a diverse range of life experiences, circumstances and values.  We all have our likes and dislikes.  I still encourage everyone to post any hand plane content here as they see fit.  I’ll continue to do the same with the simple understanding that not everyone will always like what I put out there.  I have plenty of user quality planes that I value for exactly that reason..... They're sound, useful tools.  Still, for purposes of this thread, I like to post photos of clean, complete, unaltered, original planes.  I believe that seeing such tools in this manner lends clarity to those reading along, and hopefully provides others with less experience a better understanding of hand planes, their uses, and their history.   With that being said, I’d still like to see your planes regardless of their condition, age, etc.  I’m actually interested in seeing how you repaired your #5 ½.  For those who like rust and crust, I thought I’d do a post just for you.

Stanley #41 Miller’s Patent Adjustable Plow Plane:

Versions of this plane were produced between 1871 and 1897.  In its original untouched form, it’s probably one of Stanley’s most beautiful creations and highly prized by collectors and users alike.  As one might suspect, pristine examples command high prices.  It would have been finished with black japanning and brass trimmings.  It may be a little hard to imagine how pretty this plane was when it was new because the particular (partial) example depicted below is missing nearly all of its finishes, its fillister bed, nine of ten boxed cutters, and several other small parts that add to its aesthetics and utility.  As you can see, it has incurred some damage from abuse and most of its moving parts are frozen solid with rust.  A few of its remaining thumb screws have been distorted by a prior owner who thought that pliers, or some type of gripping tool with teeth, was an appropriate way to tighten and loosen them.  An unfortunate end to what was once a classic tool.   Perhaps in a future post, I could show you a complete #41 that’s in better condition.   If some would rather see more battered, used and abused, incomplete planes like this one, just give me a shout.  Thanks.

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 31, 2013, 05:53:17 AM
It looks like one I might afford to pick up.  I see hours and hours of fun making it usable to at least some degree.

Love the beauty of the casting.  I once had a 45 with that floral pattern -- I think it was the second pattern of 45 -- not complete.  In a rash moment, I traded it for  something I can't remember. 

Sometimes one does have to resort to pliers, but when I do,  a scrap of leather between the jaws and the thumb screw keeps the pliers from messing it up.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 31, 2013, 08:28:31 AM
Branson above +1. A beautiful tool that needs a lot of TLC. I guess I should start photographing and posting the three Stanley 45's that I have acquired in the past month. Thank you for pressing on in spite of my tool snob rant.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 31, 2013, 09:00:11 AM
Hi Branson,

So you were able to see the hidden beauty of that old #41.  You have a good eye!  Stanley made a series of similar floral casting plow planes (#41, #42, #43, #44) between 1871 and 1897.  For some reason, the #42 was last produced in 1892.  Each came with nine or ten (depending on the model) boxed interchangeable cutters.  The #43 is identical to the #41, however it did not come with a fillister bed and one could not be attached to it.  Usually whenever I see these old Stanley plow planes in less than good condition, like the one I posted above, that fillister bed is missing in action.  Trying to piece one of these planes together is tough because of that part alone.  Earlier model fillister beds don't fit later model planes, so one would need to know approximately what Type (age, era) his/her plane was before trying to match a fillister bed to it.  I've seen several of these planes in "complete" condition with a main casting and fillister bed that were correctly matched, but clearly from two different planes, based on visual clues like wear, patina, remaining japanning, etc.  The fillister bed alone can be extremely expensive, and easily run a couple hundred dollars apiece..... if you can find one!  Like most multi-cutter planes, if the cutting irons don't remain in their original boxes with the plane, they're frequently long gone.  The planes usually retain the one cutter that was left in it that last time it was used.  Such is the case with the plane depicted above.  If you look closely, notice the one cutter still rusted in place.  Again, those cutters are tough to find and they're expensive to buy.  They're usually around twenty five dollars apiece give or take.

These early Stanley plow planes, and others, were the precursors to the Stanley #45 Combination Plane, manufactured from 1883 well into the 1960s.  As you mentioned, the early #45s were also produced with a distinctive floral casting that changed throughout their production.  The floral casting was eliminated somewhere around 1908 with the Type 8 planes.  We could probably start an entirely new thread dedicated to the #45.  What an amazing contraption, but when properly set up, and with a little practice, one can actually produce some very good results with it.  I know that somewhere earlier in the thread, I mentioned something about David Heckel's book, entitled The Stanley "Forty Five" Combination Plane.  If you're really interested knowing everything there is to know about the #45, that book is the final word.  Period.  If you're interested in using a combination plane, I'd go with a #45 because they're fairly available, their parts are mostly interchangeable, and they're generally much less expensive than the earlier #41 - #44 plows.  The #45 did have some options and attachments available to it that can be expensive, however, none of those are necessary to operate the plane as it was initially meant to be used.  If you're going to buy one of these planes for your collection, do your homework!!  There's many little parts, different Types came with different cutters, etc., etc.  Know what you're looking at.  Even buying a user quality plane requires some knowledge.  Missing parts, etc., will detract from the plane's utility, and ultimately your enjoyment, not to mention costing you more money and time to find the part(s).  I can honestly say that I've never used a #45 on an actual project, but I have often gone out into my shop and just set one up to play with.  If you're ever inclined to just spend an hour or so tinkering out in the shop, spend it with a #45.

Jim C. (who hopefully did not bore you to sleep)           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 31, 2013, 09:45:07 AM
Branson above +1. A beautiful tool that needs a lot of TLC. I guess I should start photographing and posting the three Stanley 45's that I have acquired in the past month. Thank you for pressing on in spite of my tool snob rant.

John,

Yes, Branson to the rescue!!  I was a little worried that we'd lost you there for a minute.  Again, everyone's opinion is welcome.  In the many years of collecting hand planes, I HAVE encountered several "tool snobs." Once identified, I have avoided them like the plague.  Too bad because they probably have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge and experience.  On the other hand, I've met MANY, MANY others who have fantastic collections and are true gentlemen, with a passion for the tools, and wealth of knowledge that they share with humility, and respect. 

I admit that I am at a point in my collecting habits where I like, and look for, NOS (New Old Stock) planes.  Twenty years ago, I was a hand plane "discoverer" and strictly a user out of circumstantial necessity.  I discovered the utility and cost effectiveness of hand planes which I still appreciate today.  When I see a quality "user", I still can't resist buying it (even though I probably don't need it), and then taking it out into the shop for a little "tune up" and then a few test passes over some different scraps of wood.  I try to figure out what that particular plane cuts best, and it goes into my "user arsenal." (I actually take notes on each plane and try to set them up for specific repetitive tasks.) Anyway, over a period of several years, my circumstances changed and my love of planes grew along with my collection and the nature of its contents.  The purpose of this thread, at least from my perspective, is to help others "discover", or rediscover, what I found out twenty years ago.  Where each individual goes with his/her collection isn't for me to judge.  I'm just glad that they're on the path and enjoying hand planes as they see fit.  I hope you'll keep checking back here from time to time.

Jim C. (who's looking forward to seeing those #45s)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 31, 2013, 09:00:18 PM
Happy New Year!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 02, 2014, 07:17:28 AM
And a Happy New Year back at you.

I do speak pretty fluent Stanley 45.  The reasons I traded the old floral 45 were that it was quite incomplete, and I also had two of the later 45s.  Neither is marked Stanley.  The first I found is marked Wards.  The second I acquired is marked Sears, and came with everything except the screwdriver.  It's in a leatherette carrying case, has both sets of bars for the fence, and all the original blades -- in their wooden box.

Back in '86 I got a commission to build six chests for Fort Ross.  I needed to make sides wider than I could get boards, and the result had to look like they were made well before 1841, when Sutter bought Fort Ross.  So I decided on tongue and groove  to join the boards.  I set one of my 45s for the groove, and the other for the matching tongue and went to work.   They worked easily and perfectly.  The profit covered the cost of both planes and then some.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 02, 2014, 09:13:45 AM
And a Happy New Year back at you.

I do speak pretty fluent Stanley 45.  The reasons I traded the old floral 45 were that it was quite incomplete, and I also had two of the later 45s.  Neither is marked Stanley.  The first I found is marked Wards.  The second I acquired is marked Sears, and came with everything except the screwdriver.  It's in a leatherette carrying case, has both sets of bars for the fence, and all the original blades -- in their wooden box.

Back in '86 I got a commission to build six chests for Fort Ross.  I needed to make sides wider than I could get boards, and the result had to look like they were made well before 1841, when Sutter bought Fort Ross.  So I decided on tongue and groove  to join the boards.  I set one of my 45s for the groove, and the other for the matching tongue and went to work.   They worked easily and perfectly.  The profit covered the cost of both planes and then some.   

Hi Branson,

You definitely know your #45s!  I'm not really familiar with the Wards and Sears versions of the #45, and I'm certainly not an expert on the Stanley versions either, particularly because there were several little changes and improvements made to the plane throughout the decades that it was manufactured.  I wonder if your Wards and/or Sears #45s were made by Sargent.  The Sargent model #1080 was very similar in appearance and function to the Stanley #45.  For a brief time, during the late 1940s into the early 1950s, Stanley actually made #45s for Sargent.  In a perfect world it would be great to compare and contrast the Wards, Sears, Sargent and Stanley #45s.  I could easily spend an entire afternoon in the shop with all four spread out on my bench studying every little detail..... I guess I need to get out more..... Anyway, that's exactly why I like complete planes that are in as close to original condition as possible.  It really cuts down on the guess work.  Original packaging, brochures, and boxes are bonus because they also provide clues about a plane's age, manufacturer, etc.  Is there any chance that you could post some pictures of your Wards and Sears #45s?  Maybe you could do a separate post on each.  I'd really like to see those planes!!  I don't think I've ever seen a complete Sears version.

You also did a nice job of all too BRIEFLY highlighting the chests you made for Fort Ross.  That's it?  I'd like MORE details (and pictures if possible) of the project.  What is Fort Ross?  How did you land the commission?  What kind of wood did you use to make the chests, etc., etc.?  Did you use any other planes during the project?  I noticed that you made the chests in 1986, so you've had those #45s for almost thirty years (or more)!  Have you used the #45s before or since?  It sounds like it was a great project!  You're holding out on us. 

Jim C. (who needs more info from Branson)       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 02, 2014, 09:58:21 PM
Sorry to interupt the discussion of Stanley 45's.  I'll get back to it tomorrow.

I took a trip to Ron Bertrand's prototype shop.  He is a longtime pattern maker.  He is casting some more of the big Papaws Wrenches for me.  While I was at his shop, he showed me some core box planes from at least a hundred years ago.  Fascinating!  These planes were used to shape a U shaped trough in a block of wood.  When you put two of the blocks together, you had a mold for making a sand core. The core is a sand 'casting' that is placed in a mold to prevent metal from filling an area of the mold.  Typically these were used in wheel and pulley casting molds so that the casting had a rough bore through it. Because core boxes were made often and they are very simple, most of the time, inventors a hundred years ago, were trying to speed up the process with patented gadgets.  Here are photos of two of those specialty planes along with the patent for the Wm Bayley plane. This plane was only made in 1904 and 05.  It was not successful.

http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?id=12656



(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/DSCN3078_zps8f0c6ba1.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/DSCN3078_zps8f0c6ba1.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/DSCN3080_zpse95d2124.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/DSCN3080_zpse95d2124.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/DSCN3081_zpscd8d4a1b.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/DSCN3081_zpscd8d4a1b.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/DSCN3082_zps69bfd662.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/DSCN3082_zps69bfd662.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/DSCN3086_zps486e598a.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/DSCN3086_zps486e598a.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/DSCN3089_zpse7c1c501.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/DSCN3089_zpse7c1c501.jpg.html)

  The second plane is also a core box plane, an all wood one.  Stanley made a metal version of this for a long time.  A previous owner removed one or more of the braces. You can see the screw holes in the wood. I could not make out the makers mark, but you can see the shape of it in the photo.  I hope I can get some help on this one.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 03, 2014, 07:27:57 AM
Odd planes, the core boxes.  Wish I had been more flush in November because there was a metal core box on eBay that sold, second time around, for $19.95.  I have no idea what I would have done with it, but they're curious and not common.  The eBay core box wasn't a Stanley, and the seller didn't mention a manufacturer.  Didn't have the slightest idea what it was, either -- said it was for planing corners...

That wooden one is really nice!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 03, 2014, 07:53:43 AM
Here is the Stanley 57. There is a smaller 56 that doesn't have wings. Quite a contraption.

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/561_zps950d9037.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/561_zps950d9037.jpg.html)


(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/526_zpseccbb5f0.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/526_zpseccbb5f0.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on January 03, 2014, 08:03:14 AM
WOW!! Gizmocity!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 08:06:10 AM
Hey John!  Now that's what I'm talking about!  What better way to start the morning.... A cup of coffee and a GREAT writeup on core box planes, complete with pictures and a link.  Nicely done, and never worry about jumping into the #45 discussion.  There's so much information on #45s that we could get on and off that topic a dozen times and still have a lot more ground to cover.  I'm really impressed that Mr. Bertrand had the planes and was still using them in his shop.  I don't know much about pattern making.  Is the core box plane still the accepted and most common way to make the the U trough in the block of wood, or are there more modern/mechanized procedures for accomplishing the task?  I'd like to think that using a specialized hand tool such as a core box plane is still commonly applied even in a production setting, but I'm guessing that probably isn't the case.  The nostalgic part of me envisions 100 year old core box planes being used in a one or two man shop where "old school" traditional pattern making is practiced.  Is that true?  The Bayley cast iron version looks like an ingenious contraption!  Did Mr. Bertrand demonstrate it for you?  I'd love to get my hands on that and give it a try!  What really gets me thinking is the wooden version.  It appears to be a craftsman made tool that evokes an air of self sufficiency.  It makes me wonder if someone made it out of necessity and/or possibly with the attitude that "I can make my own and make it better than one I could buy." Very nice writeup John.  Thanks for jumping in with some A+ content!  I'll try to post a few pictures of Stanley's versions of the core box plane.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 03, 2014, 08:19:40 AM
>I wonder if your Wards and/or Sears #45s were made by Sargent.  The Sargent model #1080 was very similar in appearance and function to the Stanley #45. 

No, they're Stanleys.  No Stanley mark, but the 45 is still in the casting.  At the time I got them, one of the fellows I worked with had a really great 45 that came with its original chestnut box.  It was identical to my Wards in every way except for the Stanley mark.  The Sears is identical to the Wards.

>Anyway, that's exactly why I like complete planes that are in as close to original condition as possible.  It really cuts down on the guess work. 

Amen!  Guess work is only briefly entertaining.

> Is there any chance that you could post some pictures of your Wards and Sears #45s?  Maybe you could do a separate post on each.  I'd really like to see those planes!!  I don't think I've ever seen a complete Sears version.

Not real soon.  They're somewhere in storage, and I'm just not sure where, possibly close to my Stanley #10, wherever that is.  I'm still trying to get the most important stuff into my newly built workshop -- get it in and still have room to work.

Fort Ross is a California State Historical Park.  It was the southern most  Russian settlement in California, established by the Russian American Trade Company.  As the fur trade dwindled to a halt, the Russians abandoned it and sold it, and its contents to Sutter -- 1841.  (It turns out that among the stuff Sutter bought were the cooper tools -- no specifics in his inventory, just "cooper's tools").  He even bought "threshing floors" at least one of which met with disaster.  He floated it down the coastline towards San Francisco Bay, and it sank somewhere around the entrance to the bay.

I landed the commission because two of the State Parks  people  were also active docents at Sutter's Fort, and a refugee program  I ran (carpentry and blacksmithing) had already produced four Russian pattern axes for Fort Ross.  When the plan for six chests was funded, they asked me if I could make them.  They are very simple chests with rabbeted and cut nailed corners, and hide glue.  I made them all of clear pine.  The handles I had made by a blacksmith from drawings of original Russian chest handles.  Those took a long time to get, and I had to send the chests up to Ross without them.  I have some snap shots of the time when I took the finished hardware to Fort Ross, in period costume, with period tools, and installed them on the chests, which had already been painted and adorned with Russian folk art. 

> Did you use any other planes during the project?

Yes, I did.  Every surface of the chests was hand planed, and all the planes I used were wooden planes.  Jacks for the interiors, smooth planes for the exterior.   In another commission, for Sutter's Fort some years later, I did the same surface treatment.  Kept two smoothing planes sharp and used both for all the visible surfaces, but I used a nice wooden quirk and bead plane to dress up the sides of the T&G boards used.  That commission came when I submitted the lowest bid for the project to State Parks.

>I noticed that you made the chests in 1986, so you've had those #45s for almost thirty years (or more)!

I've had the Wards since about '75.  The Sears, if I remember right, came to me around '77 or'78.  I was excited to get the Sears because it had everything with it (except the screwdriver) and came in its original case.

>Have you used the #45s before or since?

Not since I packed them up in the late '80s.  But I have used them for rabbets and dados.  I probably ought to tune up the sash molding blades and give that a go.  Thing is, I have picked up 20 or 30 wooden molding planes since then which I have used -- some other tools waiting in storage until I can make room in the shop for them.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 03, 2014, 08:25:55 AM
>  Is the core box plane still the accepted and most common way to make the the U trough in the block of wood, or are there more modern/mechanized procedures for accomplishing the task?
Jim C.           

There's a way that still isn't modern, but faster.  Run a fence diagonally across a table saw, and push your board along the diagonal fence.  De Cristoforo shows this in his Power Tools for Everyone, featuring the ShopSmith 10ER
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 03, 2014, 08:26:31 AM
Thanks Jim.  Ron doesn't use the old planes.  He uses a CNC mill, but does have an impressive bench full of traditional tools.  While I was talking to him he grabbed a beautiful goose neck pattern chisel and trimmed a lug in a mold.  Many of the machines in his shop are in the century old category. Big band saw, big wood lathe, his vertical mill is pre WWII. Except for the CNC horizontal and the sand machines, most everything is antique. He also builds and repairs furniture. Fun for me was seeing the Cheese Head foam molds that he was reworking for a customer.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 08:44:56 AM
Here is the Stanley 57. There is a smaller 56 that doesn't have wings. Quite a contraption.

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/561_zps950d9037.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/561_zps950d9037.jpg.html)


(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/526_zpseccbb5f0.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/526_zpseccbb5f0.jpg.html)

John,

Please tell me those two Stanley #57s are in your collection!  Those are amazing examples!  Most #57s were commonly nickel plated but some were also japanned.  They were produced by Stanley between 1896 and 1943.  It could be that like many of Stanley's traditionally nickel plated planes, most were japanned during WWII, in an effort to conserve nickel strictly for war materials production. I believe that as many as three sets of extensions could be added to the Stanley model.  One set of extensions would allow the user to make up to a 5" semi circle, while two sets would allow for up to a 7 1/2" semi circle, and three sets for up to a 10" semi circle.  By that point, it would seem that the plane would be almost too heavy and unruly to comfortably use.  Maybe that partially answers my earlier question about the wooden version you posted in the picture above.  Perhaps it was lighter and therefore more easily used than a similarly sized cast iron version.  From a collector's perspective, the #57 is much like any other plane with several little parts and pieces.  Those things are frequently missing and not always easy to replace.  As always, do your homework before bidding or buying.  Thanks again John. Great stuff!!

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 09:00:33 AM
>I wonder if your Wards and/or Sears #45s were made by Sargent.  The Sargent model #1080 was very similar in appearance and function to the Stanley #45. 

No, they're Stanleys.  No Stanley mark, but the 45 is still in the casting.  At the time I got them, one of the fellows I worked with had a really great 45 that came with its original chestnut box.  It was identical to my Wards in every way except for the Stanley mark.  The Sears is identical to the Wards.

>Anyway, that's exactly why I like complete planes that are in as close to original condition as possible.  It really cuts down on the guess work. 

Amen!  Guess work is only briefly entertaining.

> Is there any chance that you could post some pictures of your Wards and Sears #45s?  Maybe you could do a separate post on each.  I'd really like to see those planes!!  I don't think I've ever seen a complete Sears version.

Not real soon.  They're somewhere in storage, and I'm just not sure where, possibly close to my Stanley #10, wherever that is.  I'm still trying to get the most important stuff into my newly built workshop -- get it in and still have room to work.

Fort Ross is a California State Historical Park.  It was the southern most  Russian settlement in California, established by the Russian American Trade Company.  As the fur trade dwindled to a halt, the Russians abandoned it and sold it, and its contents to Sutter -- 1841.  (It turns out that among the stuff Sutter bought were the cooper tools -- no specifics in his inventory, just "cooper's tools").  He even bought "threshing floors" at least one of which met with disaster.  He floated it down the coastline towards San Francisco Bay, and it sank somewhere around the entrance to the bay.

I landed the commission because two of the State Parks  people  were also active docents at Sutter's Fort, and a refugee program  I ran (carpentry and blacksmithing) had already produced four Russian pattern axes for Fort Ross.  When the plan for six chests was funded, they asked me if I could make them.  They are very simple chests with rabbeted and cut nailed corners, and hide glue.  I made them all of clear pine.  The handles I had made by a blacksmith from drawings of original Russian chest handles.  Those took a long time to get, and I had to send the chests up to Ross without them.  I have some snap shots of the time when I took the finished hardware to Fort Ross, in period costume, with period tools, and installed them on the chests, which had already been painted and adorned with Russian folk art. 

> Did you use any other planes during the project?

Yes, I did.  Every surface of the chests was hand planed, and all the planes I used were wooden planes.  Jacks for the interiors, smooth planes for the exterior.   In another commission, for Sutter's Fort some years later, I did the same surface treatment.  Kept two smoothing planes sharp and used both for all the visible surfaces, but I used a nice wooden quirk and bead plane to dress up the sides of the T&G boards used.  That commission came when I submitted the lowest bid for the project to State Parks.

>I noticed that you made the chests in 1986, so you've had those #45s for almost thirty years (or more)!

I've had the Wards since about '75.  The Sears, if I remember right, came to me around '77 or'78.  I was excited to get the Sears because it had everything with it (except the screwdriver) and came in its original case.

>Have you used the #45s before or since?

Not since I packed them up in the late '80s.  But I have used them for rabbets and dados.  I probably ought to tune up the sash molding blades and give that a go.  Thing is, I have picked up 20 or 30 wooden molding planes since then which I have used -- some other tools waiting in storage until I can make room in the shop for them.

Branson,

Thank you for the detailed answers!  But you know that's just going to spark our interest even more.  If you ever find the time, I think we'd all like to see those chests.  It sounds like it was a great project!  If you can find the pictures and post them here, that would be fantastic, and when the planes come out of storage we'll be waiting to see those too!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 09:02:43 AM
Thanks Jim.  Ron doesn't use the old planes.  He uses a CNC mill, but does have an impressive bench full of traditional tools.  While I was talking to him he grabbed a beautiful goose neck pattern chisel and trimmed a lug in a mold.  Many of the machines in his shop are in the century old category. Big band saw, big wood lathe, his vertical mill is pre WWII. Except for the CNC horizontal and the sand machines, most everything is antique. He also builds and repairs furniture. Fun for me was seeing the Cheese Head foam molds that he was reworking for a customer.

John,

Still a couple great write-ups!  Thanks for chipping in.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 03, 2014, 10:11:41 AM
I continue to watch - read this string with great interest.  Never a dull moment.  I'd love to be a collector of "factory paint" planes - now that I know what that means - but lack the resources to find, afford or store even old rust beauties.  Those were among the primary reasons that I started to build my miniatures.  The interaction about the #45 has been of particular interest, it being among the few full size planes that I do have.  Though I have no practical use for it (does anyone really any more?), I do enjoy looking at it, appreciating its fine lines, great design and its beautifully proud and pleasing floral designs, as I imagine an old carpenter (my grandpa) using it with great care, skill and pride.  It might not be worth much to a paint collector with some of the nickle worn off where my grandpa's hands touched it, but just looking at it takes me back to him as I keep it prominently and proudly displayed in my living room; it's only a glance away and keeps my dear old grandpa ever near.  I wouldn't trade this old plane for "new paint" with no personal history or memories.  To me, this is what collecting is all about, and I hope that some day my grand children will smile in remembrance of me when they hold some of the miniatures that they have helped (watched) me build despite the value that history applies to me or my creations.  Such must be the case with many of you as you imagine the future of your children and your tools.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 11:05:11 AM
Hi Ralph,

I think you have EXACTLY the right outlook on old tools, and there's absolutely no reason for anyone to have to justify the motivation, nature, or content of their "collections" here.  As far as I know, there's no right or wrong way to enjoy antique tools.  It's the simple love of old tools, in this case hand planes, in any condition, that will hopefully keep the discussion going in a positive direction.  I've never really heard the term "paint collector" either, until very recently.  I can't say that I necessarily agree with its use nor the seemingly negative light that it casts on a certain segment of those who also enjoy old tools, but again, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. 

I think your work is amazing and your grandchildren will treasure your creations for all time.  I'd also hang onto your grandfather's #45.  Whether you ever use it or not, doesn't matter.  Its sentimental value and direct connection to your past is priceless.  I still contend that it's nice to see old tools as they looked brand new.  From an academic perspective, they're wonderful to study in that condition.  Still, as old as they may be, they all lack the decades of character that only honest use can bring to them.  You have it right..... You're interested in old hand planes and tools for your own reasons.  I'm a fan of your work and I'll keep watching.

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 03, 2014, 02:01:20 PM
I'll have to find the photos from Fort Ross.   The chests were already painted when I got there.  Meanwhile, here's a pic of the old trade store at Sutter's Fort, a later project.  The shelves on the back wall with the drawers in the bottom were amusing to do.  They're 20 inches deep, and the side boards and the top are single planks of pine.  I had found a source for 8/4+ pine, had them resawn, and with the hand planing they're a full 7/8 thick.  The counter is random width planks, T&G with a 1/4 inch bead worked in -- boxed wooden plane for that.  The apothecary drawers on the side wall -- yes, I did them all, and fitted them individually, so each drawer has a number corresponding to the slot it fits into.  An old wooden nosing plane edged the counter top.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 02:38:40 PM
I'll have to find the photos from Fort Ross.   The chests were already painted when I got there.  Meanwhile, here's a pic of the old trade store at Sutter's Fort, a later project.  The shelves on the back wall with the drawers in the bottom were amusing to do.  They're 20 inches deep, and the side boards and the top are single planks of pine.  I had found a source for 8/4+ pine, had them resawn, and with the hand planing they're a full 7/8 thick.  The counter is random width planks, T&G with a 1/4 inch bead worked in -- boxed wooden plane for that.  The apothecary drawers on the side wall -- yes, I did them all, and fitted them individually, so each drawer has a number corresponding to the slot it fits into.  An old wooden nosing plane edged the counter top.

Wow!  Nice job Branson!  Wow!  Did I say "Wow" already?  That's a lot of hand planing to thickness, and when you get wood like that for a project, you certainly must do things right the first time.  You called the project "amusing."  I'd call it an "enjoyable challenge."  Well done.  What kind of shape were the planks in when you got them?  Did you use winding sticks to get them flat?

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 02:40:37 PM
While we're still sort of close to the topic of core box planes, here's the Stanley #56:

Produced between 1906 and 1923, this plane can make semi circle arcs between 9/16" and 2".  In order to get the plane started in a block of wood, the user had to first cut a small groove the length of the core blank in order to create a track for the "V" sole of the plane to ride along during the first few passes.  The #56 was always finished with black japanning, unlike its larger sibling, the #57 (see above), which was usually (but not always) finished with nickel plating.  I don't believe the #56 was an overly successful product for Stanley.  It was so specialized for a particular type of work, that it really wasn't a plane that the masses wanted or needed, so they didn't sell, and production was limited at best.  As a result, they're relatively rare in any condition.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 03, 2014, 05:18:03 PM
Wow!  Nice job Branson!  Wow!  Did I say "Wow" already?  That's a lot of hand planing to thickness, and when you get wood like that for a project, you certainly must do things right the first time.  You called the project "amusing."  I'd call it an "enjoyable challenge."  Well done.  What kind of shape were the planks in when you got them?  Did you use winding sticks to get them flat?
Jim C.

the amusing part came when I pointed out that all 20 inches were a single plank, one board.  People didn't think trees came that wide any more or something.  Had the resaw split the 8/4 in half, making the planks very close to 1 inch net, so the planing was only surfacing.  Still it was a lot of pine, since there were two step back hutches and a gun rack.  More amusement -- the sides of the step backs were also single planks, and 24 inches wide.
I used a lumber broker who insisted on excellent woods, so the 8/4 was straight, and not case hardened so the 1 inch resaw planks were dead on.  All I had to do was give them a good hand planed surface.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2014, 09:13:52 PM
Branson,

Nice work and some nice planing too!  It took me a while to figure out that working with wide planks required hand planes.  Even narrow planks can be more easily dimensioned with the right planes.  Not everyone has a 20"+ planer in their shop.  Even having a machine like that won't take the twist or cupping out of a board without the assistance of some planes and winding sticks.  Good job!

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: oldtools on January 04, 2014, 12:25:34 AM
Wow!! that is beautiful work!!! The talent in this forum amazes me...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 04, 2014, 05:42:04 AM
> Not everyone has a 20"+ planer in their shop.  Even having a machine like that won't take the twist or cupping out of a board without the assistance of some planes and winding sticks.  Good job!

Jim C.   

LOL!  At that time we had two 30 inch planers in the shop.  Monsters that would take off a half inch at a time, and would open to 18 inches.  25 horse motors that ran at 65 amps, 75 amp start up.  But our jointers were only 16 inches wide...  Nothing like tossing 2000 board feet of rough lumber through those planers.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on January 04, 2014, 06:06:05 AM
I like the hinges on the gate.  Did you have a hand in those?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 04, 2014, 07:17:36 AM
> Not everyone has a 20"+ planer in their shop.  Even having a machine like that won't take the twist or cupping out of a board without the assistance of some planes and winding sticks.  Good job!

Jim C.   

LOL!  At that time we had two 30 inch planers in the shop.  Monsters that would take off a half inch at a time, and would open to 18 inches.  25 horse motors that ran at 65 amps, 75 amp start up.  But our jointers were only 16 inches wide...  Nothing like tossing 2000 board feet of rough lumber through those planers.

Hey Branson,

I could have used one of those planers!  My first real life experience with hand planes came from "last ditch effort" necessity.  When I was a young, over confident, and an unknowingly ill prepared woodworker (of sorts), I promised my wife that I'd make an island for our kitchen.  She didn't want a box, she wanted something that looked a little more like furniture.  So, I took some measurements and made some drawings.  I had access to a pretty good supply of rough sawn Michigan lumber so we decided that the top of the island should be a dark accent color.  Walnut.  A couple weeks later, six 8/4 planks were sitting in my shop.  Each was roughly seven or eight inches wide and eight feet long.  The planks were twisted and in the rawest of condition.  I wanted to get them down to an 1 1/2" thick, 5" wide and 65" long.  The plan was to edge join them together for the island top.  Well, the only way to remove stock, so I thought, was to break out my little Delta 12" bench top planer.  To make a long story short, as I fed the first plank into the machine, taking a VERY light pass, I soon realized that my little planer was no match for the walnut and would probably not survive the project.  Not to mention the fact that the plank came out the other end of the machine just as twisted as it was but only a little bit thinner.  All I remember thinking was, "#@#%&!!!!!  Now what am I gonna do?"  I couldn't afford a heavy duty planer, and I realized that even with a better planer, the stock was still going to be twisted if I didn't flatten out one side of it before it went into the planer.

I pondered the predicament I was in and suddenly realized that years ago, most woodworkers didn't have a mechanical planer, yet they still managed to make amazing things with "HAND TOOLS!!!!"  The heavens opened, angels were singing, and rays of sunlight shown upon my little shop.  I needed a hand plane.  At the time I hand a very dull, seldom used Sears block plane and that was it.  Once I knew what I needed, I did some research, made some telephone calls and eventually concluded that I needed a scrub plane and a low angle jack plane for starters.  With those two planes, I would be able to flatten the planks.  Again, making a long story short, I bought the planes, learned how to sharpen their irons, and practiced with them on scrap wood for a few days.  It was a life changing experience out in the shop.  To finish the island top, I eventually bought a #4 1/2 smoother.  I've been hooked on hand planes ever since.

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 04, 2014, 07:21:23 AM
Branson, I know that you were a bunch younger then, but that much hand planing had to mean some sore shoulders the next morning. Kudos for the woodwork! It is beautiful. Can we see photos of your new shed?  Last I knew, it was still an idea and a fist fight with the zoning committee.

WOW Table top Jim. That too is a bunch of hand work.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 04, 2014, 11:38:15 AM
I like the hinges on the gate.  Did you have a hand in those?

Nah.  The State bought those from a blacksmith in North Carolina.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 04, 2014, 11:52:10 AM
Branson, I know that you were a bunch younger then, but that much hand planing had to mean some sore shoulders the next morning. Kudos for the woodwork! It is beautiful. Can we see photos of your new shed?  Last I knew, it was still an idea and a fist fight with the zoning committee.


Been thinking about the new shop pics, but the inside is still a nightmare.  Outside looks good, though.

Honestly, I don't remember sore shoulders from all the planing, but then, I was doing a lot of hand planing at the time.  What I remember vividly was the time I spent 7 hours a day for 14 1/2 days hand adzing beams.  Carried an Arkansas stone in my hip pocket to keep the adz sharp.  Lost two inches around my waist and added two inches across my shoulders with that bit of work.  Haven't done it since.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 04, 2014, 11:53:58 AM
Jim, that walnut top is just a master piece!  Kudos.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 04, 2014, 01:08:05 PM
Jim, that walnut top is just a master piece!  Kudos.

Thanks Branson.  It was a rough start but I got there.  In my previous write up, I mentioned using a scrub plane and a low angle jack plane to initially flatten the walnut planks.  At the time, knowing almost nothing about hand planes, and feeling the pressure to get the project started and completed, I did do some research and discovered Lie-Nielsen planes.  I learned that they were manufactured in Maine and from what I had read, they were quality tools.  I gave them a call and spoke to a man (I don't remember his name) who patiently listened to my "island" predicament.  After I went through the facts and circumstances with him, and having a very general idea of what I needed to do to get the project off the ground, he told me that he understood exactly what the problem was and then recommended that I consider buying a scrub plane and a jack plane to flatten the planks.  He explained the planing process in detail and answered all my questions.  After that twenty minute conversation, I felt confident that I could get the job done, so I bought the planes.  They weren't cheap, but they most definitely lived up to my expectations, and they put me on the hand plane path for life.  Over the years, I bought a couple more Lie-Nielsens and received a few as gifts.  They're great tools.

The scrub plane (in the background) is modeled from the Stanley #40 1/2.  Stanley also made a slightly smaller, and more common version, the #40.  The low angle jack plane (in the fore ground) is modeled from the Stanley #62.  An original Stanley low angle jack is a wonderful tool that functions more like a block plane.  Unfortunately, their throats are prone to cracking very easily.  At some point, I'll add a couple posts on the Stanley scrub planes and the Stanley low angle jack plane.  I'd also like to do a few posts on the Lie-Nielsens as well.  Thanks again.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 04, 2014, 01:16:27 PM
Now these are my kind of planes.  But I'm eager to hear what you have to say about the Lie-Nielsen scrapers, the 212 and the112 -- and others.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 04, 2014, 03:06:35 PM
Now these are my kind of planes.  But I'm eager to hear what you have to say about the Lie-Nielsen scrapers, the 212 and the112 -- and others.   Ralph

Ralph,

The Lie-Nielsen (LN) planes are really nice tools!  I really can't say anything bad about them.  When I initially bought the two depicted above, I must admit that I was kind of shocked at how expensive they were, but they were still less than any machine and they were also the right tools for the job at hand.  Unfortunately I don't have the LN #112 or the LN #212, so I can't comment on how they cut, etc.  If they're anything like the other LN planes that I do have, then I would bet that they will not disappoint and produce great results right out of the box, doing nothing more than honing their irons.   I do have both Stanley versions and can say that the #112 scraper is extremely useful and worthy of a spot on any woodworker's bench.  It took a few tries to get the burr right on the iron, but once I figured it out, and set the angle of the iron correctly, it was "smooth" sailing.  The #212 operates exactly like the #112, only on a smaller scale.  I'll have to say however, that due to the nature of the #212's scarcity, I don't really use it.

Shortly after I bought those two LN planes, I discovered the merits of user quality antique hand planes.  Not only could they be made to produce some very nice results, but the more common Stanley bench and block planes in user condition, were generally much less expensive than the LN versions.  A perfect example would be a Stanley #4 bench plane versus the LN #4.  A user Stanley #4 is much cheaper.  As for the rarer Stanleys, like the #212 for instance, then the LNs are much more affordable.  In some cases, an antique Stanley, in good user condition, is about the same price as a new LN.  A good example of this is the Stanley #62 and the LN #62 low angle jack planes.  I'm definitely a fan of LN planes, but I don't have many.  As much as I like them, and as much as I believe the LNs are generally worth the cost, I'm still drawn to the old Stanleys.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 05, 2014, 07:23:54 AM
I'm struggling by with my Stanley 40 1/2  -- the one I found in the bottom of an old tool chest -- and my Stanley 12. 
I've looked somewhat longingly at the low angle jack planes, but haven't found one in my (low) price range.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 05, 2014, 09:03:31 AM
I'm struggling by with my Stanley 40 1/2  -- the one I found in the bottom of an old tool chest -- and my Stanley 12. 
I've looked somewhat longingly at the low angle jack planes, but haven't found one in my (low) price range.


Hi Branson,

When you say you're struggling with your scrub plane, what do you mean?  Are you having trouble using it, sharpening the iron, what exactly?  Can you be more specific?  If it's a problem using it, I considered trying to describe that process to you, but did a little poking around on the web, and came across this ten minute video on the Lie-Nielsen (LN) site.  The instructor in the video does a first rate job of demonstrating the scrub plane's applications and the various techniques for using it.  The process the instructor goes through is exactly the same process that was described to me several years ago on the telephone.  Who knows, that may have been the same man that I spoke to back then.  If the link doesn't work (because I'm a computer novice and don't know how to post links), follow these steps to the video:  Go to the LN site, click on hand tools, then click hand planes, then click special purpose tools, then click scrub plane.  Below a photo of the scrub plane is a link to the video that says "here" in blue.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osskqppymU&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osskqppymU&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1)

If you're having trouble sharpening the iron, I can probably help you with that.  The same goes for your Stanley #12 scraper.  Are you having trouble getting a burr on the iron?  I can describe the process and/or point you in the direction of an existing writeup on that procedure.  It takes a little practice, but it's well worth the effort to get it right and it's a couple hours out in the shop tinkering.  That's never a bad thing.  It sounds like you have two nice old planes that need to get back to work.  Even if you don't currently have a specific project in mind for them, just learning a new skill using old tools is rewarding all by itself. 

Low angle jack planes are very useful tools to say the least.  They're easy to use, having no frog or lateral adjustment.  They're really just big block planes that are versatile in so many ways.  With the iron bedded at a low angle and with the adjustable throat set for a light pass, they're great on working end grain.  Their length makes them wonderful to use on larger surfaces with irregular grain, particularly during the stock flattening process, and they're not bad as short jointers either.  The immediate problem with low angle jack planes is their cost.  This is a situation where buying an old Stanley #62, or opting for a currently manufactured LN #62 (modeled after the Stanley) gets you to about the same place when the time comes to pay for one or the other.

The big problem with the Stanley #62 is its throat.  The section of the sole, immediately behind the cutting iron is VERY thin.  If one is aggressively planing stock and a thick shaving, or several shavings get jammed behind the cutting edge protruding through the throat and the sole of the plane itself, a good chunk of that sole just behind the iron will crack out and the plane is done!  I've seen several Stanley #62s in this condition.  Consequently, they're moderately scarce even in user condition, and can easily cost $200 or more.  NOS (New Old Stock) examples are significantly more.  Sargent also made a low angle jack plane, the #514, that's equally fragile for the same reasons I described, and it's equally as scarce, again, making it costly.  Under most circumstances, I'd like to use antique planes when possible.  When it comes to the low angle jack plane, however, the LN is the better choice.  It's heftier than the original Stanley, and is made to withstand aggressive planing.  For around $250, the LN will deliver great results, and pretty much eliminate the apprehension of using, and possibly damaging an antique Stanley. 

Jim C.
         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on January 05, 2014, 09:32:15 AM
I fixed the link for you. You left out the bracket ([) before the  /url .
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 05, 2014, 10:39:23 AM
I fixed the link for you. You left out the bracket ([) before the  /url .

Thank you sir! 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on January 05, 2014, 02:15:12 PM
Really nice island Jim. Especially for a newbie at the time, just outstanding!
   
  Mike you need an 80.
  If you are messing with a #12 scraper? This is mostly overkill in my experience. The #112 too.  They are good tools.
 I even designed and built a semi infill scraper plane with tilting tote.
 (http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/hometools/infillscraper.jpg)

But I don't use my scraping planes so much.
 
The #80, on the other hand, is the undisputed worlds champion best selling scraper of all time!!  They are cheap, simple and soooooo effective. And you can just lop up old handsaws for blades. For the daily grind wear and tear there is no equal.
 (well except the Sargent or Stearns clones)

I won't be without at least 2 of them operating at all times.
 Beside whatever wood needed it, including a hardwood floor one time, I have scraped things that no scraper was ever designed to scrape with them too. Industrial things.

  Some tools, the Stanley #4 and the 5 and the 80?? These are foundation woodwork tools. They didn't outsell anything else ever made on planet earth for nothing. 

    yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 05, 2014, 03:31:49 PM
Thanks Scott.  No doubt that the Stanley #80 is a tried and true worker.  It got the job done and in comparison to other Stanley scrapers available in its time, the #80 was probably the least expensive to own.  There was a lot of bang for the buck.  The same is true even now.  The #80 is still widely available in almost any condition, easy to use, and extremely versatile.  Still, every now and then a scraper shaped more like a traditional bench plane, like the #112, is the right tool (or maybe the more fun) tool for the job, particularly on large flat surfaces.  Your custom made gem is proof of that!

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 06, 2014, 06:43:03 AM
>When you say you're struggling with your scrub plane, what do you mean?  Are you having trouble using it, sharpening the iron, what exactly?  Can you be more specific?

Just joking around, Jim -- my perverse sense of humor at work.  I have no idea where or when I got the #12 (some time in the '70s or early '80s, and the
#80 1/2...  A friend wanted a Bohmer hinge for the door between his kitchen and the dining room.  One of the guys I worked with had a NOS Bohmer and I got that for my friend for 20 bucks.  I installed it as a favor, but he kept nagging me about my charge for installation.  He was showing me around this house he had just bought, and in the basement was one of the old carpenter's tool chests that had been left by the seller.  He asked me again how much I wanted, so I said, "How about that tool chest?"  Sure!  That's when I discovered it wasn't empty.  I pulled out five old Stanley planes, a bunch of wrenches and some other odds and ends.

Thinking about the cost of new Lee Valley equivalents versus the probably less than $10 I have in the 12 and the 80 1/2  put my tongue firmly in my cheek.  That's all.  The scrub works like a dream, and hogs off wood like a bulldozer.  One of my best ever acquisitions.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 06, 2014, 09:01:55 AM
>When you say you're struggling with your scrub plane, what do you mean?  Are you having trouble using it, sharpening the iron, what exactly?  Can you be more specific?

Just joking around, Jim -- my perverse sense of humor at work.  I have no idea where or when I got the #12 (some time in the '70s or early '80s, and the
#80 1/2...  A friend wanted a Bohmer hinge for the door between his kitchen and the dining room.  One of the guys I worked with had a NOS Bohmer and I got that for my friend for 20 bucks.  I installed it as a favor, but he kept nagging me about my charge for installation.  He was showing me around this house he had just bought, and in the basement was one of the old carpenter's tool chests that had been left by the seller.  He asked me again how much I wanted, so I said, "How about that tool chest?"  Sure!  That's when I discovered it wasn't empty.  I pulled out five old Stanley planes, a bunch of wrenches and some other odds and ends.

Thinking about the cost of new Lee Valley equivalents versus the probably less than $10 I have in the 12 and the 80 1/2  put my tongue firmly in my cheek.  That's all.  The scrub works like a dream, and hogs off wood like a bulldozer.  One of my best ever acquisitions.

Good one Branson!  That's the trouble with texting, emails, and thread posting......sometimes the intended meaning is lost without the tone of a person's voice, inflections, facial expressions, etc.  When I initially read your post, I have to admit that at one point I thought to myself, "How the heck can this guy make these beautiful cabinets for a museum using hand planes and not know how to use a scrub plane?" It didn't make sense, but one never knows for sure.  I figured I'd give you a straight answer and go from there.  Next time you claim to have a problem with a plane, I'll be more cautious about my answer!!  You got me this time!!!  I've come to the conclusion that telling you about hand planes is like telling a fish how to swim.  I think you owe me a picture of that scrub plane!!

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 07, 2014, 05:30:50 AM
It's in a chest at the bottom of a stack in storage at the moment, and I have to make room in my workshop before I can bring in anything else.  But when I do, expect a photo.  I think I have a wooden scrub as well -- in the chest next to the one with the Stanley -- a horn plane maybe...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 07, 2014, 09:38:26 AM
A "horn plane"?  I don't think that I've ever met one.  I'd love to see some pictures.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on January 07, 2014, 09:58:34 AM
Something like this probably.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Antique-German-Horn-Style-Plane-10-Buck-Bros-Warranted-Cast-Steel-/331099923648?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d1717e4c0

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 07, 2014, 11:36:30 AM
Oh.  That is nice.  I'm tempted to bid on that one -- we'll see.   There are enough pictures that I could probably build a miniature from that.  Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 07, 2014, 01:02:01 PM
Oh.  That is nice.  I'm tempted to bid on that one -- we'll see.   There are enough pictures that I could probably build a miniature from that.  Ralph

I'll most certainly be looking forward to seeing it Ralph!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 07, 2014, 02:27:30 PM
I have a miniature horn plane that was on a dollar table. About 4 inches long. The horn is missing. Gotta find it now. Hmmmm.........I know it's here somewhere.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 07, 2014, 07:40:31 PM
I'd love to see it -- from every angle.  Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 08, 2014, 06:22:37 AM
Something like this probably.

Exactly like this.  Uses a "horn" rather than a knob.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on January 08, 2014, 11:35:38 AM
Here is a better listing of a horn plane Ralph

  The classier planes have a little "ducks butt" to catch the crotch of your thumb, to push against. 
  And the horn is not really straight. It curls around your hand a little.
     http://www.ebay.com/itm/A-outstanding-ULMIA-GERMAN-GERMANY-horn-plane-45mm-scrub-dovetail-/201013890228?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ecd5c8cb4 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/A-outstanding-ULMIA-GERMAN-GERMANY-horn-plane-45mm-scrub-dovetail-/201013890228?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ecd5c8cb4)
  yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 08, 2014, 12:13:54 PM
Oh nice.  Thanks Scott.  I can see that there is no set standard for wood type, and even body style can vary some.  That will give me some freedom to give one my own artistic flair (within reason).

Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 08, 2014, 01:17:59 PM
I found this interesting. I did not know that you pulled the plane.

http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/tag/scrub-plane/ (http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/tag/scrub-plane/)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 08, 2014, 07:12:03 PM
OK Ralph, here is my little horn plane. It is not really a miniature, it's more the size of a block plane.  The poor little guy has had a rough life.  I think that the wood is beech.  There is no sign of a makers mark, but for a shop built tool, it was done by a craftsman.  The blade is forge welded and there is a little decorative groove down each side.  The steel sole is nailed on. I may kill a bladeless molding plane and make him a new little horn.  The crack can be epoxied and he may get a brass bolt through the toe. Scottg, how would osage orange work and look as a horn?

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3131_zpsa611cbb9.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3131_zpsa611cbb9.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3135_zps998681ce.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3135_zps998681ce.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3134_zpsb6751a39.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3134_zpsb6751a39.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3133_zpsb7353cdc.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3133_zpsb7353cdc.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3136_zpsea677d74.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3136_zpsea677d74.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3137_zpsc1efa1f4.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3137_zpsc1efa1f4.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3138_zps98a6bd1f.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3138_zps98a6bd1f.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3141_zps5042f454.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3141_zps5042f454.jpg.html)

(http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb373/johnsironsanctuary/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3143_zps602d6a7b.jpg) (http://s1202.photobucket.com/user/johnsironsanctuary/media/Stanley%20Tools/DSCN3143_zps602d6a7b.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 08, 2014, 10:06:05 PM
Wow John!  What do you think caused that crack?  It looks like a nice weekend project in the shop bringing that plane back to life.  If you decide to invest some time into fixing it, can you post a few more pictures of the finished product?  Thanks.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 09, 2014, 06:53:28 AM
I suspect that the wedge is just a little too wide and the stress from the horn dovetail teamed up to cause the crack. The size of the plane is also a factor. Less area = less strength.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 09, 2014, 07:41:30 AM
I suspect that the wedge is just a little too wide and the stress from the horn dovetail teamed up to cause the crack. The size of the plane is also a factor. Less area = less strength.

That makes sense John.  I know I asked for pictures of the "finished product" if you decide to fix the plane.  If it's not too much to ask, maybe you could add a post with a little writeup and a few pictures, showing the process you went through to fix it.  I'd be interested and I think others would be too.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 09, 2014, 09:14:16 AM
I found this interesting. I did not know that you pulled the plane.

Well, you *can* pull it -- just like you *can* pull a Stanley #5 or a block plane.  And sometimes you have to pull the things.  But the only planes that are *designed * to be pulled are the Japanese planes.  And tat isn't for some mystical reason -- traditionally, Japanese carpenters did not work at a bench, but worked sitting on the floor.  All the horn planes I've played with are bench planes, and the older ones have horns that twist slightly to the left for the left hand to wrap around nicely while pushing.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 09, 2014, 09:42:11 AM
Wow John!  What do you think caused that crack? 
Jim C.

There's the crack at the front, and another crack at the rear, and the wood body is fitted with a metal sole.  Both cracks look like the wood shrank back from the metal sole to me.  What I think caused these cracks was making the body out of pretty near to green wood, which shrank considerably as it finally dried.  If the wedge were tight enough to do that kind of damage, the fellow who made it (and it's definitely shop made) would have trimmed it to fit immediately as it wouldn't have gone in at all. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 09, 2014, 10:35:48 AM
WOW!!! really, John.  That is a Beauty. 
It reflects pride and character just as it is, demonstrating, like an old carpenter, miles and miles and years and years of service.
I see that the iron blade has had a sliver of harder steel forge welded to form the cutting edge; that is ancient.
And the metal sole may have been added as a repair or as a preventative measure to keep it from falling into further disrepair so that this old man could render another 100k miles.
This plane demonstrates, in a most literally Romantic way, the essence of carpentry and the timeless nature of creativity.
It is a real relic and trophy as it is and deserves to be not stashed away but prominently and proudly displayed without cosmetic intervention that would conceal the story that it now tells.
If I could build one that looked as great as this one now does , it would take another 100 years of fine work.
Some old tools can and should be restored for continued service.  But this old man's beauty is in the story that the lines across it's face tell. 


I refer you to the song by Brandi Carlile for The story.


http://youtu.be/o8pQLtHTPaI
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 09, 2014, 10:55:37 AM
Wow John!  What do you think caused that crack? 
Jim C.

There's the crack at the front, and another crack at the rear, and the wood body is fitted with a metal sole.  Both cracks look like the wood shrank back from the metal sole to me.  What I think caused these cracks was making the body out of pretty near to green wood, which shrank considerably as it finally dried.  If the wedge were tight enough to do that kind of damage, the fellow who made it (and it's definitely shop made) would have trimmed it to fit immediately as it wouldn't have gone in at all.

An interesting theory Branson.  I kind of wondered if the metal sole and green wood caused the crack.  I also thought that perhaps a drastic climate change like moving it from a heated shop to an unheated garage, etc. may have contributed to the problem.  Any chance the metal sole was added later in an effort to stop the crack from getting worse?  I'm also very interested in the iron.  I've never seen one with visible layers.  John, do you know the history of the plane?   

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 09, 2014, 11:00:31 AM
I don't know the history. I picked it up on the last day of an estate sale last summer.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on January 09, 2014, 11:07:33 AM
I hope that my message didn't get lost at the bottom of page 10.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 09, 2014, 11:14:54 AM
It didn't get lost Ralph.  I just dozed off while I was designing a shadow box in my head.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on January 09, 2014, 01:07:33 PM
  Hey John
 I suspect your plane got soaking wet for years at one point. Left on the back porch in the rain. When it dried back out it shrank and the combination of the pins in the base and the blade and wedge cause the cracking. 

   I suspect this is what caused the blade to look separated too. The different metals corroding away at different rates.
 
  If I wanted to repair the little plane I would remove the sole plate. Soon as you do, you should try to dry clamp to see if the cracks will close at all. They may not. 
  If they will, then carefully clean the cracks. (not easy, you have to use little picks and a solvent like paint thinner or acetone, and time.)
 When they are good n clean, you can glue it up and clamp.
  I usually use compressed air to blow the glue in, but a soda straw will work.
  I expect you will be drilling new holes for the sole plate but I would definitely put it back.
 
Carving a new horn you will do mostly by hand, the slow way. You can rough it out by power and maybe use rotary rasps in a drill press, but from there it'll be hand rasps/files scrapers and sandpaper.

 Last you will have to refit the wedge and probably the blade as well.

 Oh, osage orange will contrast quite a bit with old beech. Lately I have using African mahogany (I don't see any relation to any other mahogany myself, but that is what they call it in the trades.)
  Its not expensive to buy, its very sturdy and it looks pretty close!
     yours Scott   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 09, 2014, 06:25:18 PM
>I haven't pulled off the sole yet, but  if it was straight grained, wouldn't it crack at the nails first?

Not necessarily.  Think about green fence boards and how they crack if the nails are too far apart on, say an 8 inch board.  There are quite a few of these in the fence that came with my property.  Most are split near the center.

> If it was made from green stock, drying on the tight wedge would crack it both fore and aft.

There is a split aft as well as fore, just doesn't go all the way through.  If the wood in the wedge was just as green, it would have shrunk too, and wouldn't have been able to crack the body.

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 09, 2014, 06:36:34 PM
An intereting theory Branson.  I kind of wondered if the metal sole and green wood caused the crack.  I also thought that perhaps a drastic climate change like moving it from a heated shop to an unheated garage, etc. may have contributed to the problem.  Any chance the metal sole was added later in an effort to stop the crack from getting worse?  I'm also very interested in the iron.  I've never seen one with visible layers.  John, do you know the history of the plane?   
Jim C.

Looking closer, I notice the side up at the front of the plane spreads over the sole.  So that makes me think the crack was something the wood wanted to do, like green wood sometimes does.  Drastic climate change would have affected the wedge as well, so I don't think that's the answer.  I also doubt that plane in its youth ever saw a garage or a much heated shop.  It's definitely got some age on it.

The metal soles I've seen were added as wear plates rather than mending plates, and I think that's its original purpose.  The steel on the iron looks like a quick blacksmith job -- I have an adze that was re-steeled like that.  I believe that it just wasn't refined, and definitely not factory made.  It doesn't even appear to be tapered back from the cutting edge.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 09, 2014, 07:31:27 PM
The real question is, why would someone experienced enough to make a plane from scratch be dumb enough to use green stock.  I like Scott's back porch theory. The guy that made the plane wasn't the one that screwed it up. It happened several owners later. It probably happened after the plane had outlived it's usefulness and was in a pile of stuff on the back porch or in a shed that needed a roof. It wasn't wet for long, because the finish is still there and the wood looks old, but not water damaged. I don't think that the sole was ever rusty, but the iron sure is.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 09, 2014, 09:20:21 PM
The real question is, why would someone experienced enough to make a plane from scratch be dumb enough to use green stock.  I like Scott's back porch theory. The guy that made the plane wasn't the one that screwed it up. It happened several owners later. It probably happened after the plane had outlived it's usefulness and was in a pile of stuff on the back porch or in a shed that needed a roof. It wasn't wet for long, because the finish is still there and the wood looks old, but not water damaged. I don't think that the sole was ever rusty, but the iron sure is.

So are you thinking about fixing it up?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on January 10, 2014, 09:04:59 AM
Jim, that was where I was going ever since I bought it. There is some logic in wife naming my shop
'The Iron Sanctuary'. Tools are safe from the scrapper once I own them. At the bottom of page 10, Ralph suggested that maybe proudly preserving the little guy might be ahead of restoration. If I do restore him, he will be pretty far down on a long list for this winter. I am pondering.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 10, 2014, 07:32:04 PM
Jim, that was where I was going ever since I bought it. There is some logic in wife naming my shop
'The Iron Sanctuary'. Tools are safe from the scrapper once I own them. At the bottom of page 10, Ralph suggested that maybe proudly preserving the little guy might be ahead of restoration. If I do restore him, he will be pretty far down on a long list for this winter. I am pondering.

Well if you do get to it, please keep us in the loop!  Also, I'm glad that "The Iron Sanctuary" exists.  There needs to be more of those places.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 16, 2014, 11:20:40 PM
I’ll admit that I’m partial to Stanley hand planes above those made by other manufacturers.  Still, that in no way should lead anyone to believe that planes made by other companies were any less useful, or valuable (if you’re a collector).  One of Stanley’s biggest competitors was Sargent.  Although many of Sargent’s plane designs were suspiciously similar to Stanley products, Sargent had a few originals to call their own.  I’m extremely fond of Sargent’s Autoset series of bench planes and their “ladybug” rabbet planes.  Still, there’s one more Sargent plane that I absolutely had to have for its utility value alone…… 

Sargent #507:

I’ve always been a sucker for block planes.  I have a few more than my share but I’ve always got room for one more.  The more unusual they are, the more I want them.  I bought a Sargent #507 several years ago thinking that it might be handy to use on a project that involved making some large mortise and tenon joints.   With its rabbet sides, it seemed to be the perfect plane to get right into the corner of a tenon cheek and shoulder.   I was actually right about that!  With a super sharp iron and set up for a light pass, this plane can fine tune a large tenon as well as any plane, if not better.  The #507 was produced by Sargent from 1913 to 1943.  As one could imagine, its arched sides proved to be relatively fragile, and dropping one of these planes on the floor most likely meant its end.  I’ve seen several with cracked and repaired arches.  Although it can function as most any other block plane can, I really think that it is best suited to creating larger, perfect fitting tenons.  Its fixed, non-adjustable throat, does cause some limitations that other more traditional block planes overcome.  Stressing a #507, as one might with a normal block plane, could cause it to break along its arches.  It is fragile, but so useful, that I’d still recommend it for certain tasks.  I suspect that the plane depicted below was one of Sargent’s earlier examples.  If you take a look at the photo of the iron, notice that it is stamped with “VBM.”  That stands for Very Best Made and was on most Sargent irons produced between 1910 and 1918.  This plane isn’t too uncommon, but still less so than the average looking block plane.  Interestingly, for all the rabbet plane patterns that Stanley made, it never produced a block plane that looked like the Sargent #507.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 20, 2014, 06:59:41 PM
Stanley Bedrock Bench Planes:

At some point between 1898 and 1900, Stanley started manufacturing a premium line of bench planes called “Bedrocks.”  They were offered in just about every size as one could find in the standard series of bench planes, #1 - #8, with the exception of the #1 size.  By 1935, Stanley had dropped most Bedrock models from its product line, however a few lasted until 1943.  At a quick glance, most Bedrock bench planes can be identified by their flat top sides, however, earlier versions, made prior to 1911, had rounded sides just like the standard Stanley bench planes that we're all familiar with.  Bedrocks can also be identified by their model numbers.  Where standard bench planes were numbered 1 – 8, Bedrocks were numbered 602 – 608.  The very earliest Bedrocks retained the standard 2 – 8 numbering system (1898 – 1899).  By 1900, they were numbered in the 600 series.  Like the standard bench planes, the Bedrocks could also be had in ¼ and ½ sizes (ie. #604 ½, etc.)  In terms of being collectable Bedrocks are no different than any other series of planes.  Some are more valuable than others, and now, decades later, some are highly prized by collectors for their rarity.  Two of the more desirable examples are the #602C (1900 – 1918) and the #605 ¼ (1925 – 1943).  It should be noted that Stanley also made versions of the Bedrock planes for Keen Kutter, marked with a K and plane size (ie. K2 – K8) and Winchester, marked with a W and plane size (ie. W2 – W8).   As always, condition plays a big part in the tool’s ultimate value.

What makes the Bedrock bench plane different from its standard counter part, is the unique way in which the frog and bed are designed, milled, and mated together within extremely close tolerances.  The frog and bed on most standard bench planes contact each other on the front and back of both parts.  The area in between does not touch, leaving significant air space between the parts, which are connected together via two slotted head screws passing through the frog into the bed.  The bearing surfaces are very small in comparison to the full contact surfaces of the Bedrock models.  The Bedrock frog and bed are in full contact with each other across their entire length and width as a result of carefully milling both parts.  To accomplish the union, the two parts are connected via two pins that pass through the frog into the bed.  Then screws with tapered ends, running at a perpendicular angle through the back of the bed, go into tapered dimples in the pins.  The pins are drawn downward by the tapered ends of the screws going into the pin dimples, pulling the frog and the bed together to form a solid union, hence their name, Bedrock.

In theory, it would seem that the Bedrocks would produce significantly better results because of their precise construction and close tolerances.  With the exception of their frog and bed construction/connection, Bedrocks were equipped with the same cutting iron, chip breaker, lever cap, knob and tote, and hardware that were found on the standard bench planes of their time.  They may have been slightly heavier too, but not appreciably so as to produce better results than a standard bench plane outfitted with a sharp iron and proper tuning.  I guess it will be up to you to decide for sure.  I have a few Bedrocks, and I must say that I’m drawn to their hype, real or perceived.  Today because of their reputation, they are highly sought after by users and collectors alike.  Of all my bench planes, my most favorite to use is my #605 ½.  For some reason, everything about that plane is perfect, and the results prove it.  We’ll talk more about that particular plane in a future post.

Below, I have included a few pictures of a Stanley #604 Bedrock, Type 8, manufactured between 1927 and 1930. (See pictures 1 - 6)  For comparison purposes to a standard bench plane from the same era, I have also included a few pictures of the frog and bed design of a Stanley #4 ½, Type 14, manufactured between 1929 and 1930. (See pictures 7 - 10)  Both planes are of the same vintage, yet notice the differences between their frog and bed designs, as well as the manner in which they fit together.  As you can see, their construction is very different from each other.  Did that construction translate to the Bedrock out performing the standard bench plane?  ?????  Some say yes, some say no.   

Jim C.                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 25, 2014, 04:05:46 PM
I thought I’d spend a little time today hitting on a few topics that we discussed in the past, and expanding on a few others.  If all goes well, I’ll introduce another Stanley block plane, point out some of its features, add in a little more WWII production information, and compare and contrast the construction of three Stanley block planes from three consecutive decades, 1930s through 1950s.

Stanley #9 ½:

This block plane has got to be one of Stanley’s all time best sellers.  Stanley probably sold millions of them.  It’s very similar to the #9 ¼ discussed earlier in the thread (check out the thread index to find the #9 ¼ ).  The major difference is its adjustable throat (photo #5 below).  Being able to control the thickness of the shaving passing through the throat of the plane just adds more versatility to its overall utility.  With a really sharp cutting iron and the throat set for a fine shaving, this plane will do a better than satisfactory job when trimming end grain and a great job on straight grain.  The #9 ½ was a part of Stanley’s product line from 1872 well into the 1980s.  It was as basic and easy to use as any block plane ever produced.  Any casual home DIYer would have this plane for the occasional trimming job.  Even today, they’re very commonly found online, at garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, grandpa’s old tool box, etc., etc.  The good thing about them is that they’re also extremely affordable, so be a little picky if you decide to buy one for use or for your collection.  Although parts are easy to find, get one that’s intact, undamaged and ready to work.  There are plenty to be had in almost any condition. 

Now, let’s go back and take a quick look at original packaging again.  See the picture with the two boxes (photo #2 below)?   The box on the left came with the #9 ½ depicted below (photo #3).  Compare that box to the one on the right, which came with the #9 ¼ discussed earlier in the thread.  What do you see?  Based on our previous discussion (page 2, reply 29), can you tell me which box was most likely produced during WWII?  If you picked the drab olive colored box on the left, you’d be correct.  But again, boxes don’t always tell the entire story when approximating the age of the plane inside.  If you notice the label on the box, it has Stanley’s Sweet Hart logo on it (photo #1 below), and that pre-dates WWII by at least a decade or so.  Also remember that Stanley used everything until it was gone.  So we have a late 1920s – early 1930s logo on the box, and a mid 1940s box.  Approximately how old is the plane?  We better take a look at the plane itself.  What’s interesting about many WWII era block planes is the way in which they were constructed.  There are some characteristics that were commonly found, or not, on block planes that were manufactured between late 1942 and 1946.

If you take a look at the main castings of the three planes stacked one above the other (photo #6 below), you’ll see the #9 ¼ (Type 23, 1956 – 1959) on top, the #9 ½ (Type 20, 1943- 1946) in the middle, and a #19 (Type 14, 1930 – 1935) on the bottom.  There are basically three common Stanley block planes from three consecutive decades depicted.  The first thing that one notices (or not) on the #9 ½ is the fact that it’s missing the little finger holds milled into its sides.  Stanley coined the term “Hand-y” to designate the finger holds, and patented the feature somewhere around 1897.  As a result, virtually every conventional looking block plane manufactured by Stanley after 1897 had the Hand-y holds…… except for those manufactured during WWII.  For some reason, many of the Stanley block planes from that period were produced without them.  Take a look at the photo depicting the three main castings side by side (photo #7 below).  The #19 is on the left, the #9 ½ is in the center, and the #9 ¼ is on the right.  Take specific note of the castings themselves.  See how the #9 ½ casting is much thicker than the other two?  WWII castings were typically thicker than the castings of planes produced before and after the war.  For those of you who are really interested in the details, get to know the trimmings on each plane.  Often planes with normally nickel plated parts, or brass parts, were substituted with steel parts during WWII production.   We’ll talk more about block planes in future posts.  Stanley made dozens of block plane models, so we’ve still got a lot of ground to cover.

Jim C.                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 01, 2014, 07:25:38 PM
In a few prior posts, I’ve mentioned Lie Nielsen (LN) planes.  Years ago I was only vaguely familiar with LN tools and mostly viewed them as a little too expensive for my needs.  At the time, I was a hardcore disciple of power tools, and never thought I’d get my money’s worth out of a hand plane, let alone a LN hand plane.  If you recall from an earlier post, I admitted not knowing much about planes, but encountered a project (kitchen island top) that forced me to learn more about them as quickly as possible.  That realization eventually lead me to LN.  At the time it was the only place I knew of that had the customer support and tools for the job at hand.  I hadn’t even considered going the “used tool” route, and even if I had, I don’t think I would have because I needed the tools “now” and I had no real leads on where to find good used planes.  On top of that, I really didn’t know anything at all about getting an old plane back in working order.

After buying, and successfully using the LN planes to make the island in my kitchen, I became a life long LN fan.  I was added to the LN mailing list and routinely received their catalogs, post cards, and other mailed sales materials.  I saved them all (going back to 1999) only because I really enjoyed looking at the nice photographs and reading about high quality tools.  I wanted them but I really couldn't afford them.  I slowly started drifting into the world of more affordable user antique planes, but I remained loyal to LN even to this day.  I have only a few LN tools, but greatly appreciate them for their American made quality and the amazing results they can produce practically right out of the box.  Once per year, LN representatives demonstrate their tools at a local custom furniture maker’s shop.  I look forward to attending that event every Spring.  I don’t normally buy anything, but I do enjoy trying out the tools and holding them in my hands.

Lie Nielsen #97 ½:

I received this plane several years ago as a gift from a very good friend.  As you can see, it’s a chisel plane.  Although it’s a generally mass produced tool, like all LN tools, it has the look and feel of being a custom made one of a kind item.  The fit, finish, and attention to quality is clearly apparent.  The plane is really heavy for its size and is fitted with a 3/16” thick cutting iron.  It’s a very nice tool.  While I’ve owned this plane for more than a decade, I really can’t say that I use it too often.  It’s really best suited to tasks like cleaning and trimming into the corners of various joints.  I suppose it can be handy, but I've found that ordinary chisels can accomplish the same tasks just as easily and for a lot less money most likely.  If you go back and take a look at the Stanley #90, you’ll remember that it can be converted into a small chisel plane just by removing its top casting (page 2, reply 25).  LN also makes a larger version of the chisel plane directly modeled after the Stanley #97 chisel plane that was produced from 1905 to 1943.  Stanley originally marketed the #97 as a “piano makers” plane.  I can’t tell you why, because I’ve never made a piano, but I’ve seen old Stanley sales materials touting the plane’s utility in the piano and cabinet making trades.  Original Stanleys are almost ten inches long, as is the larger LN version.  At that length, I can’t imagine them getting into tight spots or being very handy for anything other than trimming tasks with plenty of room to maneuver.  With that in mind, LN created a smaller chisel plane, the #97 ½ , which is approximately 6 ½” long.  While the plane depicted below is a beautiful and functional tool, it’s hard to say that it really earns its keep in my shop.....but it is a beautiful tool and I really do enjoy just holding it in my hand.  While I would NEVER dissuade any one from splurging a little and buying a new LN tool, I’d place the chisel plane (LN, Stanley or otherwise) lower on my “must have” list.  If you are considering a LN chisel plane, I’d get the small one.  The full size #97 version is really too big in my opinion, and I believe that its size diminishes its versatility.  We’ll talk more about the Stanley #97 in a future post.

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 04, 2014, 04:32:18 PM
Now that is a beauty.  I think that I need one of those - miniature, of course.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 04, 2014, 04:38:25 PM
Now that is a beauty.  I think that I need one of those - miniature, of course.   Ralph

That would be really awesome to see Ralph, and you're just the man to make it happen!  If you need actual dimensions to get the scale correct, just let me know.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 04, 2014, 06:14:53 PM
Thanks, Jim.  I think that I've almost got it from the pics you've posted.  But knowing the width and seeing the bottom of the blade would help.  I assume that the blade has a notch or two on the under side to allow for adjusting?  Not sure how to do that.  I'll study it some.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 05, 2014, 10:34:35 AM
Hi Ralph,

I took a few more pictures of the cutting iron adjustment detail and a few more measurements.  The overall length of the plane is 6 3/8".  The width is 1 3/4".  The actual length of the blade is 3 11/16".  The blade has only been honed and rarely used, so that's pretty much its original length.  The length of the cutting iron bed/ramp is 3 1/16".  Any other details/measurements you need don't hesitate to ask.  I'm not sure how much information you want, so just let me know.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 05, 2014, 01:00:04 PM
Thanks, Jim.  Got it.  Now I just need to get to it.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 06, 2014, 03:54:39 PM
I've got a good start on the miniature chisel plane, but have been bogged down several times.  This sweet little plane has some features that I have not encountered before, and trial and much error have prevailed.  The body was difficult enough with that 12 degree angle swoop which complicated the installation of the adjusting knob threaded shaft AND the placement of the lever cap bolt.  But creating a blade was a project all its own.  I cut steel strips from an old used circular saw blade with an industrial grinder and suspected immediately that cutting the key hole and the notch on the under side was going to be a trick.  Nothing I have would drill through nor even mark it.  The notch was all but impossible.  After I annealed it, drilling and cutting a notch became possible, yet difficult.  Next the lever cap and knob.  Then hardening and sharpening the blade, and smooth filing, sanding, buffing and polishing all around.   Ralph


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chiselplane002_zpsf938d082.jpg)


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chiselplane001_zps340a40ce.jpg)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: rusty on February 06, 2014, 07:14:14 PM
Typical hardness of saw blade steel is around 60, titanium drill bits around 63.....chuckle...
Looking good ....
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 06, 2014, 09:00:34 PM
I've got a good start on the miniature chisel plane, but have been bogged down several times.  This sweet little plane has some features that I have not encountered before, and trial and much error have prevailed.  The body was difficult enough with that 12 degree angle swoop which complicated the installation of the adjusting knob threaded shaft AND the placement of the lever cap bolt.  But creating a blade was a project all its own.  I cut steel strips from an old used circular saw blade with an industrial grinder and suspected immediately that cutting the key hole and the notch on the under side was going to be a trick.  Nothing I have would drill through nor even mark it.  The notch was all but impossible.  After I annealed it, drilling and cutting a notch became possible, yet difficult.  Next the lever cap and knob.  Then hardening and sharpening the blade, and smooth filing, sanding, buffing and polishing all around.   Ralph


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chiselplane002_zpsf938d082.jpg)


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chiselplane001_zps340a40ce.jpg)

Looking really good Ralph!! You're right on track and doing some amazing work as usual!!  If you need more photos or measurements, just let me know.  I'm very happy to help you in any way that I can.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 07, 2014, 08:55:01 AM
Thanks, Rusty.  If I had known that it couldn't be done ( with the tools and equipment I have), I wouldn't have tried.  Sometimes my ignorant tenacious disposition allows me to do things that I didn't know were impossible. 

Thanks again Jim C.  I'm well on the way.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 08, 2014, 09:26:56 AM
Jim C., I did not mean to hijack your string, but that's where I got the idea for my latest project.  The chisel plane may not be all that useful in the shop, but the miniature made for a nice model.   Ralph


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chisleplane3004_zpscbf89be0.jpg)


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chisleplane2001_zps8964f587.jpg)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on February 08, 2014, 11:42:56 AM
Another little master piece. Great job as usual Ralph.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 08, 2014, 05:21:19 PM
Jim C., I did not mean to hijack your string, but that's where I got the idea for my latest project.  The chisel plane may not be all that useful in the shop, but the miniature made for a nice model.   Ralph


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chisleplane3004_zpscbf89be0.jpg)


(http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s405/flyingtractors1/Chisleplane2001_zps8964f587.jpg)

Hi Ralph!  Your miniature model of the chisel plane turned out FANTASTIC to say the least!  No problem jumping into the thread.  It's not just limited to MY enjoyment of hand planes.  I really started the thread to talk about EVERYONE's enjoyment of these particular woodworking tools.... Old, new, large, small, mass produced, one of a kind, wood, metal... whatever!!  I think it's GREAT to see shop made planes by the members of this site.  As a matter of fact, I'm very happy that you included your latest creation in this thread.  I think everyone who comes to this forum appreciates your work and your artistry.  Well done!  As for the usefulness of chisel planes in general, they have their place in the shop.  To date, I haven't found that one task that it, and only it, can accomplish..... but one never knows.  Anyway, amazing work Ralph!  Thanks for featuring your chisel plane in this thread.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on February 08, 2014, 05:45:31 PM
Ralph,

Is that sterling also?

Larry
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 08, 2014, 05:53:08 PM
Thanks, Jim C. for giving me the idea and for appreciating my work.  The first thing you wrote in this thread was, "I like hand planes."  It appealed to me instantly and to many others as evidenced by the response to the thread.  I too like planes and have learned much from this publication.    Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 08, 2014, 06:40:45 PM
Thanks Ralph.  I'm glad that you were inspired.  Somewhere along the way, I said I'd try to keep the thread interesting too.  Well, your work is always VERY interesting every time!  As for the content I occasionally add, well, it's a little more hit or miss.  I can't always tell if the posts are good reading or just blah, blah, blah.  I still have more hand planes to add to the thread so hopefully there will be something that will also ignite someone else's interest for whatever reason.  I'm really glad that the Lie-Nielsen #97 1/2 chisel plane post motivated you.  I have a few more Lie-Nielsen planes coming, so stay tuned.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 08, 2014, 07:56:34 PM
Hi, Larry. 

No - The chisel plane is brass.  If I'd had some bronze stock I would have more closely emulated the Lie Nielson line, but it's hard to find in the dimensions I like to use.  Brass is easy to find and to work with.  Would rather work with silver, but . . .   Yet some things actually look better done in brass.

Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 08, 2014, 08:02:31 PM
Hi, Jim C.  Your posts do make interesting and informative reading.  I'm with you on this trek.  And I am glad that you and Papaw have cataloged the posts.  This has become a great documented resource.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 15, 2014, 10:19:59 AM
As I’ve mentioned several times before, Stanley made MANY different patterns of block planes over the years.  Most actually worked very well and filled some real needs in the market place, while others were probably not as useful.  Stanley wanted to fill every niche.

Stanley #118:

I’m not sure if this his particular block plane filled a real niche in the market place or not, but Stanley produced it for at least five decades, beginning in 1933 and going well into the 1980s.  So, it must have achieved some level of success, otherwise Stanley would have dropped it from its product line.  When examining the #118 closely, one will see that it does look a little different than other block planes featured earlier in the thread.  One of the major differences is that its body and pressure cap are made of steel versus the more traditional cast iron.  The reason being that if the plane was ever dropped or abused, it would not readily crack like a cast iron model.  This is where the “niche” factor comes into play.  Stanley marketed the plane as being unbreakable, and perfect for use by school age boys.  Basically, it could “take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”  The construction of the #118 was very similar to the body of the chisel gauge mentioned above (page 6, reply 75) in the thread.  Both are stamped from steel and then bent into shape.  I’m trying to imagine the presses and machines that created these planes.  Watch your fingers!!!!

Some real thinking went into this plane.  In keeping with the “boy proof” design, one will see that the plane can only be disassembled into three parts; the main body, the pressure cap assembly and the cutting iron.  The parts that were normally held together with small screws and threaded knobs, etc. are fixed in place and would require an intentionally destructive force (possibly a young woodworker to be) to get them apart.  The other reason all the small parts are fixed is to minimize their loss.   Young kids have a habit of losing things.  Notice how the thumbscrew on the pressure cap has a fixed washer on it to prevent its removal from the cap itself.  Also notice how the cutting iron adjustment screw at the rear of the plane has a heavy duty “C” clip on it to keep it in place and prevent its removal.  Even the traditional screw usually found holding the cutting iron and pressure cap to the body of the plane has been replaced with a fixed, non threaded post.  (It's a little hard to see because it's finished in black and blends in with the body of the plane and the pressure cap.)  Finally, the little knob at the front of the plane is fixed in place and cannot be unscrewed. 

I suspect that Stanley made a fair amount of these planes.  As I mentioned earlier, they were in production for at least half a century.  I do see them from time to time in various states of condition.  The earliest models usually have embossed raised letters at the front of the plane that say “Stanley No. 118” and are highlighted in a reddish/orange color.  I cannot think of any other plane that Stanley ever produced where the Stanley name and/or model number was highlighted in a contrasting color.  It’s certainly an interesting little plane purely for its unusual construction and the reasoning behind its production. 

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes - Stanley 118
Post by: Branson on February 17, 2014, 07:18:35 AM
Yep, boy-proof.  These saw a lot of school use because they wouldn't break when dropped, and parts were hard to lose.  I picked one up at a flea market a couple of years ago (I'm a sucker for low angle block planes), along with another similarly made version by Sargent.  A little negotiating and the seller accepted $15 for both.   Satisfying little planes to use, and great for clumsy days in the shop.
Title: Re: Hand Planes - Stanley 118
Post by: Jim C. on February 17, 2014, 01:32:38 PM
Yep, boy-proof.  These saw a lot of school use because they wouldn't break when dropped, and parts were hard to lose.  I picked one up at a flea market a couple of years ago (I'm a sucker for low angle block planes), along with another similarly made version by Sargent.  A little negotiating and the seller accepted $15 for both.   Satisfying little planes to use, and great for clumsy days in the shop.

Hi Branson,

Thanks for checking in.  I think the Sargent version of the all steel "unbreakable" block plane was their model #4206.  It's not a plane that one sees too often, as it was only manufactured by Sargent between 1913 and 1918.  It's kind of rare, so you're lucky to have an example in your collection.  I don't have one.  Could you post a picture of yours?  I'd really like to see it.  Thanks.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Sargent boy proof plane
Post by: Branson on February 20, 2014, 06:43:35 AM
Here you go.  These pictures were taken the day I found the planes.  First is the Sargent by itself, the other two show both planes for comparison.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 20, 2014, 01:40:38 PM
Hey Branson,

Thanks for posting a few pictures!  That Sargent #4206 isn't one I've seen too often.  It's always nice to get a look at a rare old plane.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on February 20, 2014, 07:16:14 PM
I really like the looks of those planes.  Thanks for posting.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 21, 2014, 08:25:31 AM
I liked the looks of them, too.  The price sold me on them, but I'm a sucker for block planes.  I appreciate knowing the production dates for the Sargent!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 21, 2014, 08:44:27 AM
Being, as I said, a sucker for block planes, I just picked this one up on eBay.  No marks on it other than Made in USA, no mark on the blade.  (It appears to be painted black, not Japanned, so I might strip it and repaint.) There's no adjustment mechanism, so it was probably inexpensive, but a corrugated block plane?  Just had to have it.

Any idea who might have made it?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 21, 2014, 12:35:30 PM
Hi Branson,

I think you've got a relatively unusual little block plane.  One does not see block planes too often with corrugated soles.  That's certainly not the norm.  My initial guess is that your plane may have been manufactured by Union Tools, but I'm really not 100% sure about that.  I'll have to do a liitle more research.  Sometimes the cutting irons on old planes are so heavy with decades of layered age/patina, that their respective manufacturer's stamp has been obscured to the point of being almost undistinguished.  I'd hate to see the plane be over cleaned and lose it's well aged characteristics, but take one more look at the cutting iron for a manufacturer's stamp.  I've gotten to the point where I now occasionally need a magnifying glass to make out some of the details on old tools.  When I get home, I'll try to do a little more research and maybe determine who made that plane.  Thanks for posting the pictures.  I love a good mystery.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 22, 2014, 09:07:00 AM
It's the first corrugated block plane I've seen.  Now that you mention it, Union Tools sounds likely.  The iron has little rust and even with the magnifying glass I cannot find even the vestige of a mark. 

I don't know that the corrugated sole planes actually work better, but they're cool.  And now I have a low angle block to join my other Cs.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on February 22, 2014, 12:51:02 PM
This is just bizarrely unusual!
 Its kind of a semi low angle isn't it?
 Not quite as low as a 60 1/2, but lower than a #9 1/2??

  Then, no adjuster on a 6" + plane, with no wooden knob in front? Made in USA.....
 And corrugated?????
I wonder if that is the original lever cap? Looks like a Stanley at first glance.  If its correct to the plane that would be a clue.
 Could be Auburn, could be Union, could even be Ohio??
       Definitely cool whose-ever it is!
  If they were common we'd have all seen plenty of them.
     yours Scott 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 22, 2014, 01:50:47 PM
This is just bizarrely unusual!
 Its kind of a semi low angle isn't it?
 Not quite as low as a 60 1/2, but lower than a #9 1/2??

  Then, no adjuster on a 6" + plane, with no wooden knob in front? Made in USA.....
 And corrugated?????
I wonder if that is the original lever cap? Looks like a Stanley at first glance.  If its correct to the plane that would be a clue.
 Could be Auburn, could be Union, could even be Ohio??
       Definitely cool whose-ever it is!
  If they were common we'd have all seen plenty of them.
     yours Scott

I have to agree with Scott on this one.  The pressure cap initially made me think of Stanley, but it also resembles Union caps that I've seen.  Stanley never made a block plane with a corrugated sole...at least I can't think of one.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think Stanley bought Union at some point.  Maybe that accounts for the "Stanley like" cap.  I haven't had a chance to check some reference materials, but I will.  Block planes with corrugated soles are definitely not the norm.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 26, 2014, 03:21:47 PM
There are so many different tools that can be used to shape, contour, and add some design to wood.  Stanley, like many other companies, manufactured several such tools to include spoke shaves, draw knives, and hand beaders.  All were created to take the square corners, flat surfaces and sharp edges of a project and turn them into something more than just a utilitarian object.  Sometimes less is more.  Simple, well executed joints are an art form in and of themselves.  I’m still trying to master them.  However, there are times when a curve that was hand made with a spoke shave, or a detail that was added with carving tools, can really be the difference between an object and an heirloom.  In an effort to try and stay within the hand plane parameters of the thread, I thought it might be interesting to highlight a tool that functions and looks somewhat like a spoke shave, yet can bring a little flair to a flat wooden surface.  I’m referring to a hand beader, sometimes called a scratch stock.  These simple tools hold a small piece of spring steel that can be ground and/or filed into almost any shape imaginable.  With a fence or some sort of adjustable standard, the shaped piece of steel can be dragged across the flat surface of a piece of wood, using the perpendicular face of the wood as a guide.  The steel cutter then scribes the desired design into the wood.  As the cutter scratches down into the surface, it can occasionally be adjusted to cut deeper, finally reaching a depth where the beads, reeds, and flutes are complete.  The beauty of the hand beader is its utility, simplicity, and the infinite number of shapes that can be created from spring steel blanks.  I’ve seen many steel blanks that started out as pieces of old hand saw blades.  Although a router setup in a table, or a shaper with various cutters will produce very nice results and a similar look, there is no questioning the craftsmanship when the same detail was made using a hand tool.  The slight imperfections and characteristics of being hand made are what set the cherished “heirloom" apart from the ordinary "object."

Stanley #66 hand beader:

Manufactured by Stanley from 1886 to 1941, the #66 was supplied with a straight fence for straight work, and a curved fence for projects with some contours.  The very earliest models were finished with black japanning (1886 to 1898), and were cast with the 2/9/1886 patent date on the right handle.  They also employed an extra tall brass screw to hold the guide fences in place.  Initially, the #66 included seven double ended cutters, to include a double ended router type cutter. (see the last picture, far right cutter with little hooks on its ends)  The Stanley supplied cutters included shapes that allowed the user the ability to produce beads, reeds and flutes.  Later models of the #66 were nickel plated, and included one extra blank cutter that could be shaped by the final consumer.  The blank cutter was added as a standard feature in 1909. (see last picture, second from the right, with the double square edges)  The #66 below is complete as it would have been sold between 1886 and 1898.  The double ended blank was included in the picture for reference purposes only and would not have been included with earlier examples.  The #66 can be had in nearly any condition, as it isn’t overly rare.  Still, like any tool with multiple cutters, screws, fences, etc. finding a complete example with age appropriate parts is a little more difficult.  When I bought the #66 depicted below, it was missing its double ended router cutter.  I had to do a little searching to find one.  It’s also not unusual to find a #66 that’s missing one of its two fences.  One is usually attached to the tool and the other one lost in the bottom of a long forgotten toolbox, or just plain gone forever.  The same goes for the cutters.  One is usually mounted in the tool and the others are ?????  The #66 is really a fun tool to use.  If one ever comes your way, and the price is right, buy it just for the “fun factor” alone.  Original cutters are a little scarce, but there are vendors out there who are making current replacements.  As stated earlier, the cutters can also be made from scrap spring steel that might just be collecting dust in your shop.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on February 26, 2014, 03:41:40 PM
That's a cool tool, Jim!! I have never used one since my carpentry skills are poor to say the least, but I remember my father using one years ago.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 26, 2014, 03:53:43 PM
That's a cool tool, Jim!! I have never used one since my carpentry skills are poor to say the least, but I remember my father using one years ago.

Hey Papaw,

Thanks for checking in.  The hand beader is practically fool proof to use.  Secure the work to your bench, then set the fence on the tool to the desired distance away from the edge of the workpiece.  Mount the cutter into the tool and initially set it for a light pass.  Be mindful of keeping the fence up against the edge of the workpiece and just start pulling the tool.  Keep downward pressure on the tool and the cutter will start scratching into the wood.  Occasionally lower the cutter until you've scratched your way to the bottom of the cut, which is usually the lowest section of the cutter's profile.  You can do it!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on February 26, 2014, 06:15:50 PM
Hi Branson,

I think you've got a relatively unusual little block plane.  One does not see block planes too often with corrugated soles.  That's certainly not the norm.  My initial guess is that your plane may have been manufactured by Union Tools, but I'm really not 100% sure about that.  I'll have to do a liitle more research.  Sometimes the cutting irons on old planes are so heavy with decades of layered age/patina, that their respective manufacturer's stamp has been obscured to the point of being almost undistinguished.  I'd hate to see the plane be over cleaned and lose it's well aged characteristics, but take one more look at the cutting iron for a manufacturer's stamp.  I've gotten to the point where I now occasionally need a magnifying glass to make out some of the details on old tools.  When I get home, I'll try to do a little more research and maybe determine who made that plane.  Thanks for posting the pictures.  I love a good mystery.

Jim C.

I saw one of these in an antique shop in NY and I'm 99% sure it was marked Union.  Still not sure why I didn't buy it.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 26, 2014, 09:16:57 PM
Being, as I said, a sucker for block planes, I just picked this one up on eBay.  No marks on it other than Made in USA, no mark on the blade.  (It appears to be painted black, not Japanned, so I might strip it and repaint.) There's no adjustment mechanism, so it was probably inexpensive, but a corrugated block plane?  Just had to have it.

Any idea who might have made it?

Hi Branson,

Although I'm still not 100% sure about who may have manufactured your corrugated sole block plane, I'm starting to lean toward it having possibly been made by O. R. Chaplin.  The pressure cap on your plane is still throwing me off because it does resemble the type of cap that was characteristic of something manufactured by Stanley (or possibly Union???).  That being said, I'm fairly certain that Stanley never made a corrugated sole block plane.  Perhaps the pressure cap is not original to the plane.  I do know that Chaplin made a fairly large corrugated sole block plane with a fixed throat, that was approximately seven inches long with a two inch wide cutting iron.  I believe that it was model #420.  Regardless, it's still a really unusual and unique plane.  I'm really glad that you posted a couple pictures of it.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 27, 2014, 07:51:48 AM
Scratch stocks are the bomb!  Need to duplicate a molding on a chest you're repairing, to match the rest of the molding that is intact?  The scratch stock is the answer!  I have one I made, a rough thing of scrap wood that I used to duplicate the molded skirt on a table leaf, and later to match the molding on a mid-1800s blanket chest.  Another is shop made by some English cabinet maker, nicely turned, but unloved on eBay. 

I found, years ago, one of the nickel plated #66 Stanleys.  It came with the straight fence and no blades.  Later, I ran across one of the curved fences that got lost at the bottom of some tool chest.  Still no blades, though.  Checking the bottoms of old tool chests....
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 27, 2014, 11:07:08 AM
Scratch stocks are the bomb!  Need to duplicate a molding on a chest you're repairing, to match the rest of the molding that is intact?  The scratch stock is the answer!  I have one I made, a rough thing of scrap wood that I used to duplicate the molded skirt on a table leaf, and later to match the molding on a mid-1800s blanket chest.  Another is shop made by some English cabinet maker, nicely turned, but unloved on eBay. 

I found, years ago, one of the nickel plated #66 Stanleys.  It came with the straight fence and no blades.  Later, I ran across one of the curved fences that got lost at the bottom of some tool chest.  Still no blades, though.  Checking the bottoms of old tool chests....

Hey Branson,

Could you please post a few pictures of the scratch stock that you made?  I think it would really add a lot to the discussion if others could see how simply these tools can be made in the shop and then used.  Thanks.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 01, 2014, 05:54:47 AM
[Hey Branson,
Could you please post a few pictures of the scratch stock that you made?  I think it would really add a lot to the discussion if others could see how simply these tools can be made in the shop and then used.  Thanks.

Don't know that I can find it for a while, probably a long while.  It's a very simple thing, made like a marking gauge.  It has a 1" square bar that
goes through a wedged fence.  The bar is slit lengthwise with a simple saw kerf just wide enough to slip in a piece of old saw blade snugly, perpendicular to the bottom of the bar.   Once the blade is cut to the profile of the molding (no angles to worry about as you would in making a molding plane)  it is slipped into the saw kerf and held tightly in place with a screw on either side.   You can pay a bunch of money for one from Lee Valley, or make one yourself from scrap. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 01, 2014, 07:26:46 AM
Hey Branson,

Thanks a ton for posting those craftsman made scratch stock pictures!  I think it's always helpful to see the tools being described, particularly when someone isn't completely familiar with the topic.  One of my hopes for this thread was to ensure that it was educational without being too technical and potentially boring.  Pictures help a lot!  What I like about the photos and the brief writeup you included, is that they clearly depict shop made tools that can be constructed relatively easily and then used successfully.  Thanks again for taking the time to add that information to the thread. 

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 01, 2014, 05:14:30 PM
How many times have I said that Stanley manufactured several different block plane patterns?  If you’ve been reading along in the thread, you know that I’ve said it many times because it’s true.  Stanley made a lot of block planes!  I could feature traditional looking block planes for weeks to come, but I want to try to keep things interesting.  With that being said, a good many block planes were extremely useful, very handy, and well conceived.  While a handful of Stanley block planes filled niches that didn’t really exist (at least in my mind), some were right on target.  I believe that Stanley’s edge trimming block plane hit the bull’s eye.  Although it seems a bit unusual, almost “contraption like” in appearance, and doesn’t fit the mold of the traditional looking block plane, this thing works…… and it works very well.

Stanley #95:

The edge trimming block plane was manufactured by Stanley between 1911 and 1961.  Early models had the Stanley name cast in script lettering on the body of the plane, while later models produced after 1922, were cast with block lettering.  Like the name says, the plane was designed to trim the edges of wood so that the face and perpendicular edges of the wood formed ninety degree angles to each other.  One will immediately notice that the sole of the plane is cast with a permanent fence on its side that holds the cutting iron.  The fence is cast at ninety degrees to the sole of the plane.  With sole riding along the face of the wood (and assuming that the face is flat), the fence holding the iron at ninety degrees to the sole will remove stock from the perpendicular edge leaving a ninety degree angle where the face and edge meet.  With a super sharp iron, the plane does a better than average job on end grain too.  The iron is bedded at a low angle, producing a slicing type of cut; a characteristic that’s associated with common looking low angle block planes.  The only real difference is that the cutting iron on the #95 is mounted in the permanent fence, versus in the main body of the plane and protruding through the plane’s sole.  The throat on the #95 can also be adjusted via a very unique adjuster that protrudes through the hollow palm rest.  By pushing or pulling the little adjusting lever that engages milled slots in the back of the cutting iron, the user is able to set the throat for a very fine pass (which I prefer), or one that’s more aggressive depending on the work at hand.  Also notice that the sole has two little holes drilled in it.  Normally, I’d say that such holes were drilled after the plane left the factory, and from a pure collector’s point of view, that’s not what one would want to see.  In this case however, they were part of the original design.  The little holes allowed the user to attach a strip of wood (that’s hopefully strait and flat) to the plane’s sole with screws, thus adding to the sole’s length and ability to trim longer stock more accurately.

Based on a few clues that the plane’s box gives me, the logo on the cutting iron, and the plane’s casting marks, I’d estimate that the #95 depicted below was manufactured during the mid to late 1930s.  This particular block plane pattern delivers.  The tool is very easy to use and it’s accurate.  I still see them online, in antique shops, and at well attended tool shows/auctions.  It doesn’t seem to show up as often at garage sales or low end flea markets.  Perhaps that’s because the plane’s appearance was misleading to the average consumer who might have opted for the more traditional looking block plane.   It’s a little bit scarce, but hardly unobtainable at reasonable prices depending on condition.  Just remember, for as well as the #95 performs its intended trimming and/or squaring functions, it is limited to creating ninety degree angles between the faces and edges of small pieces of stock.  The #95 does not replace a good low angle block plane, but it does allow the user a relatively foolproof option for quickly squaring up small stock.

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 02, 2014, 06:33:36 AM
Thanks a ton for posting those craftsman made scratch stock pictures!  I think it's always helpful to see the tools being described, particularly when someone isn't completely familiar with the topic.  One of my hopes for this thread was to ensure that it was educational without being too technical and potentially boring.  Pictures help a lot!  What I like about the photos and the brief writeup you included, is that they clearly depict shop made tools that can be constructed relatively easily and then used successfully.  Thanks again for taking the time to add that information to the thread. 

Quite a few years ago I bought an English book on antique restoration.  It showed tools that one seldom sees on this side of the pond.  Lots of excellent information as well.  It described using a scratch stock, but the scratch stock, probably made by Preston, was a cast iron beauty capable of holding wide blades or holding blades up to, maybe 8 inches from the fence.  I thought it was wonderful, but unavailable.  Then I took on a project making table top inserts for an antique table, and the skirt had to precisely match the existing skirt on the table.  Then I found that none of my round and hollow planes matched the contours...  Remembering that scratch stock, I thought I could make something, if crude, that would do the job.  So was born my first scratch stock -- long bar and adjustable fence.  I was prepared to find the job tedious and maybe troublesome, but the field expedient scratch stock worked quickly and very, very well, which was fortunate!  The customer was a passed journeyman cabinet maker from Scotland, but was a building contractor here.  Nervous I was!  I used the tool for a couple of other projects that required duplication of moldings and
it never failed.  No tool is better for reproducing obscure moldings.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 02, 2014, 08:49:55 AM
Branson,

Thanks for the follow up details.  I think it's good to see and hear about the practical uses of hand tools that may not be as commonly recognizable as some others.  As I progress further into the thread, I'm still trying to determine what the readers will find interesting.  I'm starting to lean toward featuring more tools that are truly useful and relatively obtainable, versus those that may be more likely categorized as purely "collectable." With that, I'll still try to feature the very best examples that I've got on hand for purposes of clarity, completeness, and factory originality.  Certainly ALL the tools featured here can be used, but in reality, some are much more user friendly, affordable, available and functional.  The scratch stock is definitely one of those tools that scores high marks in all those categories.  The content you added really pulled together and explained the value of having a scratch stock in the shop.  Good stuff!  Thanks.

Jim C.                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on March 04, 2014, 01:10:01 PM
And the horn is not really straight. It curls around your hand a little.
And, at least from some makers, it's shaped to fit one side or the other - left or right hand.  I once considered buying an ECE plane at a junk shop until I picked it up as I would normally use it, with right hand at the horn (yep, I'm left handed).  It was so uncomfortable I put it down right away; like putting a shoe on the wrong foot.  Too bad; if it had been a leftie plane, I might have haggled some to get the price down.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 08, 2014, 12:14:09 PM
This will probably not come as anything new to those of you who have been reading along so far.  If you’re absolutely honest with yourself, some of what I’ll say may even strike a few chords with you.  I’ve been a “collector” since childhood.  I don’t know why or what influenced me to be one, but I’m a “collector” to the bone.  There must be some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in my DNA that drives me to collect.  Ever since I was a young kid, my goal was to “collect the complete set”, and to “have one of every example.”  It started with baseball cards in the 1960s and when I stopped collecting them in the 1990s, I literally had Hall of Fame worthy collection.  The hunt for the rare card, completing the set, finding the variations, were always on my mind.  Educating myself and learning history, facts, figures and anything to do with baseball cards fascinated me.

I’ve never gotten into anything that I didn’t throw myself into 100%.  As a teenager I got interested in old cars and woodworking and those “hobbies” have stuck with me for decades.  Over the years, a “hobby within the hobby” took hold, and my OCD kicked into overdrive.  As much as I love driving and tinkering with old cars, and making projects out in the shop, I found that I really loved the tools for working on the cars and for making things from wood.  That’s how I eventually took an interest in hand planes.  As you know, I started out using them, but that eventually morphed into collecting them.  Me being me, it was almost unavoidable.  As my knowledge, and experience grew, so did my collecting habits.  I can’t resist complete, clean examples of old planes.  I simply can’t walk away from those pristine tools that still retain their original boxes, pamphlets, instructions, etc.  I guess it’s a sickness.  Maybe some of you can relate to that.  Maybe some of you collect things for reasons that only you can understand.  I’ve been collecting planes for several years now with no end in sight.  The old tool bug has bitten me so hard that in the last couple years, I’ve started actively collecting Sears Craftsman mechanics tools from the 1950s and 1960s.  Maybe you’ve seen the Craftsman =V= Tools thread I started on this site?

Anyway, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.  If you look back in this thread to Page 2, Reply 16, you’ll remember that we were discussing razor plane planes.  I had a couple that I received from my dad and grandfather, so I featured them in the thread.  I thought they would be interesting.  Remember?  If you take a little time to review that prior post, I stated that I really don’t collect razor blade planes and didn’t really think they delivered on actual performance.  During the post, I mentioned that I was missing the curved sole “Little Giant.”  At the time I wrote that, I didn’t see myself ever buying that little plane, nor even looking for it………. but then I came across this.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I was doomed.  Still, I tried to resist it, and I tried to tell myself that it was outside of my collection’s primary focus.  But who was I kidding?  It hit EVERY aspect of collecting that I hold near and dear to my OCD riddled heart.  It’s a complete, never used set of planes with original packaging, sales pamphlets, and instructions.  From a rational tool user’s standpoint, I really view them almost as toys, and I know that I’m NEVER going to use these planes!!!  As some of you know, and may be willing to admit, the rational tool user in you, and the tool collector in you can be in conflict.  In my case, the “collector” usually wins the argument.

Jim C.                           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: oldtools on March 08, 2014, 03:24:53 PM
nice!! did you try them out? must have been a pretty penny for that one?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 08, 2014, 04:51:34 PM
nice!! did you try them out? must have been a pretty penny for that one?

Hey oldtools,

No, I will most probably not ever try them out.  Part of my OCD collector mentality would never allow me to actually use an antique tool that's not been used prior to it coming into my possession.  They're safe until I'm gone from this earth.  Then who knows?  Maybe the next guy will try them out.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I do have a couple razor blade planes that I received from my dad and grandfather.  I have used them and wasn't really impressed.  Anything more than balsa  wood or some really soft pine would probably be too much for these little guys to handle.  As I tried to explain earlier today, the collector part of me couldn't pass them up.  If the planes and their associated materials had been anything less than in NOS condition, I would have, and could have easily passed on them.  But as you can see, they're in great condition for being about fifty years old. 

As for the price, I usually don't like to disclose what I paid for a tool, because that can only be determined between a buyer and seller.  A tool that has little or no monetary value to me, might be the one tool someone else needs to complete a set, or simply finsh a project.  Suddenly that tool takes on a value that might seem unreasonable to the rest of us.  Vintage razor blade planes are generally not very collectible.  Even in mint condition, they're still not sought after, so in this instance, I'll break my own rule.  I paid about $13 for the set.  For me, it wasn't about the money spent, it was about finding, preserving, and observing an antique tool in its most original, untouched form. 

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on March 08, 2014, 05:03:53 PM
I think it's good that you broke your rule this time.  At that price the set could have been picked up by any one.  I, for one, am glad that you bought those tools. I think they work well with, or at least along side of, the planes you have shared with us from your collection.

Sometimes the side roads are dead ends, and sometimes they are the most memorable part of the journey. You can't know unless you try a few.

Chilly
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 08, 2014, 06:53:12 PM
Well stated Chilly.  The tool is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  Knowing what I paid for the razor blade planes only gives you an idea of what they were worth given the circumstances in which I found them.  If there had been a room full of collectors bidding at an auction, they may have gone for more, though I doubt much more.  Still, others might think I overpaid.  My motivation wasn't the rarity of the tools themselves.  I don't think the planes are very scarce at all.  I was drawn to the rarity of their physical condition, and the inclusion of their original box and paperwork.

Jim C. 

   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 09, 2014, 07:28:28 AM
To use or to preserve...  Quite a dilemma.  I would almost have to try them once.  My initial reason for buying old tools was to understand their use, the way they felt in the hands of those who worked with them, to understand something of their lives and the ways they made things and made their livelihood with these tools.  I had the opportunity to pick up and handle some of James Marshall's tools.  I could see where he held them in use, see how they felt in his hands.  Somewhere I have stashed drawings, rubbings and measurements of the dividers he built and used to build the saw mill where gold was discovered.  I'll make a replica of these when I find the drawings again.

Of the tools I've accumulated over the many years now, the only one I haven't used is a neolithic stone ax.

That first reason is still important to me; I want to know how a tool works in use.  I don't like the idea of a tool not allowed to do its job.  But the museum nerd in me understands that these things are only virgins once, that using a pristine, virgin tool prevents later generations from seeing the thing as it first existed.  So now, should I find a tool in the condition you found these little planes, I, regretfully, would not try them out.  I'd look for  another that had seen use and play with it. 





Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 09, 2014, 12:19:52 PM
To use or to preserve...  Quite a dilemma.  I would almost have to try them once.  My initial reason for buying old tools was to understand their use, the way they felt in the hands of those who worked with them, to understand something of their lives and the ways they made things and made their livelihood with these tools.  I had the opportunity to pick up and handle some of James Marshall's tools.  I could see where he held them in use, see how they felt in his hands.  Somewhere I have stashed drawings, rubbings and measurements of the dividers he built and used to build the saw mill where gold was discovered.  I'll make a replica of these when I find the drawings again.

Of the tools I've accumulated over the many years now, the only one I haven't used is a neolithic stone ax.

That first reason is still important to me; I want to know how a tool works in use.  I don't like the idea of a tool not allowed to do its job.  But the museum nerd in me understands that these things are only virgins once, that using a pristine, virgin tool prevents later generations from seeing the thing as it first existed.  So now, should I find a tool in the condition you found these little planes, I, regretfully, would not try them out.  I'd look for  another that had seen use and play with it.

Hi Branson,

I think you're right.  I do like trying out old tools and I have tried out some that were really close to being NOS quality.  I admit that I use those sparingly.  The urge to try them is still very tempting.  If you recall, I did have a chance to try out a couple razor blade planes that were passed on to me by my dad and grandfather.  The results were less than impressive.  As for these two little NOS planes, the urge to use them isn't that strong.  Having had some very limited experience with the others, and knowing what kind of results they'll deliver, I think I'll just leave the NOS planes as is.

You know, about a year ago however, I needed a router plane for a small project that I was working on.  It was the perfect and the most efficient tool for the job at hand.  My "user" was at my parents house, so I actually broke out a NOS Stanley #71 1/2 and finished the cut.  It worked great and was no worse off than when I started.  It was probably the first and only time the plane had ever touched wood.  In a pinch I'll use almost any tool, provided it's the "right" tool, and regardless of its condition.  Still, with that being said, I'll go to great lengths to keep a NOS tool in NOS condition while it's in my possession.  I usually follow up by taking your approach...... I go find a "user" to have fun with.

Below are the two Stanley #71 1/2 router planes I mentioned above.  The plane in the upper left section of the picture is the NOS plane I used to finish a cut so I could keep my project moving along.  Routers were traditionally nickel plated, but notice that it's JAPANNED.  For those of you reading along.... that's a clue to it's approximate age!  I hope you're thinking WWII.  The router in the lower right section of the photo is my "user."  Although it looks dark, that's just decades of patina, as it was manufactured with nickel plating from the factory.  Traces of nickel plating remain here and there, but it's mostly gone.  It's a Type 4, and was produced from 1911 - 1924.  The japanned version is a Type 7, that was manufactured from 1942 - 1945.       

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 10, 2014, 07:01:11 AM
I won't tell anyone you used that NOS.   Weren't some of the very earliest of these also japaned?  I picked up a 71 1/2 many years ago and have used it
many a time.  Great for setting hinges.  I was so impressed with its performance that when I ran across a 271 a couple of years later, I snapped it up.  As luck would have it, it was NOS, in box, with the paper work.  The blade had never been sharpened.  I thought I'd get around to sharpening it an putting the tool to use.  But I didn't, and now I won't.  Last year I ran across a 71 for about no money (missing all the front end stuff) so I picked that one up.  I've fitted it up with a mahogany sole -- still needs some attention.  Always good to have a back up, eh?  Then I found a bronze coachmaker's router that I found irresistible on eBay (but nobody else liked it enough to put in a bid).  I don't know a lot about this one, but another came up that obviously came out of the same mold.  Still working on that one to bring it up to snuff.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on March 10, 2014, 01:15:03 PM
Love that router Mike!! Yowza, nobody fought you for that?

 Honestly, pattern shop bronze tools are just plain hard to finish out. No way to sugar coat that. The casting pits and sand cast unevenness are tough to deal with.
 It takes skill and time, believe me. 
        So hardly anyone goes after them.
           Wonderful for us though!!

 Polish that girl up and put her to work!!
      yours Scott
 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 11, 2014, 08:07:00 AM
Nope, not a single bid other than mine -- $4.25.  Couldn't believe it.  I thought it was a one-off until I ran across another one that had a fence as well.  But then, I got a brass rabbet spokshave on another single bid, and a couple of other nice things on very cheap single bids (early pad saw $.99 cleaned up fine!).  There's no figuring this.  It seems to help if the item is oxidized and/or grimy.   Some weeks I guess collectors are asleep at the wheel.

Just got some miracle brass and copper polish (no longer legal in California) and she's gonna brighten up a lot.  That screw that holds the blade is going to get replaced with a brass thumb screw, too.  There's a little unevenness in one spot, but no visible voids at all.  Gloat.  The blade is blacksmith made, so I can build me a set of different blades.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 11, 2014, 08:09:56 AM
Hi Branson.  That really is one nice old router, and it's a big one too!  14 inches!!  I'm definitely interested.  How heavy do you think it is?  Do you think it's USA made or possibly British?  Are there any makers marks on it?  What size cutter does it have?  Have you had a chance to test it out?  Thanks for posting the picture.  Tell us more.

Jim C.   

Branson,

Looks like we posted at almost the same time and you did answer a couple of my questions.  I'm really looking forward to seeing it all cleaned up.  Please keep us updated on this one!!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on March 11, 2014, 10:58:18 AM
Naa its not going to brighten up much no matter what potion you rub it with. Even a heavy wire brush will only take you so far. Its sand cast. That means little lumps overall.
 
Here is a tip. Get yourself a sanding mop. This is narrow strips of belt sander belt ganged  up on an arbor. Klingspor makes them, but you can make your own if you find some cheap belts somewhere.
 These are flexible and will follow a curve real nice.
 
 And flexible rubber backup sanding pads to mount into a drill.
  These do a lot of work for me,....... a lot.  Standard 5" pads, but you want the older natural rubber ones )not the new vinyl kind uck)
  No sweat though, they are always at the swap meet. And usually disks too. But Enco is your real friend 3 or 4 times a year. They sell the better adhesive backs disks and have them "on sale" several times a year as a general rule.
  The heavy paper 3M disks you find everywhere are good in the heavier grits, but useless at 240. Enco will sell you 100 240's in a roll (box) for a price you can live with. OK barely live with but its worth it.
 
 Here is my patternmaker sand cast Stanley 80. The first shot is after heavy wire brushing. No help.
 Full finish takes abrasives.
     yours Scott
       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 11, 2014, 04:22:40 PM
Nice looking tool Scott and good info on getting them shined up too!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 16, 2014, 03:34:37 PM
In an effort to feature planes that are truly useful in the shop, I thought I’d highlight a plane that’s known by a few different names to include duplex, rabbet, and fillister.  The plane featured below has two seats (cutting iron locations), thus allowing the user to position the cutting iron near the center of the plane, or closer to the front of the plane in the bull nose position (photos 5 and 6).  Hence the name “duplex plane.”  It’s a tool with two identical parts (or seats in this case) within one framework, each of which can operate alone and independent from the other.  It’s also been called a “rabbet plane.”  Just a quick glance at this plane clearly shows that it was made to cut rabbet joints.  There’s probably not too much more explanation needed for that particular moniker being attached to the plane.  It cuts rabbet joints so it’s a rabbet plane.  Still, I’ve also heard this plane referred to as “fillister plane.”  I believe there may be a part of traditional window sash called the fillister.  As I understand it, that’s the rabbet shaped section of the sash that holds the glass and putty in place, so the term fillister makes sense.  Somewhere along the line, I recall that a fillister plane was one that included attachments such as a fence, and/or depth stop, and/or nicker, also called a “spur” (photo 4).  Regardless, I think one could call this plane any of the three names (Duplex Plane, Rabbet Plane, Fillister Plane) and be correct.

This plane combines several elements that make it easy to use.  The cutting iron in the aft position is adjustable for a fine pass via a small toothed lever that engages grooves on the back of the cutting iron itself.  In the forward (bull nose) position, the same adjustment must be made by hand or by administering a few light taps with small brass hammer on the top edge of the cutting iron.  The plane also employs an adjustable fence that rides along the edge of the work piece, thus controlling the width of the rabbet.  On the opposite side of the plane’s main body, a depth stop can be adjusted up and down, and is held in place with a thumb screw, thus controlling the final height of the rabbet’s shoulder.  Rabbet joints are not always cut in the direction of the wood’s grain.  Occasionally they must be cut across the grain.  In an effort to minimize tear out at the shoulder of the rabbet joint, a nicker (or spur) can be set to lightly score across the grain ahead of the cutting iron.  The nicker sits flush with the side of the plane and scores the grain leaving the shoulder smooth and the cut clean.  By loosening the small screw holding the nicker to the side of the plane, the nicker can be employed or retracted just by rotating it in and out of the milled recess on the plane’s body.

Like any tool with a cutting edge, the sharper the cutting edge is, the better the tool will perform.  I find myself frequently cutting rabbet joints to assemble various projects.  There’s a number of different ways to create a rabbet joint with powered mechanical equipment such as a router/router table, table saw with dado blade setup, or even on a jointer.  Those methods are perfectly acceptable and usually provide great results.  I’ve used them many times myself.  That being said, for those small one of a kind, easy to clamp to the bench projects, I reach for the duplex/rabbet/fillister plane depicted below.

Stanley #78:

This plane was one of the most successful tools Stanley ever produced!  It was manufactured from 1884 well into the 1980s and possibly longer.  The #78 depicted below is a Type 13, manufactured between 1925 and 1935.   Stanley manufactured the #78 under several brand names, and saw its basic style copied by other manufacturers as well.  When production finally ended in the USA, Stanley continued making the #78 in England.  For versatility’s sake, the fence and fence rod can be mounted on either side of the plane.   It should also be noted that the cutting iron depth adjustment lever was added in 1925 and was retained as a feature on all subsequent versions of the plane.  To the best of my knowledge, the plane has always been finished with black japanning and nickel plated trimmings.  There was a time (1925 – 1935) when Stanley manufactured an aluminum version of this plane, the #A78.  The body of the plane was cast with model number “A78” and it was left unfinished with a natural aluminum color.  The #A78’s attachments (fence, depth stop) were also made of cast aluminum.  Those two parts are extremely difficult to find separately.  Interestingly, the lever cap was still made of cast iron.  If you’re ever unsure about the parts on a #A78, just test them with a magnet.  It won’t stick to the aluminum.  While the #A78 is a relatively scarce tool, the #78 is not.  They’re practically everywhere and sell for very reasonable prices even in top condition.  Be picky if you decide to buy a #78 for your shop.  Get one in complete condition.  Parts are readily available, but individually, they can add up.  This might not be one of the first “user” planes on your want list, but it should probably be in your top twelve. 

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on March 16, 2014, 09:50:26 PM
I could not agree more that the 78 is among the most useful planes.
 Of course I really like all of the solid iron rabbet planes.
 Hardly anyone else does, but I use them all the time. The 78, the 180 series and the 190 series too.
 These are all very simple and practically bulletproof planes.

 The era of the plane matters to me though. The later they get, the lesser the construction. The balance in your hand changes dramatically.  A lot of difference to me.

   For me the presence of a bottom spur on the tote is the cutoff point. While a few of the later models are better than the newest ones, its not as easy to tell the "good" ones at a glance.   
  Its come up before, so I already had a picture. If you look closely at this picture, you will see three different eras of the same kind of plane.
 The top one is the first model. The first model has scrolls on the handle.
  Notice the spur on the bottom of the tote, but also see the shape of the tote itself. Its serpentine shaped. Its connected to the plane by fairly long attachments both top and bottom.
 Now look and the bottom plane in the picture. Its the newest model in the picture.
 See the tote? It has all the shape of a billy club, and its connected to the plane by short attachments that not only change the angle of the tote in relation to the plane, but they limit the space for your hand inside.

 Either of the top two models is a world better, to me.
        yours Scott
 
 
       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 17, 2014, 05:10:34 AM
^^^^^  Nice followup Scottg!!!!  I'm always interested in getting into the details.  I'm glad you jumped in on this one.  That little spur on the handle is an early feature that was part of the plane from its inception in the 1880s to about 1910, then, for some reason, the handle's design was changed.  Perhaps because the handle was easier to manufacture without it, and/or because that little spur was fragile and may have been prone to cracking off??  I really don't know the answer to that question.  From a pure aesthetics perspective, the earlier models are much more stylish.

As for the very similar looking Stanley #180 and #190 models, I'll try to feature those at some point down the road.  Now that I know you have a few on hand, I'll expect more pictures!!! 

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 17, 2014, 07:30:01 AM
>I believe there may be a part of traditional window sash called the fillister. 

Yep.  Fillister is the name of the rabbet that holds the glass.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 17, 2014, 02:01:53 PM
Thanks for the confirmation Branson.  Nice to know that you guys are reading this stuff and checking my facts and figures for accuracy.  I really do appreciate that.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 22, 2014, 09:18:15 AM
I can’t think of too many tools, accessories, or attachments that Stanley made to enhance the versatility and/or utility of its hand planes.  With the exception of the hollow and round soles that were not included with the basic Stanley #45 combination plane but could be purchased separately, and the various additional cutter sets that could be added to the #45 and #55 combination planes, most Stanley planes came with everything one needed to use the tool to the extent that it was designed.  The only other plane that comes to mind would be the Stanley #51 chute board plane.  It could be combined with the Stanley chute board, to create the model #52 chute board and plane.  There may have also been a few weather strip planes (for window sash) that came with a single width cutter but were also capable of using other widths that had to be purchased separately.  Anyway, we’ll talk about some of those down the road.  Having mentioned those exceptions (and there could be a few more that I missed), Stanley and most other manufacturer’s were pretty good about including cutters, fences, stops, etc. with their basic plane offerings.  Most of the time, the user had what he/she needed just by purchasing the plane and its respective parts.  There was however, one other accessory that made jointing longer stock a little easier and potentially more accurate, but it was sold separately.

Stanley #386 Jointer Gauge:

At first glance, this tool may look like a “contraption” of sorts.  If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a jointer gauge.  The #386 was designed to clamp to the side walls of longer bench planes (between sizes 5 and 8) for purposes of aiding in the accuracy of jointing long stock.  It’s actually a well thought out tool.  As you can see, the clamping mechanisms were fairly simple and could be adjusted up and down by means of a knurled screw at each end.  Those screws sit on top of the plane’s arched side wall and allowed the #386 to be attached to almost any point and still follow the side wall’s contour.   The screws were then adjusted to keep the #386 an equal distance from the plane’s sole at the front and back.  Studying the photos below, it’s easy to see how the #386’s fence could be adjusted to produce different angles along the edge of a work piece.  I believe the fence had a working range between 30 degrees and 90 degrees.  With the use of a reliable machinists square, setting the #386’s fence at a right angle to the sole of the plane is pretty easy.  Still, it’s not foolproof.  If your cutting iron is slightly askew in the plane itself, then the results of your first few passes will probably not be a 90 degree corner between the face and edge of the work piece.  You might need to make some little adjustments using the plane’s lateral adjustment lever.  If you’re trying to make an angle that is something other than 90 degrees, then keep checking your results with an accurate measuring tool after every few passes.  The best way to really see what I’m talking about is to use the #386 on a plane.  Hands on experience is really going to be the best teacher in this case.  I’d also recommend picking a specific plane and dedicating it to jointing work.  Square the plane’s iron to the bottom of the plane’s sole with the lateral adjusting lever, set it for a light pass, and then attach the #386 gauge to the plane’s side wall.  Use a square to adjust the fence and make a few passes on some scrap stock.  If you’re happy with the results, then you’re ready to start jointing stock.  It will take a little tinkering to get everything set up just right, but once you have it, leave the #386 mounted on the plane and use that as your “go to” jointer.

I use the set up depicted below to make one last pass over stock that I’ve run across my mechanical/powered jointer.  A super sharp hand plane equipped with the #386 eliminates the microscopic scalloping on the surface of the machined edge and leaves it perfectly smooth.  If you were wondering, I use a Stanley #7C with my #386 jointer gauge.  For some reason, that particular plane, when outfitted with the #386, seems to give me great results every time.  I’ve tried others, but I like THAT plane, so I’ve dedicated it as my go to jointer.  It seems to be the right size, weight and length for me.  The iron is ground and set perfectly for jointing.  Others may like using a longer plane like the #8, or something a little shorter like a #6.  Whatever works best for each individual is the “right” plane.

The #386 was manufactured between 1911 and 1947.  They were usually nickel plated, but like many from the WWII era, they can occasionally be found with a black japanned finish.  The rosewood knob can be installed on either end of the #386 so that the tool itself can be mounted on either side of the plane.  The #386’s fence also has factory installed holes in it for mounting a longer auxiliary wooden fence for added accuracy and for using against the face of a finished surface.  I see these at tool shows and at auctions all the time.  They’re relatively common in various states of condition.  If you decide to buy a #386, make absolutely sure that the clamping mechanisms are complete and free from damage.  If it can’t easily be attached to the plane, it’s worthless.  The #386 is a “try it and see” tool in my book.  It’s not essential for accurately jointing the edges of boards.  Good technique, the properly adjusted plane, and practice eliminate the need for the #386.  On the other hand, it’s fun to use, and once it’s set and installed on a plane, it speeds up the jointing process and delivers very good, easily repeatable results.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 22, 2014, 09:18:45 AM
I couldn't add all the pictures in the previous post, but I wanted to include a few more of the #386's clamping mechanism. 

Jim C. (who was a little long winded and camera crazy today) 

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on March 22, 2014, 12:56:53 PM
Thanks, Jim. 

This adds to the research documentation which would be incomplete without your dissertations.  "Long winded" ?  No.  Much and much more can, I'm sure, and should be said if the whole story be told.  And "camera crazy"?  You know how we love and thrive on pictures.  We want more.  Please continue sharing your research.

Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on March 22, 2014, 02:34:37 PM
Thanks, Jim. 

This adds to the research documentation which would be incomplete without your dissertations.  "Long winded" ?  No.  Much and much more can, I'm sure, and should be said if the whole story be told.  And "camera crazy"?  You know how we love and thrive on pictures.  We want more.  Please continue sharing your research.

Ralph
Well said, Ralph!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 22, 2014, 09:20:31 PM
Hey Ralph and Papaw,

Thanks for your continued support.  I'm really glad that you've been reading along and stuck with the thread this far.  There's more to come. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 23, 2014, 07:54:17 AM
Glad to see this essay on the jointer gauge!   I've always wanted to play with one, but never found one I could afford.  I think I'll look a little harder now.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 23, 2014, 08:58:23 AM
Hi Branson,

I should also thank you too for keeping up with the thread, and everyone else for that matter.  It's funny that you referred to my last post an "essay."  That makes it sound long.  I think you got right though!!  I did turn it into an essay.  When I finished it, even I thought it was too long.  I usually start these posts off thinking that I'll make a few comments and then add some pictures.  Keep it simple.  Before I start these write ups, I know generally what I want to say.  I want to be detailed, but concise.  If I can throw in a little history, then I try to do that too.  I think I got carried away with this last one.  Anyway, I'm glad you hung in there with it.  I've got some other good planes in store for future posts.  I'll try to keep them brief and too the point....I hope!!

Getting back to the #386, I'd really encourage you to get one and give it a try.  If you like to tinker, and you have a couple hours to play around out in the shop. then the #386 is for you.  Once it's mounted on your perfectly tuned, favorite jointer and set for a specific angle, you will be amazed at how nicely the gauge produces a flat, smooth, repeatable angle.  Mine is usually set at 90 degrees.  I'm very careful not to knock anything out of whack when it's not in use.  It's so easy to pick up a plane outfitted with the #386 make one pass along the edge of the work piece and then keep moving on with the project at hand.  It's almost effortless, and it's kind of fun to use. 

I hear what you're saying about the cost.  They're usually more than just a few dollars even in so-so condition.  Finding a pristine example in an original box will set you back a couple hundred dollars.  A good, undamaged, complete user will probably be closer to $50 or so.  Still not cheap, but a great "gift" to yourself for being a good guy.  Right?  Remember, the lack of nickel plating will not even remotely impact the utility or effectiveness of the tool.  The main thing is to make sure the clamping mechanisms are complete.  The rosewood knob can be replaced with anything you could make on the lathe, and the adjustment screws are most likely a common thread.  If you're interested, I can provide you with all that information.  Make sure that the fence operates correctly and is undamaged, and I think you're good to go.  If you find one in rough shape for a great price, you impress me as the type of guy who could easily fix it up and make it useable.  I hope you get one.

Jim C.             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 24, 2014, 06:27:19 AM
First, I'll join Art and Papaw and encourage you to continue writing your "long winded" pieces.  Anybody don't like 'em don't have to read them through.  They save me lots of research, and I never think you have written too much or included too many pictures (is "too many pictures" possible on Tool Talk?)

I'm pretty good at keeping a right angle with a plane, but anything that uses coopered joints would make the 386 a dream to have.   As a user, I don't care ifr it has a nickel finish.  And there is a #7 and a #7C sitting in my shop right now.   I'm still keeping my eyes open for one.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on March 24, 2014, 09:42:49 AM
Hey Mike
 Stanley did not make enough 386 jointer fences.  So they tend to sell for money in any useable condition.
  Fortunately Millers Falls did, and so did a couple others. I use a Millers myself.
 Getting a serviceable jointer fence is not criminally expensive.
   yours Scott 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 24, 2014, 02:07:59 PM
Hey Scottg,

Any chance you could post a picture or two of your Millers Falls jointer gauge?  It would be great if the readers could compare and contrast it with the Stanley version.  It's also nice to get a look at other options/tools that may be more readily available.  Thanks.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 28, 2014, 02:02:43 PM
I've been doing a little research on the Millers Falls jointer gauge, and believe that it was model #88.  It seems to be relatively similar to the Stanley #386 regarding its intended function, but a little different in appearance and manner of adjustment.  From what I can tell, it seems to attach to the side of a long bench plane with a cam lever mechanism, versus the clamp mechanism on the Stanley.  Also, whereas the Stanley angle adjustment is a stamped steel slotted arc that's attached to the fence at a pivot point, the Millers Falls version employs a steel rod that's attached on a pivot point to the fence.  The #386 is outfitted with a nickel plated thumb screw to secure its angle adjustment while the #88 appears to have a large knurled nut for the same purpose.  The thumb screw works just fine, but I think I might like the knurled nut more.  What I do like about both jointer gauges is that they can be mounted on a plane and adjusted without the use of other tools, such as wrench, screwdriver, etc.  At least I know that's true of the Stanley version and I don't see anything on the #88 that makes me think otherwise of it.  Having never used the Millers Falls version, I can't say that its features are any better or worse than the Stanley jointer gauge.  If the cam levers work the way I envision them to operate, then attaching the #88 to a bench plane seems rather easy.  I'm still not sure how much up and down adjustment there is with the #88.  The Stanley #386 might be somewhat more versatile in that regard.  As for finding and setting the desired angle of the fence, it seems that both tools would be easy to adjust and secure for accuracy.  I did take a look at Ebay in an effort to at least get an idea of prices and found two for sale.  One looked like it was in top condition in its original box and had a starting bid of $199, and another one had a lot of patina on it and had a starting bid of $40.  I don't know if either one will sell for those prices, but they were not too much different than what I'd expect to pay for a Stanley #386 in similar condition.  I'm sorry that I don't have a Millers Falls example to show you, but with just a little research, finding pictures of them on the Internet is pretty easy.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 29, 2014, 06:24:53 AM
The 1904 MF catalog pictures it, but gives no model number, simply calling it "the Perfection Jointer Gauge."   The blurb talks about the "ease and rapidity with which it can be attached to or removed from a plane."  Also mentioned is that it is designed to "provide adjustment to the varying heights of Iron planes."  MF goes on to say that it can be attached to either Iron or wooden planes.  For wooden planes, the cam locks are removed, and "round head wood screws are used in the arm slots instead." Iron, Japanned finish $18 per dozen. 

A later MF catalog also calls it the Perfection Jointer Gauge, and gives the price as $22 per dozen, and gives the finish as black enamel.

The picture in both catalogs is identical. 

Now to find one at either of these prices...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on March 29, 2014, 07:27:00 AM
Jim C, Branson and Scott, thank you for this wonderful thread. You have long since gone beyond my knowledge base. That is pretty much why I don't post much, but I have certainly learned a lot With 3800 views, I suspect there are quite a few more like me.  Jim, we know a bit about Scott and Mike and their backgrounds, maybe you could tell us a little about how you got to where you are?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 29, 2014, 11:19:59 AM
Are you ready for another block plane?  Ready or not, here goes.  Over the years, most block planes changed very little in form and function from their original marketed designs.  Various improvements and changes were made along the way that allegedly added to a plane’s utility, versatility, and ease of use.  One such improvement (in my opinion) was Stanley’s “knuckle cap.”  It replaced the traditional stippled lever/cam pressure cap design that is so familiar on most Stanley block planes.  From my perspective, the knuckle cap was a step up in user comfort versus the open pressure cap, and is generally easier to mount on the plane itself.  The knuckle cap design provided a solid smooth surface on which the user could rest his/her palm, thus aiding the user’s ability to apply more downward and forward pressure as the plane was put into motion.  To put it simply, I think the knuckle style cap is just more comfortable to use.  I’ve noticed that current hand plane manufacturers, such as Lie-Nielsen, have continued using a closed cap design on their block planes presumably for the same reason.  The more of one’s hand that can be comfortably in contact with the tool will probably add to its accuracy in use.  The knuckle cap might also add a little more weight to the plane, which is generally a good thing.  A heavy plane in motion usually stays in motion, and having a more comfortable cap to push against helps that process.  Let’s take a look.

Stanley #65:

This is really a great block plane and one of my favorites for several reasons.  Its features include a cutting iron bedded at a low angle, an adjustable throat, its weight, and the “knuckle cap.”  Setting the low angle iron for a fine pass and closing the throat makes it ideal for working end grain.  At seven inches long, the plane itself is on the large size when it comes to traditional looking block planes, so it’s relatively heavy.  Again, a heavy plane is generally a good thing.  Finally, the addition of the knuckle cap added to its overall usability and visual appearance.  I know that appearance alone shouldn’t be a major factor in the overall evaluation of the tool, but I must say, it’s a just a great looking plane.

Stanley manufactured the #65 from 1898 to 1969, but it didn’t start out with the knuckle cap.  Early versions of the #65 were produced with a nickel plated stippled lever cam pressure cap.  Somewhere around 1905, Stanley started marketing the #65 with the knuckle cap.  Just by looking at the knuckle cap’s design, it must have been a little more difficult and expensive to manufacture.  There was a lot going on beneath that pretty nickel plated cap.  With various pivot points, rivets, and small connections, the knuckle cap was a real piece of fine and functional engineering.  The knuckle cap remained as a feature on the #65 until about 1960, when Stanley reverted back to outfitting it with the traditional pressure cap (probably to save money).   The plane depicted below is a Type 9, manufactured between 1951 and 1956, near the bitter end of Stanley’s golden age of hand plane production.  The plane itself and its original box do give me some physical clues as to age.  If you notice, I’ve included a close up photograph of the plane’s left side.  The photo shows that the plane has been stamped with ”No.  65.”  Stanley started stamping model numbers on the left side of its block planes in about 1950.  Although I didn’t include detailed photos of the plane’s box, from experience I know that the box itself predates changes that were made to box construction in approximately 1956-57 and later.  Taking those factors into account, I’d reasonably guess that the plane was made in the early 1950s.  The #65 is a plane that’s still available, but not one that I normally see at garage sales and flea markets.  I think in its day, the #65 was probably considered a higher end block plane, and thus possibly rejected as being too expensive by the average DIYer/homeowner.  I think that today, good user quality examples exist, but they are prized by serious woodworkers and traditional cabinetmakers, so competition to acquire them could be stiff.  Still, the #65 is most definitely a plane worth owning and was probably one of Stanley’s best ever!

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 29, 2014, 11:39:59 AM
The 1904 MF catalog pictures it, but gives no model number, simply calling it "the Perfection Jointer Gauge."   The blurb talks about the "ease and rapidity with which it can be attached to or removed from a plane."  Also mentioned is that it is designed to "provide adjustment to the varying heights of Iron planes."  MF goes on to say that it can be attached to either Iron or wooden planes.  For wooden planes, the cam locks are removed, and "round head wood screws are used in the arm slots instead." Iron, Japanned finish $18 per dozen. 

A later MF catalog also calls it the Perfection Jointer Gauge, and gives the price as $22 per dozen, and gives the finish as black enamel.

The picture in both catalogs is identical. 

Now to find one at either of these prices...

Well done Branson!!!!  Thanks for the additional information.  GREAT stuff!!!  If you're lucky, you might just find a good "user" for $20 or so.  I hope you do.   

Jim C. (who always appreciates learning more about old hand planes)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 29, 2014, 02:20:50 PM
Jim C, Branson and Scott, thank you for this wonderful thread. You have long since gone beyond my knowledge base. That is pretty much why I don't post much, but I have certainly learned a lot With 3800 views, I suspect there are quite a few more like me.  Jim, we know a bit about Scott and Mike and their backgrounds, maybe you could tell us a little about how you got to where you are?

Hey John,

I'm glad you're enjoying the thread, but I'm also a little concerned, because it sounds like you might like to post some content and/or comments now and then, but are maybe a little hesitant to do so.  I started the thread with the sincere hope that EVERYONE, regardless of their familiarity level with planes, would join in without feeling any sense of intimidation.  It's simply about enjoying hand planes no matter where you are in the grand scheme of things, and on your own individual terms.  I'm presenting content in an effort to stimulate conversations about hand planes.  Ask a question, make a comment, feature a plane from your shop, etc.  Jump in John!!!

As for how I arrived here, well, probably the same way mostly everyone else did.  I love old cars, machinery, traditional woodworking, and consequently the tools associated with such things.  When it comes to hand planes, woodworking naturally led me directly to them.  It took a while to figure out that they were really useful tools, but once I saw the light, I was hooked.  That's how I got here.  One man in particular really got me started on collecting planes.  He was a real gentleman, super knowledgeable about old tools and Stanley planes, and a good friend.  We talked about old tools and planes at least once every week or so for several years on the telephone and via emails.  As seemingly unbelievable as it may sound, we never met in person due mostly in part to the fact that we lived several states apart from each other.  Unfortunately he died almost two years ago.  I miss those conversations and I miss my old friend.  In a way, I started this thread in his memory.  Several of the planes that I have already featured, and will feature here in the future, came from his amazing collection.  He sent some planes my way that I NEVER would have found with out his help and generosity.  I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do, and I hope you'll stay tuned.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on March 29, 2014, 07:07:16 PM
We will all stay tuned, Jim!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 30, 2014, 06:26:22 AM
We will all stay tuned, Jim!

Okay Papaw!  This has been the perfect venue for this thread.  Thanks for following along, and thanks to everyone who has stuck with it this far.  I still have a few more planes to feature.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 30, 2014, 07:56:47 AM
>The knuckle cap design provided a solid smooth surface on which the user could rest his/her palm, thus aiding the user’s ability to apply more downward and forward pressure as the plane was put into motion.

Perhaps a bit too much aid in the user's ability to apply more pressure.  I have one -- grabbed it quickly for theft-quality price.  When I had a chance to look carefully at it, I found the back of the mouth had a crack on each end, and that the mouth had been pushed down from the sole slightly.  I've still got it, but I'm just not sure what to do with it.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 30, 2014, 08:40:58 AM
Hey Branson,

Good point!!  Thanks!!  Like almost ANY hand plane or cast iron tool, over tightening its parts just a little too much will more than likely cause something to give.  That's definitely one of the drawbacks to low angle planes.  The sole immediately behind the throat feathers down and is relatively thin.  Too much downward pressure from over tightening a knuckle cap, or even the more traditional lever cam type cap could potentially cause a crack.  If you couple that with an iron set for an aggressive cut, or if it's a little dull thus causing the operator to really push, the elements are all there for a crack.  I REALLY do appreciate you mentioning this!!  I should have stressed that point and made sure to say that low angle block planes in particular should not be over tightened and they should be set for a light pass for the reasons stated above.  I guess that should be the rule of thumb for most cast iron planes and tools.   

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on March 31, 2014, 11:04:18 AM
Well its been raining for days straight here. no light for a good outdoor picture. So I finally broke down and took a flash picture of my Millers Falls gauge.
 
 Even back in the old days before tools were hardly collected at all, the Stanley 396 gauges sold for money. Not a lot of money, but then I didn't have any. heehhee
 There were a number of tools I wanted but never got to have because the price was just a little too much for me. Anything approaching 10 dollars was over the top.  Mostly anything over 5 dollars was too much.
 As tools became more collectible the price only rose.
 
 But Millers Falls? Nobody cared about Millers at all once. I got this from a junk dealer who called himself Arkie Don. He ran a junk shop at the edge of Medford Oregon for 5 or 6 years. Don loved to haggle. You never paid his asking even after the third re-offer. It was back and forth for 1/2 an hour with insults and threats and gnashing of teeth and all the rest of it. I love it too.
  "May they pull things from your body not even science can identify!!"
   I remember this was about 4 dollars.
 
 I have been using it when needed these past 35 years and thensome.  Its simple to attach with its little cam levers, and easy to set and operate.
 I don't use it that much. Most of the time working by eye is close enough.
But I wouldn't give it up either.

  (http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/oldtools/millersgauge.jpg)

 yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 31, 2014, 01:41:42 PM
Well its been raining for days straight here. no light for a good outdoor picture. So I finally broke down and took a flash picture of my Millers Falls gauge.
 
 Even back in the old days before tools were hardly collected at all, the Stanley 396 gauges sold for money. Not a lot of money, but then I didn't have any. heehhee
 There were a number of tools I wanted but never got to have because the price was just a little too much for me. Anything approaching 10 dollars was over the top.  Mostly anything over 5 dollars was too much.
 As tools became more collectible the price only rose.
 
 But Millers Falls? Nobody cared about Millers at all once. I got this from a junk dealer who called himself Arkie Don. He ran a junk shop at the edge of Medford Oregon for 5 or 6 years. Don loved to haggle. You never paid his asking even after the third re-offer. It was back and forth for 1/2 an hour with insults and threats and gnashing of teeth and all the rest of it. I love it too.
  "May they pull things from your body not even science can identify!!"
   I remember this was about 4 dollars.
 
 I have been using it when needed these past 35 years and thensome.  Its simple to attach with its little cam levers, and easy to set and operate.
 I don't use it that much. Most of the time working by eye is close enough.
But I wouldn't give it up either.

  (http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/oldtools/millersgauge.jpg)

 yours Scott

Scottg thanks for posting a picture of your Millers Falls #88 jointer gauge!  A picture really is worth a thousand words, and definitely a lot better than my weak attempt to describe it and compare it to the Stanley version.  I really appreciate your efforts!  Thanks again.

Jim C.

P.S.  I also enjoyed the story about how you acquired it!! 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 05, 2014, 03:38:56 PM
Lately I’ve been trying to feature planes that are truly useful, relatively accessible, and are not priced to break the bank.  Stanley and many other manufacturers made several such models through the years and they sold very well.  Today I’m NOT going to feature one of those useable, “everyone should have one of these” planes.  I’ll go back to them in the future, but every once in awhile, it’s fun to throw a curve ball and keep things interesting.  A few days ago, another hand plane enthusiast/collector contacted me with a few questions about one of Stanley’s lesser known, more obscure planes.  I went out to the shop, pulled it out of a box, took a few pictures of it and sent the requested information to my friend.  As I was about to return the plane to its box, never to be seen again, I decided that since it was out on my bench, I’d feature it in this thread.

Stanley #278:

By just looking at this particular plane, it might not be obvious that it’s a rabbet/fillister plane.  Don’t feel bad if you didn't know that.  The first time I saw the thing, I had no idea what it did either.  I’ll say that it’s a neat looking little contraption, but that’s about where my admiration for using it ends.  It has several features that one might think are handy like a fence and depth stop that can be mounted on either side of the plane.  It has spurs milled into both sides of the nosepiece for scoring across the grain ahead of the cut.  The nosepiece is removable thus allowing the tool to function as a small chisel plane.  All those factors would seem to add up to a well conceived plane that’s capable of cutting clean accurate rabbets and joints.  In most cases, that would be true.  Unfortunately, in this case, it’s not, for basically one reason.  The lack of ergonomics designed into this plane make it practically impossible to hold and/or operate.

The plane is small to begin with, so there’s not much room to wrap one’s fingers around the handle.  Furthermore, the end of the cutting iron and the lever used to set the iron’s depth run right into the middle of the handle’s opening in the main casting!  There’s absolutely no comfortable way to position one’s fingers in the handle’s opening without being poked and scraped by the iron and the lever.  I don’t have big hands, but as you can see in the photos below, my fingers just don’t fit in the opening.  At the top of the nosepiece, there’s a circle/loop that I believe was intended to accommodate the user’s index finger.  The problem is that it’s much too far away from the plane’s handle to reach with the index finger or any other finger on the hand at the rear of the plane.  To make matters worse, the top of the depth stop on the nosepiece actually protrudes into the opening again poking and scraping any finger that one might try resting in the loop.  After trying to hold the plane with one hand, I came to the conclusion that it was impossible.  The best way I found to hold the plane was to avoid putting my fingers into the handle opening all together and to just put the palm of my right hand at the rear of the plane, keeping my fingers along side the body of the plane.  That doesn’t provide much control however.  By putting my left thumb into the circle/loop on the nosepiece, I was able to get more control on the plane and guide it through a cut.  (Notice the position of my right hand and fingers and left thumb in the two photos below.  I had to take two separate pictures because I had to hold the camera.  I’m sure you get the point.)  Even after repositioning my hands, I found the #278 to be one of the most non-user friendly planes Stanley ever produced.  Amazingly, even though the plane is difficult to use, Stanley produced it between 1915 and 1943.  Its patent number is 1,201,433.  I cannot imagine how the #278 stayed in the Stanley product line for nearly three decades when there were several other models that had similar features and were much easier to use.  The plane depicted below was most probably manufactured at some point between the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Stanley logo stamped on the top of the pressure cap screw and the remains of the yellow Stanley decal on the back of the plane's handle give me some clues as to its approximate age.  Hopefully I made it clear that I would not ever recommend buying a #278 to use…… because it’s practically unusable!  From a collector’s standpoint, it’s a gem.  It’s not a plane that I’ve seen too often in complete condition.  It has many small parts that are frequently missing.  It also has several parts that are specific to it and only it, to include its fence, pressure cap, cutting iron, and depth stop.  Those small parts alone, when missing, can be very expensive to replace…..that’s if they can be found at all.  Before buying a #278, make absolutely sure that it’s complete and undamaged.  Do your homework, and for the sake of your fingers, don’t ever try using this plane.   

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 05, 2014, 03:39:11 PM
Stanley #278 continued.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 06, 2014, 03:07:52 PM
I’m not so sure if the Stanley #278 rabbet/fillister plane was a big hit with followers of the thread or not, but still, in an effort to provide more interesting (hopefully) and informative content regarding the plane, I wanted to add one more short note and a photograph.  As I mentioned yesterday, the #278 is a tough one to find in complete condition.  In yesterday’s write up, I mentioned that the #278 had been in production from 1915 to 1943.   The featured plane was a Type 2 version.  There was an earlier version of the plane (Type 1) that I thought might be worth mentioning.  It was supposedly produced between 1915 and 1921.  What makes the Type 1 different from the Type 2 is the shape of the handle.  The Type 1 handle was lower than the Type 2 handle.  What I find interesting is that the Type 1’s handle came to a point right about where the middle of the user’s palm would be placed.  Can you imagine that point pressing into your palm as you pushed forward to make a cut?  I made a big deal about the ergonomics of the plane yesterday, saying it was uncomfortable to hold and use.  Looking at the Type 1 version of the plane, I guess it was doomed from its very inception.  Good thing the Type 2 version was “improved.”  With the exception of the two handle styles the Type 1 and Type 2 are virtually the same.

Taking a look at the photo, you’ll see the Type 1 in the upper right section of the picture, and the Type 2 in the lower left section.  As I mentioned earlier, the Type 1 was allegedly produced between 1915 and 1921.  I have my doubts.  To date, I have never seen a #278 Type 1…..ever, other than in this one photograph.  That leads me to believe that they are extremely rare and may not have been produced for much longer than a year or two before the Type 2 was introduced.

Jim C. (who enjoys the mind numbing tidbits associated with rare odd ball hand planes)     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on April 06, 2014, 06:09:42 PM
Jim, thanks. 
I too enjoy rare odd ball hand planes.  That is exactly what I look for in my hobby of building miniatures.  Initially I built copies of some full scale planes that I had collected or remembered seeing in the past as in my grandfather's carpentry shop.  When the supply of readily available models was exhausted I started building miniatures based on pictures found here and there.  I've even bought some planes to have "live" models to copy and have bid on numerous others that I failed to win and couldn't possibly afford.  The Stanley #278 rabbet/fillister plane that you feature here is one such creature.  I have bid on several to no avail.  The pictures that you posted here are as close as I've come to visualizing one in miniature.  I do appreciate all the pictures and literature on this model.  I don't know that I am any closer to building one, but that may be due to other life's distractions right now.  There in may lie the real value of your documentations.  Now when the time is right and my head has more space for hobby miniatures, I will know exactly where to go for a complete documented reference with plenty of pictures of this plane.  Thanks again to you and to Papaw for documenting and cataloging this fine string.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 06, 2014, 08:48:17 PM
Hey Ralph,

Thanks for checking in.  First let me say that I truly hope your current "life's distractions" are nothing serious.  It sounds like you might have a lot on your mind.  I hope that you find resolution and time to get back out in the shop.  Just to be sure, I'm going on the record to say that any time I feature a plane that you'd like to make in miniature, or otherwise, all you need to do is let me know.  I'll give you all the photos, details, measurements, drawings, tracings, etc. that you need.  That's never a problem.  If you're inspired, just tell me how I can help.  As for the #278, it's a tough plane to find in complete condition.  Stanley made a few other models in the #239 series of weather strip planes that are similar looking to the #278, but are slightly more user friendly.  The #239s are also a little bit scarce.  I'll certainly feature them at some point down the road.  In the near future, I'm going to shift back to more common, useful planes.  I feel like the readership connects more to practical tools versus some of the odd ball/speciality stuff.  Thanks for following the thread.  If I can ever help you with any of your future creations, just let me know.

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on April 07, 2014, 07:56:57 AM
For some reason, I'd like to try both of them out.  Can't think of a reason to need one, but curiosity is needling me.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 07, 2014, 09:36:55 AM
For some reason, I'd like to try both of them out.  Can't think of a reason to need one, but curiosity is needling me.

Branson,

The trick would be figuring out how to hold the darn thing.  After writing the posts above, I started trying different things and determined that placing my right palm on the back of the plane and leaving all my fingers and thumb outside of the handle along side the plane, while putting my left thumb in the loop at the front of the plane, worked best for me.  That's basically what I described/depicted above.  The alternative method would be to place your right palm on the back of the plane and then wrap only your middle finger around the handle keeping it above the iron and lever, and also wrap your ring finger around the handle keeping it below the iron and lever.  Your index finger, pinky finger and thumb would stay along side the plane.  Again, your left thumb would be placed in the forward loop.  The plane itself is relatively sturdy and does incorporate some nice features. The problem is that it's small, and from my perspective, requires two hands to operate it sufficiently.  While ergonomics does seem to have been a consideration when the handle was redesigned, the matter of where to comfortably place one's fingers was not addressed.  Perhaps Stanley decided to leave the plane as is, rather than totally redesigning it.  In my opinion, Stanley made better and more user friendly rabbet/fillister planes, to include the #78 and #289 to name a couple.   

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 12, 2014, 07:38:09 PM
Many times throughout the thread, I’ve mentioned that Stanley, and some other fairly well known manufacturers, made some well designed, useful hand planes.  Amazingly, the plane that I’ll feature today was made by a little known entity, R. M. Rumbold, Co., in Thornton, Illinois.  More often than not, Stanley was the innovator when it came to designing job specific, specialty planes.  Sargent had their share of good ones too, like the #507 block plane that was featured earlier in the thread.  It was not unusual for Stanley to “buy out” smaller manufacturers, thus allowing Stanley to continue manufacturing the smaller company’s products under the Stanley name.  The plane depicted below seems to have escaped Stanley’s notice.  Either Stanley didn’t believe in its design, or perhaps it didn’t fit into Stanley’s product line.  I’ll talk more about that a little later. 

R. M. Rumbold Butt Mortise Plane (BMP):

The BMP was specifically designed to cut shallow mortises that would mostly accommodate hinges, lock sets, strike plates, etc.  At first glance, it could very easily be mistaken for a “contraption” or gimmick item, and therefore dismissed as such.  On the contrary, its simple, well thought out design makes it one of the most useful specialty planes that a wood worker could own.  The BMP functions much like a traditional router plane, flattening the bottom of a shallow mortise with ease.  What makes it so handy, and separates it from other router planes are its dimensions.  A traditional router plane is wide across its handles and short going front to back.  Consequently it’s more prone to rock/wobble as it’s pushed and/or pulled along the edge of a work piece.  The BMP on the other hand is long and narrow (9 5/8” long and 1 9/16” wide) making it stable for working on the edges with less tendency for rocking/wobbling.  The BMP can be pushed or pulled in either direction, thus allowing a user the ability to work into the very corners of the mortise being cut, without having to rotate or adjust the work piece itself.  The large window/throat (2 ¾” long and 1 1/16” wide) in the sole provides a clear view of the cut.  The cutting iron is ¾” wide and set into the plane with the bevel side down.  The BMP has very few parts.  Its pressure cap is cast in such a way that it’s captive on a steel rod that runs from one side of the plane to the other.  The cutting iron ramp is part of the main body casting of the plane.  The BMP appears to be fragile, but never leaves me feeling like it’s not capable of making the cuts for which it was designed.  If abused, misused, or dropped, it will crack just like any other plane.  If used appropriately to make cuts for various window, cabinet, and door hardware, then I believe that it’s more than up to the task at hand without any disappointments or apologies.

Using the BMP could not be easier, and good results can be had with just a little bit of practice.  To cut a shallow mortise, the work piece needs to be marked, and the waste to be removed, outlined with a knife.  I like to further clarify the lines with a sharp chisel and a rap or two from a mallet.  Using the chisel and mallet, flake up the surface of the cut as shown below.  Stay inside the lines and don’t cut too deep.  I like to set the iron on the BMP to about half the depth of the final cut.  Carefully remove the flakes created with the chisel.  Starting in the middle of the mortise, carefully push the BMP to the end of the mortise.  Now, turn the plane around and pull it toward you and the other end of the mortise.  Once the flakes have been removed, set the iron, using one leaf of the hinge, to the final cutting depth.  Again, starting at the middle of the cut, push the BMP to the end of the mortise.  Turn the plane around and pull it to the other end of the mortise.  If the cutting iron is sharp and care is taken to stay inside the lines, you’ll end up with a flat bottomed, square cornered mortise, that’s cut to the perfect depth.  Care while using the plane is a must because there are no fences or depth stops to aid the user.  The mortise is the result (good or bad) of freehand operation.  Still, this plane is really a pleasure to use and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to try something a little different when it comes to making hardware mortises.  There are most certainly other ways to cut shallow mortises, but using a BMP is my favorite method.

The Rumbold BMP was patented in December, 1951.  If you would like to do a little more research, its patent number is 2,579,911 and was invented by Wilbert Dohmeyer.  I’m not entirely sure how long the plane was manufactured, but my guess is that by the mid 1960s it was out of production.  In my opinion, the BMP was well designed, and easy to use.  So why didn’t Stanley make something with a similar design, or better yet, why didn’t Stanley just buy out Rumbold?  My guess is that the BMP was too late for the party.  By 1951, Stanley’s hand plane offerings were decreasing.  Most of the specialty hand planes once produced by Stanley were long gone nearly a decade earlier.  The BMP just didn’t fit into Stanley’s plans.   Today, I occasionally see old Rumbold BMPs in online auctions, or at tool shows.  They don’t seem to show up too often at neighborhood garage sales or at flea markets.  They’re available, but you’ll have to look a little harder for them.  Lie-Nielsen currently makes a BMP modeled after the old Rumbold.  Generally speaking, original Rumbold’s cost a little bit less than the Lie-Nielsen version.  If Stanley had in fact made a BMP for a few years, say during the 1920s to 1940s, today it would probably be very collectible and cost prohibitive, like so many of its other specialty planes that are now long gone.  By virtue of the fact that the original BMP was manufactured by an unknown company, it’s still relatively affordable, and worth owning.  If you come across one at a reasonable price, buy it and use it.  It’s a great tool.  In a later post, I’ll show you Stanley’s answer to cutting shallow hardware mortises.  Without giving too much away, I’d opt for the Rumbold BMP, and I think you’ll agree.

Jim C. 

(See the Rumbold BMP in use on the next page of this thread.)               
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 12, 2014, 07:38:58 PM
R. M. Rumbold butt mortise plane continued:
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on April 13, 2014, 06:03:09 AM
Thanks for this!  I looked at the Stanley contender quite a while back, and wasn't impressed much, but the Rumbold looks very useful to me.  Had I found one back when, I'd probably have gotten it.  But I found a Stanley #71 1/2 and have been using it ever since. 

I suspect you're on the mark, that it came very late in the day, when power routers were coming into vogue.  Still don't like those routers for setting hinges.  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: rusty on April 13, 2014, 06:19:52 AM
What a neat plane. Something else to look for ;P

>  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

In the time it takes to walk back to the truck, get the router, get it out of the box, put the correct bit in, set the depth, find an outlet, set up the guide jig.....I will have the door hung and be getting my coffee ;P

And the few I do are done with mallet and chisel....

I can see where that plane makes sense tho, fixing the depth and the offset, you only have to worry about the start and stop point. Making cabinets all day you would certainly want one...
 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 13, 2014, 08:15:09 AM
Thanks for this!  I looked at the Stanley contender quite a while back, and wasn't impressed much, but the Rumbold looks very useful to me.  Had I found one back when, I'd probably have gotten it.  But I found a Stanley #71 1/2 and have been using it ever since. 

I suspect you're on the mark, that it came very late in the day, when power routers were coming into vogue.  Still don't like those routers for setting hinges.  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

Hi Branson,

Thanks for stopping by!  It's always good to hear from you.  I think your Stanley #71 1/2 router is a fine tool that's about as versatile as they come.  On a narrow work piece edge like a cabinet face frame for instance, the user definitely needs a steady hand in order to make sure he/she doesn't rock/wobble off course, and outside of the cut.  I need all the help I can get, so I like the the butt mortise plane in those situations.  The little routers like the Stanley #271 are also pretty handy on small and/or narrow surfaces, and are definitely worth adding to one's arsenal of planes.  The plane that I was actually hinting at featuring down the road was Stanley's "door trim/router plane" #171.  Without going into a totally new post on the #171, it was definitely a contraption of the highest order, but designed to basically do what the Rumbold does.  The two planes look nothing alike, and go from being extremely simple to set up and use (the Rumbold), to complicated and fragile, with several little parts to lose (the Stanley #171).  At some point I'll drag out the #171 and feature it in the thread.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 13, 2014, 09:02:28 AM
What a neat plane. Something else to look for ;P

>  I don't find a real advantage in the power tool for this job.

In the time it takes to walk back to the truck, get the router, get it out of the box, put the correct bit in, set the depth, find an outlet, set up the guide jig.....I will have the door hung and be getting my coffee ;P

And the few I do are done with mallet and chisel....

I can see where that plane makes sense tho, fixing the depth and the offset, you only have to worry about the start and stop point. Making cabinets all day you would certainly want one...

Hey Rusty,

I'm glad that I could feature a tool that you might find some value in owning and using.  The butt mortise plane is one of those hand tools that might actually be more efficient, and as effective to use as a powered tool, such as an electric router.  I know the pictures posted above aren't professional quality, but I think you get the point.  With just a few basic hand tools that are properly sharpened, anyone with some small amount of practice and motivation can quickly produce nice clean mortises for general cabinet, window and door hardware.  Also, I just feel like using a hand tool successfully breeds a little confidence and hopefully a desire to try another hand tool or technique that wasn't previously considered by someone.  Antique hand tools to be used are absolutely great for so many reasons, but they do have some drawbacks that pertain mostly to them being in useable condition, accessible, and affordable.  In this particular instance, the old Rumbold planes are still around, but are not too common.  I think one would have to do a little active searching to find one.  They're still relatively affordable with condition playing a big part of their price.  I've seen them sell for anywhere between $25 and $125, but more generally in the $50 - $75 range.  Lie-Nielsen is the only manufacturer that I know of who currently makes a replica of the Rumbold butt mortise plane.  The quality is fantastic to say the least.  It costs $110.  I'd still recommend an original Rumbold if one comes your way.  If you absolutely must have one now, the Lie-Nielsen will not disappoint you.  If you think you'll get some real use out of the plane, then that might be the way to go.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on April 14, 2014, 06:05:37 AM
Looking at the 171, I'm kinda surprised it was produced as long as it was.  Way more complicated than necessary, and it looks more tricky to use.  I just can't see the advantage over the 71 and the 71 1/2.  Sure looks like it's more trouble to set up. 

Looking forward to your piece on the 171.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on April 14, 2014, 09:40:30 AM
  I never had a hinge mortise plane. I have used a router plane a few times. I've had butt gauges and a stamped steel mortise cutter you hammer in.
 I've used an electric router for big hinges a few times, but only freehand.
  There have been dozens of inventions for nothing else but setting hinges.
 
 Modest skill with an ordinary mallet and chisel does the job quick and well enough to work perfectly. But once upon a time that was not good enough. It had to -appear- perfect as well.   

   Even when I was kid, people still had this psychotic thing about door setting. It was a really big deal back in time. I think it started in the 20's?
The fad of door inspection.
    Everyone knew, and everyone was freaky about it. People would fuss over it and measure the gap with a match cover and took a real interest in door setting. Everybody did.  It was one of those things the average person knew "just enough" to look for.
 They might not know much more. The foundation could be wonky and poorly fitted rafters up top and everything else in-between slap dash work.
 But inspecting the hang of a door?
 That was something they could wear their prissy little clean clean clean slacks for, and they felt obligated to do. They would judge the overall skill of a carpenter by it.
   So every carpenter had to hang a door with over-the-top hyper precision.
  Most of the inventions for setting door hinges, both hand and power, come from this time.
 
  The fad became much less as I became a teenager, and went totally away after that.
  Today the average person knows nothing whatever about their own doors and the average carpenter can't even understand, much less handle anything but a prehung door.   
   yours Scott

 PS.  I saw yet another door hinge setting outfit last night, on the web. A router gizmo made for fully inset multiple linkage hinges. This one had a long presentation around a small plank of wood with a hole in the middle to guide a router bushing. 
 There is still a shred of interest in door hinges with the "yuppiest" crowd.
 Today the interest is in boutique hinges.
 
 Since regular hinges were perfected about 30 generations ago, today you need something that looks complicated if you want to sell it for 22 times the price.
 Most of the complex looking hinges were actually made to be able to install faster with little brainpower required. A jig supplied by the hinge manufacturer and a power tool is all it takes.
 But they "look different" so the yuppiest pay a whole lot more to get it.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 14, 2014, 11:46:22 AM
Looking at the 171, I'm kinda surprised it was produced as long as it was.  Way more complicated than necessary, and it looks more tricky to use.  I just can't see the advantage over the 71 and the 71 1/2.  Sure looks like it's more trouble to set up. 

Looking forward to your piece on the 171.

Branson,

You're absolutely right on all counts!  The Stanley #171 is every bit the "contraption" and then some.  It's fragile, it has a lot of little parts that are frequently missing, and it's nowhere near as easy to set up and use as the Rumbold.  The #171 has three different cutters, and it's usually missing two of them.  One is usually mounted in the plane and the other two are long gone.  They're expensive to replace.  Make no mistake, the #171 is the type of plane that mostly appeals to collectors.  I'll definitely feature it at some point.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 14, 2014, 12:06:15 PM
Hey Scottg,

I'm not too familiar with the history of door setting.  I never knew that hanging a door was how a craftsman was evaluated.  As for hinge mortising, you're right, a mallet and sharp chisel will get the job done, and with a little clean up using a small router, or even a full size router plane, you're good to go.  Still, I do like the Rumbold butt mortise plane because it's so easy to set up and use.  It's almost foolproof and the results are better than good every time.  The butt mortise plane is really just a variation of a router plane.  On the narrow edge of a work piece, like a 3/4" thick cabinet face frame for instance, it really excells.  It's probably not a plane that I would recommend as being a "must have" but certainly one that I'd recommend as a "nice to have" particularly if one is frequently, or even occasionally, working on projects that include setting hinges and similar hardware.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 14, 2014, 03:33:10 PM
While we're still on the topic of butt mortise planes, I wanted to correct myself regarding the availability of such planes being produced by current manufacturers.  Earlier I stated that Lie-Neilsen was the only manufacturer currently making a butt mortise plane.  It's modeled after the Rumbold almost exactly, and sells for $110.  Well I did a little more research and discovered that Lee Valley/Veritas also makes a butt mortise plane.  Its main body casting and handle positioning are very similar to the Rumbold and Lie-Nielsen versions, however, it incorporates an iron adjusting mechanism that's very similar to what one would find on a traditional router plane such as the Stanley #71 and #71 1/2.  The Lee Valley butt mortise plane sells for $139.  Different width cutters ranging in size from 1/16" to 1/4" are also available as accessories.  Lee Valley makes some fine tools, however, its version of the butt mortise plane seems like overkill.  I don't think that the iron adjusting mechanism is necessary and only adds to its complexity and cost.  I still think that a butt mortise plane is a nice tool to have, and I'd stick to finding an original, serviceable, Rumbold as my first choice.  If a Rumbold can't be found but you'd still like to have one, I'd go with the low tech Lie-Nielsen version.  I just don't see any reason to pay an additional $29 for Lee Valley's mechanical iron adjusting version.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on April 14, 2014, 10:13:46 PM
I'd go with the low tech Lie-Nielsen version.  I just don't see any reason to pay an additional $29 for Lee Valley's mechanical iron adjusting version.

 I am astounded that Thomas is selling his mortise plane for 100 and change.

 For a man who sells a repoduction #4  at $400 apiece  (a plane you can get at any swap meet for a sawbuck),
 or reproduction Stanley 750 "gents" chisels, approaching 100 dollars a stem?
(again, something you get almost anywhere, with no handle, for 2 or 3 dollars)
 
  Seeing the mortise plane offered so reasonably is surprising.
 
  And cool. 
     Way to go Tom!
   yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 15, 2014, 09:56:07 AM
Scottg,

I do see your point.  Priced at $110, the Lie-Nielsen (LN) butt mortise plane is a relative bargain when compared to other products in the LN line of tools.  At roughly $300 to $400 for a LN #4 (depending on options like bronze versus iron, high angle frog, etc.) the butt mortise does seem inexpensive.  There are certainly some very good quality used antique planes on the market for literally one tenth or less of the cost.  The LN #4 is modeled after the Stanley Bedrock #604, which in good user condition, can literally cost anywhere between $25 and $150.  Assuming the Bedrock is complete, undamaged, and not rusted beyond recognition, even at the high end of the price scale, it's still a better deal than the LN #4.  Antique Bedrock #604 planes are still fairly common too.

Things start to get a little blurry when deciding to buy a less common antique user plane or a new equivalent LN plane.  Some old speciality planes like the Rumbold are still reasonably priced, but they just aren't that available.  The average user Rumbold is probably still going to cost about $60, and possibly a little more if it's in an online auction and two people really want it.  You know how that goes!  Sometimes just being able to buy a new quality tool from a current manufacturer makes sense when comparing it to the antique tool and its availability.  I think for that reason, the available LN butt mortise plane is reasonably priced in comparison to the "sort of available" Rumbold.  Based on your comment regarding the price of the LN, I think you agree.

There are also several factors that do make many of the LN planes attractive (to me at least.) Availability is obviously one factor.  A perfect example is the Stanley #9 block plane.  An original Stanley is cost prohibitive if you can find one in undamaged condition.  Suddenly the LN #9, costing a few hundred dollars, doesn't seem so bad.  Another thing I like about LN planes is their durability.  Using the #9 again as an example, it's well known that original Stanley versions were prone to cracking.  Using different materials and construction methods, the LNs are much more apt to withstand heavier use without incurring damage.  The durability factor is particularly evident in LN models such as the #9, #10, #62, #140, and Sargent #507.  The antique versions of those planes listed, even under normal use, were susceptible to cracking.  I like the fact that LN has made available old patterns that went out of production decades ago.  Some patterns that are just too hard to find, or are too fragile to use, are now available to everyone to experience, if he/she so desires.  Having those specialty planes in its inventory costs LN money.  Finally, and maybe most importantly, I really like that an entrepreneur started a company in the United States, and has managed to grow it, employ Americans, and stamp "Made In USA" on his products.  Over the years, the LN product line has expanded and the quality has remained high.  A testament to the LN quality and brand is really evident on the used tool market.  Used LN planes seem to hold their value and often sell for near retail prices.  LN planes are expensive, but in some instances they might be a better option, particularly regarding speciality planes.  There are generally more economical choices to be had among common used antique tools, like a #4 bench plane for example.  Still, I'm rooting for LN and consider myself an LN supporter.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 17, 2014, 07:55:53 AM
While the butt mortise plane is still a somewhat fresh topic, I wanted to mention that there's a really good writeup in the current issue of Fine Woodworking magazine regarding butt hinges.  It's issue #240, June, 2014.  The author of the article does a nice job detailing butt hinge installation.  Although he does not use a butt mortise plane, after laying out the cut and removing the waste, he cleans up the mortise with a small router plane.  The plane is the equivalent of the Stanley #271, and perfectly acceptable for finishing the bottom of the mortise.  While reading the article, I wondered if the author was familiar with the Rumbold or not?  Again, I think that the Rumbold is a GREAT tool for doing what it was designed to do, but I still also wonder about its availability.  Small router planes are pretty common and relatively affordable.  I just wanted to present another viable option by featuring the old Rumbold butt mortise plane.  If you've been following the thread, it's probably no surprise to hear that I'm always looking for an opportunity to use a hand plane.  While a mallet, chisel and small router will get the job done perfectly, a butt mortise plane is another chance for ME to try something a little out of the ordinary.  What makes sense to me from a functional, economic, and enjoyment perspective may be totally different for someone else reading along.  Going forward, just remember that I'm a collector, and I'm motivated by old hand planes.  I'm always looking for an opportunity to find, try and buy another one.  I'll keep trying to feature planes that are useful, available, and relatively affordable.  Unfortunately, not every plane that I feature will receive high marks in all three categories, but I'll keep trying to present interesting content while keeping those factors in mind.   

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on April 17, 2014, 10:16:09 AM
 I have been behind Lie-Nielsen tools since the first month they were in public business.
 As they came along, Tom's #1, #9, #212, among several others?
      Magic on skates !@!
 These are tools the average guy simply cannot have any other way. Originals are rare, and thousands of dollars.
  When the company started this was what it was all about, and I was so delighted and proud someone was doing it. I tried to tell everyone I knew what was going on. 
 
  <sigh>
 
   I suppose it was inevitable that eventually the "more money than sense"  crowd showed up demanding to squander grandpa's inheritance or run up their credit cards out of sheer stupidity.
  This was when the "sharp right out of the box" logo, and numbered collector boxes with certificates of authenticity (same as Beanie Babies and Franklin Mint dreck) began taking over the business.
 There has become a whole human subspecies buying these now, along with John Economaki's Bridge City line of tools.

  Ecomonaki was the first to accidentally prove that you could make pretty things and put on a good sales pitch with a glossy color catalog,
  and not just gouge them for a little, you could take them down for a ridiculous amount.
  6, 8, 10 times the price.

  Johns first products were adorable and quite reasonable, but then cost overruns made one product over-the-top expensive. Instead of crashing, the product sold more than any other. Each subsequent product was released with a price reaching higher and higher past any particle of reason. As high as the market would bear.
 Proving men can be as stupid as women, paying $700 for a T-shirt because it says Chanel on the front.
 
 {If we're closed, just shove your money under the door...Chumps}

   At the carnival we called this "playing a big Mark".  That means a sucker with a lot of money willing to throw it away fast.   I once played a Mark and inside of 2 hours time,......... I ended up taking the entire show, not just the jointies, but the ride guys and even the dime pitch grunts, plus the show owners, out to dinner and drinks all around.
 
   Not that I had any choice mind you. With a Mark coughing up that much cash, that fast, in public?  It drew a crowd.  1/ 2 the show was watching the play from a short distance whispering amongst themselves.
 There I was barely 18 years old, not quite making carnival history, but at least making a small legend that would spread far and wide.
 Tradition calls to "treat the show" afterwards, and it was not exactly voluntary. 

  Once in a while I go to the places where these L-N/Bridge City "Marks" hang out, as they brag about the condition of their cardboard and low numbers on the authenticity papers, and simply tell them.............

    If I was so lousy at my craft that I had to pay $400 for a tool I can get anywhere for 10 bucks, in order to get it to work?
     I'd kill myself. 


 Lie-Neilsen still makes some really high quality tools you can't get anywhere else, for a reasonable price considering the market.  But the bottom line profit comes from the Marks whose only real skill centers around throwing money away as fast as they can.

   Somebodies got to take it. You can't blame Tom.   heeheheheheheheheheheheh
        yours Scott     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 17, 2014, 12:06:53 PM
Hey Scottg,

You made some interesting points.  I would have to agree that buying a Lie-Nielsen in a special box with a numbered certificate of some sort hardly seems worth the premium paid for it.  I believe the LN planes themselves are expensive enough as is.  In my attempt to present alternative option planes, such as LNs, I would never recommend buying one that is even remotely marketed as a collectible item.  Every LN plane produced should really be used.  I don't view them as collectible.  I do occasionally refer to them for exactly the reason you mentioned.....some of the old Stanley models are just too expensive and/or rare to obtain.  I guess keeping such tools in stock, and making them available to anyone who wants one, allows LN to basically set their price.  Generally speaking, the market is the market, and someone is buying enough of them to keep LN in business.  I don't think that the majority of individuals who buy LN tools are necassarily poor craftspeople or "Marks." That may be true of some, but I just don't agree that LN's bottom line profit is significantly the result of such people.  There's got to be a sizable portion of variously skilled woodworkers out there who have at least one or two LNs in their arsenal of tools.  I have a few LN planes that I bought, and some that came my way as gifts.  I use them (some more than others) all the time.  Those few that I bought for myself, I use frequently.  They're an absolute pleasure to use, and in many ways, are better made than the antiques that inspired them.  There really is some joy in using a new, high end tool, that performs beyond initial expectations.  Some people simply want that experience.  There's another sort of joy that comes from picking up a seventy five year old plane, seeing the patina, the dark cast iron, feeling the rose wood handle and knob, and knowing that you're about to do something really great with a tool that was produced several decades earlier.  I think that both feelings, both experiences, can happliy co-exist in one shop on the same work bench.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 18, 2014, 09:30:19 PM
In the last couple days Lie-Nielsen (LN) hand planes have worked their way into the discussion.  If you were not familiar with them, perhaps the recent conversation prompted you to check them out.  LN has a nice website that features their tools, woodworking events, and several informative You Tube videos regarding the care and use of several of its products.  The LN website is worth checking out.  Just google search Lie-Nielsen and you’re sure to find it.

LN is certainly a higher end tool manufacturer.  I think the actual quality of their products and their prices reflect that.  Are their hand planes worth the cost?  That’s really a matter of ones personal choice.  Do LN planes live up to their hype?  From the experience that I’ve had with a few of them in my own shop, I believe that they do.  Do LN planes out perform their antique counterparts?  I guess that’s a matter for further debate.  Generally speaking, most antique planes are definitely capable of producing very high quality results that are as nice as anything a LN plane can produce, and vise versa, provided the antique is sharp and in good working order.  The same basic criteria applies to the LN plane.  Where I believe that LN planes separate themselves from the antiques is in the higher quality of construction, materials, and attention to the fit and finish.  LN certainly has the advantage in production techniques, and engineering improvements, and it’s obvious that their tools have benefited from decades of experience (some good, some bad) that Stanley and other companies endured in the hand plane production learning curve.  Just pick up a LN hand plane.  Hold it in your hands.  Operate its adjusting mechanisms.  Almost immediately, it’s very easy to see that it’s a high quality tool that was manufactured with precision and care.  There’s just no denying that.

With all that being said, will using an LN plane automatically make you a better craftsperson?  No.  I think we all know that wood working, like any craft that involves shaping raw, natural, and man made materials, requires years of practice, experimentation, and experience.  The use of tools and techniques are refined, revised, and re-evaluated.  The learning never ends.  Using a LN plane, or its “distant Stanley relative” can potentially lead a person to the same end.  Each tool will hopefully bring its user to that certain level of satisfaction that he/she desires.  There’s no shame in using either one.  It really boils down to personal taste, economics, availability of the particular tool, and the experience that an individual wishes to have.  The PERCEPTION that using a certain tool versus another is good or bad, right or wrong, foolish or wise, should never enter the equation.  Use what you like, and don't be afraid to try something different.

Lie-Nielsen #60 ½:

I bought the LN #60 ½ block plane way back in 1999.  At the time, I had a couple old Stanley block planes that worked just fine, but I was at a woodworking demonstration and noticed that the craftsman doing the presentation had a LN block plane on his bench.  He used the plane continually throughout the demonstration.  At the end of the class I went up and asked him if I could take a look at his block plane.  He swore by it, and said that it was the best block plane he had ever owned.  I was impressed with it.  The man let me take a few passes with it on some scrap and I knew that I’d like to have one.  Talk about a tool that feels great in your hand.  The LN was inspired by the Stanley #60 and # 60 ½ block planes.  LN did make improvements to the pressure cap, and thickness of the main casting.  It’s a heavy plane for its size.  The iron is thicker, and there’s no slop in its adjusting mechanism whatsoever.  As evidenced by the shavings, the plane can be easily set up for an aggressive pass, medium work, or a shaving that’s whisper thin.  It’s a nice tool.  Since 1999, not one project has crossed my bench where the plane depicted below hasn’t touched the work piece at least once or twice.  Any tool can be a part of the wood working experience.  Hopefully the tool will provide utility, inspiration and satisfaction.  This particular plane brings me all three every time I use it.

Jim C.             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on April 19, 2014, 12:57:14 AM
I've never used a metal butt mortise plane, but I made one, and I agree: they're the cat's fuzzy PJs for hinge mortises and similar shallow mortises).  I posted an article on how I made mine on Wood Central, at http://woodcentral.com/articles/handtools/articles_114.shtml (http://woodcentral.com/articles/handtools/articles_114.shtml) (Papaw: I hope it's OK to refer to other fora here; if not, I'll delete this reference).
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 19, 2014, 05:49:55 AM
Wow Bill!!!!  Your butt mortise plane is really GREAT!!!!  First off, you did a fantastic job making a useful tool.  Second, your writeup and photos are outstanding.  What a great article you put together!  I strongly encourage everyone to check it out.  I think you've been holding out on us.  What other planes have you made?  You know it's funny, because I never know for sure who's reading this stuff.  I've come to conclude that at least a few of the "regulars" like Branson and Scottg are serious hand plane (and other hand tool) users/enthusiasts/authorities.  Their comments, photos, and observations have added a lot to the thread, and I appreciate their contributions.  After seeing and reading about your butt mortise plane, you're being added to the list.  You've been laying low.......but no longer my friend.  I hope to be hearing more from you as the thread grows.  Thanks for presenting some practical, useful content.  Great stuff!!!!

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on April 19, 2014, 06:25:01 AM
I agree, Bill, you have been holding out on us!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bird on April 19, 2014, 08:46:01 AM
How the heck haven't I been in on this thread?? I'm so glad you folks posted some new stuff so that I found it!  Wow, what a wealth of information!! Cheers to the woodworkers amongst us!!!!!
       For those of you that didn't know, I'm a chef by trade. I got out of the business for many reasons and now survive off of woodworking, the ocasional catering jobs, ect.  .... much poorer and happier now.
     I don't see that much difference in the two trades. Your food can only be as good as the quality of meat, vegies, fish, ect. that you buy. That is the first step. Your woodworking will only be as good as the piece of wood you have to work with. I cannot execute my job without the right tools. I have to have the right knive for the job. Cooking with a dull, inferior knife is a bad idea. Working with dull chisels, blades, ect. leads to dissapointment and injury.
       But, I can buy the best chefs knife there is.  It's useless unless I know how to take care of it. For anyone that's tried to use a handplane once or twice and given up or found it useless, try again. Tune it up right, and know that it takes a lot of practice to get the best results. Before you know it, you will be using one instead of setting up some complicated jig for one of your powered machines because it's a lot quicker in certain jobs.
    When I started woodworking I made a pact with myself. I would always master things with hand tools before using any power tools.
Once you have the tools, you have to understand the grain, read the peice of wood, know how it likes to fit together--- moisture, what enviorment it's happiest in, ect.  Food is the same way. You don't cook all fish the same way. You don't throw just any herb in anything. It all has to fit together, like a well made joint.
       Next is something then people can learn to a certain degree, but I think in some people, creativity is something that comes naturally.  I can't read a recipe worth a damn and I can't follow someone elses wood plans either. But, that's a topic for another time. Thanks for sharing !!!!!
cheers,
bird.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on April 19, 2014, 08:56:47 AM
Jim C. and Papaw,

Thanks for the praise, although I've never seen that plane as anything but a quick tool to get a job done.  Certainly not up to Scott's standards.

That butt mortise plane is the only one I've made.  Other planes - bench, router, etc. - are so easy to come by that I'm not motivated to spend time on rolling my own.  I've seen some of the user-made specialized joinery planes, like those for grooving the bottom of door parts; those would make sense if I were doing lots of casework.  But for what I've been doing, no need.  On the other hand, the mortise plane solved a problem, and, since I've never seen one in the wild, I had to make it.

Bill
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 19, 2014, 03:00:40 PM
How the heck haven't I been in on this thread?? I'm so glad you folks posted some new stuff so that I found it!  Wow, what a wealth of information!! Cheers to the woodworkers amongst us!!!!!
       For those of you that didn't know, I'm a chef by trade. I got out of the business for many reasons and now survive off of woodworking, the ocasional catering jobs, ect.  .... much poorer and happier now.
     I don't see that much difference in the two trades. Your food can only be as good as the quality of meat, vegies, fish, ect. that you buy. That is the first step. Your woodworking will only be as good as the piece of wood you have to work with. I cannot execute my job without the right tools. I have to have the right knive for the job. Cooking with a dull, inferior knife is a bad idea. Working with dull chisels, blades, ect. leads to dissapointment and injury.
       But, I can buy the best chefs knife there is.  It's useless unless I know how to take care of it. For anyone that's tried to use a handplane once or twice and given up or found it useless, try again. Tune it up right, and know that it takes a lot of practice to get the best results. Before you know it, you will be using one instead of setting up some complicated jig for one of your powered machines because it's a lot quicker in certain jobs.
    When I started woodworking I made a pact with myself. I would always master things with hand tools before using any power tools.
Once you have the tools, you have to understand the grain, read the peice of wood, know how it likes to fit together--- moisture, what enviorment it's happiest in, ect.  Food is the same way. You don't cook all fish the same way. You don't throw just any herb in anything. It all has to fit together, like a well made joint.
       Next is something then people can learn to a certain degree, but I think in some people, creativity is something that comes naturally.  I can't read a recipe worth a damn and I can't follow someone elses wood plans either. But, that's a topic for another time. Thanks for sharing !!!!!
cheers,
bird.

Hi Bird!  I'm glad you found the thread.  Welcome aboard.  I hope you'll be a frequent visitor and contributor.  Jump in and join the conversation any time. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 19, 2014, 03:21:26 PM
Bill,

Whether that was the first plane you made or your one hundredth, you still did a really nice job on it.  Your writeup was equally well done.  Thanks again for adding the outstanding content to the thread.  Keep it coming!

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 28, 2014, 09:35:47 PM
About a month ago, I responded to a post from John (johnsironsanctuary) regarding my interest in hand planes.  (See page 17, reply #240)  I recall that John asked me how I got into collecting and I mentioned that I met a very nice man who sort of mentored me and got me on the path to collecting.  When I met this man, I was already a dedicated hand plane user and someone who frequently bought old planes to help me along with my projects.  In my response to John, I mentioned that my friend and I spoke frequently, although I never met him in person.  That didn’t stop us from enjoying our conversations on the phone and sending emails back and forth with photos of our most recent tool additions.   Somewhere along the line, I started acquiring planes from my friend, and as a result, the composition of my collection changed.  After a few years, I was a collector in every sense of the word.   I don’t regret that, and I certainly don’t apologize for it. 

You might recall that in my response to John, I mentioned that my old friend died a couple years ago.  Shortly before he passed, we talked about his collection and the lifetime he had spent putting it together.  It was truly a first rate collection of antique tools that were produced in a golden age of American industrial ambition.  He shared some stories about a few of the planes and the circumstances in which they had come into his possession.  Some of the stories I had heard before, and others were new to me.  Some of the planes had come to him from friends who had passed.  I just listened.  Near the end of the conversation, he wondered what would become of his collection.  Thinking that he had already come to a conclusion, I still said nothing and listened.  After a moment or two of silence, he finally spoke and said that the planes were only his to preserve for a certain period of time.  He was dedicated to their history, and when the time came, he hoped that they would be passed on to the next fellow, who in turn would preserve them, protect them, and eventually pass them on to someone else.  More than anything else that I learned about collecting old Stanley hand planes from my friend, I learned that I’m just a custodian of a small segment of tools from our great industrial past.  Many of the planes in my collection came from my friend’s collection, either during his lifetime, or after.  About two years before he died, he added a room to his house.  For the next several months after the room was finished, he personally built some custom shelves in the room.  This is the picture that he sent me when the project was complete.

Jim C.             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on April 29, 2014, 04:40:38 AM
That is a great looking tool room!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 29, 2014, 06:25:01 AM
That is a great looking tool room!

The photo really doesn't do the room or the collection justice.  I tried to post a larger photo, but the website would not accept it.  I have a few more that I'll try to post at some point down the road.  I was looking through a few photos last night and thought some here would be interested in seeing just how advanced some collections can be.  I'm sure there are similar collections of wrenches, saws, hammers, etc. that others have spent years piecing together.  The photo I posted only depicts SOME of my friend's collection.  Other angles into the room reveal that he had a lot more.  It truly was a mini museum of sorts.  Although I was very familiar with just about every tool in the space, amazingly I never saw the room in person.  As an antique plane collector/user and old tool enthusiast, I regret never having stood in the room with my friend and complimenting him in person.  Even to someone with a casual interest, the collection was impressive. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on April 29, 2014, 10:32:19 AM
Jim, The link below is of an old thread where I posted some pictures from my tool room. The plow planes I have in my collection are display items only. I never used any of them. I was always intrigued how each maker had his own take on the details of their plane. Nut profiles and arm support profiles vary between makers.

I enjoy this thread for all the info that has been shared.
Les

http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=102.msg423#msg423
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 29, 2014, 11:43:16 AM
Wow Les!! I mean seriously.... WOW!!  Yet another guy reading this thread who has been laying low "sand bagging" it.  What have you been waiting for?  I love old plow planes, and your collection is absolutely amazing!!  The wrenches are great too.  I'm pretty sure that we'd all like to see a lot more of your collection.  Is there any chance that you could feature a plow plane here every once in a while?  Maybe a few pictures, with a short write up and a little history?  I really hope you'll consider my request.  Great collection!  I'd love to see more of it.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: oldtools on April 29, 2014, 01:32:00 PM
WOW! Les!!! Amazing collection & display, Looks like they belong in a museum!! 
Jim, your collection is impressive!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: turnnut on April 29, 2014, 07:00:01 PM
that is a very wonderful private, cared for museum owned & managed by Les.

very nice, Frank
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 30, 2014, 06:41:40 AM
that is a very wonderful private, cared for museum owned & managed by Les.

very nice, Frank

Yes, I completely agree, and hope that we'll get to see more of it in the future.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on April 30, 2014, 03:36:04 PM
Oh so now its BOTH Jim and Les sandbagging!! heehehe
 Those pictures were a tease!  I couldn't see a damn thing.
 A broadside of a room or the glare of glass over tools, from 2 miles away! WhattamI I the Amazing Kreskin?
   
     Dudes, give it up!! Show some tools.

 And you... Les?? Bottles? You have a bottle and a jar and a jug?
These are local to you? Family ancestors? What?
 You can't tease me with bottles!!
The jug is newish, made after 1900. I can't see the jar but the bottle looks like an 1890-1900 blob top beer.
 
 Dish it up you two!  If you need me to reduce the filesize of a few pictures?? Send them to my private email and I'll run them through Photoshop real quick.
 Same appearing picture on a computer screen, dramatically smaller file size.
So it can be shared around easily.
    Just ask.
    yours Scott   
       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on April 30, 2014, 05:39:54 PM
If you click on the pictures they will enlarge. A few local bottles and a few hand me downs from the family. I have to open the cases and take individual pictures of the planes to post in this thread. The one bottle is from Seitz Brothers Brewery, used to be about 14 miles North of were I live.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 30, 2014, 06:24:31 PM
......I have to open the cases and take individual pictures of the planes to post in this thread......

That would be GREAT!!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 30, 2014, 08:21:40 PM
Oh so now its BOTH Jim and Les sandbagging!!.......   
     

Hi Scottg,

I wouldn't go as far as to say that I've been sand bagging.  Okay, I will admit that to some extent I have been holding back a few less common planes that I will eventually feature, but I can't show you everything all at once.  That would take all the fun out of it.  Right?  To be honest, I'm hoping that others will also feature some of their planes here.  I certainly appreciate the planes you've shared with us, but as the thread progresses, I'm learning that several of the "regulars" here have a lot to offer.  Wouldn't you agree?  I think it would be great to have some different content that goes beyond my Stanley stuff.  Les's plows are a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  The thread was purposely and simply entitled "Hand Planes," not "Jim C.'s Hand Planes." Everyone is welcome and encouraged to post pictures and content regarding planes in their shops and collections.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 01, 2014, 05:15:54 AM
Conrad Jensen do-it-all in one plane, Patent Number 126707, Patented May 14, 1872. Some examples are marked this one isn't but you can't mistake it for anything other then this patent. Specialty plane that can be used as a Dado, Fillister or a Rabbet Plane. These are the only views that I have loaded at this time. The one picture is of the plane in it's home, a Lexan box to help keep the dust and dirt off of it. As you can see it lives with my Sandusky Tool 141 Ivory tipped Center Wheel Plow Plane, that will be another post some day. The Jensen is a hard to find plane and has been found made in Rosewood. Martin Donnelly has one coming up in one of his Fall Auctions and I am waiting to see what it sells for as the auction estimate is a lot higher than what I expected.

I am a collector not a user like many of you are. I guess the idea didn't sell all that great as there aren't very many around anymore.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 01, 2014, 05:40:27 AM
Conrad Jensen do-it-all in one plane, Patent Number 126707, Patented May 14, 1872.

Oh dang!  There's one of these at a local antique shop -- minus the wedges and blades.  Suppose I could make those...
I'm going to ask the price...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 01, 2014, 07:17:46 AM
Conrad Jensen do-it-all in one plane, Patent Number 126707, Patented May 14, 1872. Some examples are marked this one isn't but you can't mistake it for anything other then this patent. Specialty plane that can be used as a Dado, Fillister or a Rabbet Plane. These are the only views that I have loaded at this time. The one picture is of the plane in it's home, a Lexan box to help keep the dust and dirt off of it. As you can see it lives with my Sandusky Tool 141 Ivory tipped Center Wheel Plow Plane, that will be another post some day. The Jensen is a hard to find plane and has been found made in Rosewood. Martin Donnelly has one coming up in one of his Fall Auctions and I am waiting to see what it sells for as the auction estimate is a lot higher than what I expected.

I am a collector not a user like many of you are. I guess the idea didn't sell all that great as there aren't very many around anymore.

GREAT post Les!!  What a beauty!  Thanks for sharing one of your plow planes with the rest of us.  I was hoping for some diversity in the thread.  Seriously, I really do appreciate it, and I think the others do too.  I know so little about plows.  I see them around in various states of condition all the time, but I've never pulled the trigger on one.  I guess it's like anything else, it takes some education and experience to become a smart buyer/collector/user.  Just based on the little that I saw in your previous photos, you're obviously an advanced collector, with some real experience.  How long have you been collecting plow planes?  Do you have any "users" that you've been able to try out?  I hope you'll share more of your collection in the future.  From a purely selfish perspective, I'm really looking forward to seeing more of your plow planes and learning something about each one.  I think we'll all be watching for your next post.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bird on May 01, 2014, 07:41:00 AM
THAT'S IT!!!!!! I'm BEYOND jealous!!!!!!! My planes look like crap now!  Thanks a lot!
cheers,
bird
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 01, 2014, 09:09:29 AM
I've been collecting for over 20 years, at the high point I had about 130 plow planes in cabinets/cases in my tool room. I have since down sized a bit I have about 90 and will try and get down to around 75 in order to make room for wrenches and other items.

I haven't driven any yet, just never wanted to as I enjoy their design and all the different individual maker's ideas and way of making them. A lot of the different makers had their own adjusting nut profiles, fence profiles and even screw arm to fence mount profiles.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 01, 2014, 10:03:14 AM
I've been collecting for over 20 years, at the high point I had about 130 plow planes in cabinets/cases in my tool room. I have since down sized a bit I have about 90 and will try and get down to around 75 in order to make room for wrenches and other items.

I haven't driven any yet, just never wanted to as I enjoy their design and all the different individual maker's ideas and way of making them. A lot of the different makers had their own adjusting nut profiles, fence profiles and even screw arm to fence mount profiles.

Wow, what a collection Les!  I know that I've asked a few times now, so I hope you'll keep featuring your plow planes.  No pressure..... (well maybe a little bit).  As you downsize, please feature those that will be leaving the "herd."  Who knows when we'll get a chance to see them again.  To be honest, I hope you'll feature all 90 of them, one by one.  Again, no pressure.....

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 01, 2014, 10:17:18 AM
THAT'S IT!!!!!! I'm BEYOND jealous!!!!!!! My planes look like crap now!  Thanks a lot!
cheers,
bird

Bird,

The thread is a about "Hand Planes."  Not just "Museum Quailty Hand Planes." ALL hand planes!!  I think it's safe to say that all of us are interested in seeing and hearing about planes that are still out in the shop working every day.  Feature one of your favorite planes.  Take a few photos, tell us where/how you acquired it, and most importantly, show us/tell us how you use it to make the things you make.  Okay? 

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 04, 2014, 07:19:21 PM
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have access to a nearly unlimited supply of Michigan grown hardwoods, to include maple, oak, cherry, poplar and walnut.  An older gentleman I know has a mobile sawmill, and has thus made a pretty good living sawing logs, and stickering lumber from trees that were purposely cut down, or fell during storms, etc.   For next to nothing when compared to commercial operators, he’ll cut the log to order and store it on his farm indefinitely.  It’s beautiful, and in many instances, old growth wood, perfect for making heirloom projects.  Working with wood like that is very rewarding.  Starting with a material in its most raw state, and transforming it into a unique one of a kind object, is a very satisfying, and sometimes challenging journey.  I say challenging because those planks are never flat and ready to start cutting into.  After it dries, it’s cupped, twisted, warped and rough.  Simply running it through a powered electric surface planer will produce nothing more than a thinner plank that’s still cupped, twisted and warped.  It may be smoother but it’s not flat.  In order to get a rough plank ready to go through a powered planer, one face must be pretty darn close to flat.  The high spots, and twist must be manually removed from one face, allowing it to stay flat on the planer bed as it is fed through the machine.  In the end, you’ll have two parallel faces that are flat and ready for cutting into various project parts. The most efficient and fastest way to get that first face flat and ready for the surface planer is by utilizing a specialized hand plane.         

Stanley #40:

The scrub plane is nothing novel or unique in woodworking.  Some version of manufactured, or craftsman made scrub plane has been around for decades.  Generally speaking, the scrub plane is almost as common as any plane I can think of, to include a simple block plane or a #4 smoother.  It’s a plane that I’d put on my “must have” list.  If one is doing any sort of moderate to serious woodworking, and starting with rough cut stock as I described above, then the first or possibly the second tool to come into contact with the plank will be a scrub plane.  There’s no way around it.  By setting the #40 for a moderate cut and running it across the work piece at 45 degrees to the direction of the grain, the high spots can be knocked off rather fast.  On a twisted board that rocks when placed on a flat surface, simply taking down the “offending” opposite corners usually does the trick.  By planing at 45 degrees in one direction, and then in the other, the plank starts to lay flat.  Making passes at 45 degrees prevents any significant tear out.  With a little further clean up using a #5 jack plane, you’ll have one flat face that’s ready to lay on the bed of a surface planer.

It’s easy to see that the scrub plane is not a finishing tool.  Its throat is wide enabling thick shavings to pass through without clogging.  The iron is purposely ground with a slight arc, leaving a scalloped finish on the work piece.  (Notice the arc as compared to the straight edge of the machinist square.) The arc keeps the iron from digging in at its corners thus making it capable of removing a lot of stock very quickly.  The plane itself is very simply constructed for heavy duty work.  It has a thick iron and its main casting is such that the frog is cast as part of the body itself.  It’s one of the few bench style planes japanned both inside its main casting and outside.  I assume that was an effort made to protect the plane from rusting as a result of its intended rough life.  Stanley produced the #40 scrub plane from 1896 into the early 1960s.   The plane depicted below was most likely manufactured in the early 1960s near the end of its run in the Stanley product line.  Stanley also made a slightly larger scrub plane, the #40 1/2, from 1902 to 1947. 

Occasionally, I’ll receive a plane or two from neighbors, co-workers, relatives, friends, etc.  Very often, the story goes something like this:  “I have this old plane that belonged to my (dad, grandfather, uncle, father-in-law) and I have no use for it.  Do you want it?”  I say “Yes” every time!  This is one of those planes.  I actually received it from my neighbor across the street.  My neighbor’s father had passed away and the family was in the process of disposing of/dividing his estate.  My neighbor ended up with his father’s tools including this plane.  He didn’t want it and walked it over to my house.  I’ll admit that it was in rough condition when I received it, with some rust and decades worth of accumulated crud from sitting neglected in an unheated garage.  Upon initial inspection however, I was encouraged to see that its original knob and tote were solid.  Although the japanning is chipped, most of it was intact and consequently protected the plane, inside and outside, from major rust and pitting.  The exposed bare sole and cutting iron were a different story.  Still, with a little elbow grease and a couple quality hours out in the shop, it cleaned up nicely.  When I start a new woodworking project, it's usually the first plane I pick up and use.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 05, 2014, 04:41:44 AM
Two more views of the Conrad Jensen plane I posted last week.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 05, 2014, 07:11:57 AM
Thanks for the additional photos Les!  What a great looking plane.  I'm going to keep my eye out for an old wooden plow.  I think I'd like to try one out. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 05, 2014, 07:45:21 AM
I've seen one Stanley scrub in the wild, a 40 1/2, and it is mine!!  What a work horse!  I thought they were interesting before, but having and using one has put it on my must have list.  Flattening rough sawn wood, yes, but irreplaceable when you need to hog off extraneous material.  It's the king.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 05, 2014, 07:46:23 AM
Two more views of the Conrad Jensen plane I posted last week.

I'm really going to have to see how much the antique store wants for the one on the wall there!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 05, 2014, 09:11:55 AM
I've seen one Stanley scrub in the wild, a 40 1/2, and it is mine!!  What a work horse!  I thought they were interesting before, but having and using one has put it on my must have list.  Flattening rough sawn wood, yes, but irreplaceable when you need to hog off extraneous material.  It's the king.

Hey Branson,

I agree 100%.  A scrub plane is absolutely essential if you're doing any kind of woodworking that begins with rough sawn wood.  What I like most about it is making that first pass.  Just below the saw marks and bristly surface of a rough sawn plank is the true beauty of the wood.  With a super sharp iron, that first pass is really the initial look at what's to come.  Suddenly that rough looking plank takes on a personality all its own.  The scrub plane unlocks the character of the wood. 

You were lucky to find a Stanley #40 1/2.  They're not as common as the #40. That's a great plane and a proven worker for sure. 

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: strik9 on May 05, 2014, 11:23:23 PM
   I'm just getting started in traditional woodworking, as best I can at least, and accumulating tools.   Vintage isn't happening but I've restored a few wrecks back into workers.
 
   Saws are sort of easy even living in Mexico.  Chisels, darn easy.     Planes that are in good form and affordable, not so easy.     A friend gave me a generic no.6, I bought a generic no.4  and both were in pretty rough shape.   

     A lot of work later combined with a youtube training course I got both of them into working order.   The adjuster functions on the no. 6 are all but gone.    Not a problem, I can hammer tap that thing into fine adjustment fast enough.

    Then after I seen an Asain style plane I had to have one.   So I made 3 wood bodies and wedges, used a modern Stanley iron in one and its a worker bee!    The other two await me finding irons for them.    I've been using it on a series of small pine shelves I'm making and it works pretty good.    A few small details to work out but hey, it was a tomato crate a month ago.   The next one won't have those issues.
      I'll get some pictures up here soon, I have to take them yet.   

   Jim, Scott and all the rest, thank you for the inspiration to try.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 06, 2014, 09:36:49 AM
Plow planes are used to cut various width grooves in a board at a set distance off the edge of the board. Drawer bottoms for example. The age old problem was/is to keep the fence parallel to the skate of the plane. The fence is the guide that rides the edge of the board and the skate is the thin metal blade that is actually the sole of the plane. The skate is thin because a plow plane will accept a range of different iron sizes to cut different width grooves depending on the intended use. The irons can range from 1/8 - 5/8 inches in width. The blade is centered on the skate and most irons have a groove on the back side of the iron that helps to keep the iron centered on the skate. The irons are also tapered to aide in keeping them adjusted with such a narrow wedge. The earliest plow planes have slide arms that are locked into position by either a wedge arrangement on the side of each arm or by locking screws from the top of the plane body that tighten against the top of the sliding arm. The locking screws are usually wood but brass is also found. The next most common design is screw arm design, where the arms are threaded and there are nuts and threaded washers that hold the fence adjustment. There have been many different patented and un-patented designs of Plow Planes. There is the fairly well known but hard to find Center Wheel design that was manufactured by both Ohio Tool and Sandusky. The Center Wheel design was patented November 30, 1869 Patent 97,328. The pictures are of my Sandusky 141 Center Wheel Plow Plane with six ivory tips. All Boxwood with the Sandusky Brass Center Wheel adjustment. Ohio Tool versions were similar in design but the large adjustment wheel is also wood.

Pictures won't load I'll try later.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 06, 2014, 09:55:29 AM
Plow planes are used to cut various width grooves in a board at a set distance off the edge of the board. Drawer bottoms for example. The age old problem was/is to keep the fence parallel to the skate of the plane. The fence is the guide that rides the edge of the board and the skate is the thin metal blade that is actually the sole of the plane. The skate is thin because a plow plane will accept a range of different iron sizes to cut different width grooves depending on the intended use. The irons can range from 1/8 - 5/8 inches in width. The blade is centered on the skate and most irons have a groove on the back side of the iron that helps to keep the iron centered on the skate. The irons are also tapered to aide in keeping them adjusted with such a narrow wedge. The earliest plow planes have slide arms that are locked into position by either a wedge arrangement on the side of each arm or by locking screws from the top of the plane body that tighten against the top of the sliding arm. The locking screws are usually wood but brass is also found. The next most common design is screw arm design, where the arms are threaded and there are nuts and threaded washers that hold the fence adjustment. There have been many different patented and un-patented designs of Plow Planes. There is the fairly well known but hard to find Center Wheel design that was manufactured by both Ohio Tool and Sandusky. The Center Wheel design was patented November 30, 1869 Patent 97,328. The pictures are of my Sandusky 141 Center Wheel Plow Plane with six ivory tips. All Boxwood with the Sandusky Brass Center Wheel adjustment. Ohio Tool versions were similar in design but the large adjustment wheel is also wood.

Pictures won't load I'll try later.

Thanks Les!  I'm looking forward to seeing and learning much more about old plow planes.  I've also had problems with adding pictures to my posts.  I've found that trying to post them during normal daytime hours is very difficult.  My best success seems to be later at night usually after 9:00 p.m. CST.  Don't give up!  I want to see those planes!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 06, 2014, 10:01:35 AM
   I'm just getting started in traditional woodworking, as best I can at least, and accumulating tools.   Vintage isn't happening but I've restored a few wrecks back into workers.
 
   Saws are sort of easy even living in Mexico.  Chisels, darn easy.     Planes that are in good form and affordable, not so easy.     A friend gave me a generic no.6, I bought a generic no.4  and both were in pretty rough shape.   

     A lot of work later combined with a youtube training course I got both of them into working order.   The adjuster functions on the no. 6 are all but gone.    Not a problem, I can hammer tap that thing into fine adjustment fast enough.

    Then after I seen an Asain style plane I had to have one.   So I made 3 wood bodies and wedges, used a modern Stanley iron in one and its a worker bee!    The other two await me finding irons for them.    I've been using it on a series of small pine shelves I'm making and it works pretty good.    A few small details to work out but hey, it was a tomato crate a month ago.   The next one won't have those issues.
      I'll get some pictures up here soon, I have to take them yet.   

   Jim, Scott and all the rest, thank you for the inspiration to try.

Hi Strik9,

Thanks for joining in!  It sounds like you're getting some good use out of your hand planes.  I'm particularly interested in seeing those that you made from scratch.  If you have a little time, post a few pictures of them.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 06, 2014, 04:40:09 PM
This is a typical looking handled screw arm plow plane. The maker is A. Mockridge Newark, NJ. That alone makes this plane a little special as handled plow planes from NJ and PA are unusual for some reason. Mockridge is listed as a plane maker during the 1825 - 1841 era. I'll post several pictures but you can see the large nuts and smaller threaded washers that hold the fence adjustment. The bottom view shows the thin skate and the rectangle shaped piece of steel that is the depth stop. On the top of the plane is the wedge and iron as well as the brass depth stop adjusting thumb screw. On one side the brass thumb screw is the depth stop lock screw. In one of the pictures you can see a brass reinforcing strip on the skate. The plane is Boxwood.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 06, 2014, 04:59:21 PM
Screw Arm Plow Plane makers all add their personal touches. Many of the plow planes made weren't patented so the basic design is similar. The easiest way for them to personalize planes was the nut design. At one point I could identify some of the makers by their style of screw arm nuts. These pictures are just a small sample of plow plane nuts from a few different plow planes in my collection.

If you double click the pictures they will enlarge!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 06, 2014, 06:36:32 PM
Wow Les!  I'm pretty sure I just became a plow plane enthusiast in a big way.  Really!  Those planes are something special.  I like the mechanics they employ, the screws, their construction....But I think what did it for me was the photos you posted of the individual screw arm nuts.   When seen apart from the planes themselves, they are clearly small turned pieces of art.  I'm looking at plow planes from a totally different perspective now.  I'm a fan!  This could get serious for me.  I'm just saying.....

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 07, 2014, 04:52:01 AM
This Plow Plane is an English made plane. At first glance one might think it is a regular slide arm plow plane. There is a lot more going on with this W. Hasler made plane. Haslar is listed as living from 1825 - 1865. If you notice there aren't any wedges to lock the arms in position. There are round head screws in the top that lock the arms in position and there is a larger fluted knob on the top of the plane. The fluted knob is connected to a rack and pinion system that adjusts the fence. The racks are inlaid into the bottoms of the arms. There are brass strips on the top of the arms that the locking screw tighten against. Brass end caps on the arms that arm fairly common on slide arm plow planes. There are scales engraved on the side of the arms to aide in setting the fence. The thumb screw on the top is used to adjust the depth stop. Underneath the bump out piece on the side of the main body along side of the fence is where the magic happens. There is also a brass reinforcement strip on the fence, this fence and reinforcement is riveted onto the plane body.

More pictures to follow.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 07, 2014, 04:53:44 AM
Additional Hasler pictures.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 07, 2014, 06:36:50 AM
Les, I'm beginning to see that some of these old plow planes can be fairly complex particularly in their methods of adjustment.  I would imagine that their construction takes some planning and engineering too.  I'm intrigued by the rack and pinion adjustments.  It seems that the design of plow planes was only limited by the craftsman's ability to dream one up and then construct it.  Each one is very unique.  In terms of practicality, I wonder which ones worked the best?  Generally speaking, they all were designed to do the same thing.  Is that correct?  So what separated the planes that provided real utility from those that were "contraptions?" In this case, was the rack and pinion system better than screw arms and nuts?  I have A LOT to learn about plow planes.  Like I said early on in the thread, it's all about education and the motivation to learn.  This is GREAT stuff!

Jim C. (future plow plane owner) 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 07, 2014, 07:45:11 AM
They were all built to do the same thing, kind of like building a better mouse trap. The most common ones you will find are slide arm with wedge locks on the arms without a handle, screw arm style without a handle and screw arm with handle. The other types are attempts to solve the problem of keeping the fence parallel to the skate. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on May 07, 2014, 08:43:39 AM
Wow Les!!  The Hassler plane is a knockout! Never saw anything like it.
 Rack and pinion adjust, I have flipped my wig! OK I don't have a wig, but how about a ball cap? heeheh 
 I'm blown away, anyhow.

 I am sorry, but you are going to have to dig in and use that centerwheel long and hard, And tell me how well it holds the fence setting?
  I always wondered about that.

 The Jersey plane? Well no way to know how come there were few Jersey makers,
but if it was required they had to get solid chunks of boxwood that big..............

 Thanks for sharing
    yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 07, 2014, 09:37:51 AM
Scott, lots of NJ makers they just didn't make very many handled plow planes.

Rhode Island plow plane makers are hard to find. J. W. Pearce and E Childs are the only two I can think of off hand. Other plane makers from Rhode Island but they didn't make plow planes.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on May 07, 2014, 09:53:06 AM
Two good books on Plow Planes out there, The American Cabinetmakers Plow Plane by John A. Moody is sometimes hard to find, out of print and usually sells for over $100. The second is Wooden Plow Planes by Don Rosebrook and Dennis Fisher, you can find this one for around $50. Both books have sections on nut styles. Don Rosebrook and Dennis Fisher's book was released in 2003 and has a lot of color pictures of a lot of different makers from across the country.

If you see a plow plane with a brass ring around the base of the nut where the nut contacts the main body it was made in Philadelphia PA or Lancaster PA area. Nobody else did that detail. I'll show some in a future post.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: rusty on May 07, 2014, 04:47:12 PM
>Other plane makers from Rhode Island but they didn't make plow plane.
Our claim to fame seems to be that we made the irons for many planes (often unmarked or OEM stamped), because Rhode Island Tool Co/Providence Tool Co was one of the very very few companies that could reliably a steel edge on a malleable iron sheet...

Still following along, this is a great thread :)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 18, 2014, 02:41:08 PM
During Stanley’s golden years of hand plane production, the company managed to fill just about every conceivable niche known to exist, and perhaps invented a few new ones.  Stanley’s hand plane offerings were diverse, ranging from planes designed to hog off thick shavings, to those that could fine tune a joint for a perfect custom fit.  Many of the planes used to fine tune joints were often small, relatively delicate tools, that usually incorporated their own unique characteristics.  As always, some worked better than others.

Stanley #79:

The plane depicted below is a side rabbet plane.  Its sole function is primarily to widen dados, grooves and rabbet joints.  With its thin sole, it can fit into the narrowest of dados, etc., and if set up properly, will remove the slightest shaving from the joint’s side wall.  Personally, I’m famous for undercutting joints.  They’re almost always a little bit too tight, too long, too thick; and I end up “creeping” up on the final fit by making little adjustments and fine tuning the parts.   Rarely if ever do I cut a joint that mates perfectly with the first attempted fitting.  This is exactly the sort of plane that I find to be extremely handy.

What made the #79 unique was its design to cut in both directions on the same side wall of a joint, hence, two irons are mounted on the same face and same edge of the plane itself.  The tool can be pushed or pulled in either direction without having to move or reposition the work piece.  It seems like a handy feature.  That being said, if the non-cutting iron is set to make a cut, it is consequently being dragged across the wall of the joint, possibly “throwing off” the accuracy (angle) of the iron that is being engaged going in the opposite direction.  Basically, the iron not in use needs to be retracted back beyond the body of the plane so it is not being dragged and potentially misguiding the iron that’s engaged in the cut.  That kind of defeats the convenience of setting both irons on the plane so the user can go in either direction quickly.  By repositioning the small “shoe” at the leading edge of each iron, the plane can be converted for bull nose work, or with the removal of the shoe, can cut into the corner of a stopped dado.  That's a nice feature.  Stanley also made individual side rabbet planes, the #98 and #99, that were designed to cut in one direction or the other.  They were two separate planes, and probably a better idea in the long run.  However, in Stanley’s never ending attempt to fill a niche (real or not), the #79 was born.  Its production overlapped the #98’s and #99’s production run by sixteen years.  Don’t get me wrong, side rabbet planes are very useful, but trying to create one that cuts in both directions, may not have ultimately saved the final user any time and/or effort.  Still, other companies also tried too, most notably Sargent, with its #81.  We’ll cover the Stanley #98 and #99, as well as the Sargent #81, in future posts.

The number #79 was produced from 1926 to 1969.  It was traditionally nickel plated, however, during WWII, some were finished with black japanning.  The japanned versions are somewhat rare.  Early versions of the #79's main body, like the one depicted below, were cast with a semicircular cutout section.  Later versions produced from approximately 1952 to 1969 were cast straight across the top and had a small hang hole in them.  Stanley also added a stamped steel depth stop to the back of the plane about the same time that the #79’s semicircle cutout was eliminated.  I occasionally see #79 side rabbet planes for sale at tool shows and online auctions.  Although side rabbet planes are very useful, and almost necessary when making fine furniture or cabinetry, because of their limited function, they’re not tools that most basic DIYers ever needed.  Consequently, they don’t show up at garage sales and/or flea markets too often.  If you’re thinking of adding a side rabbet to your collection of tools, the #79 might be a good choice, provided you understand that its two iron feature is only of limited convenience.  Still, from an economic point of view, it’s probably a little less expensive than trying to find a Stanley #98 and #99.  As always, do your homework.  The #79 has several little pieces that can get lost or damaged.  Make sure you buy a complete plane.  Interestingly, several of the small pieces found on the #79, were interchangeable with those on the Stanley #98 and #99.  With the exception of the #79, #98 and #99 main castings, several of their respective parts to include the thumb screws, iron clamps, irons, shoes, and shoe screws are interchangeable.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 24, 2014, 08:03:10 AM
If you’ve been reading along so far, I suspect that you now know Stanley made many, many different block plane patterns.  I’m sure that during a particular tool’s design phase, Stanley’s engineers and marketers were targeting some specific segment of the woodworking public.  Although block planes like the #9 ½ for instance, were probably targeted at just about everyone, some planes, perhaps only based on their specific physical characteristics may not have been aimed at so broad an audience.

Stanley #203:

A while back we covered the Stanley #118 stamped steel, “boy proof” block plane.  With pieces that couldn’t be removed without some intentional force, and a steel body and pressure cap, the #118 seemed like the prefect tool for the young budding woodworker.  You may recall that the #118 wasn’t produced by Stanley until 1933.  Well, prior to 1933, the world was still populated with young woodworkers.  What did they use?  I don’t think Stanley was about to concede that segment of the market to one of their competitors.  In response to that niche, Stanley came up with the #203 block plane.  It was manufactured between 1912 and 1961.  At approximately 5 ½” long, it was just about the right size for small hands.  With a fixed throat and an iron bedded at an angle of slightly greater than 20 degrees, it could produce respectable results.  (It should be noted that most reference material regarding this plane provides information stating that the bedded iron angle is "standard."  The common standard bedded angle is usually 20 degrees.  The iron on the #203 is clearly bedded at an angle that's greater than 20 degrees.  See replies #325, #327, and #328 below for more information.)  Still, its body and pressure cap are cast iron (so not “drop proof”) and it’s equipped with an iron adjusting mechanism that can be easily removed…..and lost.  While the #118 and #203 production overlapped each other for nearly thirty years, the #118 was the sole survivor of the two and was produced well into the 1980s.  The plane depicted below was most likely manufactured in the early 1950s.

I occasionally see #203 planes for sale, but not too often for some reason.  I don’t think they’re particularly rare, but I've never seen one at a garage sale or flea market either.  It took me a while to find the example depicted below.  Even though it may have initially been designed for children to use, I see some utility in the size and design of the #203.  For small work pieces, and use on hardwoods (based on its iron being bedded at greater than 20 degrees), it might be the perfect tool for some applications..

Jim C.    (I hope everyone enjoys a happy Memorial Day weekend.)         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on May 24, 2014, 08:34:52 AM
While they may not be rare, neither are they very common.  I've never seen one at a yard sale or flea market either, or even at the M-WTCA meets I've been to.  Maybe not one of Stanley's better ideas.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 24, 2014, 09:36:16 AM
While they may not be rare, neither are they very common.  I've never seen one at a yard sale or flea market either, or even at the M-WTCA meets I've been to.  Maybe not one of Stanley's better ideas.

Mike

Hi Mike,

Thanks for jumping in.  A little independent validation (or contradiction) is always good, just to make sure I'm not spouting off inaccurate information.  Yes, that's been my experience too.  The #203 isn't a plane that I'd consider to be uncommon, but at the same time, it's not one that shows up for sale too often either.  I really hesitate to categorize the #203 as rare, but it did take me a few years to find one.  I do agree that it's probably not the best block plane Stanley ever produced, but it could get the job done when necessary.  It's certainly a stout little tool that appears to be durable under normal use.  Stanley did make a couple small block planes with some nice features to include adjustable throats, mechanical iron adjustments, and irons bedded at a low angle.  If you get a little time, take a look at the #60 and #60 1/2 block planes.  In my opinion, they're two of Stanley's best small block planes.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on May 24, 2014, 01:27:10 PM
Jim,
I like the 60 1/2 the best.  I have sold more of them than any other plane.  They just seem to be the right size.  My biggest problem is finding them.  Seems like they are becoming more scarce for some reason.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 24, 2014, 01:55:43 PM
Jim,
I like the 60 1/2 the best.  I have sold more of them than any other plane.  They just seem to be the right size.  My biggest problem is finding them.  Seems like they are becoming more scarce for some reason.

Mike

Mike,

It could be for the reason you stated.  They're the right size and they're good tools.  They work.  Why part with a simple, well designed tool, that delivers great results?  Maybe more people are just holding on to them.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: strik9 on May 24, 2014, 10:43:10 PM
   I have managed to get picture capability again!     My most successful wood planes as promised gentlemen:


  I am still waiting for an iron for the biggest one.    The next ones will need bigger throats as they can choke up on some types of wood.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on May 25, 2014, 01:18:44 AM
Stanley came up with the #203 block plane...[with] an iron bedded at the standard angle (20 degrees)...

Thanks for your extensive, detailed tutorials on various planes, Jim.  One comment (well, one comment and elaboration) on your latest post:

On my example of the 203, a gift from a friend when I helped him move, the iron is bedded at a higher angle.  I just measured it, and estimate it to be bedded at 23-24 degrees.  With an iron sharpened at the standard 25 degrees, you would get an effective cutting angle close to 50 degrees.  In a bench (bevel-down) plane, this would be considered York pitch, optimal for hardwoods and interlocking/figured grain.

The same is true on my example of the Stanley 220.

I was taught that metal-bodied block planes have two bedding angles - the standard 20 degree angle and the low 12 degree angle.  It appears this may be over-simplifying what Stanley, at least, did.  I'm not sure why they would have chosen a higher bedding on these two planes, one marketed for shop classes and the other designed as a utility plane that would mostly show up in the home shop or the toolbox of a carpenter doing rough work.

And it was a choice; on both planes, as you can see in Jim's first photo of the 203, the adjuster is a tall cast block, running on cast fingers on the plane's bed.  If Stanley had wanted to use the 20-degree bedding of the 9-1/2, 18, 19, 110, etc., they could have just cast the block a bit shorter and changed the angle of the fingers.  Again, the 220 shares the same tall adjuster design.

I've used my 203 a bit for fine trimming, although the carpentry that's soaked up much of my time for the past decade doesn't call for much finesse.  I note that the size of the plane (though not the bedding angle) is very close to the size of Lie-Nielsen's #103 block plane and Lee Valley's Apron Plane; this leads me to think that a 203 could enjoy a role in the shop (if you should happen to find one).
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 26, 2014, 06:59:18 AM
Hi Strik9,

Thanks for getting a couple pictures posted.  I'm interested in seeing more of your wooden planes.  It looks to me like you did a great job constructing them.  How do they cut?  I see that one plane still needs an iron.  What size iron are you looking for?

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 26, 2014, 08:03:45 AM
Hey Bill,

I read your post and did a little side-by-side comparison out in the shop.  You’re 100% correct!  You made some GREAT points and observations!  I can honestly say that the irons on the #203 and #220 always looked to be bedded at a little higher than the “standard” angle of 20 degrees, but I never really looked closely to make sure I wasn’t just imagining that, or if it was fact.  Well, based entirely on your post, I can say now that it’s fact.  I love learning new information and “tidbits” about these old tools.  Now I want to know why!!  You made a good point.  Why would Stanley put a "York-like" pitch on two general utility block planes?  I spent a good part of the morning going through my reference materials looking for any mention of those two planes having been produced with irons bedded at greater than 20 degrees.  I couldn’t find a word about it.  My only guess is that Stanley attempted to make a general utility block plane that could handle a little bit of every thing.  I have always thought that a block plane with an adjustable throat and iron bedded at 12 degrees would be the tool of choice under most circumstances where a block plane is needed.  I might have to re-think my position.  I can’t say that the #203 or the #220 are the first block planes that I reach for, but I’m fairly certain I might have to give both a second look going forward.  Maybe I’m missing some of their benefits.  GREAT information Bill.  Thanks again for posting your observations.  I’ll go back and amend my previous post regarding the #203. 

As I stated above, I did go out in the shop and do a little side-by-side comparison.  The photo below depicts three Stanley block planes.  From left to right are the #220, #9 ½, and #203.   The iron on the #9 ½ is bedded at the standard angle of 20 degrees.  Clearly, the #220 and #203 irons are bedded at steeper angles. 

Jim C.  (Who always appreciates learning something new about old hand planes.)         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on May 26, 2014, 04:49:35 PM
Bill and Jim,

Kind of interesting that Sellens makes no mention of different bed angles nor does Pat Leach.  John Walters does say the 220 is bedded at 23° but does not mention the 203 as being anything but 20°.

Looks like  you guys are paying more attention to actual examples than Stanley's propaganda.  Nice work on your parts!

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 26, 2014, 05:52:38 PM
Bill and Jim,

Kind of interesting that Sellens makes no mention of different bed angles nor does Pat Leach.  John Walters does say the 220 is bedded at 23° but does not mention the 203 as being anything but 20°.

Looks like  you guys are paying more attention to actual examples than Stanley's propaganda.  Nice work on your parts!

Mike

No kudos for me on this one Mike.  Bill's the guy who brought it to our attention.  Credit goes to Bill.  Once again, I REALLY do appreciate you guys checking my facts and figures.  First off, I don't want to pass along bad, inaccurate, or incomplete information.  Second, it lets me know that someone is reading this stuff.  Third, I do like learning more about old planes.  I learned something new today.  Thanks you all for staying with the thread.  We've still got a lot more ground to cover.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 27, 2014, 04:40:14 AM
Jim,
I like the 60 1/2 the best.  I have sold more of them than any other plane.  They just seem to be the right size.  My biggest problem is finding them.  Seems like they are becoming more scarce for some reason.
Mike

I find 'em, I buy 'em.  And keep 'em.   I always need at least two, and if one of those hits the floor...   Plus there's the general go to box, and also the window work go to box...  Sell one?  Not likely.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 27, 2014, 04:43:45 AM
This thread has made me wonder who made the Stiletto block plane I picked up quite a while back.  There's the Stiletto etch on the blade, but no other markings on the body.  It's rather heavy for a block plane.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 27, 2014, 12:09:03 PM
Jim,
I like the 60 1/2 the best.  I have sold more of them than any other plane.  They just seem to be the right size.  My biggest problem is finding them.  Seems like they are becoming more scarce for some reason.
Mike

I find 'em, I buy 'em.  And keep 'em.   I always need at least two, and if one of those hits the floor...   Plus there's the general go to box, and also the window work go to box...  Sell one?  Not likely.

Hi Branson,

I think that's the train of thought these days.  Stanley did make tens of thousands of those 60 series block planes over many decades, but not an unlimited supply.  Even though they were mass produced, their overall quality was pretty darn good.  It seems that anyone who works wood, from a serious cabinet maker to a DIYer has discovered that old tools are generally the way to go when it comes to performance and price.  That being said, good used tools (and I don't mean collector quality) are getting harder to find.  When you factor in breakage, and abuse/neglect, the number of available tools gets smaller.  I think you're wise to hold on to those old block planes.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 27, 2014, 12:11:08 PM
This thread has made me wonder who made the Stiletto block plane I picked up quite a while back.  There's the Stiletto etch on the blade, but no other markings on the body.  It's rather heavy for a block plane.

I can't say that it sounds familiar, but you can't leave us hanging like that.  You're almost obligated to post a few pictures!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on May 27, 2014, 12:17:36 PM

I find 'em, I buy 'em.  And keep 'em.   I always need at least two, and if one of those hits the floor...   Plus there's the general go to box, and also the window work go to box...  Sell one?  Not likely.

Yeah, me too.  Mrs. Chilly says I'm a hoarder.

Chilly
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on May 27, 2014, 12:26:50 PM
This thread has made me wonder who made the Stiletto block plane I picked up quite a while back.  There's the Stiletto etch on the blade, but no other markings on the body.  It's rather heavy for a block plane.

I can't say that it sounds familiar, but you can't leave us hanging like that.  You're almost obligated to post a few pictures!!

Jim C.
Stiletto was/is a West Coast brand.  In their heyday, they offered a full line of tools.  They've survived by specializing in some fancy hammers.  See https://stiletto.com/ (https://stiletto.com/) and https://stiletto.com/t-about.aspx (https://stiletto.com/t-about.aspx).  They're kind of vague about how the tools got produced, and the fact that they make no reference to a factory leads me to think that they were selling tools made by someone else for them, as did a lot of the hardware stores.  But I don't know what company it was.

Since they were Northern California-based, just like me (born in Oakland, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and lived there until I was 18, when I set out to wander the world a bit; then back to the area in 1973, and since then), I tend to grab every Stiletto-branded tool I find.  Wish I knew the history better; the company's website is pretty limited.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 27, 2014, 05:16:14 PM
This thread has made me wonder who made the Stiletto block plane I picked up quite a while back.  There's the Stiletto etch on the blade, but no other markings on the body.  It's rather heavy for a block plane.

I can't say that it sounds familiar, but you can't leave us hanging like that.  You're almost obligated to post a few pictures!!
.
Jim C.
Stiletto was/is a West Coast brand.  In their heyday, they offered a full line of tools.  They've survived by specializing in some fancy hammers.  See https://stiletto.com/ (https://stiletto.com/) and https://stiletto.com/t-about.aspx (https://stiletto.com/t-about.aspx).  They're kind of vague about how the tools got produced, and the fact that they make no reference to a factory leads me to think that they were selling tools made by someone else for them, as did a lot of the hardware stores.  But I don't know what company it was.

Since they were Northern California-based, just like me (born in Oakland, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and lived there until I was 18, when I set out to wander the world a bit; then back to the area in 1973, and since then), I tend to grab every Stiletto-branded tool I find.  Wish I knew the history better; the company's website is pretty limited.

Thanks Bill.  I've been learning a lot around here lately.  This is exactly what I hoped this thread would be.....an exchange of information with a hand plane theme.  Good stuff!!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: rusty on May 27, 2014, 05:48:57 PM
[Stiletto] The company's history page is missing a piece, the merger of B&H with Pacific Hardware & Steel, probably the actual makers of hardware long ago. The current company has only the mark as far as I can tell...
The mark was originally a cutlery trademark/company name, there is detailed history on the pocket knife collector forums...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 27, 2014, 08:11:16 PM
[Stiletto] The company's history page is missing a piece, the merger of B&H with Pacific Hardware & Steel, probably the actual makers of hardware long ago. The current company has only the mark as far as I can tell...
The mark was originally a cutlery trademark/company name, there is detailed history on the pocket knife collector forums...

Hey Rusty,

Thanks for chipping in. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 28, 2014, 06:07:47 AM
With the merger mentioned (Baker Hamilton and Pacific Hardware & Steel), Stiletto became the premium line of proprietary tools from Baker Hamilton.  You could get more things from BH than you could at Alice's Restaurant.  They were general merchants, selling more things than you could imagine.  (Their largest line of wrenches were Billings)  They produced nothing, actually. 

My search for information on Stiletto tools led me to Tool Talk -- one of our old members had a love of Stiletto and things BH, and one of his entries showed up in one of my online searches.  I now have catalogues number 11 and number 101(101 is from 1949).  Huge things.

Stiletto hammers is what got me started.  I started working with a couple of  guys who formed Phoenix Planing Mill, and they were sold on the hammers from BH.  I came to share their enthusiasm for the quality of the hammers.  Great out of the box balance!   Can't pass one up.  Mine run from 13 oz to 28 oz currently.  Then I found the block plane, and then a leather working knife, and the race was on. 

Most Stiletto tools have only the Stiletto logo.  But my wife came home with a 2" Stiletto socketed butt chisel for me one day that is the exception.  The back of the blade has the familiar Stiletto logo, but the top of the blade is marked clearly "Jernbolanget Egilstuna Sweden."  It's the only one I've seen with the mark of the actual maker. 

Their secondary line of tools were Baker.  Not long ago I found a NOS Baker smoothing plane.  The only give away was the still intact paper label on the lever cap.  (Yeah, I know.  I gotta post a picture). 

They haven't actually survived.  The fancy Stiletto hammers are the result of a fellow purchasing the brand name.  I was hopeful when I saw the Stiletto logo on somebody's pickup rear window, but they have no relationship to the hammers I love.  (And I don't like the hammers.)

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: strik9 on May 28, 2014, 08:32:52 AM
    Pictures of the fruit crate planes, the irons are Stanley Sheffield which I can get locally.   Not cheap but they cut straight from the sleeve.   I really like them.

  Not Lie-Nielsen quality by far but as worker bees they serve me.   They do choke up a bit on certain types of wood but I can live with that, I can always build new bodies later if it becomes unlivable.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: strik9 on May 28, 2014, 08:39:25 AM
more
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 28, 2014, 10:03:33 AM
With the merger mentioned (Baker Hamilton and Pacific Hardware & Steel), Stiletto became the premium line of proprietary tools from Baker Hamilton.  You could get more things from BH than you could at Alice's Restaurant.  They were general merchants, selling more things than you could imagine.  (Their largest line of wrenches were Billings)  They produced nothing, actually. 

My search for information on Stiletto tools led me to Tool Talk -- one of our old members had a love of Stiletto and things BH, and one of his entries showed up in one of my online searches.  I now have catalogues number 11 and number 101(101 is from 1949).  Huge things.

Stiletto hammers is what got me started.  I started working with a couple of  guys who formed Phoenix Planing Mill, and they were sold on the hammers from BH.  I came to share their enthusiasm for the quality of the hammers.  Great out of the box balance!   Can't pass one up.  Mine run from 13 oz to 28 oz currently.  Then I found the block plane, and then a leather working knife, and the race was on. 

Most Stiletto tools have only the Stiletto logo.  But my wife came home with a 2" Stiletto socketed butt chisel for me one day that is the exception.  The back of the blade has the familiar Stiletto logo, but the top of the blade is marked clearly "Jernbolanget Egilstuna Sweden."  It's the only one I've seen with the mark of the actual maker. 

Their secondary line of tools were Baker.  Not long ago I found a NOS Baker smoothing plane.  The only give away was the still intact paper label on the lever cap.  (Yeah, I know.  I gotta post a picture). 

They haven't actually survived.  The fancy Stiletto hammers are the result of a fellow purchasing the brand name.  I was hopeful when I saw the Stiletto logo on somebody's pickup rear window, but they have no relationship to the hammers I love.  (And I don't like the hammers.)

Great writeup Branson!  I'm learning a lot about Stiletto tools!  How about a picture or two of that block plane? 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 28, 2014, 10:09:43 AM
Those are some really NICE looking planes Strik9!! Well done!!  How long does it usually take to make one? 

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: strik9 on May 28, 2014, 10:39:37 AM
 These are a fast build but I have about 10 failed efforts in front of these three that are on the way out.

 It takes about a day to cut all the pieces and glue them up.   Mostly waiting for glue to dry.  At the end of the day I can cut rough form from the crude block and start making it pretty.
   The time is spent in making the wedge and iron fit well, adjusting the mouth and flattening the sole.   Lots of time with a sheet of sandpaper on glass actually.   At the end of the 2nd day if all went well stain and clear are applied.    Let that dry overnight and its good to go.

   Because its a tool and hopefully will wear out from use one day I don't let a few flaws bother me much.   They cut great thanks to the fine folks in Sheffield England, I can't take credit for that.

  Actually I want to upgrade my two iron planes to Stanley Sheffield irons when I can.   Sure they work good enough now but they can be better.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 28, 2014, 06:47:41 PM
Strik9,

Like I said earlier, "well done." I hope you'll continue posting more here about the planes you make, and include some photos too.  I'd really be interested in seeing and reading more about the process you go through to make one.  Maybe you could do a detailed writeup with some step-by-step photos showing the construction process.  ????Maybe????  Give it some thought.  I think we'd like to see how you do it.  Thanks again for showing us your hand crafted planes!  I'm hoping to see more.

Jim C.
       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: strik9 on May 28, 2014, 07:49:13 PM
   You're in luck Jim.    I have one more planned that fixes the tight throat problem these three have.   And after that I'm going to spend a few years trying to wear them out.   I really don't need 3 dozen no. 4 planes!

   Its a pretty crude cut and glue process really, but it did take a while to work out a few details too.    ScottG could make one 10X better with mother of pearl inlays while he slept!!!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on May 28, 2014, 07:55:27 PM
   You're in luck Jim.    I have one more planned that fixes the tight throat problem these three have.   And after that I'm going to spend a few years trying to wear them out.   I really don't need 3 dozen no. 4 planes!

   Its a pretty crude cut and glue process really, but it did take a while to work out a few details too.    ScottG could make one 10X better with mother of pearl inlays while he slept!!!

I'd still like to see how you do it if you're up for taking a few pictures and writing about the process.  I'd also like to see a writeup on making planes from Scottg too.  I can never get too much of this stuff and the point is to learn more from one anothers experiences using, making, and collecting hand planes.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on May 29, 2014, 06:52:12 AM
>Great writeup Branson!  I'm learning a lot about Stiletto tools!  How about a picture or two of that block plane? 

Thanks for the compliment.  I might be able to get a photo sometime today.  I'll try to get a photo of the Baker smoothing plane, too.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 07, 2014, 09:16:59 AM
In today’s addition to the thread, I thought I’d feature a very unique block plane and talk a little bit about authenticating and approximating the age of a plane based on its physical clues.  We’ve talked a little bit about this in the past, and the featured plane is a nice representation of what a collector might be looking for when considering a plane.

Stanley #140:

From a pure utility standpoint, this block plane seems to incorporate some nice features that might make it a worthy addition to one’s woodworking tool arsenal.  Just looking at it, the #140 basically appears to be like many other common block planes.  From a distance, its length, width, styling (nickel plating) and configuration all make it appear to be a higher end block plane that’s similar to others of its time.  Upon closer inspection however, one will notice that the #140 is a little more than a common block plane.  With its skewed iron and removable right side wall, the #140 is somewhat more versatile than the common block plane.  I like the skewed iron for its ability to slice fine shavings from end grain.  By removing the plane’s steel right sidewall, it can quickly be converted into a rabbet plane.  That could be a handy feature.  The left sidewall casting is significantly thicker, thus adding physical stability and integrity when using the plane to cut rabbet joints.  The nickel plated pressure cap is unique to the plane, having its own mini sidewall that provides a bearing surface against the shoulder of a rabbet joint.  Some thinking went into the design of this tool. Although it borders on being a contraption of sorts, the potential utility is there, and in certain circumstances, it might be the right tool for the job.

Stanley produced the #140 from 1895 to 1943.  It’s not one of the more common block planes that I’ve seen.  In terms of styling, it’s probably one of my favorites.  It’s prominent nickel plated pressure cap, skewed iron, and large iron adjusting wheel at the rear of the plane certainly entice me to want to pick the tool up and simply study its curves and angles.  To me, it’s an attractive plane, and that’s really why I wanted one for my non-working collection.   That being said, I had to find the right one, and it took some time.  Like so many of Stanley’s planes, their parts were interchangeable from one era to the next.  For instance, if a particular plane was used frequently its iron would be sharpened, honed, used, and eventually need to be replaced.   A replacement iron would most likely have a later trademark on it.  That wouldn’t even remotely affect the plane’s ability to get the job done, but from a serious collector’s standpoint, well, what can I say? 

When I’m on the hunt for a plane that I want to add to my non-working collection, I’m very particular about what the plane needs to incorporate in terms of originality, completeness and condition.  I’m looking for a showpiece that as closely as possible depicts the tool’s physical state the day it left the factory.   Planes, just like any old tools, are very difficult to find in NOS (New Old Stock) condition.  The rarity of the tool also plays a part in my decision to buy or keep looking.   As always, knowing what to look for prior to buying is paramount.  Once a plane has passed my initial damage (loss of finish, dings, cracks, repairs, missing/replaced/incorrect parts, etc.) inspection, I move on to the more technical/subtle inspection.  This is where I decide to make an offer on the plane or not.  One of the main issues I keep in mind when buying a collector quality plane is the age of the plane’s INDIVIDUAL parts.  I want to see parts from the same era, and patina on those parts that’s evenly distributed and of the same color on the bare castings.  Very often, individual parts are assembled and then machined as a unit.  Do the grinding/machine marks on both individual pieces match?  If they don’t’ there’s a good chance that those pieces were from two different planes.  On early planes, I want to see foundry marks on parts that are the same, indicating that they were produced during the same time period.  I look for patent dates and trademark stamps on various individual parts that support (or conflict with) the age of the other parts when taken as a whole.

The #140 depicted below is an early Type 2 and was most likely produced between 1899 and 1902.  The patent date (11/6/1894) on the removable right sidewall was only found on the early versions of the plane (usually prior to approximately 1905).  The cutting iron bears the arched trademark most commonly used by Stanley from 1890 to 1910.  In the exploded parts view photo below (photo 6), notice a mark on the inside bottom of the plane’s main casting in the center, just forward of the of the iron’s nickel plated adjustment seat.  That’s a foundry mark, and it is the letter “B.”  Now take a look at the close up photo depicting the bottom of the pressure cap.  See the “B” foundry mark again?  Stanley used the B foundry mark between 1899 and 1902.  Based on those clues, I can confidently say that the plane’s main casting, pressure cap, iron, and removable right side wall were all produced at some point between 1899 and 1905, and are probably all original to each other.  Still I look for other details.  Based on doing some research, I know the two little screws that hold the removable right sidewall in place were ALWAYS flat head slotted screws with vertical knurling.  Anything else would be a replacement.  Finally, I mentioned taking a look at the fit of mating machined parts.  The #140’s removable sidewall was machined while attached to the right side of the plane.  When the toe and heel of the plane were ground to shape, the removable right side wall was also ground.  That grinding process created a sharp burr at the front and back edges of the removable right sidewall.  Although it may be difficult to see in the photo below, the grinding marks on the main casting match perfectly with the marks that carry over to the removable right sidewall.  The patina between the parts also appears to be consistent.  That's basically how I evaluate a plane before I add it to my non-working collection.  The plane depicted below came my way in 2007. 

Jim C.                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on June 08, 2014, 07:43:00 AM
Saw one of these back in the '80s.  Immediately wanted one, but never saw one again.  It wasn't that I didn't buy it -- it belonged to a co-worker and I knew better than to try to talk him out of it.  So I just drooled every time he brought it out to use in the shop.  Grrrrr.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 08, 2014, 08:59:10 AM
Hi Branson,

Thanks for stopping by!  I do see #140s occasionally at old tool swap meets and auctions.  They're available at online auctions too.  I ended up with the example shown above after several years of searching.  I would have liked one in its original box, but this one came up for sale and I knew that it was the best I had seen up to that point in time, so I went for it.  I'm really picky about buying a collector quality tool, and I've LEARNED TO BE PATIENT.  More than once I've overpaid for a plane that I thought was in collector quality condition, only to find a MUCH better example later on down the road for the same money.  So, now I've got some really nice user quality planes that cost me more than they should have.  It's a learning experience!!!  Some times one has to learn the hard way, and there's a "tax" for being uneducated.  Anyway....

As for the #140, I'd see them around, but never in the condition I wanted for collector purposes.  Still, the sellers wanted collector quality prices for them.  Although the pictures I posted aren't great, and the detail is lost on poor lighting, etc. the plane shown, on a 1 - 10 scale, is a solid 9.  I passed on four or five that were in the 6 - 8 range because they were just too much money given their physical states of condition.  They would have made GREAT users, but not for collector quality prices. Years ago I probably would have overpaid for one of them.  I've learned, and I'm still learning.  At any given time, I have two lists of planes that I'm on the lookout for; a user list and a collector list.  To date, I'm still actively looking for a nice #140 that I can use out in the shop for a reasonable user price.  With some of these models however, even finding a nice user, without paying a "tax" can be difficult.

Jim C.  (who loves talking about old hand planes and tends to ramble)          :smiley:   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on June 09, 2014, 04:55:23 AM
To date, I'm still actively looking for a nice #140 that I can use out in the shop for a reasonable user price.  With some of these models however, even finding a nice user, without paying a "tax" can be difficult.

Jim C.  (who loves talking about old hand planes and tends to ramble)          :smiley:

If I find two, I'll let you know.  The 140 always looked like an exceptionally useful plane.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on June 09, 2014, 12:09:59 PM
Saw one of these back in the '80s.  Immediately wanted one, but never saw one again.  It wasn't that I didn't buy it -- it belonged to a co-worker and I knew better than to try to talk him out of it.  So I just drooled every time he brought it out to use in the shop.  Grrrrr.
Is this the place to mention that, when I found the only one I've ever seen in the wild at a garage sale, I paid $2.50?  No?  Not the place?

I'm still shaking my head about that miracle price, three years later.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 09, 2014, 12:26:24 PM
Hey Bill,

That's not a plane one typically sees at a garage sale!  What a great find and the price was right!  Although I do envy your good fortune, I would have been more upset if you had said that you passed on it for some reason.  I'm never that lucky.  As you well know, pictures are always welcome here.  Let's see what you "stole" for $2.50.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 09, 2014, 05:48:54 PM
I don't know if any of you subscribe to monthy periodicals or not, but I'm a big fan of Fine Woodworking magazine.  I usually read that magazine cover to cover evey month.  I haven't missed a single one since I started reading it back at issue No. 125 (July/August 1997).  I'll bet someone here owns and/or has read every issue starting with No. 1.  I most certainly credit that magazine with contribuing to my ongoing woodworking education.  I'm constantly learning new woodworking tips and techniques, and have found myself getting better at making tight joints and more detailed "works of art." Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.......

Anyway, this month's issue (August 2014 No. 241) features a pretty good article (pages 22-25) on using block planes.  The craftsman demonstrating the plane appears to be using a Lie-Nielsen #60 1/2, low angle model.  It's a quick read with lots of clear pictures, and some basic tips.  It might be worth checking out.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on June 10, 2014, 06:23:06 AM
Jim,

Like you, I hunted for awhile to find a really nice 140.  The one I found was also  missing the box but has all the japanning and no nickel loss.  They are indeed a neat plane.

I also have one that would make a good user.  It has all the correct parts but lots of nickel loss and probably about 50% of its japanning.  If you don't find one by the time I get back home in Nov., I would sell it.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 10, 2014, 07:30:21 AM
Jim,

Like you, I hunted for awhile to find a really nice 140.  The one I found was also  missing the box but has all the japanning and no nickel loss.  They are indeed a neat plane.

I also have one that would make a good user.  It has all the correct parts but lots of nickel loss and probably about 50% of its japanning.  If you don't find one by the time I get back home in Nov., I would sell it.

Mike

Thanks Mike!  Maybe we can work out a deal in November.  I don't know where you are right now, but I hope all is well. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on June 13, 2014, 06:22:03 PM
  I only ever had one chance at a 140 and it happened long ago. That one was close-to-toast though. Basically a stripped body.
  The entire philosophy of the #140 plane is hard for me to grasp.
 Seems too fragile to work without the sideplate (as a rabbit plane), for 2 seconds!
 They must be tougher than they look though. Or we'd never see any of them at all. 

 I bought a Sargent 507, the model L-N copied, and had that for years. Stronger design but no skewed iron.
 Eventually, since I didn't use the Sargent, I got hard up for money and sold it.

  My favorite rabbit planes are the #190 and 180 bevel down series.  Especially the type 1 examples.   Its not just that Stanley was more generous with the iron in the first examples, but the style is decidedly more.... there.
 
 The #90, 91, 2 ,3, and 4 bevel up planes are good users too.
 But nowhere near better enough to justify the "multiple times" increase in price that they go for.
 In my experience.
       yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 13, 2014, 08:31:44 PM
Hey Scottg,

Where have you been lately?  Thanks for stopping by.  The #140 works okay as a rabbet and it is pretty sturdy.  Still, I would set it for a light pass, especially on end grain just in case.  I'm a fan of the Sargent #507.  It's one of my favorites for making larger joints.  In the long run, however, more often than not, I usually reach for a Stanley #90, #92, or #93.  I like the #94 too, but that's a tough one to find in any condition.  For some reason, the #94 seems more prone to damage than any of the others in the 90 series.  I'd say that it's more scarce than a #140.  If you have a little time this weekend, maybe you could post a few photos of your #180s and #190s.  Those are some great models!

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on June 13, 2014, 09:58:37 PM
  Doesn't the #94 weight about 60 pounds? heehehe  :cheesy: I expect they get damaged easier than any other for this reason.

  I have the polished casting of an infill shoulder plane that size. It weighs so much its ridiculous! Must be at least 1/4" thick, solid brass sides and 1/2" sole.
 Its mostly why I haven't finished it yet. I know I'd never use it.
 
  I have another homebrewed plane casting to finish one day. Its the same story. This one is a cast iron T-rabbit with a squirrel tail. It has to weigh at least 5 pounds!! (feel like 25 in your hand)
 
  I am in the process of setting up a mini milling machine in my shop. I got one recently.
So far, even this mini mill, (which weighs about 1000 pounds), won't fit into my little shop anyplace. I am still juggling everything I ever owned to try and fit it in.
  Maybe someday I will be able to mill away significant weight from these two (substitute wood inlay maybe) and have something nice.
   
  Meanwhile I just got my first wooden filletster plane. (yard sale 3 bucks, and that included a handful of other items too).   It was pretty mangy, but I got it restored well enough to use.  I haven't used it much so far.
  The jury is still out with me, whether I am going to like it, in other words hehe
   yours Scott
 
 
     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 14, 2014, 06:20:59 AM
Pictures Scottg!!! Pictures!!! Let's see what you've got going on.......... Funny comments about the #94.  It's certainly a big one.  I'm not sure that it weighs 60 pounds, but it does have some heft.  I can't say it's one that I use because of its reputation for cracking........I'm envisioning another plane to feature in the thread.  Stay tuned.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Stanley #55 Combination Plane
Post by: bear_man on June 15, 2014, 01:02:02 AM
   A popular website has one man's reviews of — or perhaps I should say "feelings about" — many in the line of Stanley's handplanes.  The few planes I was most familiar with, I had no serious quibble with their reviews.  One, though, saddened me: that of the Stanley 55 Combination Plane.  The reviewer began by saying, "Bought it.  Used it.  Hated it.  Sold it."  My experience with Stanley advertising's "A planing mill in itself" is diametrically opposite. 
   My day job was a seven-year marriage to a couple… Wait, wait.  Lemme try that again.  My day job from the late-1970s well into the 1980s consisted of seven years building an antique shop on skids (so it could be pulled by a dozer up to a couple's new home-site), a garage-shop in which the wife could work on antiques, and two porch remodels blending into a 1940s-1950s home designed and built by a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright.  All this for a self-styled "antique picker" (and her husband; but she was the boss), a term I was unfamiliar with.  She said she bought the stock of antique dealers going out of business and when she'd amassed enough for a particular market, the couple delivered truckloads to said market.  Wickerwork to San Francisco, high-end highboys to Connecticut, and so on.
   One winter, the crew and I were shut down due to heavy winter snow and extreme cold (this was at a little over 10,000' in northern New Mexico).  What to do, what to do?  She lured me into a sideline of antique restoration (a worthwhile story by itself), in the course of which I sometimes needed to reproduce moldings in usually-short lengths.  Building custom homes for around 25 years by then had only called for off-the-shelf moldings; I realized I needed to be able to reproduce much older molding patterns.
   Option #1 was, of course, to build a room off my shop to hold several hundred or so wooden planes.  Option #2 was to get a Stanley #55.  Problem with that was that the blades didn't cut those older shapes, but Fine Woodworking magazine, I think it was, ran an article about how to custom-shape a blade out of "scrap steel."  #55s were expensive, but I figured one was less-so than "enough" wooden planes.
   Then the couple flew the three of us back East, hired a car and we did a long, meandering tour so I could see what she wanted me to reproduce in a ca. 1720 timber frame salt box she'd had her heart set on for years.  We traveled around New England for close to a month and one day we whipped off of a highway to check out a very nice sign heralding "Antique Restorations."  The young fellow had purchased an old Cape Cod saltbox that had all the "proper period lights (windows)," said my boss, as we drove up to his home/shop, and we easily got sidetracked by an offered guided tour of the premises.  At one point my boss asked the fellow where he found the period "lights" (window frames) and he replied that he made them all, plus all of the doors but for two proper period ones he found.  I was surprised at this, because we'd done a walk-through of his shop and I saw no power-shaper or -router, and I said so.  He said he'd reproduced everything with a Stanley #55.  My boss commented, "Gosh, that must've taken forever!"  He said no, that he could grab his plane and the requisite blades (I didn't know to ask about the colonial molding patterns), adjust each just right and run all the mullions and muntins, switching blades and running them however many times, for about three windows before someone with an electrickery rig could catch up.  He added that he'd enjoyed the whole task.  I was sold.
   Late in the journey we got to Wiscasset, Maine, and discovered The Anchorage Antiques, in which a fellow had a huge old barn filled with antique hand tools…, including a goodly selection of #55s.  I took my time going through them and I picked out the body and attachments of what I long afterwards learned was a Type 1 (1897-1922), a complete later-Type (1925+) set of 55 blades, all in their original labeled boxes, plus a number of simple rectangular "extra" blades for working into special shapes I might need.  (It wasn't till I moved here to Idaho that I acquired an original chestnut box for the whole shebang at auction.  An early German immigrant had owned three 55s and all got heavy use.  That was in 2005 or '06 and I'm still mumphing about not buying the entire collection.)
   On returning to New Mexico, my very first case piece restoration needed 21" of very early molding for one end of a "country cabinet maker-made" side-board.  Thankfully I'd been saving thicker "church keys" for just such an eventuality and following the directions for shaping a blade, I got it on the first go and didn't need any of my "extras."  My second similar job was reproducing about 120' of cornice molding for both gable ends of an early-1800s home.  The third such need was for around 100' of reproduction hand-rail on the same house.  I didn't charge for making the blades, I just added them to my arsenal.
   The reviewer I mentioned at the beginning agreed that the #55 was fine for the occasional short run, but he felt that much longer runs would require too much patience and skill.  I flat don't believe in "too much patience and skill."  My reputation is in part tied to the motto my former business partner and I cribbed: "The impossible just takes a little longer," and yes, I admit we love challenges.  I'd absolutely not do or say anything to dissuade you if you do too.  How else do we create a niche reputation?   *he grins*

Edit:  Oops, I should've added the suggestion for newbies to this plane, get a copy of the (or even an original) instruction manual and read/study it as long as it takes to settle perhaps-initial butterflies in the stomach.  The subject matter is nowhere as daunting as, say, quantum physics.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on June 15, 2014, 08:12:15 AM
If you read the same fellow I did, you find he didn't care much for the 45 either.  Everybody has his own gripes, I guess.  The 45 works perfectly for me, and has certainly made live easier and made me money.  The 55 is more complex, and a little more unwieldy, I admit.  But for duplicating moldings for short runs the only other solution (except for a wall of wooden molding planes) the only other option is a scratch stock.   Last I checked at a mill, the cost for a custom molding was $75 for set up and $85 for grinding the knives.  Just a bit expensive for running 6 feet of stock (those were 1987 prices).

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on June 15, 2014, 10:09:47 AM
Hey that was a cool story Jim! Thanks for that.
 
 Interesting that you had an old fashioned "patron" Jim.
 I worked for the town druggist at about the same time. 70's and into the 80's. Milt Kevershan.  An amiable short little weasel in a really really bad toupe, who eventually became a really close friend of mine.
  Milt built an entire town in his yard! Small buildings each stuffed with antiques. A print shop with 2 complete presses. Saloon with hundreds of antique whiskey bottles. Firehouse.
 For a while he had a beautiful small carousel. Miniature golf course, big barbecue pits and a large dance floor.  Blacksmith, Merchantile general store, school, carriage house, church, and especially the drugstore!  Which had a small but complete marble soda fountain and antique patent medicines galore.
 
 It all started with a "bottle house".

  Johnny Schitzo kept getting busted for public stupidity, so finally Judge Connors (who was tired of feeding him in jail) sentenced him to community service.   Except he didn't know what to do with him.
  So he sent him to Milt and told Milt to find work for him.
 Milt didn't know what to do with him either, so told him to go to the bar and bring back empty bottles and start building a building with them. Eventually, through several sentences and other people's sentences, the bottle house was done.  This was the start.
 
 From then on Milt would take advantage of guys with any kind of building skill who were stranded in town. He'd "contract" work. Eventually the guys would figure out they were working for 11 cents an hour and quit.   

   I never built any of the "town" buildings, but I finished and furnished them all.
 Milt paid me strict by-the-hour, cash in full, at the close of every single day.

   Momma drowned the dumb ones...... :)

Of course Milt, being Milt, he couldn't help but try and weasel in one more favor.
"Harriette needs 5 pounds of sugar" is something he might add when he was handing over the cash for a days work "Pop over to the grocery?"..........
           Vermin       heehehehe!
God I miss him
 
  I have both a 45 and a 55 in deplorable condition. I am thinking to one day make new handles that aren't so ugly as Stanley, and add thicker skates with better mouth clearance. And then japan them.  Stanley made their skates minimal for plowing really thin grooves. The mouth wasn't very tight either.
 I think I'd rather have more blade support and give up the thinnest groove myself.
  yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bear_man on June 15, 2014, 11:04:14 AM
If you read the same fellow I did, you find he didn't care much for the 45 either.  Everybody has his own gripes, I guess.  The 45 works perfectly for me, and has certainly made live easier and made me money.  The 55 is more complex, and a little more unwieldy, I admit.  But for duplicating moldings for short runs the only other solution (except for a wall of wooden molding planes) the only other option is a scratch stock.   Last I checked at a mill, the cost for a custom molding was $75 for set up and $85 for grinding the knives.  Just a bit expensive for running 6 feet of stock (those were 1987 prices).

Amen, Branson.  I witnessed a friend who was making a pair of double-Dutch door reproductions and when I heard what he'd paid for custom shaper blades, I knew I was in the right line of work.  He speculated that he'd probably never use those blades again and didn't feel right about charging his client for their work-up.  He chalked their expense up to an experiential lesson.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 15, 2014, 06:59:53 PM
bear_man,

That's a great story and an equally great endorsement of the Stanley #55.  I guess not everyone is going to find utility in every plane, while someone else may think the same plane is invaluable, or somewhere in between worthless and amazing.  One can only find out through several attempts at using the plane in question.  Finding the perfect job for a hand plane can be difficult at times, however, once the plane has proven its worth, you'll reach for it more and more.  I appreciate the time you took to share your hands on experience with a plane that can be intimidating to try.  While some websites may cast doubt in a potential user's mind, I'd like to foster a more positive attitude here and hope that what WE as a group are doing, is encouraging one another to pick up an old hand plane (or any old tool) and give it a try.  There are some advanced hand plane users, craftsman, and collectors here too.  To you folks, all I ask for is your continued guidance and experience.  Finally, we all like pictures, so if you could post a few pictures of your #55, that would be great!  Thanks again for contributing to the thread.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bear_man on June 15, 2014, 09:47:54 PM
Jim, I'm still trying to figure out how to massage my pics down to 640 X 480 pixels.  For the last 20 years, I had to get a computer (I'm a long-time typist) and I've been a writer and historian, because I couldn't use my hands without shaking.  My computer was a glorified tuypewriter and filing cabinet in one little laptop — and I didn't even have to learn that much about computer programs and so on.  I've done next to nothing with photos and only NOW am I wanting to get into them, but when I ask a question about them, no one treats me like the computer idiot I am.  Now let's see…, how do I make a little cross-eyed smiley face?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 16, 2014, 07:30:20 AM
Jim, I'm still trying to figure out how to massage my pics down to 640 X 480 pixels.  For the last 20 years, I had to get a computer (I'm a long-time typist) and I've been a writer and historian, because I couldn't use my hands without shaking.  My computer was a glorified tuypewriter and filing cabinet in one little laptop — and I didn't even have to learn that much about computer programs and so on.  I've done next to nothing with photos and only NOW am I wanting to get into them, but when I ask a question about them, no one treats me like the computer idiot I am.  Now let's see…, how do I make a little cross-eyed smiley face?

No pressure on posting pictures.  I'm also in the "computer idiot" category and frequently need help from those with more "computer smarts" than I have (which isn't much).  Stay in touch and I hope to see you here at the Hand Plane thread.  Join in any time!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on June 16, 2014, 07:30:46 AM
Amen, Branson.  I witnessed a friend who was making a pair of double-Dutch door reproductions and when I heard what he'd paid for custom shaper blades, I knew I was in the right line of work.  He speculated that he'd probably never use those blades again and didn't feel right about charging his client for their work-up.  He chalked their expense up to an experiential lesson.

A tool for one job, probably never to be used again, and he just ate the cost?   Seems to me that  the job should have at least covered part of the cost of an unusual tool bought just for that job.   Hope he got repeat business from the customer.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: scottg on June 16, 2014, 11:44:33 AM
I've done next to nothing with photos and only NOW am I wanting to get into them, but when I ask a question about them, no one treats me like the computer idiot I am.

  He hee...... ain't it the truth!
My youngest boy, who can flip though screens so fast I can't even see them, cannot talk at all while he does it. Zip!
 When he does try to slow down to tell me something, he totally loses his train of thought!

  You just need to pick a simplified computer program and start in. We'll help.
     yours Scott
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bus on June 16, 2014, 12:30:48 PM
I recommend IrfanView photo converter and editor.

http://www.irfanview.net/ (http://www.irfanview.net/)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bear_man on June 16, 2014, 03:27:32 PM
Branson:  I'm like my friend (and my former business partner is too).  I/we "took/take jobs" implying we could/can actually do the work on demand/need.  Had we appended, "…IF you'll front the money for any tools I don't have," the expense wouldn't be/have been an issue.  My former partner's very first carpentry job, he arrived on-site with an apron, pencil, tape, hammer & framing square.  He was hired, but it was touch-and-go for awhile and he didn't actually get on the crew until the next day after he'd bought a bunch more stuff.  My pard has a Lot of "early" stories that kept us in stitches.
    My own personal "out" was having to take the time to shape blades (my memory says 7 or 8 total), and the only "write-off loss" SO FAR was the biggish blade I made for running early-1800s hand-rail.  Still, I may yet some day run some more of it, or maybe that'll be one of my heirs.  Heh.

Scott (and so many others who've offered help as well):  Thank you!  I JUST A FEW MINUTES AGO learned how to resize pics!  Now I ONLY need to learn how to connect a URL to one so's to insert that btw. brackets in a post.  Like I told Papaw , my head's just about raw from all the scratching. 

Bus:  Thank you, but I drive a 2009 Mac and Irfanview's only guaranteed for Windows users.  And before anyone sneers at the Mac, I still don't own any anti-virus software or have to go through all the malware angst (what my former pard called) "Dozer drivers" do.  Yet, I better add, just so I don't anger the compuker gods.  And on that note…   *he exits with a wave and still-scratching*
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 16, 2014, 08:08:11 PM
Back on page 24 of the thread, somewhere in reply 351, I mentioned to Branson that I had purchased a few planes in the past and probably overpaid for some of them.  I guess it’s part of the “buying antique tools” learning curve.  That discussion coupled with Scottg’s recent comments about the Stanley #94 got me to thinking…….

Stanley #94:

First off, let me start by saying that I overpaid for this plane.  I bought it at a time when my self perceived knowledge outweighed my actual knowledge.  Having had a second, unbiased, more experienced opinion would have saved me some money.  I wasn’t critical enough of the plane  or disciplined enough to walk away from it.  I was more caught up in the rarity of the plane versus its physical condition.  To make a long story short, I bought a GREAT user quality plane at a collector quality price.  Generally speaking, the example depicted below is in better shape than most other #94s that I’ve seen, but I have seen a few that were significantly better since I bought mine.  With that out of the way, let me begin.

Stanley made four rabbet planes in its 90 series (#90, #92, #93, and #94).  For some reason, there was never a #91.  I don’t know why.  The #94 is the largest of the group (7½” long and 1¼” wide) and probably the most scarce too.  Perhaps because of its size and design, the top casting was very prone to cracking at or near its arch.   I’ve seen more than a few that have been cracked and/or repaired in that area.  Many other examples that I’ve seen, damaged or not, have been practically devoid of all nickel plating.  At least more so than its smaller siblings, which seem to more readily retain their nickel plating.  The #94 is simply a tough plane to find in good useable condition, and rough examples are still pricey.

Stanley produced the #94 between 1902 and 1943.  The example below was probably manufactured during the 1920s.  I can only imagine that the rarity of this particular model is due in part to it being used and then broken.  Those that survived are usually missing most or all of their nickel finish.  Again, I think they were used a lot.  The nickel plating on the example below is well worn at the rear of the top casting where a craftsperson would palm the tool during use.  It’s simply a great tool that can produce some fantastic results on medium to large joints.  Like every plane in the 90 series, it can be easily converted into a chisel plane just by removing its top casting.  I'd recommend the #94 to use in your shop, but be careful with it and set it for a light pass.  Digging in too deep and adding a little force to the cut is just going to put unnecessary stress on the top casting.  Dropping it is an instant disaster!  It's an expensive plane to make a mistake with.  As I mentioned earlier, even those with poor finishes and signs of age and neglect still command more than most other models in similar condition.  Very recently I came across one that was undamaged, but was missing 90% of its finish, and included some light surface rust over most of its lower casting and iron.....the asking price was $150.  I know that it ultimately sold for $125.  As much as I like the #94, a more common, more affordable, more durable substitute might be the smaller #93.         

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on June 17, 2014, 12:30:19 AM
Now let's see…, how do I make a little cross-eyed smiley face?
  I get it if I don't pay attention to where the bathrooms are. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on June 17, 2014, 12:31:07 PM
"I bought it at [a] time when my self perceived knowledge outweighed my actual knowledge." - now, that's a candidate for quote of the day!

An alternative to the 94 is the Record 073.  I've got one, purchased years ago, and it's a durable tool, better engineered than the 94.  Prices on That Auction Site run from $36 to $100, though mostly north of $100.  Another alternative, far sweeter but at a scarier price, is the Lee Valley large shoulder plane.  I have their medium shoulder plane, and it's so much easier to use than the Record that the Record sits in the drawer except for those rare occasions that I need the width it offers.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 17, 2014, 03:30:27 PM
Hi Bill,

As for the quote of the day, well, that's been the story of my life so far.  I don't really know what I don't know until I find out (sometimes the hard way) what I don't know. Often times, I fool myself into thinking that I know more than I really do.

As for your shoulder planes..... How about a few pictures?  They'd be a great way to compare and contrast them to the #94.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on June 20, 2014, 03:46:13 PM
Jim,

You asked me to post pictures of the alternative shoulder planes I mentioned (pointing up to my earlier post).  Here they are.  The rustier looking one is the Record 073; the shinier one the Lee Valley (Veritas) medium (3/4" wide, similar in size to the Stanley 93) shoulder plane.

The Record is comparable in size to the Stanley 94.  I find it a little frustrating - it's hard to find a good grip on it in many positions.  But I won it in a contest years ago and am reluctant to give it up.  This is the plane that Lie-Nielsen copied for its shoulder planes.

The Veritas, like all the Veritas products, has been rethought from the traditional design.  The little brass knob on top can be flipped to either side or straight up, and the overall design gives great, and flexible, grip.  This is the shoulder plane I use 99% of the time; if the money gods ever smile brightly enough, I'll pick up their large shoulder plane, which is similar in size to the Stanley 94 and Record 073.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 20, 2014, 05:27:04 PM
Perfect Bill.  Thanks for taking the time to post a couple pictures for comparison.  Also, your personal experience using the planes helps a lot.  It's good to know what others think of a plane's performance, functionality, and utility, particularly when some of these tools are not cheap.  There's nothing worse than buying a tool and then being less than happy with it for whatever reason.  Honest evaluations are really great.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 28, 2014, 07:08:50 AM
About a week ago today, I attended an extended family get together in the Midwest, for purposes of celebrating my cousin’s wedding back in March.  It was a belated outdoor party with a pig roast and casual attire.  That’s my kind of wedding reception.  I’ll pass on the formal shirt and tie thing any day if possible.  It was good to see all my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.  A short while back, my aunt and uncle moved to Arizona. They had been vacationing there for several years, and finally decided they’d had enough of the Midwest winter and moved down there for good.  They bought a house in a nice area, across the street from a man and woman who were a little older than they are.  The man was a retired aerospace engineer from California.  My uncle described the man as real “tinkerer.”  He had a garage full of tools and could fix any thing.  My uncle is also one of those guys.  Although he was not a mechanic by trade, he’s the best “shade tree” mechanic I know.  Anyway, during occasional conversations between my uncle and his across the street neighbor, my uncle learned that the man had a “storage locker” a few miles away containing some other old tools and odds and ends.  My uncle didn’t think much of it and that was that.  Well, a few months ago, the man died without warning.  It was after his death that my uncle learned that the man’s “storage locker” a few miles away, was actually a BUILDING that could accommodate sixteen cars.  Although there were a few cars in the building, it was mostly used to store tools and machinery associated with metalworking, woodworking, and mechanical applications.  By the time my uncle found out about the true size and contents of the “storage locker,” it was too late.  Most of the stuff had been sold or disbursed in some manner.  Only a few unwanted, overlooked items were left.  The plane depicted below is one of those tools.  Knowing of my collection, my uncle was kind enough to pick it up for me.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I’ve received old tools (mostly hand planes) from family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.  Nine out of ten times, the tools are in fair to poor condition, with broken and/or missing parts, or are damaged beyond repair.  I accept every one of those old tools with a smile and a sincere “thank you.”  It’s nice that someone thought of me and I appreciate that.  I save many of those old broken down tools for parts, and they do come in handy.  If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now, “I hate chasing parts.”  Individual parts can be expensive and sometimes impossible to find.  If a collector quality plane is missing any part that I KNOW FOR SURE will be easy to find, I might still buy it.  If it’s missing anything that will be tough to find, I pass on the plane.  I’m picky about user quality planes too, particularly if they're common.  Chasing parts is not an activity that I enjoy.  Even if the part that’s missing on a user quality plane is easy to obtain, my OCD compels me to find a vintage correct part to replace the missing/damaged part(s), and that again makes things harder.  I don't like chasing parts.   

When I receive a plane from someone, it is what it is.  Almost all of them become parts planes for the reasons stated above.  Still, every once in a while, someone gives me a real gem.  This is one of those planes!  It’s not an uncommon plane, but just a Stanley #6C, manufactured from 1898 well into the 1980s.  It’s a Type 13, manufactured between 1925 and 1928.  The Stanley logo on the iron was commonly used from 1922 to 1923.  What makes the plane great is the simple fact that it’s virtually complete with all vintage correct parts and appears to be undamaged.  Usually the knob and/or tote are missing, cracked or chipped.  Those things are expensive to replace.  All the correct hardware is present and accounted for.  The only thing I see is that the cutting iron is getting short.  There’s only about 9/16” left behind its cutting edge.  That’s okay because it says that the plane was well used, but not abused, and valued by its previous owner(s).  I like that.  The grunge, grime, dark patina, and light surface rust show an even distribution across the entire plane.  This plane hasn’t been taken apart in decades, and has not seen any use in recent times, hence the surface rust.  Still, everything about it tells me that all of its parts are original to the day it was assembled by Stanley.  I love planes like this, and the price was right.  With a few hours invested out in the shop, and a little applied elbow grease, this plane will be a great worker again.  Stay tuned……..

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: john k on June 28, 2014, 05:04:44 PM
Those things we miss out on, can haunt us, but if its gone, let it go.   I never turn down free tools, if they think enough to offer, I take it as a gift.   You got a great plane to start with, anxious to see how it comes out.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 28, 2014, 05:33:52 PM
Hi John,

I think the plane is in pretty good shape for starters, and all the parts are present.  After I posted the photos this morning, I took the plane apart and gave it an initial cleaning.  There was a lot of packed down shavings under the frog and crud caked onto all the parts.  I started gently scrubbing the screw threads with a toothbrush and Kroil.  There's some rust here and there, so I've got parts soaking in Evaporust.  I don't want to totally remove the natural patina.  I don't mind if the plane shows its age.  My plan is to give the plane a good cleaning, lubrication, and tune up.  I won't re-finish it.  Once I get it back into working order, I'll definitely post a few pictures.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 28, 2014, 08:16:22 PM
If you've never tried it, Evaporust is amazing stuff!  The photo below depicts the same Stanley logo on the plane iron shown above in post #379 from this morning.  I soaked the iron for a few hours in Evaporust, and then gave it a light scrub with a toothbrush.  I rinsed the iron in water and dried it off with paper towel.  Done.  When I'm finished cleaning up the rest of the parts, I'll resharpen the iron and start making shavings.  Stay tuned...

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 29, 2014, 07:44:41 AM
As I get further along into the process of cleaning and rehabbing the plane I received from my uncle last week, I'm able to see all the good things this tool still has to offer in terms of going back to work.  I try to imagine its history and how it may have been used over the years.  With its short iron, I know that it was definitely used frequently.  I'm still impressed that a well used plane nearing 90 years old is still together and for the most part undamaged.  I don't mind normal wear and tear, and actually welcome it to some extent, but then I have to stop and wonder what a previous owner was thinking when he/she decided to manipulate the brass cutting iron adjustment screw with a toothed tool like pliers!!  I can't think of a single reason to adjust anything on a hand plane with pliers or the like.  There are teeth marks and gouges going all the way around the circumference of the screw and a lot of the knurling is mashed.  Too bad.  I'll still use the screw because I believe that it's original to the plane, but I hate to see avoidable damage like that.  There's no good reason for it. :rolleyes:

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on June 29, 2014, 08:49:03 AM
I was taught to never use a toothed tool on any brass or on anything with a flat wrench pad (bolts, nuts, propane tanks, etc.)

Whoever did that should be wrist whacked by a sunday-go-to-meeting nun, with an aluminum yardstick.

Chilly
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on June 29, 2014, 10:00:04 AM
Hi Chilly,

You would think that anyone with even the slightest "shop aptitude" would know better than to use pliers to adjust ANY tool or machine.  Pretty much every time I use a pair of pliers, I know that I'm going to leave marks on whatever their jaws touch.  Pliers certainly have their place out in the shop, and can be real lifesavers at times, but I mostly regard them as tools that are suited for rough work and/or demolition tasks.  They really shouldn't come into contact with any other hand tools.....including hand planes!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bear_man on June 30, 2014, 12:51:27 AM
Me, I've "had" to use pliers to break loose a bolt or nut.  Especially if the frozen part is brass, I'll cushion the serrated "grippers" with bits of leather.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on June 30, 2014, 05:33:15 AM
Me, I've "had" to use pliers to break loose a bolt or nut.  Especially if the frozen part is brass, I'll cushion the serrated "grippers" with bits of leather.

Yeah, that's me, too.  Got plenty of leather scraps that serve the purpose.   I get impatient, but not so impatient that I neglect the leather.  Usually.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on July 01, 2014, 05:33:05 PM
Well, I got all the parts cleaned.  It took a few hours working here and there over the last week, but they're ready to go back together.....just as soon as I get the body of the plane cleaned up.  I mostly used Kroil, EvapoRust and a couple different toothbrushes to get the gunk and rust off.  I hand buffed the knob and tote with bees wax and a soft clean rag.  I'm reluctant to use a wire brush and/or wire wheel on my grinder because I don't really care for the finish those leave on the surface of the metal.  Sometimes it's unavoidable and such measures must be taken.  Fortunately not this time.  I still have some work to do on the main body of the plane.  There's great patina on the sides of the plane and I intend to save as much of that as possible.  The sole of plane is another story. As one can see in the photo above (see Reply 379) there's some light surface rust that I have to remove.  That could take a little time using oil and a tooth brush.  A small brush with brass bristles may be what it takes.  I'm getting there slowly but surely.  This plane will hopefully be a nice worker that still retains 90 years worth of character when it's done.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on July 07, 2014, 08:01:09 PM
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.  It was a beautiful weekend to be outdoors, but I still spent a little time in the shop cleaning the main body casting of the Stanley #6C bench plane depicted above in earlier posts starting at #379.  I'm really happy with the way it came out.  It took a little time, because I wanted to be careful not to remove any more of its original finish.  Once I got below the decades of crud and rust, I found about 50% of the plane's black japanning still intact.  It's not pretty, but I can tell this one's going to be a real nice worker.  If I get a little time this coming weekend, I'll grind and sharpen the iron, then we'll see just how good this old tool can be.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on July 08, 2014, 04:31:48 AM
It's not pretty, but I can tell this one's going to be a real nice worker.
Jim C.

Makes me think of the old adage, "Beauty is as beauty does."  Looks like this one will do plenty.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on July 08, 2014, 07:58:39 AM
I think you're right Branson.  The plane will be "beautiful" when it's working again.  It's solid and although the iron is a little short, there's still some steel left for another re-grind and sharpening.  The cutting edge has a few nicks, so I'm just going to start over and put a fresh profile on it.  I'm hoping to test it out and make some shavings this weekend.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on July 27, 2014, 11:48:38 AM
E. W. Carpenter was a Lancaster County PA Cabinet maker, toolmaker, plane maker and practitioner of medicine. He was born in 1791 and died in 1856. He was awarded several patents, his second patent #594 was issued February 6, 1838 for improved arms design on plow planes. His design was to thread the body of the plane and attach the arms to the fence so they were able to turn yet stay attached to the fence arm mounts.  His improved arms patent planes bring a premium price in the collectable plane market. I feel lucky to have 3 examples of Carpenter improved arms patent planes in my collection. The first one that I will post is the handled version of the plane. Things to note in the pictures. The arms spin freely in the arm mounts, the large knobs on the ends of the screw arms allow you to turn the arms. The body is threaded so the nuts on the arms are used to lock the fence to body/skate adjustment in place. The nuts on the outside of the plane have brass rings around them adjacent to the body. (This is a Philadelphia area detail not found on plane makers outside of this region.) The small rectangles on the top of the arm mounts are rosewood wedges that hold the arms in the mounts. Carpenter used Rosewood and Boxwood in many of his improved arms patented planes. Carpenter also had an unusual design for the handle and handle mounting. The use of brass mounts for the handle are shown in the pictures. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on July 27, 2014, 11:52:36 AM
One more view
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on July 27, 2014, 12:03:09 PM
This is the Fillister version of the improved arms patent by E. W. Carpenter.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on July 27, 2014, 12:04:21 PM
One more of the Fillister stamp.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on August 06, 2014, 06:52:55 AM
Hi All,

Sorry for my absence during the last month or so.  Work unexpectedly got crazy (two days off in the last 30 days) and I fell a little behind on maintaining this thread.  I'm hoping for things to return back to normal in the next couple weeks.  Hang in there, I still have a lot more hand plane content to post.  Also, big thanks to Les (Lewill2) for picking up my slack and posting the GREAT Carpenter plow plane write-up and photos.  I hope you're all having a wonderful summer! 

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on August 06, 2014, 04:22:23 PM
Beautiful planes, Les. 
You have a wonderful collection - and in pristine condition. 
How do you treat them to keep the wood in good shape?   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 07, 2014, 05:16:52 AM
I usually just use something like Howard's Feed & Wax, it has orange oil and bees wax in it. It will loosen and soften old grime slowly. Some I have were already cleaned when I purchased them.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 07, 2014, 06:02:48 PM
One of my favorite English made planes is a Cowell and Chapman Gun Metal, Rosewood and Boxwood Plow Plane. Cowell and Chapman worked in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne England 1869 to 1890. They made other planes including regular English Plow Planes but this is one of their rare ones. The best I can find out there are less than a dozen of these known to exist. I acquired this one about 9 years ago. That Fall I took it to the Brown's Antique Tool Auction and there were 2 others that dealers had there for sale. One of the others had a depth stop screw like mine just a simple slotted screw. The other one had an elaborate fluted knob with a stud that was used to lock the depth stop in position. The skate is steel that is set into the Gun Metal body assembly.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 07, 2014, 06:06:02 PM
A few more Cowell and Chapman pictures.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on August 07, 2014, 06:20:53 PM
Wow, Les!  That is a real beauty.   Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 07, 2014, 08:11:07 PM
One of my finds at a local auction house was a J. W. Pearce screw lock slide arm plow plane. Pearce worked in Rohde Island 1853 through 1879. He is one of a few Rohde Island plow plane makers. His planes are often made from a mixture of woods and most of his plow planes are of the screw lock slide arm style. I also have one of his screw arm plow planes in my collection. The Pearce plow planes are easily recognized by the turned up slipper nose on the skate. One of his maker marks is made up with his name stamp arranged in a triangle with stars placed on the corners of the triangle and around the triangle arrangement. The year it was made is also usually stamped within the triangle as this one is stamped 1856. The woods in this one are what I believe are Lignum Vitae screw locks and wedge, Burl Cherry body, Beech arms and either Maple or Sassafras double ended fence. The skate has a brass reinforcing strip. Take note of the brass tips on both ends of the arms. Cross wedges of Rosewood or maybe Ebony hold the brass tips in place.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 07, 2014, 08:12:50 PM
Additional J. W. Pearce pictures.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bear_man on August 08, 2014, 12:09:13 AM
     Jim C., in post #388, p. 26, you wrote, "I'm reluctant to use a wire brush and/or wire wheel on my grinder because I don't really care for the finish those leave on the surface of the metal.  Sometimes it's unavoidable and such measures must be taken.  Fortunately not this time."
     Some years back my nearest welding supply-house displayed some 6" dia. brass-bristled wheels and I bought 2, brought them home and used one immediately on something-or-other.  (Perhaps on something brass?  I disremember.)  I just checked and the makers-mark is something like an acorn — but NOT.)  Anyway, I recall being quite pleased with the results.  Your thoughts on this/these wheels?
     Lewill2: Thanks very much for your posts showing some of your collection in detail.  It took me just long enough, evidently, to become a user/affecionado of handplanes but I'm most definitely there now.  "Unnecessary detailing" like that found on the fences and wedging you've shown pickle me tink.  Them WERE the days!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on August 08, 2014, 08:54:35 AM
Those planes are beautiful, Les.

I really like the tote on the last one. Is that the cherry burl?

Chilly
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 08, 2014, 10:08:50 AM
Yes the last one posted is the Pearce with the Burl Cherry main body, the handle also called the tote and the body are a single piece of Cherry.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: turnnut on August 08, 2014, 08:01:20 PM
Bear-Man,   I also use a brass wire wheel at times. it is true brass, not coated like
many sellers are putting on the market.

 I had asked a few sellers if they were real brass or coated and a few responded that they did not know.

mine is an OLD 6" fine brass wheel that I need to replace as it is well worn and I am
getting tired of pulling the wires out of my cheek.

do you know of a place to purchase a 6"  1/2" hole fine wire brass wheel ?

Frank
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bear_man on August 08, 2014, 10:37:53 PM
Turnnut/Frank — Mine also are 6" dia. and came with installed plastic/nylon/something 5/8"-1/2" arbor reducers.  Left-handed thanks to you, I now have to paint my face red.  Dealing with cataracts in both eyes, I never saw that my wire wheels are brass plated.  I reckon I used the one lightly enough not to damage the whatever-I-used-it-on.
     So no, I don't YET know where to find an actual brass wire wheel.  I reckon I'll query Lee Valley Hdw. first and then if that doesn't work…   *bear_man scratches his head*

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on August 09, 2014, 05:00:30 AM
Getting off topic for the plane thread but checkout McMaster Carr they have all kinds of brushes not cheap but they have them.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#wheel-wire-brushes/=t7cdt6

This link is for brass, they have non-sparking, stainless steel, aluminum and plastic for starters.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 07, 2014, 12:35:35 PM
Hello again “Hand Planes” thread followers.  I’m truly sorry for my recent absence.  Work has been insane since late July, and is finally starting to get back to normal.  Thankfully!!  I hope you’ve all had a great summer.  I thought I’d get back into the thread with something a little unusual, a small squirrel tailed block plane, the Stanley #100 ½.  Squirrel tailed block planes aren’t really too unusual, however, this particular model’s sole features radiuses that are 7/8” across its width and 12” along its length.  Why?

Well, the story goes that Stanley actively solicited and sought out tool designs, improvements, etc. from tradesmen and other tool users.  The #100 ½ is one such tool that came to be as a result of such solicitation.  According to published advertising put out by Stanley:

“This model maker’s convex plane fills a long-felt want” 

The advertisement went on to say:

“Like many other model makers, John Black of Marblehead, Ace Model Yachtsman, felt the need for a tool for working on the concave surfaces in wood.  Accordingly, he made the suggestion to the Stanley Rule and Level Plant, and their No. 100 ½ model maker’s plane, illustrated herewith, is the answer……” 

So there you have it.  We can thank Mr. Black for the Stanley #100 ½.  This plane was produced by Stanley between 1936 and 1962.  It’s somewhat scarce, but not impossible to find.  The earliest models had a black japanned pressure cap and a smooth squirrel tailed handle.  Later versions, like the example depicted below, came with a red pressure cap and the words “Stanley” and “No. 100 ½” cast into the top of the handle.  Those changes took place somewhere right around 1940 or so.  The handle was also cast with a hang hole in its center.  Normally I shy away from tools with those sorts of after factory additions (which are really subtractions to a collector).  However, since the hang hole was a factory added original feature, it’s okay with me. 

With it’s convex sole, I suppose this plane could provide some utility to a model maker, instrument maker, etc.  Generally speaking, its uses are somewhat limited I think.  Still, it does have the potential to be used as a very small scrub plane and is capable of hogging off material with its “scrub plane like” radiused cutting iron.  Over the years, I’ve looked for subtle ways to add handcrafted details to my projects.  I want my work to show character and a clear indication that hand work with hand tools was a conscious decision.  With that in mind, the little Stanley #100 ½ fits the bill perfectly.  On small to medium sized projects that include drawers, I frequently set the #100 ½ for a light cut.  Then I’ll make consecutive passes equally spaced (sort of) by eye (no measuring), the entire length of all the inner surfaces of the drawer parts (before final assembly of course).  The inner surfaces are left with a scalloped effect that isn’t necessarily seen, but is definitely felt.  (Look closely at the last picture below.  See the scalloped surface of the wood?)

The Stanley #100 ½ isn’t a plane that I’d acquire as a must have for regular use (unless you’re Mr. Black), but keep an eye for one.  At the very least, one might find it useful for creating “details.”

Jim C.                       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 07, 2014, 12:49:57 PM
Also, MANY, MANY thanks again to Les (Lewill2) for keeping the thread going with some great posts that included writeups and pictures of a few AMAZING plow planes from his collection!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on September 08, 2014, 08:29:00 PM
As I collected my plow planes I noticed another regional thing. The depth stop adjusting knob/thumb screw style adjuster found on most plow planes as well as the depth stop lock knob/thumb screw are different on the Auburn New York makers. The Auburn area makers use a round knurled head adjuster for both the depth stop adjuster and the depth stop lock. I don't know if this a result of the prison labor Auburn Tool used and other Auburn area makers obtained some of their parts from the prison or if they all purchased the parts from the same Auburn area supplier.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 09, 2014, 05:51:41 PM
Hey Les,

Thanks for the additional information on plow plane hardware.  Prison labor huh?  I had no idea.  I REALLY love the history of these old tools.  Great stuff!  While you’re here, I was hoping you could take a look at the pictures below. 

Here’s a little background.  Pretty much everyone that I know is aware of the fact that I like old hand planes and hand tools.   I know that somewhere earlier in the thread, I mentioned that I frequently receive old hand planes and tools from coworkers, neighbors, acquaintances, immediate and extended family members, etc., etc.  As I also mentioned, I accept every single tool with a heartfelt “thank you” followed by a handshake and/or a hug.  During my recent absence from the thread I received a few old tools from a coworker about a month ago, to include a couple wooden moulding planes, and the remnants of the plow plane depicted below.   As you can see, it’s in rough condition missing its iron and wedge, and with a few broken/damaged parts.  Like several old wooden planes that I’ve seen over the years, it has a couple names stamped into its nose.  Manufacturers?  Prior owners?  I don’t know.

Les, as the resident plow plane guru, I was hoping you could provide me with any information you may know about the plane and the names stamped into its nose.  Anything you can tell me about it would be appreciated.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on September 09, 2014, 07:09:50 PM
John Denison is the maker, Born 1799 Died August 25, 1876. He was in business for himself at Denison's Tool Manufactory in the rear of his home in Saybrook CT from 1840-1876. More info can be found in American Wooden Planes by Emil & Martyl Pollak 4th Edition. It is one of his rarer marks. The other name is a previous owner's mark. There is a J. C. Duryea listed as a hardware store owner in Brooklyn NY from 1836-1849, perhaps this was a different owner of the business after 1849, son maybe?? J C's stamp was a 2 line stamp, name on first line and Brooklyn on the second line.

One arm has been replaced with a homemade replacement.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 10, 2014, 07:10:06 AM
John Denison is the maker, Born 1799 Died August 25, 1876. He was in business for himself at Denison's Tool Manufactory in the rear of his home in Saybrook CT from 1840-1876. More info can be found in American Wooden Planes by Emil & Martyl Pollak 4th Edition. It is one of his rarer marks. The other name is a previous owner's mark. There is a J. C. Duryea listed as a hardware store owner in Brooklyn NY from 1836-1849, perhaps this was a different owner of the business after 1849, son maybe?? J C's stamp was a 2 line stamp, name on first line and Brooklyn on the second line.

One arm has been replaced with a homemade replacement.

Wow! That was fast Les!  Thanks for the information.  Being somewhere between 138 years old and 174 years old, that would be the oldest plane that anyone has ever given me.  That's really something.  It's too bad that it's not in useable condition.  As you can see, parts are missing, broken, and have been crudely replaced.  Do you have a complete example of this plane that you could post a few pictures of?  From what remains, I have a general idea of what it looked like as a complete working tool, but still, a few pictures would be great if you have an example in your collection.

I have a pretty good array of old cast iron parts planes.  Most of them were given to me in similar (or worse) condition to the plow plane depicted above.  Occasionally, those old planes yield a part or two that is missing from some other plane that has more potential as a "user" out in the shop.  Is that the case with plow planes?  Anyway, if you're interested, I'd be willing to send this plane to you for your parts collection.  The metal hardware appears to be original with just some minor surface rust.  One screw arm appears to be in good shape, as is one of the large nuts.  Both small nuts are also in good condition.  The fence has a few dents and dings, but it seems to be solid and useable.  If you think this plane has some value to you or any other plow plane collectors that you know, just send me a Private Message (PM) with your address and I'll send it out to you by the end of the week.  It would be great if this plane, or at least some of its parts, could help you or someone else.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on September 10, 2014, 08:33:10 AM
Except for the absence of the wedge and blades, it looks perfectly usable to me.  From experience I can say that the most expensive part to replace is the depth adjuster.   Wedges can be made, and blades come up on eBay regularly.  The replacement arm is ugly, but you ought to be able to carve it to match the original better.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on September 10, 2014, 10:28:55 AM
I agree with Branson the only parts missing are the wedge and iron. I appreciate the offer but I have been thinning my plow plane collection the last few years. I still have over 50 but I try not to bring anymore home with me. Concentrating on wrenches these days. I don't have one of that makers anymore but I can get a picture of one similar. Yours isn't a top of the line plane in its day but it wasn't a bargain basement version either. It has the brass reinforced skate so that was a little more than one without the brass.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 10, 2014, 12:17:09 PM
I think it's going to be one of those many little projects that will be added to my, "One of these days I'm gonna....." list.  There's a lot of things already on that list!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 14, 2014, 07:44:20 PM
The smoothing plane is a must have for any wood worker.  With a super sharp iron that’s ground to a slight camber on the ends, and set for a light pass, it will leave a finish on the surface of a work piece that cannot be matched by any machine, and certainly not by sandpaper.  In a future post I’d like to show you just how amazing such a finish can be leaving a sheen so bright, that sandpaper would only dull it.  Smoothing planes are generally thought to be sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4.  If you go all the way back to the initial post on page one, I featured what might be the single most popular hand plane size of all time, the #4 smoothing plane.  While the #4 is a real worker, in my opinion, the ultimate cast iron smoothing plane is the #4 ½.

Stanley #4 ½:

The numbering system Stanley used to identify its planes sort of made sense some of the time, but occasionally they came up with a plane that was between sizes.  The #4 ½ is one such plane and the first in Stanley's product line to have received a fractional designation.  Certainly longer and wider than a traditional #4, but not long enough to be considered #5 jack plane size, I guess calling a it a 4 ½ is appropriate.  Stanley started producing the #4 ½ in 1884 and continued to make them into the early 1960s.  The thought is that Stanley wanted to manufacture a smoother that could compete with the highly prized European infill smoothers that were made by Spiers, Norris and others, yet still mass produce them for the general public.  European infill planes are heavy, and that’s a very desirable feature when considering a smoothing plane.  Stanley’s answer was to produce a plane that resembled a #4 on steroids, the #4 ½.  At one time (1902 – 1924), Stanley made a plane that was cast with number “4 ½ H.”  The “H” actually meant “Heavy.” The Heavy #4 ½ smoothers were never listed in any Stanley U. S. tool catalog, but they very frequently turned up in Europe.   It was certainly an attempt to compete with the European infill smoothers.  Since they weren’t offered in the United States, Stanley #4 ½ H smoothers are scare and expensive to boot.  It should be noted that Stanley also manufactured Bedrock versions of the #4 1/2, they were the #604 1/2 and the #604 1/2C.  Although not as rare as the #4 1/2H, collectors and users alike also covet the large Bedrock smoothers, so you know what that means.  $$$.     

The first five photos below depict a #4 ½ with a corrugated sole.  It’s a type 14 that was probably manufactured somewhere right around 1929 – 1930.  It’s a beautiful plane that’s capable of producing a very nice finish.  When compared to a standard #4 (see photos #6 and #7 below), one can see that the #4 ½ is significantly bigger and heavier than its smaller sibling.  Between 1884 and about 1945, the #4 ½'s dimensions were 10 ¼” long and 2 ¾” wide.  What’s interesting is that somewhere around WWII, Stanley started making the #4 ½'s main body casting still bigger, heavier and thicker (see photo #10 below).  Notice the difference in the thickness of the side walls between the type 19 (1948 - 1961) on the left and the type 14 on the right.  From the mid 1940s until the end of production in the early 1960s, the #4 ½ remained 10 ¼” long, but its width was increased from 2 ¾” to a full 3” (see photo #8 below).  See that extra 1/4" difference in the width?

With all the 4 ½’s different sizes and weights over the years, it seems like Stanley was never really satisfied with its larger smoothing plane offerings.  I don’t doubt that Stanley could have made a very high quality large smoothing plane, however, mass producing one that was still affordable to the general pubic may have been a fine line to walk.  While the old Spiers and Norris smoothers are still highly sought by users and collectors, the Stanley #4 ½ can certainly earn its keep out in the shop and it won’t break the bank.  In a future post, I’d like to show you just how good a #4 1/2 could be.

Jim C.
           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on September 18, 2014, 07:48:45 AM
Just caught this plane on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-wood-plane-5-/331310962220?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&si=XlXi6Gs7Yr5z5zWFB95%252B2FWoLeM%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

Maybe people were thrown off by the maroon paint, but the knob was really good and if fairly screamed old Stanley.  So I put down the minimum bid of $8.99 and got it.  Tote, not so good, but only missing the horn and not split through elsewhere.  Knob is beautiful.  The blade is a replacement, marked Stanley Patent Pend 1999.  But the rest of it is a type 6 Stanley (1888 - 1892) with nothing broken or bent.  And unbelievably, the blade is actually sharp.   Happy critter here.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 18, 2014, 08:38:46 AM
Hey Branson,

A Type 6, now that's really an old timer!  You did VERY well for $9.  The front knob alone would be at least $20 if you had to replace it with one as nice as the one currently on the plane.  I like those old low knobs the best.  If the only problem with the plane is having the tip broken off the tote (which happened frequently), then I'd say that you came out way ahead.  Post a few pictures!  What are your plans for the plane?

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on September 18, 2014, 08:56:23 PM
I like the low knobs for No. 5s and up, but I find them a  tad awkward for No. 4 planes (and probably No. 3, but I don't have an example of that size with a low knob).  The space is just too tight.

But, with that said, yeah, the low knobs are so much more attractive.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 19, 2014, 06:57:57 AM
I like the low knobs for No. 5s and up, but I find them a  tad awkward for No. 4 planes (and probably No. 3, but I don't have an example of that size with a low knob).  The space is just too tight.

But, with that said, yeah, the low knobs are so much more attractive.

Yes, I kind of agree with you Bill.  I can see where a person with big hands would come to that very realistic conclusion.  I'm pretty average in terms of physical size so I'm still okay with the lower knobs on the smaller bench planes.  My dad on the other "hand" (pun intended) has rather large hands with sausage like fingers.  Getting a good grip on a smaller bench plane outfitted with a low knob would be a problem for him.  At some point, Stanley went to the taller knob, but I'm not sure why.  Perhaps for the very reason you suggested.  I'll do a little research and try to get a few pictures posted.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on September 19, 2014, 08:39:23 AM
Hey Branson,
A Type 6, now that's really an old timer!  You did VERY well for $9.  The front knob alone would be at least $20 if you had to replace it with one as nice as the one currently on the plane.  I like those old low knobs the best.  If the only problem with the plane is having the tip broken off the tote (which happened frequently), then I'd say that you came out way ahead.  Post a few pictures!  What are your plans for the plane?
Jim C.   

Pictures will have to wait on my learning better camera work.  What are my plans for the plane?  Using it!  It arrived with a sharp blade and is all ready to go.  Works just lovely.  I imagine there is nothing left of the Japanning since the surface of the maroon paint is flawless.  With the broken off tip of the tote, and the 1999 blade, I think this makes it a real user.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on September 19, 2014, 08:45:47 AM
I had to go check on low knobs.  Maybe it's because I have narrow hands, but I don't mind the low knobs on smaller planes.  One of my #4 planes is a low knob, and I've used it for, well, decades now.  The high knob #4 came to me  two, maybe three years ago.  My Stanley #3 is still in storage and I cannot remember the knob.  But a couple of years ago I picked up an Ohio metallic plane (right hand thread nut) that is essentially a Stanley #3 C.  I've been using it fairly regularly, and it, too, has a low knob.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 19, 2014, 09:53:00 AM
Hey Branson,
A Type 6, now that's really an old timer!  You did VERY well for $9.  The front knob alone would be at least $20 if you had to replace it with one as nice as the one currently on the plane.  I like those old low knobs the best.  If the only problem with the plane is having the tip broken off the tote (which happened frequently), then I'd say that you came out way ahead.  Post a few pictures!  What are your plans for the plane?
Jim C.   

Pictures will have to wait on my learning better camera work.  What are my plans for the plane?  Using it!  It arrived with a sharp blade and is all ready to go.  Works just lovely.  I imagine there is nothing left of the Japanning since the surface of the maroon paint is flawless.  With the broken off tip of the tote, and the 1999 blade, I think this makes it a real user.

That's what I like to hear.  I kind of figured that would be your answer.  Use it, take care of it, and eventually pass it on to the next guy who will hopefully do the same.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on September 20, 2014, 05:45:31 AM
That's what I like to hear.  I kind of figured that would be your answer.  Use it, take care of it, and eventually pass it on to the next guy who will hopefully do the same.
Jim C.

Yeah, that's me pretty much.  I have one tool that I'll never use -- a Neolithic stone ax.   There's a #271 router, still in box, and never actually sharpened that I did buy to use, but I haven't touched it.  Probably won't.  Every other tool earns its living here.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 20, 2014, 06:10:17 AM
That's what I like to hear.  I kind of figured that would be your answer.  Use it, take care of it, and eventually pass it on to the next guy who will hopefully do the same.
Jim C.

Yeah, that's me pretty much.  I have one tool that I'll never use -- a Neolithic stone ax.   There's a #271 router, still in box, and never actually sharpened that I did buy to use, but I haven't touched it.  Probably won't.  Every other tool earns its living here.

I'd like to hear the story behind that ax.  I know it's not a hand plane, and I'm really trying to keep the thread on track in terms of subject matter, but a real stone ax sounds very interesting!  Pictures are always welcome.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 20, 2014, 06:25:20 AM
Based on our discussion from yesterday morning, I went out to the shop last night and pulled out a few planes with short and tall knobs.  The planes depicted in the first photo are Stanley #3 size planes, while those in the second photo are Stanley #4 size planes.  The last photo is a group shot with the #3s on the right and the #4s on the left.  It's easy to see why someone with bigger hands might prefer the tall knobs on the smaller bench planes (sizes #1 - #4).

When Stanley started making bench planes back in the 1870s they were produced with the short/low knobs.  To me, they resemble hot air balloons or possibly mushrooms.  I personally like the way they look as opposed to the taller knobs which came later.  Perhaps someone at Stanley who was in a position of authority decided that the knobs were too short, and as such, difficult for some people to grip, or that the tall knobs looked better and were easier to grip.  Maybe both or neither reason is correct, or some combination of the two.  I don't know for sure.  What I can say is that the knob change took place somewhere right around 1919, when Type 12 bench planes were being manufactured.  Stanley made several changes/improvements to that version of their bench plane.  Switching from the short knob to the tall knob was one of them.  Deciding which one is preferable is a matter personal opinion.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 24, 2014, 08:12:35 PM
After adding a short post to the thread concerning Stanley bench plane knobs, I got to thinking that I should post a couple pictures of knobs that were found on larger bench planes like the #7 size and #8 size jointers.  The photos below depict the larger size bench plane knobs on the left as compared to #3 size bench plane knobs on the right.  There's certainly a difference.  Generally speaking, the taller knobs probably make more sense in terms of comfort, usability and functionality, for not only smaller bench planes, but for the larger bench planes as well.  As for appearance alone, I'm still going with the short knobs.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on September 25, 2014, 08:32:08 AM
The supposed reason that Stanley went to the tall knob was to eliminate chipping where the base of the knob met the bed.  This was done ca. 1920 and didn't work very well, given that the taller knob gave you even more leverage so that it was even easier to chip the base of the knob.

Recognizing this flaw, they corrected it ca. 1929-1930 by casting a ring in the bed to support the base of the knob.  This did work and eliminated the base chipping problem.

If you have to replace a tall knob be aware there are two types.  The one that goes in the ring has a tapered bottom to allow it to properly fit the ring, the original ones are straight.

Note:  This information came from work done by Roger Smith and Pat Leach.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 25, 2014, 10:18:43 AM
Thanks Mike!  Great details!  I'm glad you jumped in.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on September 28, 2014, 04:47:44 PM
Earlier today I was out in the shop looking for a plane to feature, and realized that I hadn’t yet said anything about one the most popular bench plane sizes, the #5 jack.  This one size might be fighting it out with the #4 as the most common, yet most useful bench plane.  It could be a toss up.  Anyone who spends any time at all doing wood working, whether it be rough construction type work, or fine cabinet making, should own a #5 sized bench plane.   Depending on the nature of the work at hand, and how the plane is set up, the #5 jackplane (or “jack of all trades”) excels at jointing short to medium length boards, smoothing medium and larger sized surfaces, and dimensioning stock.  I’ve seen some that were in tough shape with widened throats and arced cutting irons that were used as scrub planes.  Based on its length (usually about 14 inches) and two inch wide cutting iron, it really is the jack of all trades.  Jackplanes are very common and extremely useful.  They’re not normally expensive either.  For that reason alone, get a couple and dedicate them to specific tasks.  I have two that I use frequently.  One is set up for initially flattening the scalloped surface left behind by a scrub plane, and the other is set up for making one last fine pass on the edge of a board that’s ready to be joined to another board.

Stanley #5:

One of Stanley’s staples, the #5 was in continuous production from 1867 well into the 1980s.  There must be literally millions of them out there in various states of condition.  Since one can find a #5 almost anywhere, I thought I’d feature one that’s in top NOS (New Old Stock) condition.  The plane depicted below is a Type 16 that was manufactured by Stanley between 1933 and 1941.  It’s enormously common but extremely rare in this condition.  This particular plane and its original packaging is a virtual time capsule that dates back 70 - 80 years, giving us an accurate look at what Stanley was producing in terms of quality, fit, finish, etc. during that time period.  It still retains its factory grind on the cutting iron, and from what I can tell, has never been used even one time.  All of its finishes are 100% intact.  At this stage of the game, it’s really just a tool for study and benchmarking.  The collector in me will never allow for the use of this plane while it’s in my care.  Someday it will be passed on to someone else.  I hope its next owner sees its historic value and significance. 

While re-assembling the plane, I remembered that Mike (see reply #431 above) made a few good points about the evolution of Stanley’s front knobs, and the addition of a ring on the body casting to prevent chipping/cracking of the front knob while under stress.  If you take a close look at the last picture, you’ll see what Mike was referring to.   See the raised ring around the milled screw boss?  The base of the front knob fits perfectly between the two features on the casting.  Thanks again Mike!

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 02, 2014, 08:17:30 AM
> I have two that I use frequently.  One is set up for initially flattening the scalloped surface left behind by a scrub plane, and the other is set up for making one last fine pass on the edge of a board that’s ready to be joined to another board.

So it's OK for me to have four Stanley #5 planes?  I just checked my stash and not one has the raised ring, even though one has the tall knob.  That one and a #5C were $1 garage sale finds, btw.  Another is in process of rehabilitation.  I picked up a flawless #5 base a couple of years ago.  Still need a few parts to make a whole plane of it.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 02, 2014, 09:06:00 AM
Hi Branson,

Thanks for stopping by!  There's no limit on #5 jack planes that I'm aware of.  I wouldn't say there's an infinite supply of antique #5s out there in the wild, but good user quality planes are plentiful to say the least, and can be found almost any where old tools are available.  Thanks for supporting my point.  With so many available at generally affordable prices, having a couple (or more) that are dedicated to specific tasks isn't too unreasonable.  The issue is space/storage.  That's the only thing that really keeps my collection of user planes from getting out of control.  I just don't have the space for them.  Anyway... So Branson, how do you use your four #5 jacks?  Are they dedicated to specific tasks?  Do you have a favorite?  Pictures are always welcome if possible.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Art Rafael on October 02, 2014, 03:58:17 PM
Jim, and others, I do appreciate the detailed pictures of classic planes parts - little did I know.  They  are most helpful in designing my miniatures,
and I appreciate the detailed information even if I never build another miniature.

Ralph
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 02, 2014, 06:47:35 PM
Hi Branson,

Thanks for stopping by!  There's no limit on #5 jack planes that I'm aware of.  I wouldn't say there's an infinite supply of antique #5s out there in the wild, but good user quality planes are plentiful to say the least, and can be found almost any where old tools are available.  Thanks for supporting my point.  With so many available at generally affordable prices, having a couple (or more) that are dedicated to specific tasks isn't too unreasonable.  The issue is space/storage.  That's the only thing that really keeps my collection of user planes from getting out of control.  I just don't have the space for them.  Anyway... So Branson, how do you use your four #5 jacks?  Are they dedicated to specific tasks?  Do you have a favorite?  Pictures are always welcome if possible.
Jim C.

I'm relieved to know there no limit on #5s.  What I've reached for most often over the years is my veteran 5 1/2 C.  But I'm really beginning to like the Type 6 I just bought.  It just seems to handle well.  I've been making handles for things with it -- getting some octagon handles for some of my tanged chisels and making some "roughly made" handles for the Russian style inshave, scorp, drawknife, and flincher for Sutter's Fort.  For a lot of other things I go for one of the two #4s, and recently I've put some time in with an Ohio #3 C clone.   I have a #7 and #7 C, but haven't used them much at all. 

In wooden planes I definitely have a favorite -- a solid rosewood razee jack with an L&!.J. White blade.  Both gorgeous and a cutting fiend. 

I have other  metal planes as well.  There's a Baker with all it's finish intact and the paper label still good.  Had to have a Baker for the CA history of the company.  Bought it and the Ohio for $15 together.  I have another jack and smoother that my wife found and pointed out to me at a second hand shop (two different occasions).  I bought them, $5 each I think, largely because I was so touched that she found them and pointed them out.  One day, before I got my Stanleys out of  storage, I really had to plane something, so I spent a little time on a stone with the smoother and was thankful to have it.

I have a number of block planes, various makers, packed in different go-to tool boxes.  I do have favorites among the blocks.  The Stiletto is heavier than any Stanley, and it's out on the shelf in the shop, along with that corrugated one I got not long ago, and one of the Stanley low angles.  The Stiletto is vying for favorite with a recent made English Stanley that works really well.

There's another tool box about to come out of storage.  I' be pulling out a #3 Stanley and one of the adjustable curve Stanleys.  Can't remember what else I put into the box ten years back.  It's an army tool box I picked up at an antique store -- couldn't pass it up because it was made in North Carolina by Millikins, to whom I'm related.  Guess it just about qualifies as a family heirloom.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 03, 2014, 03:16:57 PM
^^^^^^

Branson,

Any time you'd like to feature those planes here in the Hand Planes thread, that would be great!!  I suspect that you have a nice collection stashed away somewhere.  I'm always interested and excited when I see that someone posted in the thread.  You never know what's going to show up.  I know there's a lot of great old planes in the hands of people who have been following along, so let's see them!

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 03, 2014, 03:37:03 PM
Are any of you members of the Mid-West Tool Collector's Association (MWTCA)?  If you like antique hand tools then that's the place for you.  The membership holds local tool meets all over the country, and the organization publishes a magazine called the Gristmill, where old tools and tool related information is the topic.  You won't meet a nicer group of people, and there's a ton of "old tool knowledge" to tap into.  Each year, the MWTCA holds a Spring and Fall National Meet.  The Fall meet is going on now, October 1 - 4, 2014 in Rockford, Illinois.  I try to make at least one National Meet every year, and this year I got to Rockford.  I usually go not looking for anything in particular, and sometimes I come home empty handed.  Not this time......

Today I finally pulled the trigger on a VERY nice Stanley #602 Bedrock...... I'll give you more details on this one in the future.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on October 03, 2014, 03:59:14 PM
I went to the Mid-West meet in Raleigh about 2 weeks ago.  My first time at that one since it was 666 miles from where I am in Florida.  As you pointed out, a really nice bunch of guys.

Seeing your exceptional 602 reminded me that a member there had around 25-30 no.2's of various types...even a flat top 602C, which you don't see many of.

I haven't made any of the nationals.  Maybe next year.

Like Jim, I would urge all of our forum members to join.  I think it's a bargain at $25.00.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: turnnut on October 03, 2014, 06:19:53 PM
even if you can not make the meetings, the magazines are worth the price of membership.

I agree, skip eating out just one time and put the money towards your membership fee.

Frank
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 03, 2014, 08:14:03 PM
Jim, and others, I do appreciate the detailed pictures of classic planes parts - little did I know.  They  are most helpful in designing my miniatures,
and I appreciate the detailed information even if I never build another miniature.

Ralph

Hey Ralph,

I'm glad you're enjoying the thread.  I still need to improve on the pictures.  Sometimes they're okay and other times they're not.  They're never great.  The thread would be more informative and potentially more interesting if I could take better, more detailed pictures.  I'll keep working on it. 

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 03, 2014, 08:59:33 PM
I went to the Mid-West meet in Raleigh about 2 weeks ago.  My first time at that one since it was 666 miles from where I am in Florida.  As you pointed out, a really nice bunch of guys.

Seeing your exceptional 602 reminded me that a member there had around 25-30 no.2's of various types...even a flat top 602C, which you don't see many of.

I haven't made any of the nationals.  Maybe next year.

Like Jim, I would urge all of our forum members to join.  I think it's a bargain at $25.00.

Mike

Hi Mike,

I can only imagine what 25-30 #2s looked like all together in one place.  As you well know, #2 size bench planes, Stanley or otherwise, are definitely collectible.  I did see a #602C today, but the asking price far exceeded its true condition.  I held it in my hands but it was a "user" quality example at best.  It's an extremely rare plane in any condition.  It's also easy to overlook a rare tool's condition when it's right there in your hands.  Logic and discipline can go right out the window.  Over the years, and after overpaying more than once, I've gotten much better at controlling my excitement in the presence of rare tools, and then accurately evaluating their condition.  Sometimes it's hard to walk away, but the condition and the price have to be in sync.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 06, 2014, 07:41:01 AM
Oh boy, I'm in trouble now!  I'm going to have to see if my camera skills and my camera are up to the task, because photos are gonna have to happen.
Ten and a half years ago, when "domestic bliss" vanished from my then household, I was in a fire to get all my stuff out, and finally was throwing everything into any box I could find.  Almost all went into a 12 X 12 storage unit, packed to the ceiling.  Well, my wife told me I ought to get a second unit so I could move things around and organize it all.  Friday I got the second unit and started shifting things and looking for tools that were in there "somewhere."

Folks, a while back I said I had two #45s.  I was mistaken.  I have three.  I opened the box I had for one of them and found two 45's.  Odd, I thought, since the Sears 45 has its own leatherette case...  One was the Wards 45.  The other in the box, though, is a Stanley sweet heart.  With the exception of the Stanley mark, and the Stanley sweat heart logo on the back of the skate, they are absolutely identical, down to the "Trade 45 Mark" cast into the fence, and the 45 in the casting for the right hand side of the body.  I'm certain I'll find the same thing on the Sears 45 whenever I dig it up. 

In a cardboard box along with the planes are a dozen blades, rabbet blades and beading blades, plus a single reeding blade and an obscure molding blade.  Most I'm pretty sure came with the Stanley.  Also in the cardboard box were four or five blades for my 71 1/2, including two 1/4 inch blades.   Two pin vises, one a really tiny Starrett.

There was another box that I remembered tossing a bunch of wooden planes.  What I forgot was that two of them are marked Odnance Dept 1863.  Also forgotten were two small sets of Japanese finger planes, a set of small carriage maker type planes (4 inches long) hand made and some still in progress.  Three Viet-Namese planes showed up -- rabbet, hollowing, and high angle smoother -- and a plane stocked scraper to make a 1/4 inch bead.

Another box I can't get at yet I know holds a Stanley #3, a Stanley #10, and one of the Stanley adjustable curve planes.  It might be where I stuffed my Stanley 40 1/2.   And Batz, there's a torch in that box as well.  Underneath this chest is an old carpenter's tool chest that holds a bunch of various wrenches.

I have a busy week ahead.  Tomorrow checking out lumber for the cooper's shop, then dealing with the air conditioning fellow to replace the primary condensation tube.  Also seeing a potential customer about doing unspecified finish carpentry on a Craftsman style house.  So it will be a while before I can do a lot with my new finds.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 06, 2014, 06:26:33 PM
^^^^^

Branson,

You're right, you're in trouble.  You've been totally sand bagging us.  You DO have a nice collection of planes.   I knew it!  Get that camera out and start taking some pictures.  Let's see and hear more about what you've got!

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 07, 2014, 07:54:08 AM
Well, somewhere in the unit should be a #66 beader, which is really a sort of scratch stock.  It needs some blades, but has both the straight and curved fences.  There ought to be also one of the cigar spokeshaves and a particularly beautiful Viet-Namese spoke shave.  Bunch of bow saws and a lot of axes and hatchets live in another chest.  There's one chest full of the planes I used to use at Sutter's Fort, including a really nice plow plane and a wide range of rabbet and dado planes.  Probably more surprises.  I have no idea how many wrenches are in the chest that belonged to "First Class Carpenter" nor what kinds of wrenches they are.

One set of photos ought to be just on scratch stocks.  Except for the #66 they are shop made, including one I threw together to duplicate a couple of molding details.  All are different.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 07, 2014, 06:48:57 PM
Well, somewhere in the unit should be a #66 beader, which is really a sort of scratch stock.  It needs some blades, but has both the straight and curved fences.  There ought to be also one of the cigar spokeshaves and a particularly beautiful Viet-Namese spoke shave.  Bunch of bow saws and a lot of axes and hatchets live in another chest.  There's one chest full of the planes I used to use at Sutter's Fort, including a really nice plow plane and a wide range of rabbet and dado planes.  Probably more surprises.  I have no idea how many wrenches are in the chest that belonged to "First Class Carpenter" nor what kinds of wrenches they are.

One set of photos ought to be just on scratch stocks.  Except for the #66 they are shop made, including one I threw together to duplicate a couple of molding details.  All are different.

Branson,

You clearly have a lot of great planes and experience to add to the thread.  I hope you'll feature one soon!  No more sand bagging.  Get your camera out and let's see what you have. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 12, 2014, 07:32:40 AM
In the first half of the twentieth century, several manufacturers were competing with Stanley to make mass produced hand planes, and other hand tools.  Some companies did cut into Stanley’s share of the market, and often did so by copying many of Stanley’s designs and ideas.  Some tried to “make a better mousetrap” by adding special features and gimmicks.  Most of the time, those unique features didn’t really enhance the plane’s overall performance, and occasionally, they detracted from it.  There were other times when various Stanley competitors came up with entirely different “non Stanley” ideas and designs that really worked.  Two such planes that I previously featured are perfect examples; the Sargent #507 block plane (see page 11, reply 162) and the Rumbold butt mortise plane (see page 17, reply 254).

In my opinion, more often than not, these new ideas and designs fell into the “better mousetrap” category.  As one of Stanley’s top competitors, Sargent manufactured a few planes that looked very different and unique, when compared to their Stanley equivalents.  Take for example their #1500 series rabbet planes, commonly referred to as “lady bugs” due to their insect like appearance. They sort of remind me of a snail too…. Anyway, those planes don’t look like anything else out there and when compared to the results produced by Stanley #90 series rabbet planes, there’s not much difference.  What makes the “lady bugs” so special is their shape, and that makes them VERY collectable.  Depending on the model and its condition, those little planes can easily sell for a few thousand dollars apiece!!

Sargent also made a relatively unique looking series of bench planes called “Autosets.”  Several different sizes were generally manufactured between 1916 and 1943.  I say generally because a few sizes were manufactured for much shorter periods of time within the 1916 – 1943 span, making them rare, collectible and expensive.  The Autoset plane model numbers were designated with a 700 series, that like many Sargent planes, was followed by their size in inches.  They were also available with corrugated soles and as such were referred to with a “C” after their model number.   For example, an 8” long Autoset would be model #708, while an 8” long Autoset with a corrugated sole would be model #708C.  When I think about Autoset planes, what really catches my eye is the distinctive shape of their main body castings, which adds nothing to their function, and their one of a kind pressure cap and frog configuration, which may or may not be an added benefit and could be seen as falling into the “better mousetrap” category.  I guess the individual craftsperson will ultimately have to make the final decision on that score.

The unique pressure cap and frog design are what give this plane its name… Autoset.  The theory was that once the plane was setup for a particular cut (light, heavy, etc), its pressure cap and cutting iron could be removed from the plane and then re-installed to make the same cut without having to re-adjust the frog, the iron or the depth of cut.  The fact of the matter is that after using any tool with a cutting edge, like a hand plane, that edge is going to get dull and require honing.  The Autosets allowed the user to remove the iron, hone it, and then re-install it back on the frog while still producing the same cut, but without having to fiddle around with the adjustments to achieve it.   

The design employs a fixed frog that’s attached with screws to two stout screw bosses that are cast into the main body of the plane.  Down near the throat, the bottom edge of the frog rests on a lip that’s cast into the plane’s main body.  This configuration provides a stable platform for the cutting iron, thus reducing chatter and potential iron flex.  On more traditional bench planes, the double iron (cutting iron and chip breaker) configuration usually requires that the chip breaker be removed in order to hone the cutting iron.  A traditional chip breaker has that little horizontal slot that orients itself on the yoke attached to the top of the frog, so it must be fitted to the cutting iron in exactly the same place in an effort to avoid having to re-adjust the frog, the depth of cut, etc.  No matter how hard I've tried to install the chip breaker back on the cutting iron in exactly the same place, I'm usually off just a little, causing me to have to re-adjust the depth of cut, the frog, etc. to get the same cut I had prior to removing the double iron assembly.  Autoset planes use a single short iron that sits directly on the frog, which has a small pin protruding up to engage a small slot on the cutting iron itself (not a chip breaker that has to be perfectly re-oriented on the cutting iron).

Finally the pressure cap is designed to act as a chip breaker that can be moved closer or further from the cutting edge depending on the desired cut.  Once it's positioned, the pressure cap too is "autoset" and does not need to be adjusted if removed from the plane.  If one looks closely at the photos below, he/she will see that the pressure cap incorporates a "T" shaped catch that's held in place by a nicely engineered capitve nut at the top of the lever cap itself.  Notice how the "T" has catches on it that lock onto the pressure bar that runs from side to side across the plane's main body.  Even when the pressure cap is removed, that "T" mechanism remains fixed because of that captive nut.  When the pressure cap is re-installed on the plane, the catches on the "T" re-engage the pressure bar at exactly the same distance from the edge of the cutting iron as it was prior to removing it.

In terms of doing what they were designed to do, the Autoset planes deliver.  Their unique components do allow the user to remove the iron, hone it, and then re-install it onto the plane without having to make any significant adjustments thereafter.  I like that.  Do the Autoset planes produce superior results when compared to the results produced by a well-tuned traditional looking/functioning bench plane?  Probably not, but again, that decision is up to the evaluation of each individual.  In the end, the Autoset "better mousetrap" idea probably didn't cut wood (or catch mice) any better than the more traditional looking bench planes that we're all so familiar with.  As for creating a bench plane that required little if any adjustment after disassembly and reassembly, well, I think Sargent got it right. 

Hopefully I didn’t bore you or confuse you too much with this feature.  I spent a lot of time talking about frogs, chip breakers, irons and pressure caps.  The best way to really see what I’m talking about is to compare any common bench plane you may have to an Autoset.  Get an Autoset out in the shop, play around with it a little, and I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.  With that being said, I have to admit that the Autosets are my ALL TIME FAVORITE bench planes to collect.  I have a couple that I use too.  I absolutely love the theory behind them, the engineering and machining that went into making them, their distinctive styling, and the functional “contraptionism” of their pressure cap and frog design.  What a great looking tool!  It’s fair to say that I’m a hardcore Stanley hand plane enthusiast, but when it comes to Sargent Autosets…… well you get the point.

Sargent #708:

The plane depicted below was probably manufactured between 1925 and 1943.  It’s approximately 8” long, or about the size of a #3 bench plane.  Sargent manufactured a 707, 708, 710, 711, 714, 718 and a 722.  All were also available with corrugated soles.  Most Autoset planes are relatively collectible.  They’re available, as I still see them at tool shows and online, however, condition and completeness are everything, even when considering a user quality plane.  The parts on these planes are relatively unique to Autoset planes only.  Buying one with missing and/or broken parts could turn into hassle.  Parts can be expensive and difficult to track down.  Be picky regardless if you’re going to buy one to use or for your collection.  Thanks for hanging in there on this one.

Jim C. (who likes to ramble)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 13, 2014, 07:31:16 AM
^^^^^^After I write this stuff, I like to go back the following day to clarify things, cleanup typos, etc.  Often times, I cut things out that sounded better the day before, or re-word them so they make more sense (I hope).  Today I went back and reviewed yesterday's Sargent Autoset feature.  When I was done reading it, I felt like I really just skimmed over the uniqueness of the Autoset's pressure cap design.  As a result, I added more content to the writeup, particularly as it relates to the pressure cap.  Yes, it's actually longer now!  My sincerest apologies.  Really.  I totally missed the mark on being concise and to the point on this one.  Thanks again for hanging in there.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on October 13, 2014, 02:42:42 PM
No problem, Jim! I think most of us are enjoying the thread.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 13, 2014, 04:38:29 PM
No problem, Jim! I think most of us are enjoying the thread.

Thanks Papaw.  I hope so. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 15, 2014, 08:55:03 AM
Well I am really enjoying this thread on planes.  I've learned a lot from you, Jim.  I'd never heard of the autoset.  I still think I would have to have one in my hands to really understand it, but that's probably just me.  I'm almost as much tactile as visual. 

I'm going to have my hands full here.  I've gotten into most of the tools in storage, and there are pictures to take.  I found my #55, which was more intact than I remembered.  Found my #3 and #13, and both are type 8.  It turned out I didn't have a #66 with both fences, but two #66, one with  the straight fence, and a very early Japanned with the curved fence.   Two tool chests are filled with wooden planes, one of which holds my 18th Century carriage makers rabbet plane. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 15, 2014, 09:52:45 AM
Well I am really enjoying this thread on planes.  I've learned a lot from you, Jim.  I'd never heard of the autoset.  I still think I would have to have one in my hands to really understand it, but that's probably just me.  I'm almost as much tactile as visual. 

I'm going to have my hands full here.  I've gotten into most of the tools in storage, and there are pictures to take.  I found my #55, which was more intact than I remembered.  Found my #3 and #13, and both are type 8.  It turned out I didn't have a #66 with both fences, but two #66, one with  the straight fence, and a very early Japanned with the curved fence.   Two tool chests are filled with wooden planes, one of which holds my 18th Century carriage makers rabbet plane.

Hi Branson,

I'm really glad that I was able to introduce you to a series of hand planes that you weren't familiar with.  Also, I'd like to thank you for your honest feedback regarding the Autoset writeup.  I do think that you'd better understand the Autoset's unique features if it were in your hands where you could physically examine it.  I know the writeup was sort of complicated and probably confusing too.  After reading it SEVERAL times myself, and trying to clarify it, I still came away thinking that others who were unfamiliar with the Autoset planes were probably wondering what the heck I was talking about.  I view the post as a total failure in terms of clarity.  Rather than going back and trying to "fix" it, I think I'll leave bad enough alone and try to do better on the next one.  I apologize, and again, thank you for your constructive feedback.  If you like something, that's great!  If you don't, for whatever reason, I'd like to hear about that too!  Actually, the critical comments will help me know what works and what doesn't.     

On another note, I'm very happy to hear that you're breaking into your tool collection, and I look forward to seeing all of your hand planes featured here on the Hand Plane thread.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 16, 2014, 06:23:39 AM
I wouldn't call it a failure, Jim.  Some things just defy description in words, things we think are even simple.  One of my college professors had a standing offer to give any student an A for the semester if he or she could describe, in writing, how to tie a bow knot.  Nobody had ever succeeded.

Among my discoveries in my old planes is that the 113 is missing the lateral adjuster.  I've got a parts-only frog that can provide a replacement as soon as I figure out how to attach it to the 113 without breaking the casting when I rivet it together.  Another is that the cap iron screw on my better #4 is missing.  How could that have happened?!  Grumble grrr.  I don't want to cannibalize another usable plane for a screw.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 16, 2014, 12:20:30 PM
I wouldn't call it a failure, Jim.  Some things just defy description in words, things we think are even simple.  One of my college professors had a standing offer to give any student an A for the semester if he or she could describe, in writing, how to tie a bow knot.  Nobody had ever succeeded.

Among my discoveries in my old planes is that the 113 is missing the lateral adjuster.  I've got a parts-only frog that can provide a replacement as soon as I figure out how to attach it to the 113 without breaking the casting when I rivet it together.  Another is that the cap iron screw on my better #4 is missing.  How could that have happened?!  Grumble grrr.  I don't want to cannibalize another usable plane for a screw.

Hey Branson,

Let us know how your 113 repair goes.  I never tried riveting to cast iron.  Go easy on that.  As for your #4, which screw are you talking about.  The little short one with knurling that holds the cutting iron and the chip breaker together?  Or the screw that goes in the frog and holds the lever cap and double iron assembly in place? 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 17, 2014, 07:51:15 AM
It's the screw that holds the blade and the cap iron/chip breader together.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 17, 2014, 06:52:26 PM
It's the screw that holds the blade and the cap iron/chip breader together.

Hey Branson,

I'm away right now, but I'll take a look in my parts box when I get back to my shop.  If I have an extra, I'll send it your way.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 18, 2014, 06:11:43 AM
Hey Branson,
I'm away right now, but I'll take a look in my parts box when I get back to my shop.  If I have an extra, I'll send it your way.
Jim C.

That would be deeply appreciated!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 19, 2014, 02:36:48 PM
Well, back at the storage unit I found my Sears #45, in its leatherette case with both sets of arms and full box of blades.  Unlike the Wards 45, the 45 is nowhere to be found on the casting.  Strangely enough, it was in a box marked "planes."  There was another 5 C in the box and a 5 1/4 (no knob on this one and the retaining bolt is snapped off level with the casting).

A while back there was some discussion on the 4 1/2, and I had read Leach's write up on that, wistfully thinking I'd like to try one out.  Even tossed a couple of futile bids on ones that showed up on eBay.   Well, at the bottom of the plane box I found a Stanley 4 1/2 C.  Yay!  (Good thing those bids were futile).  So I got home and tried to get a fix on the date.  No ring cast into the bed for the knob.  Check.  No "Stanley" stamped into the lateral adjust.  Check.  Later threading on the depth adjuster.  Check.  No "Bailey cast into the toe.  Check.  Blade is stamped with the triangular Stanley, New Britain, Conn, USA"  mark.  But the number isn't cast into the toe either.  The tote (cracked, of course) and knob are beech.  Hunh?  The depth adjustment knob is 1 1/4 inch in diameter.  No patent dates.  "M 4 1/2 " is cast into the bed behind the frog,   I'm confused now.

So Jim, what have I got?  (other than a good 4 1/2 C that will work just fine with cleaning and de-rustification -- the blade even looks to be sharp)

Yeah, I know, photos.  Not yet. storage hasn't been kind to these planes and they aren't ready for a public appearance.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 19, 2014, 06:53:46 PM
In my last installment, I tried to explain the unique features of my favorite series of bench planes, the Sargent Autosets.  Well, if you read that epic post, you may be wary of reading this one, as it also deals Sargent Autoset bench planes.  I promise to keep this one short and to the point.  So, let’s get into it.

As I stated in the last post, Sargent made several sizes of Autoset bench planes.  The largest of the series were the #718 fore plane and the #722 jointer.  Those two planes included one extra feature that their smaller siblings did not have, an adjustable front knob.  By simply loosening the barrel nut on the top of knob, the knob could be moved from side-to-side, or backward and forward, depending on one’s preferences.   The side-to-side adjustment allegedly provided knuckle clearance when the plane was used up against a barrier.  That makes some sense.  The backward and forward adjustment was provided to add comfort to craftspeople with longer or shorter arms.  Yes, that’s absolutely true!  Sargent actually touted the backward and forward adjustment as a selling feature for people with longer or shorter arms.   The #718 and #722 are the only planes I’m aware of that tried to fill the short arm/long arm niche.

Looking at the photos below, it’s easy to see how Sargent accomplished the knob adjustments in a relatively simple manner.  A cast iron domed base was mounted onto raised screw bosses on the main body casting.  The domed casting has four slots that allow the knob to be shifted into a position and tightened in place with the barrel nut on top of the knob.   If the photos don’t tell the story, just let me know and I’ll elaborate more on the adjustment mechanism.  Does anyone really want that?

I like the adjustable knob concept for its “contraptionism” but don’t entirely buy the practicality of the mechanism, and have seen MANY of these planes with cracked, broken or missing front knobs.  Original knobs are relatively fragile.  Often, the knobs have been replaced with non-originals.  An original knob’s base is manufactured to match the curvature/shape of the domed base.  If you come upon one of these larger Autosets with the adjustable front knob feature, be VERY sure that you’ve done your homework, and you know what to look for.

The first few pictures below compare a #718’s adjustable front knob (on the left) to the fixed knob of a #714 (on the right).   

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 19, 2014, 07:05:24 PM
Well, back at the storage unit I found my Sears #45, in its leatherette case with both sets of arms and full box of blades.  Unlike the Wards 45, the 45 is nowhere to be found on the casting.  Strangely enough, it was in a box marked "planes."  There was another 5 C in the box and a 5 1/4 (no knob on this one and the retaining bolt is snapped off level with the casting).

A while back there was some discussion on the 4 1/2, and I had read Leach's write up on that, wistfully thinking I'd like to try one out.  Even tossed a couple of futile bids on ones that showed up on eBay.   Well, at the bottom of the plane box I found a Stanley 4 1/2 C.  Yay!  (Good thing those bids were futile).  So I got home and tried to get a fix on the date.  No ring cast into the bed for the knob.  Check.  No "Stanley" stamped into the lateral adjust.  Check.  Later threading on the depth adjuster.  Check.  No "Bailey cast into the toe.  Check.  Blade is stamped with the triangular Stanley, New Britain, Conn, USA"  mark.  But the number isn't cast into the toe either.  The tote (cracked, of course) and knob are beech.  Hunh?  The depth adjustment knob is 1 1/4 inch in diameter.  No patent dates.  "M 4 1/2 " is cast into the bed behind the frog,   I'm confused now.

So Jim, what have I got?  (other than a good 4 1/2 C that will work just fine with cleaning and de-rustification -- the blade even looks to be sharp)

Yeah, I know, photos.  Not yet. storage hasn't been kind to these planes and they aren't ready for a public appearance.

Photos my friend, we need photos....  I'll have to check a few resources and get back to you on the type/era.   "M 4 1/2"??  That's an interesting detail that I'm not familiar with.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: oldtools on October 20, 2014, 06:29:50 PM
Jim, never seen a plane with a stick shift...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 20, 2014, 07:09:06 PM
Jim, never seen a plane with a stick shift...

Hi oldtools,

Thanks for stopping by the thread.  The Sargent Autoset adjustable front knob is definitely unique, and it does resemble a stick shift.  With the exception of the #718, #718C, #722 and #722C Autosets, I can't think of any other planes that incorporate a four position front knob mechanism.  There are a few Stanley models that have knobs and totes that adjust from side-to-side, but not backward and forward.  I'll feature a few of those models in future posts.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 23, 2014, 02:35:44 PM
Photos my friend, we need photos....  I'll have to check a few resources and get back to you on the type/era.   "M 4 1/2"??  That's an interesting detail that I'm not familiar with.

Jim C.

Pictures as soon as I can figure out if my camera gives any detail, and how to size them.  Since I don't have my own, you can see the style of the frog here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STANLEY-WOOD-PLANE-FROG-STANLEY-4-1-2-WOOD-PLANE-2-3-8-WIDE-/291266518504?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d0d65de8

Mine's prettier, pretty much light surface rust and no pitting, but this is the right casting.  It has a plain key hole lever cap. 
I got more enthusiastic about it because I cleaned it up a bit, slightly honed the blade and put it to work two days ago.  I'm impressed.  You run across purported improvements in use in tools, but often as not, you'd have to put in a 12 hour day to notice the advantage.  Not with the 4 !/2.  That extra weight really makes the work easier.  You notice in a couple of strokes.  The weight holds it to the work, and the momentum just carries it along.  Very pleasing performance.

Yesterday at work, I needed a plane pronto.  I remembered there was another older plane in the back of the van (still gotta make more space in the shop!).  It'll never make a collection because there's a one inch long chunk out of the right hand side near the knob.  Right now it's still not ready for a public appearance -- pretty much covered with light rust.  It's a Siegley corrugated No. 5.  Feels a little lighter than the Stanley.  Probably best to describe it when I have photos, but Siegley took an interesting round about for the lateral adjuster.   The lever has a pin in the lower end that engages a long slot in the blade.  It doesn't have a cap iron, not exactly.  What would be the lever cap on a Stanley is a casting that serves to hold the blade firmly.  It has two screws in the top that will let it be adjusted farther or closer to the edge of the blade.  Yeah, this will be easier with photos. but I found that it was an easy plane to use, especially since it was the only one I had to hand.

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 25, 2014, 04:46:19 PM
About a month ago, I read a post in the woodworking forum written by a gentleman who received an old Stanley #120 block plane from his father.  For some reason that post has stuck with me.  In the post, the writer wondered if the plane was any good, based on some negative things he had read on other forums/websites.  Clearly, some planes are better than others.  But in making that statement, a plane’s INTENDED function and original design must be considered, and "apples must be compared to apples."  Stanley, like many other tool manufacturers of their day, made different planes for different consumers who had various budgets, uses, and skill sets.  Practically every plane that’s complete and in good working order can provide some level of utility.  Expecting a plane to do more than it was originally designed to do is what leads to disappointment and frustration…..and possible negative reviews on other forums.

Stanley #120:

This is a good medium to light duty block plane.  It will handle a variety of tasks and is capable of doing an honest day’s work.  It’s not a block plane that was designed for cabinetmaking or fine woodworking.  This is the type of plane that I’ll put in my tool tote when I’m on my way to my parents house to do a few odd jobs for them.  It’s great for knocking the edges off tomato plant stakes, thus reducing slivers in one’s hands when pounding the stakes into the ground during planting season, or pulling them out in the Fall.   Have a dresser drawer that sticks a little in the summer months?  With just a couple light passes over the high spots, the drawer will fit perfectly in its opening.  The possible uses go on and on.  I really love planes like this.  They’re inexpensive, they’re easy to find at garage sales and flea markets, and when used in the right situations, they deliver great results every time.

Stanley manufactured the #120 between 1876 and 1947.  Based on some clues that the box provides (label, paper, construction), and the logo on the plane’s cutting iron, I believe the plane depicted below was manufactured some where between 1925 and 1932.  It’s not in mint condition, however, as one can see, its original box did protect it from paint drips and unnecessary damage.  The plane's bare sides show a beautiful dark patina.  At some point, it was certainly used and in the hands of someone who respected it, and understood its utility.

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on October 26, 2014, 07:32:36 AM
>Expecting a plane to do more than it was originally designed to do is what leads to disappointment and frustration…..and possible negative reviews on other forums.

This ought to be done up on a sampler and posted on the wall!  Apples with apples, and oranges with oranges.  While there are junk planes,  the vast majority of planes (and other tools, too) are meant to do a job, and even most of the true "junkers" will do decent work within their limitations.  A lot of times "Will it work?"  is best answered, "Depends on the carpenter."
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 26, 2014, 09:01:52 AM
>Expecting a plane to do more than it was originally designed to do is what leads to disappointment and frustration…..and possible negative reviews on other forums.

This ought to be done up on a sampler and posted on the wall!  Apples with apples, and oranges with oranges.  While there are junk planes,  the vast majority of planes (and other tools, too) are meant to do a job, and even most of the true "junkers" will do decent work within their limitations.  A lot of times "Will it work?"  is best answered, "Depends on the carpenter."

Thanks Branson!  I know that your response is based on a great deal of personal experience which is truly appreciated here. 

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Billman49 on October 26, 2014, 02:26:31 PM
It's been ages since I did any proper joinery, and used anything bigger than a No 4 - for most of the work I do a block plane suffices, and mine are used almost daily - ideal for taking the sharp corner off a sawn board to avoid splinters.

I use several, mainly Stanley,  (both US and UK made ones) with the occasional UK Record thrown in for good measure. A year or two ago I bought a couple of Stanley steel bodied 118's from the US (they appear never to have been made or sold here)... They are superb for site work, and good to carry on a roof or up into the scaffolding, as they are virtually unbrakeable if dropped...

My favourite is an old 60 1/2 I got with a couple of books of Green Shield stamps circa 1970 - I've used it for everything from musical instrument making through to joinery - it's one I don't take up on the roof though....

Another favourite is the knuckle jointed cap found as on the 18 and 65 - replacements are difficult to find in the UK, but I see on eBay.com in the US they sell for about $6 to $8 - a pity the postage to the UK is over twice as much as the cap iron..
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 26, 2014, 02:52:04 PM
Hi Billman49,

Thanks for checking in from across the pond!  You may be the first international guest to submit a post to the thread.  Now I could be wrong about that, but no others come to mind at the moment.  If there are others, please accept my apologies.  Anyway.... I'm very happy to hear that you're a frequent hand plane user.  Block planes are by far one of the handiest and most useful tools ever created.  You mentioned using a #118 on a roof or scaffolding.  Are you employed as a roofer?  A steel block plane like the #118 is ideal on a construction site.  I probably wouldn't use that one for fine work.  The others you mentioned (#60 1/2, #18, and #65) are a little more versatile, each having adjustable throats, and two (#18 and #65) are outfitted with the "comfortable to use" knuckle cap.  A favorite feature of mine.  Of the group, I believe that the #65 is one of the finest block planes that Stanley ever made.  It excels at a variety of tasks, but because of its size, weight and features, it's perfectly suited for fine woodworking.  All the planes you mentioned are wonderful tools in their own way.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll post a few pictures of your block planes.  They don't all have to be Stanleys, we'd like to see the British made planes too!!

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 26, 2014, 08:26:30 PM
Well, back at the storage unit I found my Sears #45, in its leatherette case with both sets of arms and full box of blades.  Unlike the Wards 45, the 45 is nowhere to be found on the casting.  Strangely enough, it was in a box marked "planes."  There was another 5 C in the box and a 5 1/4 (no knob on this one and the retaining bolt is snapped off level with the casting).

A while back there was some discussion on the 4 1/2, and I had read Leach's write up on that, wistfully thinking I'd like to try one out.  Even tossed a couple of futile bids on ones that showed up on eBay.   Well, at the bottom of the plane box I found a Stanley 4 1/2 C.  Yay!  (Good thing those bids were futile).  So I got home and tried to get a fix on the date.  No ring cast into the bed for the knob.  Check.  No "Stanley" stamped into the lateral adjust.  Check.  Later threading on the depth adjuster.  Check.  No "Bailey cast into the toe.  Check.  Blade is stamped with the triangular Stanley, New Britain, Conn, USA"  mark.  But the number isn't cast into the toe either.  The tote (cracked, of course) and knob are beech.  Hunh?  The depth adjustment knob is 1 1/4 inch in diameter.  No patent dates.  "M 4 1/2 " is cast into the bed behind the frog,   I'm confused now.

So Jim, what have I got?  (other than a good 4 1/2 C that will work just fine with cleaning and de-rustification -- the blade even looks to be sharp)

Yeah, I know, photos.  Not yet. storage hasn't been kind to these planes and they aren't ready for a public appearance.

Hi Branson,

I did a little research on your Stanley #4 ½C bench plane.  In your prior post, you were wondering when your plane was manufactured.  Well, I’m not sure that I have a definitive answer for you, but I think we can make a few educated guesses based on the information you provided above.  I’ll try to present the information in pieces, and then add it all together to see what we get.  So let’s get started with a general time frame.  Stanley manufactured the #4 ½C between 1898 and 1961.

Main body casting:

You stated that your plane did not have a ring cast into its bed.  That raised ring was added to provide support around the base of the front knob, and to prevent chipping/cracking to the knob itself.  That ring first appeared on Type 14 bench planes, manufactured between 1929 and 1930.  That narrows things down a little bit.  You also stated that the name “Bailey” (in honor of the man who perfected the bench plane’s general design) was missing from the casting near the toe of the bed, and no patent dates were present.  The Bailey name started appearing with Type 9 bench planes, manufactured between 1902 and 1907 as did patent dates immediately behind the frog.  Okay, so maybe you have a really early (pre-1902) version of the #4 ½C.  Here’s where things get a little cloudy.  You stated that the plane’s size (4 ½) was not cast into the bed.   Starting with Type 5 versions manufactured between 1885 and 1888, Stanley started including sizes on the main castings.  Smaller bench plane sizes were cast near the toe, while #5 and larger planes had their sizes cast near the heel.  If I haven’t totally confused you yet, in theory, your #4 ½C should have a size number cast near its toe.  From what I can tell, Stanley started making the #4 ½C more than a decade AFTER they started adding sizes to the main castings, so I’d generally expect to see 4 ½ cast near the toe.   Finally, you mentioned that “M 4 ½” was cast into the bed immediately behind the frog.  I’m not at all familiar with that marking.  Patent dates eventually made their way to that spot on the bed, but not until 1902.  They remained there in some form until about 1931, when they were replaced with “MADE IN U.S.A.”  On Type 1 (1867 – 1869) Stanley bench planes, the size was cast into the underside of the frog and lever cap, but not the main plane body.

So, there are clues to suggest that your plane’s main casting may be a very early Stanley #4 ½C.  But then there are other factors that don’t match up to commonly known, conventional Stanley facts and figures.  There are exceptions to every rule and perhaps you have something that’s extremely rare.  Are you sure the corrugations on the sole are original Stanley factory applications?

Lateral adjusting lever on the frog:

You stated that “Stanley” was not stamped into the lateral adjustment lever of the frog.  Stanley added a lateral adjustment lever starting with its Type 5 (1885 – 1888) bench planes.  The stamping included two patent dates (2-8-76 and 10-21-84) and “STANLEY.”  The Stanley #4 ½ (not #4 ½C) was introduced in 1884, or about 14 years prior to the #4 ½C.  A frog from an extremely early #4 ½ could have existed without “STANLEY” being stamped on the lateral adjustment lever, and could be on your plane.

Cutting iron:

The triangle shaped logo on the dull end of the iron is more commonly known as the “V” trademark.  It was routinely seen on plane irons and tools that were manufactured between 1912 and 1918.  That logo was characteristically found on Stanley Type 11 bench planes (1910 – 1918).  Although the iron is old, if we believe that your plane’s main casting and frog date to approximately pre-1902, then it’s probably a replacement iron.

Depth adjustment screw:

Your plane’s depth adjustment screw measures 1 ¼” in diameter.  That became the standard on Stanley bench planes starting in approximately 1919, with Type 12 versions.  Prior to that time, their diameters were smaller, measuring at closer to an inch or so.  Your screw may be a later replacement.

Keyhole shape on the lever cap:

The keyhole shape on Stanley bench plane lever caps changed over to a kidney shape on most Type 16 examples beginning in 1933.  The keyhole shape on your lever cap is consistent with earlier planes.  Does the lever cap have “STANLEY” cast into it?  If so, that could change things.  In 1925, the word “STANLEY” in a notched rectangle made its debut on the lever cap, if your lever cap says Stanley on it, then it may be a later replacement part.

Knob and tote:

Stanley did manufacture some of its planes to include the #40 and #40 ½ scrub planes, #64 butcher’s block plane and #340 furring plane, with beech knobs and totes.  As for Stanley bench planes (#1 - #8) with beech knobs and totes….. well I guess anything is possible, but I’ve never seen one.  The “wood” on your plane may have been replaced at some point.

There you have it….  I’m not sure if we cleared anything up or not.  I’m also not entirely convinced that all the parts on the plane are original to that specific example, but still, if your plane is entirely comprised of Stanley parts from top to bottom, then I’d say that it’s pre – 1919, with the latest part (depth adjustment screw) dating to about that time.  A few pictures might help...... :smiley:

I really like digging into the history of old planes.  A tool’s past can’t always be known, however, its future is yours to create.   I hope you enjoy using your #4 ½C. 

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Billman49 on November 01, 2014, 04:23:29 AM
Hi again

Stanley (UK) and Record are the two main manufacturers in the UK - the Stanley UK range mirrored those made by Stanley USA - I believe the company started as an offshoot of the US firm, but later became independent of them... The Record planes are now made in China, and a shadow of their former quality.

Other Sheffield firms also made good qality hand planes, Wm Marples and Rapier being twi that come to mind - in the 1950's Marples came out with the X4, and cross between a No 4 and a Norris/Spiers/Matheison typw infill plane, about 50% heavier than the No4, and with and emclosed handle...

A firm called GTL (Good Tools Ltd???) of Sheffield also made a plane like a number 4, but with a Norris type adjustment they also made a brass bodied variant..

Jim C - I'm a retited teacher of craft, design and techenology (CDT) with a passion for DIY and old tools (mainly billhooks) - I probably have over 30 woodworking planes of various types scattered about various tool boxes and sheds...
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 01, 2014, 07:06:08 PM
Hey Billman49,

Thanks for stopping by again.  Living in the UK, you must have had access to some of the best hand tools and planes ever made.  Norris, Spiers, Matheison are well known for their infill planes.  Nothing compares to them in terms of performance, and as a result, they're highly desired by collectors and/or users alike.  You mentioned having several planes.  Do you have an infill you could show us?  If you've been reading along, you know that pictures of your planes will always be welcome, particularly those that were manufactured in England.  As a retired "CDT" teacher and DIYer, it makes perfect sense that you'd have an interest in old tools.  You'll fit in just fine around here.  I hope you'll not only share your collection of hand planes with us, but also your experiences using them and collecting them.

You also mentioned having an interest in billhooks.  I'll admit that I really didn't know what a billhook was, so I did a little research.  The Internet is a wonderful educational tool.  Anyway....  As soon as I saw a picture of a billhook, I immediately recognized the tool.  My grandfather immigrated from "the old country" to the United States in the early 1900s.  He had a nice little vegetable garden behind his house, and more than 100 rose bushes that he meticulously maintained.  He had a real green thumb.  One of his other passions was making his own red wine....from grapes that he grew along the back fence in his yard.  He pruned those grape vines with a machete like tool that I believe he made at work.  He was a tool and die maker.  Now I realize what he made....a billhook.  It had a single bevel, curved end, and measured about twelve inches long.  It was a tool that I'm sure he fashioned from his memories of the "old country."

Jim C.     
         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Billman49 on November 02, 2014, 10:16:54 AM
Sadly no Norris, Spiers or Matheison planes in my collection - I'm in the process of building a new tool shed - the structure is up,  but the inside is work in progress - the idea is to empty the tools in my sheds, garage and workshop (plus my mum's attic) into one place.... It's slow going as currently my wife has health problems, involving bi-weekly hospital visits and me doing all shopping, cooking etc - I do draw the line at housework... Prognosis is good for about 6 months time, so maybe 2015 I'll get back on track.... As a result my tools are all over the place, so unable to get the planes out and photograph them...

Glad you found out what a billhook is - did you visit my website, www.billhooks.co.uk ????? It was (is??) a tool found throughout Europe, and was in most US immigrants tool kit, but for some reason in the 19th and early 20th centuries it almost disappeared from the US. Revolutionary War era fascine knives, another name for the same tool, appear very collectable, and some billhooks were still being made in the US (The American Axe Co listed them) - they may have just evolved into the US bush hook or brushing hook, or maybe the axe became 'king'....

Not technically a 'carpenter' tool' - although they were found in Dutch carpenters shops, and also specialist versions were used by European (but not British/UK) coopers - single and double edged, and with single or double bevels, they are a 'woodworking tool' - especially for green woodworking and coppice work.... Probably not the place to discuss them in 'woodworking planes', I'll start another thread... I tend to post mainly on the What's It forum, but maybe I need to branch out a bit...

Most of my plane are UK made Stanleys, plus a few Record - I do have a few European wooden planes as well, plus a few I picked up in Hong Kong 20+ years ago... The Stanley No 4 must be the most copied plane in the world, and made in most countries after the initial patents expired... In the UK there are also cheap imported copies from India and China - OK for rough work, e.g as a scrub plane, bu no good for fine woodworking, although the quality is improving.... It's cheaper to buy one of these just for the handles than it is to buy replacment wooden handles for a Stanley....
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 02, 2014, 04:52:01 PM
Very recently, a site member from England (Billman49) posted here in the Hand Plane thread mentioning that he has several internationally made hand planes, as well as an extensive collection of billhooks.  (I checked out his billhook website and found it to be VERY impressive and extremely educational in terms of learning about a tool that I knew very little about.  I encourage all of you to take a look.)   Anyway, in an earlier post Billman49 listed several fairly well known manufacturers of English made hand planes.  I’ve heard of them all, but have none in my collection.  With so many USA made models to collect and use, I never really focused my attention on tools from outside the United States.

About a dozen or so years ago, I made an island/table and four stools for my kitchen.  The stools feature concave seats.  (See the last photo below.)  Back when I made those stools, I rough cut the general shape of the seats on my band saw.  I stayed pretty close to the layout lines, but in the end, I knew the seats were going to need some serious fine tuning to make them all uniform, and to make sure that the concave surface of the seats were smooth and free from the marks left behind by the band saw.  Sandpaper, a card scraper and a curved sole spoke shave weren't going to get the concave arcs in the seats all the same.  I needed a tool that could be set for the desired curve and could also produce it over and over.   I needed a compass plane (also known as a circular plane) to fair the curves.  Stanley made two versions, the #113 (1877 – 1942) and the #20 (1897 – 1958).  Well, I needed the plane to finish the stools, and I didn’t really have a lead on a vintage Stanley version.  As I recall, I turned to one of my woodworking supply magazines and came across an English made Record #020.

Record #020:

The Record #020 is very similar in every way to the Stanley #20, and was produced by Record between 1932 and 2004.  It's ten inches long and weights approximately four pounds.  The iron is 1 3/4" wide.  Its basic dimensions are similar to a common #4 smoother.  I purchased the plane depicted below in December, 2001.  Interestingly, a sticker on the side of the plane’s original box reads “2-10-01.”  Perhaps that’s the day it was assembled and packaged.  I do know that it’s a later version and that the #020 was out of production within a few years.  This is an extremely specialized plane that really excels at smoothing consistent/constant concave and convex curves.  On concave work, the best technique is to start with the plane’s flexible sole set at an arc that’s slightly tighter than the desired arc.  After several passes, the sole can be flattened little by little, via the large threaded knob, eventually “sneaking up” on the finished curve.  On convex work, it’s the opposite.  The arc of the plane’s sole should be more flat initially, and adjusted to the finished curve after several passes.

A compass plane’s frog and cutting iron assembly looks and functions much like that of a standard bench plane, with its double iron, depth adjustment screw mechanism, its lateral adjustment lever and screw operated pressure cap.  The only real difference is that the frog’s base is riveted to the flexible sole and cannot be removed from the main body casting.

I probably wouldn’t recommend that a compass plane be among the first planes one might purchase.  As I mentioned, it’s very specialized.  Still, if you’re planning on doing any curved work where the arcs are consistent, then a compass plane becomes invaluable.  If you’re planning to buy one to use, check the sole and frog to make sure they’re not coming apart at the rivets.  The plane itself is sturdy, but not indestructible.  Set the iron for a light pass and don’t over torque its settings.  If possible, remove as much waste as you can with a band saw.  I think the plane functions best as a finishing tool.

Jim C.               
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Billman49 on November 02, 2014, 05:20:19 PM
Currently 8 Record 020 planes for sale on the UK site of a well known auction site - they seem to go for about £120 sterling as Buy It Now, but who knows what you may get as a bid.... They also often appear online from secondhand tool dealers... A copy of the Stanley 113 is also made in Germany by Kunz - they appear to be a bit more expensive that a second hand Stanley (about the same price as a Record 020)....

Searching online, I have just found that Record also made a version of the 113... The Indian company Anant also make a version....
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 04, 2014, 12:35:44 PM
Billman49,

Thanks for the additional circular plane information.  I'll have to admit, I had no idea that so many different overseas manufacturers were still producing a version of the Stanley #113.  As a matter of fact, I didn't know anyone anywhere was still making that model. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on November 04, 2014, 10:21:59 PM
Coulda had this Keen Kutter for $715.50 back in 2000!
 


Quote
Simmons Hardware Co., E.C. No. KK115: "Keen Kutter" Circ. Metallic Plane. Sim. To Stanley 113. Rare & Excellent. Length: 10.00 Inches. Given its ambitious, and successful, undertaking to produce nearly every imaginable tool and hardware item emblazoned with its "Keen Kutter" logo, it is likely that they also produced a similarly-marked line of canned goods that ran the gamut from soup to nuts. Keen Kutter collectors share the zeal of the Simmons Company for acquiring KK items. Simmons contracted with the principal manufacturers of the country to produce specially cast and marked items for the Keen Kutter line. Some of the KK products, such as bench planes, while other items, such as special-purpose planes, of which this is an example, are rare indeed. Most likely fitted out for Simmons by Stanley, this Keen Kutter circular plane is cast with the KK logo on the front adjustment knob and the cutting iron is also properly marked. A rare Keen Kutter item in top collector quality condition. (GOOD+). This item was sold on October 14, 2000 for $715.50.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 05, 2014, 07:39:08 AM
Hi Papaw,

I vaguely remember that plane.  It's definitely a Stanley product that was rebranded with the Simmons Keen Kutter logo.  That's a hefty price tag to pay for a Stanley #113 with a KK logo, but collectors are collectors.  With the volatile economy these past years, I wonder if the plane could still attain that same price at auction.  Who knows?  If two Keen Kutter collectors show up at the auction and both have their sights set on it, anything could happen.  There's excitement in the air, no one wants to back down, neither one has seen that plane before, etc., etc.  The next thing you know, someone has paid a lot (maybe too much) for an item.

It's interesting to note that the plane was listed as being in "top collector quality condition (GOOD+)."  I've learned that a tool graded at (GOOD+) usually means that it's a really nice "user" quality item.  $715 seems like a lot of money to pay for a user tool.  As you know, condition is everything!  Over the years I have occasionally overpaid for a tool that excited me enough to look (foolishly) beyond it's ACTUAL versus advertised condition.  Inexperience, a lack of discipline, the thrill of the hunt, the exciting auction environment, etc., and in the end, there I was with a top quality "user" plane that I paid a top quality "collector" price for.  From a pure collector's point of view, tools that are graded excellent to mint tend to hold their values over the long haul much better than those graded at good, regardless of how rare they may be.  I don't know.... $715 seems like a lot money for that particular plane.  Education can sometimes be an expensive proposition.

Jim C.                   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 15, 2014, 11:16:56 AM
One of the most common and basic woodworking operations is to round over the edge of a board.  Whether it be done on a finely crafted cabinet, or out on the job site, smoothing sharp edges is simply a part of handling and working wood.  A smooth edge on a finished piece of wood really does have a great feel to it, and it invites one to run his/her hand across it.  You might think twice if the edge were left square.  The most common ways to accomplish that task would include using a block plane, a small sized bench plane (like a #3), or even with some sandpaper.  An electric router with a round over bit will also do the trick.  I usually go with a block plane and may follow up with one or two passes of 400 grit sandpaper.  Well, if you’ve been reading along so far, you’ve heard me say many times that Stanley was always looking to fill a niche (real or imagined).  Do you think Stanley was content to round over edges with block planes and sandpaper, when it could make a plane that was dedicated to that specific task?

Stanley #144:

This was Stanley’s answer to rounding over the sharp edges of a board.  It’s a fairly basic tool consisting of three simple parts; the main body, the iron and a pressure screw.  That’s it.   The plane came in three different sizes that included ¼”, 3/8” and ½”.  When referring to the plane sizes, I mean that the soles of the planes were manufactured with the various radiuses as were the business ends of their cutting irons.  Stanley made the #144 series between 1925 and 1943.  There were some minor variations that have do with being able to identify earlier versions of the plane from newer versions.  None of these variations even remotely impacts the plane’s use or functionality.  They’re all cosmetic.  I’ll go over some of the variations now.

Earlier versions of the #144 were cast with “PAT APL’D FOR” while later examples were cast with “U.S. PAT 10-6-25”.  The irons also were stamped with their respective sizes which typically read, “1/4 CIR” for example.  Some irons, depending upon when they were produced, may have also included a Stanley logo at the top.  Look carefully at the photos below and one will see the “Sweet Hart” logo.   Some irons will only have the size of the plane and no Stanley logo at all.  I have rarely seen some irons without any sort of size and/or logo stamps.  It’s hard to say if they were original irons or something a previous owner made from metal stock that he/she had on hand.  Finally looking at the plane’s skate, one will see that the size was also stamped along the bottom.  I’ve never seen a #144 from any period of production that didn’t have its size stamped on the skate.  From what I understand, the most common size is the 3/8” while the least common is the ¼” followed by the ½”.  Ironically, I do not have the 3/8” size, so it’s hard to say for sure, but that’s what I’ve been told.

I know that was a lot of “collector” information.  From a “user” standpoint, I’d give the #144 an average at best grade.  It does get the job done, but I don’t believe it’s superior to the results that can be achieved with a standard block plane and a little fine grit sandpaper.  These planes are somewhat scarce and that drives their prices up.  If one were planning to buy a #144 to use, I’m not so sure that the results they produced would justify their costs.  They can sell for a couple hundred dollars apiece. The #144 series of planes might be better left to the collectors.  I don’t see these too often, but if you come across one and the price is right why not give it a try?  Worst case scenario, you could always go back to using a block plane and some sandpaper to round over an edge.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on November 15, 2014, 02:41:11 PM
I am not much of a woodworker, but I was always happy to just use some sandpaper or a scrubbing block to round edges.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 15, 2014, 05:54:02 PM
I am not much of a woodworker, but I was always happy to just use some sandpaper or a scrubbing block to round edges.

Hi Papaw,

Thanks for stopping by.  You're not alone when it comes to your choice of tools for rounding over the edges of a board.  Low tech and simple is often the best method.  As you saw in the post, Stanley's #144 series planes didn't stay in production for even twenty years.  There's a reason for that.  Block planes and sandpaper are still going strong.  There's a reason for that too.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on November 16, 2014, 07:55:36 PM
Great stuff guys!  I have not read every thread, but I am working at it.  Here is a link to an ebay item.  It was made by a friend of mine, Russell Beebe.  Planes can be fun projects too!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-hand-carved-vintage-hand-planes-by-Russell-Beebe-/181582863625?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a472e9d09 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-hand-carved-vintage-hand-planes-by-Russell-Beebe-/181582863625?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a472e9d09)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 16, 2014, 08:49:04 PM
^^^^^  WOW!!  What a great way to customize a hand plane, and what an amazing artist your friend is.   Thanks for the link John.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Billman49 on November 17, 2014, 03:54:53 AM
Ref my post on another topic - the ebay link and image will soon disappear, so for those who come across this post in the future, her's the plane in question:

Personally I have a phobia for snakes, so will not be buying it - and certainly not at $2000.... Now if it was a nice dragon.....
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on November 23, 2014, 10:41:59 AM
This is a portion of some planes I've picked up over the years.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 23, 2014, 04:16:32 PM
^^^^^^ Here's the understatement of the day...... "I get the feeling you've been holding out on us."
Okay gibsontool, now that you've teased us with a portion of what appears to a GREAT collection, you're going to have to post a few more pictures of your planes.  I hope you'll occasionally feature them here in the Hand Planes thread.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of what you have on those shelves!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on November 23, 2014, 06:22:20 PM
& so many original boxes....
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on November 23, 2014, 06:34:44 PM
You will have to excuse the second picture it has no planes,today is my first attempt at posting pics without help from my wife, kids or others. I'll try to get some more detailed pics when I have some time.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 23, 2014, 06:37:28 PM
You will have to excuse the second picture it has no planes,today is my first attempt at posting pics without help from my wife, kids or others. I'll try to get some more detailed pics when I have some time.

GREAT!!  Now that you know you can post pictures on your own, we'll be looking forward to more!  Thanks for stopping by. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on November 23, 2014, 06:50:49 PM
I have been paying attention to your post since you started and it's full of great info. I will, as time permits ,post some detailed pics.
  Jim.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 23, 2014, 08:34:07 PM
I have been paying attention to your post since you started and it's full of great info. I will, as time permits ,post some detailed pics.
  Jim.

Thanks.  We're anxious to see more of your collection.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on November 24, 2014, 06:05:53 AM
You will have to excuse the second picture it has no planes...

Like we might be disappointed?  Hah!  More good tools, a lot more.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 24, 2014, 08:13:17 AM
You will have to excuse the second picture it has no planes...

Like we might be disappointed?  Hah!  More good tools, a lot more.

Right!!  Yes, I'd like to keep the thread primarily dedicated to any and all hand planes.  That being said, if someone wants to post pictures of their planes, and those planes are just a portion of a much larger hand tool collection, you won't hear a single complaint from me if some non-hand plane collection photos make it into the thread.  I love good hand tools, particularly if they're vintage, so I'm always fascinated by extensive tool collection photos.  I'm also hoping to see a lot more of gibsontool's hand planes, as well as those belonging to others who stop by the thread.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 24, 2014, 09:21:58 PM
It’s fairly common that I will receive an old hand plane from someone I know.  Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious interest in them.  Some are in better shape than others, but I always accept them.  At the very least, there’s usually a part on them that can be used to fix up another plane that may be missing the same part.  Anyway, the plane depicted below was a cast off from a fellow co-worker.  I think he said it belonged to his great-grand father.  I probably would have hung onto to it for that reason alone, but I guess people express their sentiments in different ways.  So, the plane was mine, or on its way to the dump.  On its surface it may look like it’s beyond saving or even worth the effort.  I think that was my co-worker's thought.  Okay.  Yes, it’s a little rough around the edges, but with some attention and the acquisition of a couple common parts, this one can go back to work… and it will in my shop.

Stanley #180:

The #180 series of planes were some of Stanley’s earliest rabbet planes.  There were three sizes (iron widths) starting with the #180 at 1½”, the #181 at 1¼” and the #182 at 1”.  Stanley manufactured the 180s between 1886 and 1918.  The latest versions are almost 100 years old!!  They were simply designed having few parts that consisted of the main cast iron body, the cast iron pressure cap and screw, the cutting iron, and a cast iron depth adjustment stop that mounted to the right side of the plane with a thumbscrew.  Unfortunately the plane was given to me without the depth adjustment stop and thumbscrew.  (It should be noted that the depth stop and thumbscrew depicted below were borrowed from a Stanley #190 for purposes of showing the missing parts.)  On the positive however, that little depth stop and thumbscrew were used on MANY other Stanley produced rabbet planes in the decades that followed, to include the 190 series of rabbets and the extremely popular #78 to name a few… and there were other less common models that also employed those same two parts.  I’m sure even back then, Stanley had accountants.  Interchangeable parts meant production savings.  I don’t usually like to chase parts, but in this case, they’re very easy to come by and relatively inexpensive.  In this instance, I say “Thank you Stanley accountants.”  (I’m sure the original designers and engineers factored in cost and production efficiency too.)

To use the #180, a thin scrap of thin straight stock had to be tacked to the work piece to act as a fence.  Once a few passes were made and the shoulder of the rabbet joint was established, the temporary wooden strip/guide could be removed and the shoulder of the joint itself acted as the fence.  With the stop set for a desired depth of cut, the #180 and its two narrower siblings (#181, #182) were easy to use and pretty accurate.  So why were the 180 series of planes discontinued by Stanley.  Well, Stanley also designed and produced a slightly different version with a scoring nicker (also known as a spur) for cutting across the grain.  (See photo below comparing a #190 with the spur to the #180 without it.)  The three legged spur was set into the body of the plane and rode just ahead of the iron, thus scoring the wood fibers before the iron got to them.  That innovation greatly reduced  tear-out and produced a smooth shouldered cross-grain cut.  Instead of adding the spur to later versions of the 180 series planes, Stanley, created a parallel product line that included a spur, the 190 series of rabbet planes.  Again, the 190 rabbets (#190, #191 and #192) were sized exactly as were the 180s listed above, and manufactured by Stanley from 1886 into the early 1960s.  Basically, the introduction of the 190s, which also functioned exactly like the 180s, but with the spur, eventually led to an early end for the 180s.  Perhaps another Stanley accounting department decision?  Both the 180s and the 190s filled the same market niche.  Adding to the demise of the 180 series, was the introduction of the Stanley #78 duplex/rabbet/fillister plane a couple years earlier in 1884.  (See page 15, reply 220 above)  It included two different seats for the iron, a spur, the same depth stop and a fence, thus eliminating the need to tack a strip of wood onto the work piece as a guide.  The #78 was in production well into the 1980s and eventually outlasted the 190 series by approximately twenty years.

So why would anyone want to use a 180 series rabbet plane when other potentially better models are readily available?  Well, that’s an easy answer for me.  With just a little TLC, and the addition of a couple easy to find parts, I’ll be using a 100+ year old plane that’s covered with honest patina.  The trademark (type J, 1874 – 1884) on the iron, and its other parts indicate that the plane was likely manufactured at some point not too long after its introduction into the market.  I'd guess about 1890 to 1900.  I probably won’t do much to clean any of the "history" from the plane’s surfaces.  I’ll get to enjoy the process of re-grinding and sharpening its original iron for the first time in probably decades.  They just don’t make common tools like that any more.  Notice the handle of the plane with its ornately cast design.  It’s just a great tool that deserves another chance…..

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 25, 2014, 06:59:00 AM
I could not agree more that the 78 is among the most useful planes.
 Of course I really like all of the solid iron rabbet planes.
 Hardly anyone else does, but I use them all the time. The 78, the 180 series and the 190 series too.
 These are all very simple and practically bulletproof planes.

 The era of the plane matters to me though. The later they get, the lesser the construction. The balance in your hand changes dramatically.  A lot of difference to me.

   For me the presence of a bottom spur on the tote is the cutoff point. While a few of the later models are better than the newest ones, its not as easy to tell the "good" ones at a glance.   
  Its come up before, so I already had a picture. If you look closely at this picture, you will see three different eras of the same kind of plane.
 The top one is the first model. The first model has scrolls on the handle.
  Notice the spur on the bottom of the tote, but also see the shape of the tote itself. Its serpentine shaped. Its connected to the plane by fairly long attachments both top and bottom.
 Now look and the bottom plane in the picture. Its the newest model in the picture.
 See the tote? It has all the shape of a billy club, and its connected to the plane by short attachments that not only change the angle of the tote in relation to the plane, but they limit the space for your hand inside.

 Either of the top two models is a world better, to me.
        yours Scott
 
 
       

Looking back to page 15, reply 221, Scottg added some great details regarding the Stanley 180s, 190s and the #78.  His comments are certainly worth re-visiting and pertain directly to the recently featured Stanley #180 rabbet plane shown above.  Go back and take a look because he included a picture that very clearly illustrated the information he provided. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 26, 2014, 09:41:22 PM
I hope you all enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 03, 2014, 08:26:41 PM
At some point along the way, I probably mentioned that I’ve been replacing the sash on several windows in my house.  There are 31 windows to be exact.  I’d like to say that I’m restoring a 100 year old Victorian mansion back to its original glory, but unfortunately, that’s hardly the case.  I’m actually just replacing rotted sash in “maintenance free” (that’s what the home builder told me) windows that are only fifteen years old.  They’re the builder grade windows that were installed in my newly constructed home back in 1999.  What I learned about eighteen months ago is that aluminum clad windows are NOT maintenance free, particularly when they’re poorly manufactured, and not properly caulked.  Rain and snow also reminded me that once it gets behind aluminum cladding to the bare wood, that wood is going to turn black and rot away before you know it.  (See last picture below.)

I discovered the problem in the spring of 2013 when I opened a window and the double paned glass slid down about an inch in the sash, and as I caught it, black damp crumbs of what used to be wood were pressed into my hand by the glass.  I had to call a “window guy” who came out and informed me that most of my windows were in bad shape.  He went on to explain that the manufacturer of my windows went out of business five or so years earlier and I’d need to have new sash made for the windows.  The cost of new sash, rebuilding each window on site, and installation would run about $500 per window.  Remember I mentioned having 31 windows?  You can do the math on that.  Well, I had to pay for that first window since it was literally falling apart and wouldn’t close.  The “window guy” had the parts on his truck and me over a barrel.  So, my introductory crash course in window sash replacement cost me $500.  In the last eighteen months or so, I’ve repaired 21 windows with home made, exact copy, better than new sash.  I won’t get into the whole process here, but with the help of a couple wood shapers, a set of custom made cope cutters, two table saws, a drill press and three or four hand planes, I’m actually getting pretty good at manufacturing window sash.

Most of my weekends are spent making sash.  One part of the process involves making a rabbet joint along the bottom and top rails to accommodate a couple brackets.  In order to increase speed, I cut that joint by making two passes through the table saw.  Occasionally I’m a little bit off, leaving a small ridge in the corner of the joint where the cheek and shoulder meet.  Rather than readjusting the saw to knock off the 1/32” – 1/16” wide ridge, it’s just easier and faster to make one pass with a hand plane to clean up the corner.  There are a few small rabbet planes that will accomplish this task.  Lately I’ve been using this one.

Stanley #75:

This is a small rabbet plane that is perfect for small cleanup operations, such as what I described above.  The #75 was manufactured by Stanley from 1879 to 1983.  It wasn’t designed as a high end plane, but it works and it incorporates an adjustable throat that allows it to make a precise, light pass, thus producing very acceptable results.  Notice how the bull nose in front of the iron is connected to the arched section of the top casting.  By loosening the screw on top of the plane, that top casting can be moved backwards and forwards along the bottom casting, thus closing down or opening up the throat.  Also notice the elongated hole in the top casting that allows for such forward and backward movement.  It’s a similar design much like the previously featured Stanley #90. (see page 2, reply 25)  I see examples of this little rabbet plane regularly online, at tool shows and occasionally at flea markets.  They’re fairly common and relatively inexpensive.  Prior to buying one, inspect the top casting arches for cracks and/or repairs.  Those arches are little bit fragile, but overall, the plane is certainly worth owning and more than capable of putting in a good day’s work out in the shop.

Jim C.             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 04, 2014, 08:10:31 AM
Welcome the the new, improved school of window sash.  Somebody always thinks they know more than the old farts who worked on a thousand years of experiment and experience.  They're almost always wrong -- and later, out of business.  On the other hand, I went through all the windows of an 1887 Victorian, and every one was intact.  One of the out buildings had a multi-pane window, probably salvaged, that was built somewhere around 1850, by hand.

I now have two of these little guys, and enjoy them both.  They're sort of the #100 version of rabbet and bull nose planes.  I recently got one by Sargent, and the other is an AMT with a brass body.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 04, 2014, 02:05:01 PM
Hey Branson,

I wish I would have had you here back when this whole window sash project began.  Your experience would have been welcomed and appreciated.  My first prototype sash took me about a dozen hours to make.  Fortunately I had the machinery and hand tools necessary to accomplish the task, but there was still a lot of trial and error early on.  Other than paying the "window guy" for that first window, my only other real big expense was having a custom stacked cutter set made so I could reproduce the cope cuts on the ends of the sash rails.  That set me back another $300.  In terms of hand planes that I use to make some fine adjustments to the sash, I've found myself using a Stanley #75 rabbet plane (like the one featured immediately above), a Stanley #92 shoulder plane (not yet featured in the thread) the Sargent #507 (see page 11, reply #162 above) and a Lie-Nielsen #60 1/2 block plane (not yet featured in the thread) most of the time.  Maybe I'll do a separate thread on my window sash project.  It may not be of much interest, but I'll give it some thought.

And as always my friend......PICTURES......please post a few pictures of your planes...

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Nolatoolguy on December 04, 2014, 07:40:28 PM
Hey Jim I really appreciate this thread. I only have a few cheap planes but this is such a great thread. I enjoy reading it. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 05, 2014, 09:02:47 AM
Hey Jim I really appreciate this thread. I only have a few cheap planes but this is such a great thread. I enjoy reading it.

Hello Nolatoolguy!  Thanks for checking in and thanks for the feedback regarding the thread.  I REALLY do appreciate your comments.  I'm glad that you've been reading along so far.  No need to minimize your hand plane collection.  If they're working for you and getting the job done, then what more can you ask for?  I hope the thread motivates you to keep using planes, and furthermore, motivates you to seek out and try a few new ones.  Don't be afraid to post a few pictures.  ALL hand planes are welcome here!!

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 06, 2014, 08:38:08 PM
Sometimes luck can be good and sometimes it can be bad…… and sometimes it can be GREAT!  I was visiting with my parents today and as I was getting ready to leave, my dad suddenly remembered (with my mother’s prodding) to give me a plane that he had been given by an “old timer” at the VFW Hall pancake breakfast last weekend after church services were concluded.  I have to laugh when my dad refers to someone as an old timer, since he himself is well into his 80s.  Anyway, it’s pretty well known that I like to collect old planes, and my dad isn’t shy about telling people that when he starts talking about his kids.  Well, I guess one of the “old timers” at church overheard him a few weeks ago and as a result, brought him a “junker” saying, “Give this to your son if he wants it.”  That actually happens more than one might think.  I tend to receive a lot of old hand planes and tools just by word of mouth.

So my dad went to the garage and came back with this Stanley #4C.  It was dusty, grimy, and covered with a hardened coating of what must have been thick grease at one time.  The plane was so dirty that I just put it into a plastic bag that my mom offered and headed for home.  (Unfortunately I didn’t photograph it before I cleaned it, initially thinking it was going into the parts plane box.)  When I got home, I pulled it out of the plastic bag, and my first impression was, “The tote is cracked, it’s covered in a hardened tar like glop, and it’s a parts plane.”  It was just someone else's cast off like so many others I’ve received over the years.  For some reason, my first impulse was still to take it apart just to see what I had, and to see how it had been mistreated by its previous owner.  As I started disassembling it however, my excitement started to rise.  It was in pretty good shape for its age.  With just a little elbow grease and a small brass brush, the crud and dried on glop started coming off.  I started to realize that the grime and gunk had actually preserved and protected the plane from years of neglect and inactivity.  Most of the japanning was still intact, and the there wasn’t any rust on the bare cast iron.  All the original parts were present and accounted for, and with the exception of the cracked tote and dinged up knob, the plane was a keeper for sure, and easily categorized as a top quality user tool.  In my haste to clean up the plane and then bask in my good fortune, I nicked my left index finger on the still extremely sharp iron.  I got careless.  Normally, planes that I receive in similar condition are equipped with irons that are so dull, they wouldn’t cut through butter.

I wish I had photographed the plane before I took it apart and started cleaning it!!  After I got into it, it was clear to me that I had badly misjudged the previous owner, who appeared to have made some kind of intentional attempt to protect the plane in grease or cosmoline or some other preservative substance.  Everything was coated in the stuff as if it had been purposely applied.  After about two hours of careful cleaning and lubrication, I ended up with a VERY nice Type 11 (1910 – 1918) Stanley #4C smoother.                       

Jim C. (who occasionally forgets the old saying, "Never judge a book by its cover.")
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Billman49 on December 08, 2014, 03:09:42 AM
The military often coated tools in a thick grease like coating to preserve them - tools still turn up in the UK covered like this, and often wrapped in a canvas like cloth bandage - underneath they are in pristine factory condition.. As the military have downsized since WW2 less and less appears, but it still turns up as old stores are sold off as surplus.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on December 08, 2014, 09:22:21 AM
The goop is cosmolene.  It is a wax based coating that has a solvent in  it that dries away after a few weeks.  The military used to insist that tools, parts and even weapons be coated in it before shipment.  Theory being that how long before the item was put in service was unknown. Any solvent will take it off, but it will protect metal pretty much indefinitely.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 08, 2014, 09:24:46 AM
The military often coated tools in a thick grease like coating to preserve them - tools still turn up in the UK covered like this, and often wrapped in a canvas like cloth bandage - underneath they are in pristine factory condition.. As the military have downsized since WW2 less and less appears, but it still turns up as old stores are sold off as surplus.

Hi Billman49!  Good to hear from you.  You know, I've heard of such things happening, where old tools and such have been found in new condition and were sold as military surplus.  I'm not so sure my recently acquired Stanley #4C falls into that category.  A couple things that I didn't mention in the initial writeup included the fact that beneath the frog, various species of wood shavings (oak, pine, and cherry... I think) were accumulated and the iron itself had been sharpened and honed more than once or twice.  I could tell that based on comparing the iron's length to other NOS irons from the same period of time.  The NOS irons were longer by about 3/16" and the characteristics of the iron's edge (which I cut myself on) had a craftsman-made appearance versus a semi-dull factory grind.  And then there's the matter of the tote.  The tote was cracked completely in half and very poorly, and sloppily, repaired a long time ago.  I think the blackish crud that coated the plane's surfaces was dried/hardened grease, and it was really applied heavily to the bottom and sides of the plane.  The plane could not have been used with that crud on it, particularly on its sole.  With the shavings jammed under the frog, the characteristics of the iron's edge and length, and the poorly repaired tote, I'd have to guess that the plane had been used for many years before it was finally put aside.  Perhaps the person who applied the "glop" to it knew that the plane was going to sit for a long period of time and thought he/she would use it again someday.  It seems that someone cared about it enough that he/she tried to protect and preserve it for a period of extended inactivity.  It's hard to say.

Jim C. (playing detective) 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 21, 2014, 02:53:56 PM
During their most productive and diverse years of hand plane manufacturing, Stanley made several different variations of weather stripping planes.  I guess before hand held electric routers were popular, and access to heavy machinery like shapers was available, craftsman used this type of plane to cut narrow grooves in window sash specifically to accommodate weather stripping.  If you’ve been reading along, just a little while back, I mentioned that I was currently engaged (and still am) in a window sash project at my house.  Since I’m at my own home fixing/replacing the sash on my own windows, I have the benefit of a shop that’s full of heavy machinery.  My window sash project does involve cutting a groove the length of both stiles and both rails that will accept a piece of weather stripping.  For purposes of time and given the amount of parts that I need to constantly make, I have a small router table set up and dedicated to the task.  Outfitted with a 1/16” thick slot cutter, I can make those grooves pretty quickly.  Yesterday while I was out in my shop plugging away at my sash project, I got to thinking about how different things might be sixty or seventy years earlier.  Maybe I’d have a table saw to help me.  Would I have had two?  Probably not.  Would I have had a shaper?  An electric router?  Hard to say, but again, probably not.  For a craftsman of that bygone era, who was employed to fix one or two windows at someone’s home, lugging around heavy power tools probably didn’t make sense.  Thinking in those terms, suddenly it’s much easier to see how a weather stripping plane may have been a necessity for various tradesmen.  If one visits certain websites dealing with old hand planes, weather stripping planes tend to get a negative rap in terms of their usefulness and utility.  Although they may not be as well known today, or as efficient when making multiple parts, they had their place back in the day.  For any craftsman who went to a job site for purposes of repairing a window or two, they were the ideal specialty tool.

Stanley #238:

This plane was manufactured by Stanley between 1928 and 1938.  It’s very easy to use and as one can see, it does a very respectable, neat job of cutting grooves for weather stripping.  The #238 includes several features that are common to other “plough-like” planes such as a fence and depth stop.  The #238 also employs a relatively unique method of securing its various sized cutting irons.  The irons fit into a milled groove on the main casting, and slides back and forth in the groove to adjust the depth of cut.  A light pass seems to produce the best results.  Once the iron is positioned at the desired setting, it is held in place by the shoulders of two screws that pinch it (the iron) down into the groove of the main casting.   It’s a little tedious to set up, but not too bad, and the iron does not move once the screws are tightened down.  The fence is adjustable on rods that are threaded into the main body of the plane.  Notice there are two other rods that are connected to the fence, but not to the main body casting.  Those other two rods can be adjusted toward the main casting or away from it and then secured into position with screws.  By setting those rods in a desired position on the fence itself, a secondary, repeatable fence location can be achieved.  It’s a nice feature if two pieces of parallel weather stripping were used on the same piece of window sash.  Also notice how those secondary rods have a piece of wire wrapped on one end to keep them from sliding out of the fence when they’re being adjusted. 

The #238 works well as designed, but like many other planes that Stanley manufactured, it had several little parts and seven different width cutters ranging in size from 1/8” to 3/8” that could be easily lost.  Most of the irons that I’ve seen have their respective sizes stamped on their sides with a Stanley trademark stamped on their opposite side.  Prior to adding a #238 to your hand plane arsenal, do your homework and know what to look for.  Make sure all the original/correct parts are present and accounted for.  Some of the parts can be extremely difficult to locate separately.  Most particularly the fence, the secondary rods with the wired ends, and the individual cutting irons are easy to misplace and expensive to replace…. if one can find them.  Very often, the only iron that comes with originally equipped multi iron planes such as the #238, is the iron that was last used with the plane.  Any weather stripping plane is probably not one that I’d recommend as a “must have” to use.  Electric routers, shapers, table saws, etc. can get the job done pretty quick particularly if several parts need to be made over and over again.  But for the one little job, or maybe for some straight inlay work, a plane like the #238 might be fun to tinker with.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 22, 2014, 07:41:49 AM
> Electric routers, shapers, table saws, etc. can get the job done pretty quick particularly if several parts need to be made over and over again.  But for the one little job, or maybe for some straight inlay work, a plane like the #238 might be fun to tinker with.

I strongly suspect that, given the time period, these were more likely front line tools, used for whole jobs of retro-fitting various weather strips on site.  Factory produced weather-stripped sash and frame surely used power tools, but retro-fitting existing sash was its own industry, with carpenters and companies selling whole house weather-stripping.  Do the job, take the money, and march on to the next customer.

Since the carpenter is setting up at the home (nobody wants to  finish the day with a missing window!), a hand tool like this is at a premium.  You work the windows one at a time, perhaps two, and work the day until there isn't time to start another and see it through to the end.

Some of these jobs were not very lovely when finished.  I ran into one back in 2006, and just about lost my behind.  A customer wanted all of the windows in his house re-roped.  Sure, no problem.  I bid the job at $50 for the first window, and $35 for each additional.   Cheap, but I still stood to make a nice profit at the end.  Then I discovered all the windows had been retro-fitted, and bad things had happened to the sash in several windows, and that removing the stripping without destroying it turned a 1 - 2 hour job  into a 4 hour job at best.  At the end of the first day I called up one of my old customers for replacement sash, and asked what he charged for dealing with these retroed sash.  He answered $110 per window minimum.  (What was that quote about the wisdom of learning from others' experience?)

All of the early systems presented some kind of problem.  I think that people who had little real experience with window sash jumped on the retro-fit band wagon, and the job above was a case in point.   They put in weather strip channels without regard to the rope channels in the double hung windows.  As a result, the knot-retaining hole was destroyed, and the ropes had to be nailed in place, sometimes with 5 finish nails.  The access plates for the weights were trashed.

It was very ugly.  Fortunately, the home owner was both reasonable and understanding, and agreed to a bid change to $75 per hole, and in some cases, the old stripping was so damaged by the necessary removal that those windows went back in place without.

But back to the topic, retro-fitting had a big boom.  it had to be done on site at a time when hand planing was thought to be the thing to do.  These little planes made it all possible.  Loss of the whole set of blades?  Each company probably had one, maybe two sizes of weather stripping, and only needed a blade for each.  Setting the plane up once probably did it for all time, so ease of re-setting didn't matter much.  If it were me, I'd just have one of these for each blade I actually used, and the rest of the blades would go into a drawer in the shop or lie around the bottom of the tool box until I needed to grind one to replace one too worn to bother with.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 22, 2014, 10:10:41 AM
Hey Branson, thanks for checking in and providing some GREAT historic background!  I kind of figured that weather stripping planes did provide some real utility back in the day.  Stanley and other manufacturer's didn't just make planes for fun.  They made them for a targeted consumer and with a purpose in mind.... to sell planes and make money.  Perhaps it didn't always work out that way, but there must have been some market for weather stripping planes.  Without the benefit of your hands on experience, it would be more difficult to see just how useful and relied upon these planes actually were at one time in the construction industry.  I think a lot of the value these planes provided was lost over the years and forgotten to some extent with the introduction of affordable hand held power tools.  GREAT information!!! Thanks again for jumping in!!!  Your comments are always welcome.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on December 23, 2014, 09:59:08 PM
Branson said "It was very ugly.  Fortunately, the home owner was both reasonable and understanding, and agreed to a bid change to $75 per hole, and in some cases, the old stripping was so damaged by the necessary removal that those windows went back in place without."

The home owner was right to pay. Ethically and somewhat (don't know the contract particulars, but it sounds like a handshake deal) legally any unknown existing conditions are an owners problem. You, as a workman, are responsible for what you should have reasonably known when you gave the owner your quote. In other words, you bid based on normal expected conditions. The basis of your price changed. 

It would be different if you knew there was a problem and tried to gouge the homeowner after the fact. But you didn't.  You informed the owner of the changed conditions, revised your price with a reasonable adjustment, and the owner agreed to take care of their part.  It is great when both parties are honest and sincere.

Sorry for the off topic rant, Jim. But I have seen a lot of good people ( on both sides) get hurt by bad apples.  I'll send you some pics of my planes (nothing special) early 2015 to try and make it up.

Chilly

Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on December 24, 2014, 08:25:59 AM
Thanks, Chilly, for the perspective.  I've been feeling stupid and foolish for years about the situation.
This really helped my peace of mind!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 24, 2014, 09:01:22 AM
Branson said "It was very ugly.  Fortunately, the home owner was both reasonable and understanding, and agreed to a bid change to $75 per hole, and in some cases, the old stripping was so damaged by the necessary removal that those windows went back in place without."

The home owner was right to pay. Ethically and somewhat (don't know the contract particulars, but it sounds like a handshake deal) legally any unknown existing conditions are an owners problem. You, as a workman, are responsible for what you should have reasonably known when you gave the owner your quote. In other words, you bid based on normal expected conditions. The basis of your price changed. 

It would be different if you knew there was a problem and tried to gouge the homeowner after the fact. But you didn't.  You informed the owner of the changed conditions, revised your price with a reasonable adjustment, and the owner agreed to take care of their part.  It is great when both parties are honest and sincere.

Sorry for the off topic rant, Jim. But I have seen a lot of good people ( on both sides) get hurt by bad apples.  I'll send you some pics of my planes (nothing special) early 2015 to try and make it up.

Chilly

Hi Chilly,

No need to apologize.  Your comments and perspectives are always welcome here.  If they stem from a hand plane topic that was raised earlier in the thread, I don't have a problem with it.  Your recent thoughts are totally in line and related to my original weather stripping plane post and Branson's follow up post.  I highly encourage, and hope for follow up discussion, opinions, experiences, corrections, etc. if they can be even remotely connected to using, buying, collecting, selling, restoring, making, etc., etc. hand planes.  So I think you're good!  Thanks for jumping in with your thoughts!  Happy Holidays to you and your family.  Also, since you mentioned it, if you have a few pictures to post, I'm looking forward to seeing them in 2015.

Jim C.
 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 24, 2014, 09:09:49 AM
Thanks, Chilly, for the perspective.  I've been feeling stupid and foolish for years about the situation.
This really helped my peace of mind!

Maybe you're being a little hard on yourself.  My guess is the homeowner realized that he/she was still getting a fair price and a top quality finished product and was willing to pay an adjusted, equitable price for it.  I think Chilly made some good points about respective responsibilities when unforeseen circumstances arise. 

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 25, 2014, 07:19:08 AM
I hope you all enjoy a very Merry Christmas!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 31, 2014, 09:46:56 PM
Since it’s almost the New Year, I thought I’d feature a simple block plane to bring in 2015.

Stanley #15:

Yes, the #15 in honor of 2015.  This is another in the long line of block planes produced by Stanley over the years.   It’s exactly like the #9 ½ (see page 11, reply 163) but only one inch longer.  (See comparison photo below next to the #9 ½.)  The Stanley #15 was manufactured from 1876 to 1955.  It’s a solid worker.  The plane depicted below was most likely made at some point near the end of production in the 1950s.  I found it many years ago at a local garage sale.  It cost me a few dollars and for a while, it was my “go to” block plane.  As a matter of fact, for a short period of time, it might have been my only block plane.  The box is pretty beat up, but the plane itself is in good condition.  It’s not anything rare, but I’ve never seen another one in the box either.

I know that was short and sweet, but it's time to go celebrate the end of a pretty good year and the beginning of another one!  So, Happy New Year!  I hope 2015 is a great one for all of you, and I hope you’ll check in now and then.  There’s a lot more planes to feature in the year to come.  Stay tuned.....

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 06, 2015, 01:56:54 PM
There seems to be no end to the number of different block plane patterns produced by Stanley and their competitors throughout the years.  As I’ve said in prior posts, some were very useful and still have a place on any craftsperson’s workbench today, while others didn’t stand the test of time for various reasons.  Some just didn’t work well, while others were oddities that probably looked good on paper but fell short of the mark once produced.

Stanley #131:

This plane is a variation of Stanley’s #130 block plane.  (See page 2, reply 15 above)  As you may recall, the #130 was a double ended plane which employed an iron that had to be adjusted by hand, or with the assistance of a couple light taps from a small brass hammer.  Although not my favorite block plane to use because of its bulky size, it works well enough and is capable of producing acceptable results.  You may further recall that I mentioned the #130’s bull nose was relatively fragile.  Well, all those things that I said about the #130 also apply to the #131.  It’s a double ended block plane with one end being a bull nose (still fragile), it’s a little larger than I like a block plane to be, and it too, is capable of producing acceptable results.  Here’s the twist.  Where the #130’s iron must be adjusted manually, the #131’s iron is adjusted mechanically….. on both ends!!  A relatively ingenious yoke mechanism pivots the iron adjustment between the two fixed frogs that are part of the main body casting.  I love this plane purely for its “contraptionism.”  In terms of functionality, well, that’s a different story.  That pivoting yoke assembly, where the iron adjustment screw enters it, is VERY frequently cracked.  I tried to take a few close up photos (see below) to illustrate how the yoke is attached to the plane, how it’s supposed to function, and how it’s constructed.  As one can see, the yoke is nothing more than a small cast iron part.  That yoke tends to snap easily if just a tiny amount of extra force is applied to it.  For that single reason alone, the Stanley #131 is at the higher end of collectability, and the lower end of usability.  It’s a tough plane to find in undamaged condition.  Add the already fragile bull nose to the extremely fragile iron adjustment mechanism, and you’ve got the potential for a disaster.  In an attempt to “improve“ on its #130, Stanley actually went backwards on this one.  They created a double ended, doubly fragile block plane.  (See the last two photos for a #130/#131 side by side comparison.)

The #131 did not replace the #130 in Stanley’s product line.  The #130 was manufactured between 1884 and 1955, while the #131 was produced from 1905 to 1941.  The #131 example depicted below is a Type 2 that was most likely manufactured between 1923 and 1929.  If you run across a #131 and are thinking about buying it, take a VERY close look at the bull nose section of the main body (looking for cracks and/or repairs) and pay particularly close attention to the iron adjustment/yoke assembly (again looking for cracks and damage).  Don’t buy a #131 with the expectation of using it.  It’s really a collector tool now.  If you want the experience of using a double ended block plane, stick with the #130.  It’s certainly more durable.  Finally, when I’m out hunting for planes, or know that I’ll be in an environment where high dollar planes will be available for sale/auction, I routinely have a small flashlight and magnifying glass, among other things, in my kit so that I can give planes such as the #131 a super close inspection.  Little cracks can be hard to see without some help.  As always, do your homework, and know what to look for.

Jim C.                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 17, 2015, 03:57:38 PM
............Finally, when I’m out hunting for planes, or know that I’ll be in an environment where high dollar planes will be available for sale/auction, I routinely have a small flashlight and magnifying glass, among other things, in my kit so that I can give planes such as the #131 a super close inspection.  Little cracks can be hard to see without some help.  As always, do your homework, and know what to look for.........               

After my last post, I got to thinking that I casually mentioned keeping a flashlight and a magnifying glass in my “kit.”  Upon reading that, maybe some of you wondered, “What kit?  What’s he talking about?”  Well, I’ll get to that in a moment.  During the course of any year, I occasionally like to go to various auctions and/or tool meets where hand planes and other old tools are available for sale.  If you’re into old tools, these events can be very exciting, and a lot of fun.  Almost immediately upon walking into a convention center or large banquet hall lined with row after row of tables filled with old tools, it’s VERY easy to get carried away, and throw all discipline out the window.  You have a “wish list” of tools that you’re looking for, you’ve done your homework, and you have some cash in your pocket.  It’s time to go hunting!  That’s how I feel every time I go to one of these events.

When I attend these functions, I usually do go with a shopping list.  I don’t always find everything on the list, but when I do find something, it’s not enough to have just done my homework and basically know what to look for on a particular plane.  That’s still VERY important, but now you’re there and that plane you’ve been looking for is actually in your hands.  The price is right, the plane looks good, and the seller seems willing to negotiate a little.  Well, this is where staying disciplined and having a “kit” comes into play.  The actual discipline boils down to not making a snap emotional decision and taking the time to use the tools in your kit.

My kit is nothing more than a few simple tools and a couple other items that take a little of the guess work and stress out of buying an old tool.  There’s no fun in buying a vintage tool to use, or as an addition to your collection, and then finding out later that it has some damage that wasn’t seen at the time of purchase, or that it’s missing a part.  Sometimes lighting isn’t great, or grime/dust/gunk can hide a crack/alteration/repair.  After suffering a couple disappointments along the way, I decided to make myself a kit.

Start out with a heavy duty, sturdy bag.  Something that was made to carry at least twenty five pounds, and is large enough to haul around a few simple inspection tools/things as well as those tools you may purchase at the event.  Notice my bag will accommodate a #6 size (18” long) bench plane.  Also make sure that it has several internal pockets for various items in your kit.  I’ve also found that a bag with a rigid bottom is easier to pack and keeps things from banging into each other.  I like a bag with a full length zipper.   It won’t open unless I open it.  Snaps can come un-done.  Things can fall out.  When I’m walking around between tables and looking at tools, my bag is zipped up.  Invest in a good bag.  It protects your kit, keeps you organized, and safeguards your purchases.

As I said earlier, a magnifying glass is a critical item.  Little tiny cracks in cast iron aren’t unusual.  Particular planes like the Stanley #131 above are known to be fragile.  Doing one’s homework and knowing where to look is just half the battle.  Do you really trust your eyes to see a tiny crack in black japanning, or in dark patina, under less than optimal lighting?  If you’re buying a user quality #9½ block plane for $10, I guess you could risk it.  If you’re going to buy a #9 block plane for $1,000 (or more), you better get out the magnifying glass and look closely at all the potential weak spots.  To be honest, I’d take the time to look BOTH planes over with equal attention to detail.  That’s where discipline comes into play.  Get in the habit of going through the same inspection routine with EVERY plane you buy.  Most times, a magnifying glass is extremely helpful in seeing what my eyes alone would have missed.  Now, add a little more illumination by shining a flashlight on the situation.  The odds of detecting a hard to see problem have just been dramatically increased.  Cracks, repairs, refinishing, etc. are usually detected with the help of both tools working together.  Some magnifying glasses have a little light built in.  Those can be handy.

Have a six inch square (at least) in your kit.  Use it to check sole flatness.  Are the sides of the plane ninety degrees perpendicular to the sole?  For planes like those in the Stanley 90 series (#90, #92, #93, #94) that matters a lot.  Those are precision tools, so the sides and soles need to be at 90 degree angles to each other.  If a longer plane, like a #7 or #8 bench plane is on your wish list, take a longer square, like a twelve inch.

No plane with more than two parts can be adequately inspected without taking it apart.  Most old planes have slotted screws holding some parts of them together.  Don’t count on the seller to have or offer you a screwdriver.  It’s good to take a few different sizes.  I can’t think of anything worse than taking apart a plane that you haven’t bought yet, and buggering up a screw head with a screwdriver that didn’t properly fit in the slot.  Some of those old screws haven’t been turned in decades.  Use the properly fitted driver, and ALWAYS ask the seller if it’s okay to disassemble the plane BEFORE you attempt it.  Upon approaching a plane, I usually ask the seller if it’s okay that I pick it up.  If it passes my initial inspection, then I’ll ask if I can take it apart for a closer look.

Zip lock sandwich bags and a sharpie marker are great for storing small parts.  If you need to take a tool apart so it fits into your bag, it’s a good idea to protect it and its associated screws, cutters, etc. from damage and/or loss.  Use the sharpie marker to label the bag with the contents inside.

Bring a small pad of paper and a pen.  When you’re looking at a lot of tools in a big banquet hall, it’s easy to forget where you saw something.  Many times I’ll look at something that interests me, I’ll put it down, and walk around a little more looking for a better example, or to just think things over.  More than once I’ve forgotten where I saw the tool, how much it cost, and/or notes about its condition, etc.  An hour or so later, after wandering around literally looking at hundreds of tools, I ask myself, “Was that plane in this row of tables?  How much was it?”  Take some notes.  For example, “Aisle 3, 2nd table on left, Stnly #4, $25”.  Later, if I’m still interested, I can go back and see if the plane is still there without trying to remember exactly where it was.  I also like to write down the name of the seller and his/her contact info after I make a purchase.  I do that for my own records (which I’ll discuss in a future post).

It’s NEVER a bad idea to have some reference materials with you.  Now it would be difficult to carry around every book, article, etc. that I have on the topic of hand planes, but a basic catalog/guide helps.  Since I mostly look for and buy old Stanley planes, I like to carry the old Stanley #34 catalog.  It gives me a general idea of what parts should be present on a particular plane, and includes exploded views.  This can be extremely helpful when looking at a plane with numerous small parts/cutters, like the Stanley #45 or #55.

Finally, I like to have few old socks in my kit.  They’re absolutely perfect for wiping away grime/dust/gunk.  They also make GREAT protective covers, particularly for block planes, small tools, and parts.  One could also slip a sock over both ends of a longer bench plane as well as over its tote.  When I buy a plane or tool, slipping it into an old sock protects it from getting any unnecessary dings/chips/dents while it’s in my bag and I’m walking around at the tool meet.

I’m sure there are other items that could go into one’s “kit.”  These are just a few of the things that I like to have in mine.  Happy hunting!

Jim C.                         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on January 18, 2015, 08:31:21 AM
Your first paragraph in your last post explains thinks very well and I'm sure the majority of us here feel the same way when we walk into a tool sale,yard sale, auction or whatever. I have an old Klien tool bag that I keep in my truck which has most of the items you carry. It can be kind of a pain to pack it around at a big sale but it it has stopped me from buying a few things that had flaws that weren't easy to spot with the naked eye.
    I really enjoy reading your posts. Thanks.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 18, 2015, 10:24:31 AM
Hi gibsontool,

Thanks for stopping by and many more thanks for your feedback!!  It's not always easy to gauge how any particular post/topic went over with those who may be reading along.  So, your comments are most appreciated.  I'm glad to know that you're enjoying the thread, and as always, I invite you to feature here, any of the planes from your great collection.

As for having an old tool buying kit, well, I can't endorse them enough.  A kit's actual contents may vary from person to person, but a good flashlight and a magnifying glass should at least be in every buyer's pocket when attending a tool buy/sell/trade event.  The biggest "save" that I credit to my flashlight and magnifying glass occurred about five years ago when I was seriously looking at a Stanley #62 block plane.  I knew those planes were prone to cracking near their throats, but I had one in my hands that looked sound.  It wasn't a NOS mint condition plane, but still somewhere around the 95% range and worthy of a closer look.  The sole had some minor scratches and wear, but nothing that was going to spoil the deal.  Then I got out my magnifying glass and started to carefully inspect the sole.  Well, there was one little "scratch" right near the outer back edge of the throat just behind the iron.  So, I removed the pressure cap and iron so I could inspect the suspect location from the top side.  Sure enough, there in the japanning was another "scratch" in the same spot as the scratch on the plane's sole.  It was a crack for sure.  I never would have seen it without my magnifying glass.  As I recall, the plane had a $300 price tag on it.  Anyway, I carefully re-assembled it and put back on the table.  I told the seller I'd think about it and that was that.  Had I not seen the crack, I would have made the guy a serious offer, probably bought the plane, and then eventually suffered a serious bout of buyer's remorse (which I do have some experience with.)

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on January 18, 2015, 10:50:31 AM
My "kit" is usually part of my camera bag, which is almost always with me. Contents change from time to time. Flashlight, tape measure, emery paper, photo loupe, etc.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 18, 2015, 12:11:40 PM
My "kit" is usually part of my camera bag, which is almost always with me. Contents change from time to time. Flashlight, tape measure, emery paper, photo loupe, etc.

Emery paper.....  Hey Papaw, why emery paper?

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on January 18, 2015, 12:56:23 PM
Some grunge can be taken off without disturbing the patina.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Chillylulu on January 18, 2015, 02:54:02 PM
Jim,

I have a kit, but I need to make a couple of changes based upon some of your advice.

Biggest change: I need a bigger bag. I currently use an old, larger, laptop bag. I have never thought about using the kit bag to carry purchases in.

My bag doubles as a survey bag for work. I often need to measure old buildings where I am designing fire protection systems (sprinklers, alarms, extinguishers, standpipes, etc.) Since I don't need every tool every time, I have a short metal box I can put un-needed kit in. It fits under the back seat in my truck.

The big tip screwdriver I use has a t-handle. It was a vintage advertising give-a-way that came with other tools in an auction lot. It gives me additional leverage on harder screws and is especially handy on building access panels, which often have layers of paint over the screw heads.

I need to add a square to my kit, more good advice.

I used to have a small camera in my kit, but now I use my cell phone. I take my Nikon when I know I want a lot of pictures or higher quality pictures.

 While thinking about your suggestions, I had an idea that I think I will try. The idea is to print up a sheet of business card size cards. One side I think I will have my name and contact info, with space to put the vendor info and notes.  The other side will have space for tool particulars. Model, type, manufacturer, condition, price, date, picture number, etc.

I recieved my first (I think) Keen Kutter labeled plane last week. Pretty beefy and about the size of a #4. Corrugated sole. Pictures are in queue and waiting until I have regained hand use. Hopefully I can operate a mouse tomorrow evening, I have to see what my hand Dr. says tomorrow.

I really like this thread, by the way.  Great Job!

Chilly
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 19, 2015, 11:20:56 AM
Hey Chilly,

I'm really glad that you found something of value in the "tool hunting kit" post.  Thanks a ton for the feedback.  It really helps me focus on what I might feature in the thread somewhere down the road.  Your comments are always welcome.  Sorry to hear that you injured your hand.  I hope you're back to good soon!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 23, 2015, 08:33:45 AM
Well, it happened again.  I'm going through my storage unit, getting a look at a lot of things I forgot I had (still haven't found my 40 1/2 scrub plane GRRRR).  I finally got a good look in one old carpenter's tool chest, which mostly contained wrenches and metal odds and ends.  Digging through the bottom, I found two more block planes.  They may have come with the chest.  One Stanley that I have to figure which one it is, and a slightly shorter made by Union.  Like the Stanley, it has an adjustable throat, but unlike any other I've seen, there is no adjusting lever for the throat piece.  Any information about Union block planes?  I haven't tried it out yet because the throat piece is frozen with light rust and I'm waiting for the Break Free to loosen it up.  The Stanley is just as rusty, but I managed to give it a test, and it's still sharp enough to work.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 23, 2015, 06:38:27 PM
Well, it happened again.  I'm going through my storage unit, getting a look at a lot of things I forgot I had (still haven't found my 40 1/2 scrub plane GRRRR).  I finally got a good look in one old carpenter's tool chest, which mostly contained wrenches and metal odds and ends.  Digging through the bottom, I found two more block planes.  They may have come with the chest.  One Stanley that I have to figure which one it is, and a slightly shorter made by Union.  Like the Stanley, it has an adjustable throat, but unlike any other I've seen, there is no adjusting lever for the throat piece.  Any information about Union block planes?  I haven't tried it out yet because the throat piece is frozen with light rust and I'm waiting for the Break Free to loosen it up.  The Stanley is just as rusty, but I managed to give it a test, and it's still sharp enough to work.

Pictures my friend, pictures!!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 24, 2015, 05:30:45 AM
Pictures my friend, pictures!!

Pictures will have to wait until a) I can afford a camera, or b) my stepson comes home from college.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 24, 2015, 08:19:21 AM
Hey Branson,

Don't worry about the pictures.  Still, as a regular visitor here, you know that I'm at least going to ask for them!!  So what about your Union block plane?  That's an interesting detail... no throat adjustment lever.  I even hate to ask, but are you sure there's not a little hole right behind the front knob/finger rest that may have gotten muddled or unnoticed in the plane's patina/light surface rust?  A little hole there would accommodate the adjustment lever's post, and suggest that a lever or adjustment mechanism was there at one time.  I don't have a Union block plane, and I can't say that I'm too familiar with them, but if your plane was manufactured without that lever, I'd guess that it might be an early version that was made before such levers were popular (or invented)..... ?????  Anyway, I included a few photos of a typical Stanley block plane (#18) so that others can see what we're talking about.  It just seems like if a plane were made with an adjustable throat, its designers would have incorporated a way to make such adjustments.  I'd love to see it since I've not seen something like that before.  I'll keep poking around to see if I can find out what you have there.  Unfortunately I don't have many reference materials pertaining to Union hand planes, and I'm not finding much on the internet either.

(As a side note, Stanley did make a #10 1/2 bench rabbet plane with an adjustable throat.  I think the first version of the #10 1/2 was produced in 1885.  To adjust the throat, the front knob was simply loosened and moved forward or backwards.  The knob was threaded into the front of the plane's sole through an elongated hole in the plane's body, so as the knob was moved by the craftsperson, the front of the sole moved with it thus opening or closing the throat.  What I'm getting at is that there was no adjustment lever on the #10 1/2 even though its throat was adjustable.  Later versions of the #10 1/2 had a fixed throat.)

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 25, 2015, 06:31:14 AM
I really am going to have to get a photo of this plane.  I just went out to the shop to check for that hole to be really certain, and yep, no hole.  But
there's another oddity, something I've not seen before.  The cam lock for the cap  is Japanned and it extends out the back, behind the palm rest.

I drenched the throat plate with Break Free a couple of days ago and freed the plate yesterday.  Everything very tight there.  Gave it a try, and the blade is still sharp enough to do some work.   Surprising, as the edge is as black with age as the rest of the plane.  It's a pretty little thing that I am going to enjoy using.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 25, 2015, 07:26:10 AM
I really am going to have to get a photo of this plane........

Okay, you said it this time, not me!  (But I was thinking the same thing.)   It sounds like a really neat and unique little plane.  I'd love to see it.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 25, 2015, 06:17:49 PM
Okay, you said it this time, not me!  (But I was thinking the same thing.)   It sounds like a really neat and unique little plane.  I'd love to see it.
Jim C.

As luck would have it, Ray came to visit today and did grand things with his camera.   First the plane all together.  Second, disassembled: note the cam lever, and the lack of a hole for the throat lever.  Third, looks like it is still using the original blade. 

This one is going out on the bench where I will use it frequently!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 26, 2015, 01:04:04 PM
Wow Branson!!  That's a VERY original looking plane.  Great patina.  I like that a lot.  It looks like the throat is adjusted exactly how I described it above regarding early versions of the Stanley #10 1/2..... The front knob is attached to the front part of the sole through an elongated hole in the body.  What a great old block plane!  Thanks for posting a few pictures!

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on January 26, 2015, 03:47:14 PM
What do you think of the long cam lock set *underneath* the cap?  I've never seen anything like it.

And yes, the throat is adjusted exactly as you described the #10 1/2 early versions.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 29, 2015, 06:13:31 AM
What do you think of the long cam lock set *underneath* the cap?  I've never seen anything like it.

And yes, the throat is adjusted exactly as you described the #10 1/2 early versions.

Hi Branson,

Sorry I'm a little slow getting back to you.  I've been working some unusual hours the last few days.  Anyway, I'm with you on this one because I can't recall ever seeing a block plane with a pressure cap lever that is located beneath the cap itself.  No doubt it's a unique little plane for sure.  I wish I could tell you more about it.  Just looking at it, one can see that it certainly has some age to it, and it's about as original as can be.  Along with its unique features, I think I like it's originality the best.  I'll keep an eye out for any info that may come my way.  Because the plane is a little different than most block planes I've seen, I'm more likely to remember it when I'm out "hunting" or when some info comes my way.  If I do find another one, or some good information pertaining to it, I'll be sure to let you know.  Thanks again for posting a few pictures!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 06, 2015, 09:42:07 PM
I've been subscribing to Taunton's Fine Wood Working magazine for several years.  For the most part, I like the magazine, and over the years, it's provided me with some design ideas and smart construction techniques.  Every now and then, the craftspeople who write the articles include some comments/photos of various hand planes and other hand tools they use in the creation of their projects.  Occasionally an issue will feature an article dedicated to hand planes.  Well, yesterday I received the latest issue, April 2015, No. 246, and it included an article entitled, "4 Planes for Joinery".  The four planes featured are the shoulder, router, rabbet, and plow planes.  I like the article because it's relatively concise, describes each plane's setup, and their respective uses.  If you're already a Fine Wood Working subscriber, then maybe you've seen the article.  What did you think of it?  If you're not a subscriber but still a hand plane enthusiast, then this might be one issue to pick up at your local news stand.

Jim C.     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 07, 2015, 06:27:27 AM
I'll take a  look for a copy.  Thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 07, 2015, 06:44:50 AM
Hi Branson,

You know I frequently see current issues of Fine Wood Working (FWW) and a few other wood working, landscaping, decorating, home improvement magazines at the big box (Home Depot, Lowes, Menards) stores usually by the checkouts.  The piece itself is typical of many tool related articles, and some project articles that I find in each issue.  There's just enough information and photos to peak one's interest, and plant a few seeds of inspiration.  At the very least, I think the recent hand plane article in FWW has inspired my next featured plane here.  Stay tuned.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 08, 2015, 08:52:16 PM
A couple days ago I mentioned that I had recently seen a pretty good hand plane related article in the most current issue of Fine Wood Working magazine.  One of the planes featured in the article was a plow plane.  Well, after I read the article I got to thinking that I hadn’t thoroughly featured a plow plane here on the Hand Plane thread yet.   Earlier in the thread, Les (Lewill2) was kind enough to show us several from his amazing collection, and I still really appreciate that.  Les, if you’re reading this, we're always happy to see more!  Anyway, today I thought I’d feature one of Stanley’s basic, yet most functional and reliable plow planes….. the #50.  I gave some thought as to how I’d like to present the plane to you, and concluded that with its collection of parts and cutters, it might be best to break the topic into two, or possibly three separate posts.  Although it’s not any where as complex as the #45 and/or #55 combination planes, the #50 is still worthy of more than a few pictures and one long winded explanation from me.  Also, the plane depicted below has a story.  Often times, I’ll buy a plane at an auction, or off of someone’s display table at a tool meet/show.  But not always.  That’s where the story begins……

Several years ago, not too long after I started chasing NOS planes, I was at an auction in the Midwest.  I had my eye on a few different planes and took my seat in the gallery with the other attendees.  I got into a couple scrums but dropped out when it became clear that two other guys wanted the planes more than I did, and furthermore, they were both willing to slug it out to the point of overpaying for them.  It’s not unusual to pay the hammer price plus an additional auctioneer’s premium of 10% - 15% at such events.  After missing out on a few good ones, and nearing the end of the auction, a gem mint, still in the box, japanned (think WWII version) #50 came up.  The bidding got under way with four or five of us going at it.  Well, eventually it boiled down to me and one other gentleman, and my ego had already carried my last bid beyond the plane’s actual value.  I looked across the room at my opponent, and as we made eye contact, he sort of smiled and then blurted out a number that was WELL beyond my determination to have the plane and beyond my budget.  It was definitely the knockout punch. So I had to let it go for two reasons.  First, I didn’t think the plane was worth going any higher (not to mention the additional 15% auctioneer’s premium) and second, I didn’t have the money in my pocket to go any higher.  (Looking back I guess that was a blessing.)  I was most certainly disappointed, but also a little relieved to be honest.  We both got a little round of applause and that was that.  Deflated, I sat through the rest of the auction and didn’t place another bid.

When the auction ended, I got up from my chair, said goodbye to a few friends and started heading for the door.  Two steps into the parking lot, an older man approached me and said he had been watching the auction.  He told me I was smart to let the other guy have that #50 and then asked if I had a second.  Sure.  So he lead me to a pretty tired looking pick up truck out in the lot with a cap over the bed.  I had no clue where he was going with this, other than the fact that he said he wanted to show me something.  We walked to the rear of the truck where he swung up the cap door and lowered the tailgate.  He then pulled back an old blanket and I could see a few good sized heavy duty cardboard boxes beneath it.  As he rooted through the boxes, I caught a glimpse of what I knew were Stanley boxes.  After just a few seconds, he turned around and handed me a box… a yellow Stanley box with a green label on it.  He closed up the back of the truck and told me, “Hang on to this.”  He walked past me, opened the driver’s side door and got in.  He started the truck, and backed out of the parking spot.  When he pulled even with where I was standing, he rolled down the window and told me to “take care of that.”  He pointed to the box in my hands and then just drove away.  I never saw that man again.  What he handed me is the #50 you see below.  A gem mint, NOS in the box, Type 9 (1936 – 1942) #50 Stanley plow plane.  He didn’t stick around long enough for me to get his name or to even thank him.  I regret that.  When I pull out this plane, I think of him and wonder why….. Then I wonder what ever became of that kind old man.

Stanley #50 (part 1):

In this post, I’d like to just introduce readers to the #50, which was manufactured by Stanley between 1884 and 1962.  Most were nickel plated except those made during WWII.  As we’ve discussed in the past, WWII versions of many traditionally nickel plated tools were japanned.  Over the years, the #50 was supplied with between seven and seventeen cutters.  The cutters that I've seen are usually stamped with their respective sizes.  As one can see, it was produced with several small parts that were not all necessary to use the plane during various operations.  You know what that means.  If the parts weren’t physically connected to the plane, the chance of them being permanently misplaced (lost) was fairly high.  If you’re considering one of these planes for your shop, do your homework.  In an effort to help you, not only did I photograph the parts, but I also included pictures of the original instruction manual (that was in the box with the plane) so its parts could be identified and the plane’s functions could be described.  Sometimes it’s easier if Stanley tells you how to operate the plane, and what parts to use during various operations, versus me trying to do it and then confusing the heck out of you.  In Stanley #50 (part 2) and possibly (part 3), I’ll set the plane up and try to show you generally how it functions.

Jim C.                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on February 09, 2015, 09:52:51 AM
An amazing story and what a great thing he did. I'm sure he would be happy to know you gave it a good home and are sharing it with others who appreciate good quality tools. Love your posts.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 09, 2015, 08:37:59 PM
An amazing story and what a great thing he did. I'm sure he would be happy to know you gave it a good home and are sharing it with others who appreciate good quality tools. Love your posts.

Hi gibson,

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm really glad to know that you've been enjoying the thread.   I hope you'll  keep coming back, and if you feel like it, occasionally post a few pictures of planes from your "hoard."

About that #50.... The circumstances under which I ended up with that plane is still one of the biggest mysteries I've ever experienced, and at the same time, probably the single nicest thing a total stranger has ever done for me.  I have a few other planes in my collection that came with some good back stories which I'll eventually get to, but that #50 was really one of kind.  Over the years, I've just wondered WHY.  I NEVER handle that plane without thinking about that gentleman.  As odd as it might sound, and while I was thrilled to receive the plane, once I digested what had happened and as I played things back in my head, parts of the incident bought on feelings of regret, and well, sadness I guess.  I never got the man's name, we didn't shake hands, and I didn't even get to say "thank you." What still seems to stick with me was his fragility.  I got the feeling that perhaps he wasn't in the best of health, and when he pointed to the plane in my hands and told me to take care of it, the words didn't seem to come easy to him, like he was getting choked up.  Then he just drove away.  I can't help but wonder what happened to that man and I always wonder why he did what he did.  Needless to say, in some ways, I treasure that particular plane like no other in my collection.

Jim C.               

     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on February 10, 2015, 07:45:49 AM
My wife and I will be moving in the not to distant future so I have started packing up my collection. I'm at 118 boxes and have about another 40 or so to go. It will be a while before I have it all out on display again but when that happens I'll post more pictures. One problem I'm having is finding suitable sturdy boxes long enough to fit the longer planes,handsaws,breast drills etc. A bigger problem may be finding some young strong guys to help me getting it all upstairs and onto a truck or trailer.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 10, 2015, 11:54:14 AM
Wow!!!!  That's really a "hoard." 150+ boxes of old tools?!?!? I hope you're not downsizing.  As for sturdy moving containers, I've found that "banker" style cardboard boxes work well.  They're long enough to accommodate an average length jointer (22" - 24") and they're strong enough to hold a lot of paper, which can be heavy.  They're actually designed to hold several reams of paper.  I also like them because they have hand holds cut into their sides for easier lifting.  Good luck with your move and thanks again for keeping up with the thread.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on February 10, 2015, 03:55:46 PM
Banana boxes and tomato boxes from your local supermarket also work well.  Best of all they're free!!

Just ask in the produce department.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on February 10, 2015, 07:20:25 PM
Thanks for the info on the boxes. I have been after produce boxes but today at Costco all I found were 2 boxes and these produce boxes tend to not have lids. I don't know if I've ever seen a bankers box but I'll pursue that lead.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 10, 2015, 08:18:44 PM
Banker boxes usually have lids.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 11, 2015, 08:00:19 AM
Hey gibson,

I took a look at a typical Bankers Box here at work.  The inside dimensions of the boxes are 24.25" long, 12" wide and 9.75" high.  We dump a lot of paper, records, and other stuff into these type of boxes all the time and they seem to hold up.  They're sturdy and they're durable.  The lids fit snuggly and the pre-cut hand holds on the sides don't tear, making them a lot easier to lift.  They also stack nicely.  I really think this type of box would work for well for your application.  I'll post a few pictures this evening.  Please check back here tonight.

Jim C.

(If you have some time today, maybe you can check out this web site..... www.bankersbox.com)     
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on February 11, 2015, 01:04:59 PM
Wasn't sure what you meant by Bankers boxes until I looked at your link. We used many of these when we were in business and up here we must maintain company records for a period of 7 years so I have been saving the empty boxes when ever we shred the paper but all we ever used was the smaller ones which are now full of tools I just referred to them as file boxes and didn't know the proper name, and didn't realize that they came in different sizes. My wife looked after that aspect of the business and she kind of laughed at me when I asked her about bankers boxes as she knew all about them.The length is still shy of what I need for some items but I lucked out at Costco this morning and managed to fill the cab of truck with boxes all 22' or longer. Probably still not enough but I'm getting closer day by day. Thanks for the input guys.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 11, 2015, 07:29:20 PM
Wasn't sure what you meant by Bankers boxes until I looked at your link. We used many of these when we were in business and up here we must maintain company records for a period of 7 years so I have been saving the empty boxes when ever we shred the paper but all we ever used was the smaller ones which are now full of tools I just referred to them as file boxes and didn't know the proper name, and didn't realize that they came in different sizes. My wife looked after that aspect of the business and she kind of laughed at me when I asked her about bankers boxes as she knew all about them.The length is still shy of what I need for some items but I lucked out at Costco this morning and managed to fill the cab of truck with boxes all 22' or longer. Probably still not enough but I'm getting closer day by day. Thanks for the input guys.

Hi gibson,

It sounds like you have things under control.  Still, for those who may not have gotten around to checking out the link above, here's a few photos of a "bankers box" as promised.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 12, 2015, 06:03:49 AM
I can't recall ever seeing a block plane with a pressure cap lever that is located beneath the cap itself.  No doubt it's a unique little plane for sure.
Jim C.

Look what just showed up this morning on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-UNION-TOOL-COMPANY-WOOD-PLANE-LOW-ANGLE-BLOCK-PLANE-WITH-ADJUSTABLE-THROAT-/291379934173?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d798f3dd
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on February 12, 2015, 09:29:36 AM
That is a decent price for what may be fairly rare plane. I considered bidding but I think it's time to back off a bit at least until our move is complete and we're settled in. I think his shipping costs are a little out of line
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 12, 2015, 11:19:33 AM
I can't recall ever seeing a block plane with a pressure cap lever that is located beneath the cap itself.  No doubt it's a unique little plane for sure.
Jim C.

Look what just showed up this morning on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-UNION-TOOL-COMPANY-WOOD-PLANE-LOW-ANGLE-BLOCK-PLANE-WITH-ADJUSTABLE-THROAT-/291379934173?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d798f3dd

Hey Branson,

That little Union block plane looks familiar!  Right?  I was hoping that the seller would have included some information about it, like its model number, approximate dates of production, etc.  I don't really buy too many hand planes from Ebay.  There have been a few, but usually I buy from sellers that I know and have done business with in the past.  For the most part, I really like to closely examine a plane, even a "user" before I buy it.  If I'm planning to use it, then it has to feel good in my hand, and the parts have to be present and undamaged.  Even a common plane that's missing parts or doesn't function properly can be a hassle to deal with.  Mostly, I'm insane about looking for tiny cracks and/or hard to see damage.  If I'm buying something for my collection, then I MUST physically see the plane and hold it in my hands first.  There was one Ebay seller that I had gotten to know over time, and consequently bought several planes from him without physically holding them first.  His stuff was top quality and he offered a no questions asked return policy.  I never had a problem.  Then, a few years ago, he lost interest in Stanley and sold everything he had.  I think he got hooked on high end wooden plow planes.  Anyway, I'm gonna have to start trolling on Ebay again.  It looks like there's still some good planes to be had.

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Union block plane
Post by: Branson on February 13, 2015, 09:25:19 AM
A couple of weeks ago, we hadn't heard of a Union block plane, but now there is a later model on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-OLD-VINTAGE-WOODWORKING-TOOLS-RARE-UNION-BLOCK-PLANE-NICE-SHAPE-/351318189500?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51cc3225bc

It has the same under-lever, but this one has an adjustment to open the throat.  If nobody else is interested, I might toss a bid on this one.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: johnsironsanctuary on February 13, 2015, 11:45:13 AM
Jim,
Another great source for boxes is your local printer. They are glad to get rid of them because they empty many of them every day. They have lids like the bankers boxes and if the contents are heavy, just put a lid on the bottom.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on February 13, 2015, 12:55:10 PM
Good thought John, Thank you, I have a good friend who has a print shop, I'll give him a call today.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 17, 2015, 08:32:15 PM
Stanley #50 (part 2):

The #50 is far from being Stanley’s most complex plane.  Actually, I think it’s a user friendly plane and is relatively easy to set up and operate without too much fuss.  If I had to pick only one plow plane that was capable of creating accurate grooves, dados, rabbets and beads, I’d give the #50 some serious consideration.  It’s compact, light weight but durable, and straight forward in comparison to a few other Stanley offerings.  Over the years, it was outfitted with a sufficient assortment of cutters that allowed any craftsperson the ability to make a few basic joints without the expense, weight and complexity associated with some other plow and/or combination planes.  The major drawback to this plane is the unavoidable fact that it was equipped with several small parts and cutters that often go missing in action, and can be expensive to replace.  Know what parts and cutters were with the plane when it left the factory and make sure they’re all present and accounted for prior to making a purchase.   The #50 is frequently missing the chip deflector (used while creating a tongue and groove joint) and the screw used to hold narrow (specifically 1/8” and 3/16” wide) cutters in place.   Do your homework.

In this post, I’ll try to show you the #50 as it would be set up to cut basic dados and grooves.  The plane incorporates several features that we’ve discussed on other planes to include a fence, scoring spurs (nickers), depth stop, and a lever used to advance or retract a cutter from the work piece.  One part that we haven’t covered in the past, because it hasn’t been integral to any planes discussed in prior posts, is the cast iron “sliding section” that runs on the two arms that thread into the main body of the plane.  The sliding section is mounted on the arms between the fence on the left and the main body of the plane on the right.  When cutting dados and grooves, the sliding section sandwiches the cutter between the plane’s main body and the sliding section itself.  I’ve found it to be an effective way to hold the cutter firmly in place, while still being able to adjust the cutter with the cutter lever.  This sliding section incorporates a threaded stud that passes through the main body, and is drawn together, thus sandwiching the cutter in place, via a unique looking wing nut/thumb screw.  This method works for every cutter except the two narrowest (1/8” and 3/16”) as mentioned above.  (Also note that the narrow cutters were included with the #50 beginning in 1936.) Because the sliding section cannot be drawn close enough to the body of the plane to secure the cutters, a special screw was designed to hold them in place.  Years later, many examples of the #50 are commonly missing that screw.

When attempting to cut a dado across the grain of a work piece, the #50 allows the user to install spurs just ahead of the cutter.  One such spur mounts directly to the main body of the plane, while the other mounts to the sliding section.  A well conceived design feature in my opinion.  When cutting a groove with the grain, the fence would guide the plane as it was pressed against the edge of the work piece.  There's no need to employ the spurs.  For a dado cutting across the grain, a thin wooden batten tacked in place would substitute as the fence and the spurs would be installed to prevent any tearout from the cutter.  The #50 is also outfitted with a depth stop that can be attached to the plane’s main body, or its sliding section.  Finally, with the addition of the two narrow cutters in 1936, Stanley also added a small toothed cutter adjustment lever to the plane’s design.  The little teeth on the lever engaged perpendicular grooves on the back of each cutter, allowing the user to advance or retract the cutter.   Don’t be fooled when looking at a #50…. If the plane is equipped with that little toothed lever, make sure that the included cutters also have grooves on their backs, otherwise they’re useless and cannot be used without removing the lever. 

I guess that’s it for now.  Thanks for hanging in there.  I was thinking about adding one more post pertaining to the Stanley #50.  If you’ve had enough of this one, don’t be afraid to speak up and I’ll move on to another topic.  We still have a good ways to go and several more planes and plane related topics to discuss.  And as always, feedback (positive and/or constructively negative) is more than welcome.  Also, if you have a plane to feature here in the Hand Plane thread, don't let me slow you down.  Post a few photos and let's see what you have. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: coolford on February 24, 2015, 02:21:39 PM
At the expense of making more enemies I guess I have to make a few comments.  First, I agree with the posts and the comments about those that collect mainly Stanley planes.  However, many other manufacturers made good planes and most of them did a creditable job even if that job was not fine furniture.  I started collecting planes after I ran out of wrenches I could afford.  I now have a couple hundred planes and if it is nice that is the way it stays.  However, if it is rusty with lots of chipping I will restore it to a level that lost me a friend who feels I shouldn't do what I do.  I'm a collector of makers, and thus I have many off brand somewhat uncommon planes others do not want.  So, what do I do to a junk plane?  First I completely disassemble it and then I put it on my coarse wire wheel and remove all the rust, paint and dirt on the bare steel parts.  Then I apply blue painting tape to those portions being careful to cut the tape to cover all the surface to prevent any damage when I take it to my blasting cabinet.  I use Skat Blasé in my cabinet and take off all the japanning on the inside of the body.  The Skat Blasé leaves a surface that loves paint, and then I apply four to six coats of gloss black rust retarding paint which somewhat looks like japanning.  Then I clean up the rest of the parts as best I can and then sharpen the blade.  I determine the original angle as best as possible and use one of my angle blocks to hold the blade and run it on my belt sander.  Once the blade is trued and all nicks removed I finish it on an oil stone.  I feel that I'm saving many uncommon planes for posterity while my ex friend thinks I'm a butthead.  Oh yes, I am a woodworker and do use a number of planes in my shop. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on February 24, 2015, 04:18:48 PM
No need to apologize for your methods. They are your planes and you restore them to your own liking. The fact that you also use many of them is in your favor.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on February 24, 2015, 05:36:20 PM
Coolford, Interesting post, I started my serious collecting just the opposite. I started collecting screw arm plow planes. I was up to about 130 and the prices kept rising and I started looking on the dark side as one of my acquaintances once told me. I started collecting wrenches because the quick adjust wrenches caught my eye. I now have over 300 wrenches in my collection but like plow planes I am beginning to spend to much on them and I have to slow down or else sell the house. Regardless, no mater how you take care of your collectable tools not everyone will agree with you. As far as I am concerned as long as you don't paint a covered bridge on them or drill a hole in them to make a lamp they can still be useable and collectable to future collectors or users.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 24, 2015, 06:00:59 PM
At the expense of making more enemies I guess I have to make a few comments.  First, I agree with the posts and the comments about those that collect mainly Stanley planes.  However, many other manufacturers made good planes and most of them did a creditable job even if that job was not fine furniture.  I started collecting planes after I ran out of wrenches I could afford.  I now have a couple hundred planes and if it is nice that is the way it stays.  However, if it is rusty with lots of chipping I will restore it to a level that lost me a friend who feels I shouldn't do what I do.  I'm a collector of makers, and thus I have many off brand somewhat uncommon planes others do not want.  So, what do I do to a junk plane?  First I completely disassemble it and then I put it on my coarse wire wheel and remove all the rust, paint and dirt on the bare steel parts.  Then I apply blue painting tape to those portions being careful to cut the tape to cover all the surface to prevent any damage when I take it to my blasting cabinet.  I use Skat Blasé in my cabinet and take off all the japanning on the inside of the body.  The Skat Blasé leaves a surface that loves paint, and then I apply four to six coats of gloss black rust retarding paint which somewhat looks like japanning.  Then I clean up the rest of the parts as best I can and then sharpen the blade.  I determine the original angle as best as possible and use one of my angle blocks to hold the blade and run it on my belt sander.  Once the blade is trued and all nicks removed I finish it on an oil stone.  I feel that I'm saving many uncommon planes for posterity while my ex friend thinks I'm a butthead.  Oh yes, I am a woodworker and do use a number of planes in my shop.

Hi coolford,

Thanks for visiting the thread and more importantly, thanks for jumping in with both feet!!  I really appreciate the feedback and I absolutely respect the fact that you took the time to post your opinion.  ANY hand plane enthusiast is WELCOME HERE!!!  I sincerely hope that you don't see yourself as an enemy or foe, because I certainly don't.  I started the thread for those who collect, use, make, restore, and have an interest in hand planes.  That's pretty much it.  The only thing I ask is that the conversation stays related to hand planes.  If it strays a little that's okay too.  Just try to keep it about hand planes.

As for restoring old planes, well, that's a matter of personal choice.  I'm sorry your friend doesn't see it that way.  If you're using them, enjoying them and preserving them, then more power to you.  If you've read through the thread, you know that I'm mostly a Stanley collector.  A good majority of my "user" quality planes are Stanleys with a few Sargents and Lie Nielsens mixed in.  It's not been my habit to do full restorations to the old planes I come across, as I prefer them to look their age and show their patina, regardless of how advanced the "patina" may be.  I'll give them a gentle cleaning but that's about it.  When I feature a plane in the thread, I like to pick the best one that I have for purposes of clarity, and so that readers can see what the tool looked like and how it was equipped when it left Stanley's factory.  That's how I enjoy the hobby.  If we disagree on some things, then so be it.  Live and let live.  One thing is for sure, we both like hand planes, so I hope you'll keep stopping by the thread, and furthermore, I hope you'll contribute more to the conversation.  I'd love to see and hear about a restoration from start to finish.  Take us through the steps with some photos and commentary.  You also mentioned having some lesser known planes.  I'd really appreciate seeing them and learning more about them.  With a couple hundred planes in your collection, I invite you to share a few with us.  So, thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll continue to add some content here at the Hand Plane thread.

Jim C.               
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on February 25, 2015, 08:13:47 AM
However, if it is rusty with lots of chipping I will restore it to a level that lost me a friend who feels I shouldn't do what I do.  I'm a collector of makers, and thus I have many off brand somewhat uncommon planes others do not want.  So, what do I do to a junk plane? 

A friend lost because you pretty up junk planes wasn't much of a friend, IMO.   Even a user-only Stanley isn't above being made back into a pretty plane is no problem as far as I'm concerned.  My current favorite #5 (a type 8) had been given a coat of maroon paint at some time in its life.  Nobody wanted it on eBay, so for about $9 I got a plane that loves to work! 

What do you do?  Why, you make a rusty unloved junker into a good looking working tool.  Who's to complain about that?  Someone doesn't
like it?  Let them buy it from you to preserve the rust.

Welcome to the world of workers with tools.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 25, 2015, 08:46:05 AM
However, if it is rusty with lots of chipping I will restore it to a level that lost me a friend who feels I shouldn't do what I do.  I'm a collector of makers, and thus I have many off brand somewhat uncommon planes others do not want.  So, what do I do to a junk plane? 

A friend lost because you pretty up junk planes wasn't much of a friend, IMO.   Even a user-only Stanley isn't above being made back into a pretty plane is no problem as far as I'm concerned.  My current favorite #5 (a type 8) had been given a coat of maroon paint at some time in its life.  Nobody wanted it on eBay, so for about $9 I got a plane that loves to work! 

What do you do?  Why, you make a rusty unloved junker into a good looking working tool.  Who's to complain about that?  Someone doesn't
like it?  Let them buy it from you to preserve the rust.

Welcome to the world of workers with tools.

Exactly.  Enjoy old tools and hand planes the way YOU want to enjoy them.......(just make sure to include us!!).  :smiley:

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: coolford on February 25, 2015, 09:43:41 AM
Thanx for the posts, I feel a little better now.  My planes and I are not together at the moment but will be soon.  I picked up a wood plane with H. Harron, N. York stamped on the end last week for $5.00, great condition but missing the blade.  I have a blade that fits.  Is anyone familiar with this maker??
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on February 25, 2015, 05:19:43 PM
Coolford, there is a R. Harron listed that was a plane maker active from 1843-1844 at 182 Chrystie St New York City The 1850 census showed him having 3 employees and making 1200 planes worth $2100 annually. He is believed to have had a son that was also a plane maker from 1863-1917 also from New York. Info found in American Wooden Planes 4th edition.

2 line mark  R. HARRON
                  N. YORK
and a single line mark R. HARRON

Both marks rated as frequently found.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 25, 2015, 09:30:05 PM
Thanks Les.  You're way ahead of me when it comes to wooden planes and plow planes.  Good info.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: coolford on February 26, 2015, 06:41:04 AM
Thanx!  Did not realize it might be that old.  As I mentioned, I collect makers, and I did not have this one.  Plane is nice with original finish, will not touch this one.  When I get the picture sizing figured out I will start sending some pictures.  Coolford is actually a nosed and decked 1956 Mercury Montclair hardtop.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on February 26, 2015, 07:06:08 AM
......When I get the picture sizing figured out I will start sending some pictures......

That would be great!!!  I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say, "We like pictures!"

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 08, 2015, 04:45:49 PM
I was out in my shop last night tinkering with an old 1948 Delta Unisaw.  While moving a few things around on my work bench in order to accommodate some heavy cast iron table saw parts, I noticed a little block plane that I’ve been using on and off for several years.  I bought this plane a long time ago from a serious collector who was in the process of downsizing.  Looking back, I think I over paid a little for it, but looking back again, I can say that it’s been one of my favorites to use and worth every penny.

Stanley #60:

In case you haven’t heard me say it before, Stanley made dozens of block plane patterns during its golden years of hand plane production.  In my opinion, some of the best ones to use featured an iron bedded at a low angle and an adjustable throat.  The #60 has both.  As I very distinctly recall, I was initially attracted to this plane because of its nickel-plated pressure cap and throat adjustment screw.  I’m kind of a sucker for nickel-plating on hand planes.  I really like the look of it when contrasted against the black japanning of other parts.  Believe it or not, Stanley also made a #60 ½ block plane, which was identical to the #60, but for the fact that the pressure cap is finished in black japanning and the throat adjustment screw is made of brass.

I like the #60 not only for some of its physical features and its overall esthetics, but also for its size.  At just six inches long and about one and one half inches wide, it seems to fit into my hand perfectly.  Prior to writing this post, I picked the plane up and held it for a minute or two.  As my hand warmed the pressure cap and indents on the side of the body, it just felt good.  Every now and then I’ll find a tool that just feels exactly right, and the #60 is one of them.

Stanley manufactured the #60 block plane between 1898 and 1950.  The example depicted below is a Type 5 that was produced at some point between 1924 and 1930.  As you can see in the last photo, the #60 was so popular and functional that it inspired later manufacturers (Lie Nielsen in this case) to make their own versions.

Jim C.       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on March 08, 2015, 06:58:46 PM
I have to agree with you Jim, the No 60 is a nice little plane that really seems to fit my hand quite well, as I mentioned before my collection is now packed up but I have kept out a few to use and a Number 60 is in  that group. Yours looks to be be in nice condition, mine is quite rough in physical appearance but it still is one of my favorite users. We have finally found a house after 2 years of looking and we get possession in a couple of weeks. The house needs a lot of work so it will be a while before I have my stuff sorted out. The shop is what sold me on the place it's 25' x 42' inside dimensions with a 15' ceiling and a small mezzanine floor 6' x 25' with a small 6' x 6' room with a toilet and sink tucked into a corner under the raised floor. No stairs up to the upper level, no workbenches, no cupboards ,no shelves but that's good, now I can build what I want. I'll post some pics when we are given the keys.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 08, 2015, 08:06:23 PM
Hi gibson,

Thanks for checking in.  I was wondering how things went in terms of packing up your massive hand plane collection.  I'm glad to hear you have everything under control.  When you get your new shop set up, and a few planes on the shelves, definitely post a few pictures!  Good luck with your move.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 09, 2015, 06:30:44 AM
>  Believe it or not, Stanley also made a #60 ½ block plane, which was identical to the #60, but for the fact that the pressure cap is finished in black japanning and the throat adjustment screw is made of brass.

Oh, I believe it.  I have at least one of each.  Um, and a few others...  I'm just a sucker for block planes.  I've kept finding them for around $5 apiece, and sometimes even less.  And I keep finding them in odd places where I have squirrelled the odd one away.   Dependable little workhorses!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on March 09, 2015, 10:02:54 AM
For those inspired by this conversation about the Stanley No. 60 plane to go find one for themselves: the evolution of the 60 (1/2) followed that of other Stanley block planes, in that the tools got less substantial as Stanley "value engineered" the tools away from their glory days.  In the case of the block plane, the bedding for the iron got smaller over time.  Toward the very end, it was less than 1/4" wide*.  Jim's is a Sweetheart era plane - note the extensive bedding for the iron in the photos.  The models between Jim's and the pitiful later models (in particular, the pre-war models) had pretty decent bedding, too, though not quite as extensive as on the Sweetheart model shown.  If you want a No. 60 (or 60-1/2; they're functionally the same plane) for yourself, check out the bedding; if planes show up in your neighborhood frequently, watch for one with better bedding.

The later planes work OK; it's just that the earlier ones work more OK than the later ones.

Another point is that the consensus is that Stanley's planes got worse after World War II, reaching dreadful about the same time that blue paint replaced the black japanning, and then dreadful plus when the maroon paint replaced the blue paint.  This does not seem to have happened quite so fast with the block planes.  I had a blue-painted 60-1/2 and a maroon 60-1/2 at the same time.  Now, cases aren't statistics, so my observations of these two don't demonstrate anything in general about the earlier/later quality.  But the blue-painted plane was better, with a flatter sole, and performed better.  Still, the maroon plane, with a sharp iron, did well on pine end grain (one of the tests of blade sharpness and plane quality).  So, if you find a blue-painted 60-1/2 at a good price, don't ignore it.

In this area, I can generally find one in the range from $1 to $5.  It appears these prices are lower than in some places, though.
-----------
*Interestingly, Stanley's English-built redesign of the block plane - not the most recent "Sweetheart" models, but the model in between, looking like ths
(http://home.comcast.net/~kvaughn65/current_stanley_block.jpg)
has returned to pretty substantial bedding for the iron.  One of the engineers must have been a woodworker.  If I found one of those at a yard sale for a good price, and it was the first one I'd found, I'd probably buy it, replacing the iron with an aftermarket iron (I like Lee Valley's irons, which come pretty well dead flat on the back, and sharp enough to cut wood, and your fingers, right out of the box).
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Branson on March 10, 2015, 07:27:50 AM
I've ended up with three of the English Stanley block planes.  Two were left me by a friend who passed away, and the third was in a good sized  tool lot I picked up for $20.  I have been really impressed with their substantial weight and truly great performance.  They are a delight to use.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 11, 2015, 08:42:14 PM
After featuring the Stanley #60 block plane, I got to thinking about how the feature sort of turned into an accounting of my affinity for nickel plating.  Well, Stanley also put a premium on it too.  Earlier I mentioned that the #60 (with nickel plated parts) was identical to the #60 1/2 (with japanned and brass parts).  Functionally the two planes were identical.  Cosmetically, well, the #60 1/2 is a little less fancy.  Below I've included a photo of from the 1915 Stanley #34 tool catalog.  Take a look at the price list at the bottom of the page.  Notice how the #60 cost $1.25 and the #60 1/2 cost $1.10.  Back in the day, a little extra pizzaz would cost you 15 cents!!  It was the same story for the #65 and #65 1/2.  The second photo depicts the #60 (Type 5, 1924 to 1930) in the foreground and the #60 1/2 (Type 4, 1914 to 1924) in the background.  See the cosmetic differences?  In the end however, the #60 1/2 far outlasted the #60.  While the #60 was produced from 1898 to 1950, the #60 1/2 was manufactured from 1902 until the mid 1980s.

Jim C.

(I'd also like to thank you guys for adding some GREAT content to the thread regarding the Stanley #60 and #60 1/2 block planes.  I really like reading your comments and seeing what you have in your collections.  Thanks for checking in and chipping in!)   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on March 13, 2015, 07:14:04 AM
I'll buy No. 62 planes for $2.85 all day long!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 13, 2015, 09:18:37 AM
I'll buy No. 62 planes for $2.85 all day long!

Me too Bill.  Now if you move the decimal point two places to the right, you'd be in the ball park for a nice one in good user condition.....however, using that particular model could be risky!!  The throats on those were extremely fragile and prone to cracking.  If you'd like a #62 in pristine collector condition, again move the decimal point two places to the right and then multiply by about 2.5 or so. Want a really nice one in its original box.....Multiply by 4 or 5.  If I only had a time machine.....

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on March 13, 2015, 11:35:01 AM
I've got a 62 that's very clean except for a hanging hole that ruins its collectibility.  I figure that makes it a user.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 13, 2015, 08:25:18 PM
I've got a 62 that's very clean except for a hanging hole that ruins its collectibility.  I figure that makes it a user.

Hey Bill,

Over the years, I've seen many hand planes with owner added hang holes, among other things.  It happened.  If you bought it as an investment, well, the hole probably won't appeal to a collector, but if you bought it for the experience and enjoyment of using a relatively rare vintage tool, then I'd say you're probably okay.  Just be careful with that throat!! A hang hole won't even remotely effect its functionality.  A cracked throat is a different story. 

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 28, 2015, 08:59:37 PM
A couple weeks ago we were talking about Stanley block planes and at some point the topic took a turn from the #60 and to the #62.  Well, it seemed like a perfect segue that was too easy to pass up.  If any of you were wondering (or not), I really don’t have any specific plan/outline/agenda in terms of what plane I feature, and when I feature it.  I was just sort of hoping that one thing would lead to another and a logical flow would simply occur.  Sometimes I’ll choose a plane to feature because I’m using it out in the shop, or I read something about it, or it came up in conversation here or in another thread.  Anyway, there’s really no rhyme or reason to it. 

Stanley #62:

This is probably one of Stanley’s best and worst designed block planes.  Yes, it’s a block plane!  Although it’s 14” long like a common jack plane and it kind of resembles a bench plane, it’s still a block plane.  The cutter is bedded at about 12 degrees and it has an adjustable throat giving it the basic characteristics of a block plane.  Notice that it also has a pressure cap holding the iron in place versus the double iron/lever cap configuration found on most bench planes.  The low angle and adjustable throat combine to make it a great tool for slicing end grain on larger work pieces, and for performing other larger scale block plane related applications.

The problem with the #62 is its throat.  The sole immediately behind the point where the cutter protrudes through the bottom of the body tapers to practically nothing.  With the low bedding angle to accommodate the iron, that section of the sole just behind the cutter is really thin.  Taking too deep a cut and then accidentally getting a shaving jammed between the iron and the sole is a guarantee for that back section of the throat just behind the iron to crack right off.  More than half of those I’ve seen are cracked or chipped in the same general location.  Unfortunately, for that reason alone, the #62 is probably not a plane that one would want to use.  They’re just too expensive to risk cracking and ruining.  Even a user quality #62 will be relatively costly, so be careful, set the iron and throat for a really light pass, and take it easy.  Make absolutely sure the iron is super sharp so that it cuts easily and you're not forcing the plane across the surface of the work piece as may happen when the iron gets dull.  A dull iron tends to dig into the work piece creating a lot of extra downward force which translates to additional downward force on the throat of the plane just below the iron itself.  That's another reason they crack.

Other aspects of the #62 that make it unique are some of its parts.  Notice the front knob is seated on a nickel plated disk with two little nubs protruding from it.  Those nubs fit into corresponding indentations in the bottom of the knob itself.  By slightly loosening the knob, the disk turns with the knob (because the nubs and indentations fit together) taking pressure off the throat adjustment lever, thus allowing the user to open or close the throat.  The nickel plated screw holding the knob also threads through the disk into a boss in the front section of the sole.  So, just by twisting the knob counter clockwise to loosen, and clockwise to tighten, no tools are needed and adjustment is easy.  Here’s where doing some research is helpful before buying one of these……Know that the front knob, the cast nickel plated disk, and the throat adjustment lever are all unique to the #62.  The same can also be said of the rear tote.  Notice how short its foot is when compared to a standard tote take from a #5 jack plane.  The foot is short intentionally, so that it doesn't interfere with the iron adjustment mechanism/screw.  On most other block plane designs, the iron adjustment is at the very rear of the tool, and there's nothing nothing behind it to obstruct its use.  Don't buy a #62 that's damaged in any way, and/or is missing any parts.  Individual parts for a #62 are tough to come by!  If you're going to spend the money, get one that's 100% complete.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that the parts will be easy to find.

The #62 is theoretically one of the best planes Stanley ever made in terms of its intended functionality.  The trouble is that it was too fragile to stand up to the test of time.   Stanley produced the #62 from 1905 to 1942.  The example depicted below was probably manufactured somewhere around 1923.

Jim C.             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on March 28, 2015, 09:00:20 PM
Stanley #62 continued:

I wanted to add a couple pictures of the fragile area around the throat, just so everyone is clear about where to look for cracks, chipping, and damage.  Sometimes the damage is plainly evident, while other times it's not so easy to see, and then a good idea to closely examine the throat with the magnifying glass you have in your "kit." (Remember that?) 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 27, 2015, 04:10:50 PM
Hi Everyone,

I hope you've been well.  Sorry I haven't posted lately.  A few weeks back my computer asked me to "upgrade" something and I said "okay." Well, whatever happened has me baffled, because now I have absolutely no clue how to resize photos.  I'm trying to resize the photos because they're too big for the established parameters of the website.  Anyway, I recently enlisted some expert help, so hopefully I'll be back to posting (with photos) very soon.  Thanks for your patience.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on April 27, 2015, 04:28:08 PM
Download Irfanview-  http://www.irfanview.com/ (http://www.irfanview.com/)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on April 27, 2015, 04:38:12 PM
Anyway, I recently enlisted some expert help, so hopefully I'll be back to posting (with photos) very soon.  Thanks for your patience.

Jim C.
And is your expert help under the age of 16?  That seems typical these days.  Young whippersnappers.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: donald_wa on April 29, 2015, 04:30:21 PM
About those Stanley #62's. They were designed primarily for end grain work so you didn't really make a true shaving, hence you shouldn't have a problem with grain raising to possibly crack the thin part. We all know it only takes one time to take a shortcut and use this plane because it's the one that is handy. There is really no use in spending big bucks for a bad(cracked) #62 if you're looking for a user. Lee Valley has an excellent low angle Jack plane for a reasonable price. They also sell steeper angle blades and toothing blades.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on April 30, 2015, 06:17:30 PM
About those Stanley #62's. They were designed primarily for end grain work so you didn't really make a true shaving, hence you shouldn't have a problem with grain raising to possibly crack the thin part. We all know it only takes one time to take a shortcut and use this plane because it's the one that is handy. There is really no use in spending big bucks for a bad(cracked) #62 if you're looking for a user. Lee Valley has an excellent low angle Jack plane for a reasonable price. They also sell steeper angle blades and toothing blades.

Hi donald,

Thanks for stopping by.  Yes, the #62 is just a big block plane designed for end grain, but like other more traditional looking, smaller block planes, woodworkers will use a #62 for all sorts of applications to include cutting long grain.  It happens all the time, and as we know, some applications caused them to crack.  I avoid using a vintage Stanley for that reason alone.  I'd never forgive myself if I cracked one.  Instead, I have a Lie Nielsen #62 that I use all the time, to include cutting with the grain.  It works great and produces nice results.  It's also significantly more durable than an original Stanley, so I never worry about using it for any reason.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 23, 2016, 08:32:01 AM
Hello fellow hand plane enthusiasts,

Where do I even start?  I guess with an apology.  My troubles began a year or so ago with some computer difficulties that precluded me from posting photos.  That short term problem morphed into a long term (and unexcused) absence.  I'm not entirely sure why, but I guess I needed a break.  During the past year, I got a new computer which I'm getting better at using, and continued to add to my hand plane collection.  Somewhere right about the time I last posted here, my interest in old Craftsman =V= era hand tools went through the roof.  I'm not entirely sure I know why that happened either, but it did.  I got on this Craftsman teardrop ratchet kick that almost entirely dominated my OCD motivated tool collecting tendencies.  Collecting ratchets evolved into collecting wrenches and all other Craftsman brand =V= era mechanics tools (sockets, etc., etc.). That's a whole different story..... Anyway, I do intend to start posting here again.  I'm gonna try to pace myself a little too.  I hope you'll accept my apology.  I've included a photo (to make sure I can post them) of the Stanley #112 scraper.  It's a great plane.  Stay tuned.

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on October 23, 2016, 09:09:54 AM
No need to apologize, Jim.  Your series has been great, and I'm looking forward to some more; but I always understand people to be making a gift with posts like yours, not meeting an obligation.

Craftsman, eh?  I'll have to look at my wrench and socket ratholes to see if I've got any Craftsman stuff from that period.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on October 23, 2016, 09:28:23 AM
Jim-Sometimes we  just have to step back and regroup. No need to apologize.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: gibsontool on October 23, 2016, 12:40:59 PM
Welcome back Jim, good to hear your still out there. As the others said, no need to apologize. I've always enjoyed your posts and am looking forward to seeing more. Don't feel pressured, do them at your pace.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: mikeswrenches on October 23, 2016, 12:52:15 PM
Hi Jim, Glad to see you back. You have been missed for sure. I've always enjoyed your articles on the different Stanley planes.

I managed to get a No. 62, a 10 1/2, a 45, a 55, an A5, an A6, and a boatload of different block planes this summer. And I almost forgot the no. 46.

Mike
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Lewill2 on October 23, 2016, 04:11:29 PM
Jim, I'm with the others glad to see you back and I also look forward to additional posts. Bird might have a few questions on her tool haul from this years Donnelly open house auction. She got another truck load to sort and sell.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 23, 2016, 07:15:00 PM
Thanks guys!  The messages are much appreciated.  I'm looking forward to talking hand planes with you again and seeing any additions you've made to your collections during the past year or so.  Okay, let's get going.  I had to check the index to see where I left off.  Just to re-cap, I never really had a plan or specific road map regarding the direction of this thread.  Nothing much more than all hand planes all the time.  Where ever the conversation takes us is where we're going.  Anyway, between going on a SERIOUS Craftsman =V= tool buying binge, and churning out a couple more projects in the shop, I managed to add a few more planes to my collection.  There's still a lot more planes to talk about.  One of the planes I found myself using very recently was actually a scraper.  If you go back and take a look, we talked a little about scrapers earlier in the thread.  Stanley being Stanley, they made several versions over the years, some of which were very common and simple in design, and a few that are more complex (but still useful) and among some of most rare and difficult tools to find as a collector and/or user.  Scrapers are great tools for smoothing irregular grain that swirls, changes direction and often leads to tear out and headaches.  Some projects look great with straight grain and clean lines, while others with unique characteristics in the wood are very desirable.  If you're having trouble with smoothing ornery grain, try a scraper.  The iron on a scraper requires a that a burr be created on its edge for it to cut properly.  The technique to make that burr involves a few simple steps and a couple basic hand tools to include a small flat file, hand saw jointer, a sharpening stone and a burnisher.  I'd love to say that I have some easy method for rolling out a burr on a scraper, but I don't.  It takes a little time and practice.  The first time I tried it, I referred exclusively to Garrett Hack's description, illustrations and photographs, all found in Chapter 9 of his GREAT book entitled, "The Hand Plane Book."  Mr. Hack's instructions are clear and easy to follow.  If you're interested, check out his book, that's where I learned how to make a nice burr on a scraper.

Stanley #112:

I know I said we were going to talk about scrapers in this post, but the tool depicted below still somewhat resembles a traditional bench plane.  Well, that's true, but it is a scraper.  Actually, it may be the single best scraper ever made by any manufacturer.  Notice how the iron is mounted in the plane's frog, well forward of ninety degrees.  In order for that burr to work, the angle of the iron is important.  Since a good burr sort of curls back toward the iron itself, the iron must be tilted forward past ninety degrees, and MUCH further forward than the forty five to fifty five degrees most irons are bedded at on standard bench planes.  If you take a look at the photo below, you'll see that the frog is captive on a pin that extends across the plane's main body.  That's the pivot point that allows for fine adjustments forward and back so that burr is exactly at the perfect angle for producing lace like shavings on ANY crazy/difficult grain, as well as straight grain.  The engineers at Stanley created a very simple but effective iron adjustment mechanism that's easy to operate, allowing the user to lock the iron in place at the perfect position by means of two knurled nuts mounted on a threaded rod.  No matter what the burr angle is, the plane can be adjusted to get the precise cut desired.  The other huge advantage in using a scraper plane versus a simple scraper card is the elimination of hand fatigue and the burning of one's thumbs.  On small workpieces, a scraper card is probably still the way to go, but on a medium to large flat workpiece, some sort of mechanical "holder" like the #112 makes all the difference between suffering and absolute pleasure.  Shop time should be fun.

After acquiring a few basic bench planes and block planes, I'd very seriously consider something more than a simple card scraper.  Even the common Stanley #80 scraper, discussed in a prior post, is a step up and highly recommended.  Still, if you're thinking about working on table tops and large slabs for instance, the #112 is the way to go.  Stanley produced the #112 between 1885 and 1943.  The plane depicted below was probably manufactured at some point right around 1922 - 1925.  Back in the day, a craftsperson could also outfit the #112 with toothed irons that were very handy for veneer work.  The toothed irons came with 22, 28 and 32 teeth per inch (tpi).  Original Stanley tpi irons are VERY rare.  I've seen several #112 irons with and without Stanley trademarks.  Obviously, an iron with a trademark is more desirable to collectors.  The #112 isn't unusually rare, but I also don't see them at garage/estate sales or flea markets.  They were used by cabinet makers and those who were engaged in fine woodworking.  The average "do it yourselfer" probably wouldn't have a need for a #112, or more likely would have settled for a scraper card and possibly a #80 model at most.  My grandfather was a handy guy, and I do recall him using a card scraper occasionally on various large (remembering a basement bar top) and small (remembering doll furniture) projects.  He was extremely frugal too.  It wasn't in his DNA to buy "luxury tools."  In his mind, a #80 would have been a luxury, and a #112, well, simply out of the question.  That bar top would have been a perfect project for the #112.  Anyway, in terms of user tools, the the #112 is still relatively affordable and generally available.  In my opinion, the #112 should be on most woodworkers top twelve list of planes to own and use.  In future posts, I'll show you a few Stanley scrapers that are better left to the collectors.

Finally, thanks again for your kind comments.

Jim C.                             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 23, 2016, 07:59:03 PM
No need to apologize, Jim.  Your series has been great, and I'm looking forward to some more; but I always understand people to be making a gift with posts like yours, not meeting an obligation.

Craftsman, eh?  I'll have to look at my wrench and socket ratholes to see if I've got any Craftsman stuff from that period.

Thanks Bill...... Yes, Craftsman =V= tools.  It was a buying binge that bordered on recklessness.  Absolutely insane.  I can't even say for sure what triggered it.  It was literally a one year "buying everything in sight" binge.  When I started thinking about seeking out professional counseling, I knew I had to slow down.   :embarrassed:  I'll eventually post a few pictures in the Craftsman =V= tools thread.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 23, 2016, 08:03:38 PM
Hi Jim, Glad to see you back. You have been missed for sure. I've always enjoyed your articles on the different Stanley planes.

I managed to get a No. 62, a 10 1/2, a 45, a 55, an A5, an A6, and a boatload of different block planes this summer. And I almost forgot the no. 46.

Mike

Like I always said Mike, let's see what you have.  You picked up a bunch of high end stuff.  Post a few pictures, tell us where you found them, etc.  Sounds like you went on a binge of your own!!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 25, 2016, 10:04:05 AM
Hi All,

In my recent post pertaining to the Stanley#112 scraper plane, I initially left out a few tidbits at the end of the write up regarding my grandfather, which I have since gone back and included in the #112 post above.  When I was writing the post, I had some recollection of my "gramps" building a bar in his basement.  This would have been in the mid to late 1960s.  I was a grade schooler at the time.  As I was writing, I had flashes of him scraping that solid oak bar top by hand using a scraper card.  His thumbs must have been on fire from the friction.  The boards he used were face joined and glued together leaving their edges exposed as the top surface.  It was kind of like a butcher block, only instead seeing exposed end grain, it was edge grain.  (I'm 100% sure the boards he used were salvaged from pallets he saved from the local grocery store dumpster. Like I said, he was very frugal.) Essentially the bar top was a big lamination, so after the final glue up, there must have been high spots and low spots, some of which he removed and smoothed with a scraper card.  Making that sort of lamination must have resulted in grain going in every direction imaginable from one board to the next.  Traditional smoothing with a bench plane may have resulted to tear out under those circumstances.  Anyway, I checked my recollections with my parents, and my mom was able to find one old black and white photo of my grandfather, engaged in what appears to be him hand sanding the bar top with a sanding block.  In the corner of the photo on the bar top, almost out of the frame, is what looks like a scraper card.

Okay, but then I got to thinking, Stanley discontinued the #112 about twenty years earlier.  Would my gramps have even known such a tool existed?  Even if he had, how would he have gotten access to one?  There was no internet available to track one down, and if he didn't know anybody who had one to loan, he was out of luck.  Still, the #80, which was a great improvement over a standard scraper card, was available well into the 1980s.  In the 1960s, he could have gone to any local hardware store and bought one..... but I don't think he did.  After he died, I went through his tools and didn't find a #80 or even a scraper card anywhere in his tiny basement shop.  The point is, he seemed to know the value and utility of a simple scraping tool on wood, and that when sharpened and used properly, it could produce some very nice results.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 29, 2016, 08:04:41 AM
Hi All,

You know, while planning my next addition to the thread, I got to thinking that while discussing the #112 I really didn't discuss its availability and cost.   I sort of skimmed over it, but didn't give it the time it deserved.  This is a great tool to have, and again, since I personally believe it should be in every serious (or even kind of serious) woodworker's USER arsenal, I thought I better cover this matter.  Several manufacturers made a version of the #112 over the years, to include Stanley, Sargent, and currently Lie-Nielsen.  There may have been others.  Like I said earlier, it's not a plane that I've ever seen at a garage sale or flea market.  Original Sargent versions are not common.  When I do see them, they're pricey.  I see a lot more Stanleys at tool meets and advertised in online auctions.  As a matter of fact, I saw a couple Stanleys online last night.  What I've noticed is that top quality "user" condition Stanley 112s are approximately the same price, or a little less in most cases, than the currently manufactured  Lie-Nielsen version.

While I don't consider the Stanley #112 to be a rare plane, I do catagorize it somewhere between scarce and common, leaning just a little toward scarce.  A lot of times, original vintage tools such as this generally seem to cost more than their currently manufactured Lie-Nielsen cousins.  For the experience and pleasure of using such a tool, I'd recommend Lie-Nielsen for their immediate availability and cost savings.  In this particular instance I'd say otherwise.  Unless you need a #112 right now, I'd search for an original Stanley.  I believe a nice Stanley "user" can be had for less than the cost of a Lie-Nielsen, and they are still relatively available.  Do your homework, know what you're looking at, and make an informed purchase.  Remember, I'm talking about a nice user quality plane.  A top collector quality plane will exceed the cost of a Lie-Nielsen.  The reason I'm going into this kind of detail regarding the 112's availability, cost, etc., is for the simple reason that this is one to own and use out in your shop.  I also think the original Stanley's that I've seen as of late are priced right.

Jim C.  (Who's possibly beating a dead horse)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on October 30, 2016, 06:56:30 PM
I’ve mentioned more than once that I often receive old hand planes and tools from family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.  It happens more than one would think.  Some of the tools I receive take very little effort to make useable again, while others are lost causes.  I always appreciate getting those donations, and can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “This belonged to my dad…..”  or, “This was my grandfather’s…….”  In those instances, I really make an effort to save those planes and make them usable again, if possible.  I guess I appreciate their sentimental value to the donor, but then also wonder why they’re giving the plane up in the first place.  Who knows?  More than once, I’ve rehabbed a donated plane and tried to return it to the donor saying something like, “Try it out, your dad might like that.” or “Maybe a grandchild would like to have this.”  On every such occasion, the donor is happy that the tool ended up with someone who would appreciate it.  (I actually received a 1947 Delta table saw under similar conditions……which started my love for vintage Delta woodworking machinery.  That’s another story.)  Anyway, the plane depicted below was one of those, “This belonged to my dad.” planes.  The donor was actually a man who attends Sunday mass with my parents.  According to my dad, the man told him the plane “doesn’t cut worth a damn” (hardly church talk) and “it might be missing a few parts.”

When I got the plane, it was obviously missing its lever cap (which had been replaced by an ill fitting section of ¼” thick steel bar stock), the iron was extremely dull, and the rear tote was cracked.  Of course it didn’t cut worth a damn (darn).  I studied the plane a little and came to the conclusion that it was worthy of a rehab and an attempted return to the donor.  After figuring out what I had, the first order of business was finding a period correct, patina matching lever cap.  That took a while, but I did manage to track one down thanks to eBay.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, but for about $12 (which included shipping costs), I got an original part from the correct era, with just the right amount of “character” to match the rest of the plane's physical/cosmetic condition.  I was pretty happy about that.  The rear tote presented another problem.  There was a clean through and through crack right at the base of the tote.  Finding good front knobs and rear totes for Stanley planes can be tough and usually expensive.  Finding “original wood” for less common Millers Falls planes was harder than I thought it would be.   I couldn’t find one.  Still, based on the nature of the crack, I thought I had a good chance to repair it, particularly since no one had attempted to fix it in the past.  That was lucky.

Over the years I’ve seen some botched hand plane tote repairs.  They’re frequently ugly and usually don’t hold up to normal use.  Once a repair attempt has been made, it’s a hard thing to undo it and try it again. Many times, the "fix" is worse than the break itself.  After glue gets into the wood’s grain, the pores are sealed.  Future gluing attempts will be almost futile and provide a weak bond at best.  In this instance, with such a clean break and no previous gluing efforts to contend with, I carefully spread glue on both sides of the broken tote and clamped the pieces together for twenty four hours.  The trick is to make sure both pieces realign perfectly and don’t move during the clamping process.  After the glued dried, I drilled two strategically placed holes into the bottom of the tote, past the break, and inserted (glued in) two small oak dowels.  That does the trick and adds a lot more strength and stability to the repair.

So, after about a month of fooling around with the plane, I returned it to my dad, asking that he offer it back to the man at church.  The following Sunday, my dad made the offer, but the guy wouldn't take it.  According to my dad, the man thought the plane would be in better hands if it stayed with me.  Okay......  I'm not going to argue. 

Millers Falls 14” jack plane:

Millers Falls was one of Stanley’s competitors.  I can’t say that I’m very familiar with Millers Falls tools.  The plane itself seems to be well made and capable of doing an honest day’s work.  Based on a little research I did, the plane shown below is on the higher end of the Millers Falls product line.  A version of this plane was offered by Millers Falls between 1929 and 1978.  The plane shown below is a Type 3 and was likely manufactured at some point between 1941 and 1949.  It does have some telltale features that lead me to believe it was manufactured during WWII.  Most notably, its cutting iron adjustment screw is made of steel, versus brass, which was used on pre and post WWII versions of the plane.  Also, threaded rods and cylindrical brass nuts, used to attach the front knob and rear tote to the plane’s main body, were replaced by blued steel slotted head screws.  The plane was also originally equipped with a hinged lever cap (which was missing when I initially received the plane).  I’m not sure what the hinge was designed to do.  Perhaps it provided better contact across the iron preventing/reducing chatter during use, or maybe it took stress off the weak point of the lever cap itself, preventing the cap from cracking if over tightened.  I’ve seen more than one lever cap that was cracked and repaired due to over tightening.  At some point after 1936, Millers Falls started stamping the length of the plane’s sole on its left exterior cheek.  (see photo below)  Although I don’t collect Millers Falls planes, I like this one and plan to test it out this winter.  I have a couple projects in mind for it.  I'll let you know how it cuts.....stay tuned.

Jim C.             
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 02, 2016, 07:10:50 PM
Jim,

As to the 112, I have no experience with Lee Valley's version of this plane, but their tools are respected; and the LV scraping plane is $55 cheaper than Lie-Nielsen's.  See http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=48431&cat=1,41182,68491 (http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=48431&cat=1,41182,68491) for a description.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 03, 2016, 07:05:51 PM
Hi Bill,

Thanks for stopping by and adding a link to the Lee-Valley (LV) site.  I guess I should start by saying that I've never owned or used a Veritas hand plane.  Everything I've read about Veritas planes has been generally positive.  After thinking about it for a while, I started to ask myself why I have zero experience with Veritas planes.  I have a few other LV hand tools that I'm very happy with.  So why no Veritas hand planes?  They've been around for years, but I've never had any inclination to pick one up and try it out.  I guess there's a reason for that.....

It's no secret that I'm a hardcore Stanley collector/user.  I like Sargent Autosets a lot.  If given a choice I'd choose to use a vintage plane most of the time.  I have a couple Lie-Nielsen planes that I'm really fond of too.  So what about those Veritas planes?  Although I hesitate to say this, knowing full well that it might be the dumbest reason ever, it boils down to simple aesthetic appeal.  Seriously, I really don't like the visual appearance of Veritas hand planes.  I guess they deviate from the classic style of the original Stanleys just enough to turn me off.  Like I said, I've read and heard a lot of good things about LV/Veritas planes, however, being honest with myself, and you, I don't like how they look.  That's it.

The old Stanleys are things of beauty in my eyes.  That certainly might not be true in someone else's opinion.  It's just a matter of personal preference.  In terms of currently manufactured planes, that might be why I'm still drawn to Lie-Nielsen made planes.  They just seem to more faithfully follow the classic Stanley lines and details.

Even after honestly writing this reply (and feeling dumb about it), I had some reservations about actually posting it. I most certainly don't want to alienate Veritas hand plane owners/users from stopping by and/or posting in the thread.  I also don't want to discourage anyone from trying out a Veritas plane.  As much as I appreciate a good tool that performs at or above my expectations, I guess I've been subconsciously judging them on their eye appeal too.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 05, 2016, 09:32:51 AM
You are not alone in your reaction to the aesthetics of Veritas planes; others feel that way too.  I have no affiliation with Lee Valley, other than as a customer (except that they started making aftermarket spokeshave irons at my suggestion, and I got two irons as a thank you for the idea).  I've never had a lot of confidence in their bench plane design; it seems like a weak design.  I have their plow plane, and like it a lot; the look stopped mattering after I used it the first time.

But I do like the old Stanley planes, and most of my planes are Stanleys, with a few Sargents thrown in (the Sargent dado plane is a superior design to the Stanley, for instance).  When I win the lottery and can build a bigger shop and then stock it with whatever tools I want regardless of price, I might buy some LN and LV planes.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 05, 2016, 11:29:40 AM
Hi Bill,

After I posted my comments about Veritas planes, I went to the Lee Valley website and took a closer look at their plane offerings. Thinking that I might see things a little differently this time, and feeling like I shouldn't be so close minded for a silly shallow reason, I spent some time checking out LV Veritas planes.  Maybe I'd see things I hadn't seen before.  Well, to make a long story short, I came away feeling the same, if not more committed to my original comments.  I can't get past their visual appearance.  As good as the Veritas planes may cut/function, I have no real desire to buy one strictly because I really dislike the way they look.

Part of the fun of woodworking is the process and tools I use in attempting to create something that I'm satisfied with at the end of the project.  I love using old classic tools.  Not just hand planes, but any old tool.  That feeling has even strongly influenced the machines I use.  Maybe it's the connection to the past.  Maybe it's the perceived quality I think exists in old USA made machinery and tools.  There's definitely an enormous sense of satisfaction in finding an old tool, cleaning/rehabilitating it, and then using it after decades and decades of neglect/inactivity. I guess a lot of that initial attraction is visual.  It is for me anyway.  Can I see myself using that tool?  What about it makes me want to hold it in my hand?  I'm not really a Millers Falls collector, but even when I look at that Millers Falls #14 I discussed above, I want to pick it up.  I want to rehab it, resharpen its iron.  I want to try out a plane that was sitting dormant for the last 60+ years.  There's a basic visual appeal.  Unfortunately I don't get that same attraction to the "funky sort of modern looking kind of retro based design" I see in the Veritas planes.  I could keep rambling but I'm sure you get the point.  Anyway......

As for your collection of planes, I'd love to see what you have.  And no need to ever minimize the nature or contents of your collection.  The old Stanleys and Sargents are GREAT tools!  Although I do have a few Lie-Nielsens planes which also produce nice results, my ultimate preference is the old school stuff.  Many times when I mention LN planes, I'm doing so in an effort to at least point out another option, particularly when the "old school" Stanleys and Sargents are too expensive/fragile/unavailable, etc.  Thanks for your comments.  Like I've said in the past, I'm not always sure who's reading this thread or how they feel about the things I'm writing.  Any feedback at all is much appreciated, so thanks again and stay tuned.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 05, 2016, 03:43:23 PM
Back in the Millers Falls #14 post above, I mentioned the hinged lever cap and surmised a couple reasons why the hinge was added to the cap in the first place.  You might recall that I thought the hinge could have provided greater surface contact with the cutting iron assembly thus reducing chatter when using the plane, or perhaps the hinge was strategically located to relieve stress and prevent cracking should the lever cap be over tightened.  Well, having done a little more research, I was correct on the former account.  The hinged lever cap was designed by Millers Falls employee, Charles H. Fox, and was created for purposes of providing three contact points between the cap itself and the cutting iron versus the traditional two contact points provided by more conventional bench plane lever caps.  Although I couldn’t find anything in writing, the hinge may have had an unintended benefit too, being that its positioning on the cap may have prevented accidental cracking from over aggressive tightening.  Okay, so we cleared that up.

About a dozen years ago, I received a cardboard box containing old hand planes and other tools from a co-worker who was retiring.  On her last day at work, she said she had some old tools out in her car that belonged to her dad.  She had been meaning to bring them to work but always kept putting it off.  Since it was her last day, I guess she figured it was now or never.  Anyway, I accompanied her to her car and unloaded the box from the trunk into my car’s trunk.  I thanked her, we hugged, and that was that.  She moved out of state a year later and I never saw her again.  When I got home, I took the box out of my trunk and carried it into my shop.  Upon opening it, I saw five or six planes, a collection of old rusty wrenches and some other miscellaneous stuff.  Of course I went for the planes first.  All the planes (and other tools) were in well used (and abused) condition, and upon closer inspection, each and every one was broken in some way, shape, or form.  Still, I had hope for one plane in particular.  I could tell it was a #8 size jointer.  When I got it into the light, I was surprised to see that it was an early Stanley Bedrock #608.  The front knob was missing and the rear tote was cracked in two places.  One of the cracks was actually at the top of the tote, and the piece was missing.  More inspection revealed that the main body sidewall casting had been chipped off near the toe, and the lever cap had been cracked in half but subsequently repaired.  Had I not gotten this plane for free, I would have passed on it, and to be honest, when compared to the other planes in the box, it was in the best condition of the lot.  At some point, I’ll do a full feature on this particular plane.  I will say that I did chase and buy some parts (which I don’t particularly like doing), and got the plane back into good working order.  Without giving too much away, the future post will deal with the #608 itself and how “free” planes aren’t necessarily free.

Since we were discussing the potential benefits of that Millers Falls hinged lever cap, I just wanted to demonstrate what happens when one over tightens the lever cap on a traditional bench plane.  The cap depicted below is the lever cap, as found, on that Bedrock #608 I mentioned above.  It was clearly over tightened and it cracked.  I only wonder what words were spoken by the plane’s user when that happened.  I can just imagine.  At some point, someone took the time to repair the cap, and did a good job of making it serviceable again.  Purely from a user’s standpoint, the cracked and repaired lever cap works fine.  But from a slightly more critical perspective, and from someone who recently admitted that visual aesthetics do matter, that lever cap wasn’t going to work....for me that is.

The #608 discussed above is a Type 4 (1908 – 1910) Stanley Bedrock.  The cap was only produced between approximately 1908 and 1912, so it could be difficult to find a 100+ year old replacement.  Large jointers, particularly #8 sizes are a little less common.  Since the cap was on a less common (sort of scarce), larger jointer, that made the search for a replacement cap even more difficult.  To date, I haven’t found another correct cap for a Type 4 #608 Bedrock, and instead settled for one that was used on earlier Bedrock Types 1, 2 and 3 between 1898 and 1908 (It's the cap on the left in the second two photos).  I'm mostly okay with the earlier cap because Stanley frequently used parts until they were gone.  So, finding an earlier produced part on a later Type isn't unusual.  Still, I KNOW what was originally on my #608....... See why I don’t like chasing parts?  Anyway, I’ll have more to say about parts chasing when I feature the #608.

Jim C.                       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 05, 2016, 05:44:33 PM
Jim,

Thanks for the invitation to post pics of my herd of planes; but I'm running so hard right now to get somewhat behind (rather than hopelessly behind) that I doubt I'll have time any time soon.

Bill
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 05, 2016, 07:24:28 PM
That's okay Bill.  I hope you'll keep checking in.  If you see something you like, or not, add your two cents either way.  It's always appreciated.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 11, 2016, 07:08:21 PM
I’m not entirely sure anyone will really understand what was going on at Stanley when new planes were being designed, or considerations being made in terms of what models to add to the product lineup, delete from the product lineup, improve, etc.  When talking about hand planes, you’ve heard me say more than once that Stanley had a habit of attempting to fill every plane niche that existed, real or perceived.  That trend seemed particularly true of block planes.  I was thinking that I’d feature a block plane this time and started looking for the right one.  Nothing jumped out at me, but while in the process of carefully sorting through some planes (which are stored in VERY close, but not touching proximity to each other), I pulled out a few weather stripping planes.  I got to thinking that I had a few different models in my collection, and kind of muttered, “Man, Stanley made a lot of weather stripping planes over the years.”  At that moment I happened to have a #238 in my left hand and a #248 in my right hand.   I held them up a little, side-by-side, then suddenly realized, “Hey, these two planes are practically the same.”

From a quick glance, the #238 and #248 look almost entirely different.  I guess that’s why I never really connected the dots.  Although their respective main body castings look almost nothing alike, particularly around the handles, the actual working aspects of the plane are 100% identical in every way!  All the hardware, removable parts, cutters, etc. are interchangeable with each other.  The screw bosses, threaded holes, cutter attachment/securing mechanisms, depth stops, fence configurations, etc. all line up and function in exactly the same way.  If you go back in the thread to page 34, reply 506, you might recall that I featured the #238.  In terms of function, I think the plane does a nice job of doing precisely what it was designed to do.  Without going into another demonstration, and because the #248 is identical to the #238 from a mechanical perspective, I’d say the #248 will also produce the same nice results.  So what was the point of making another plane (the #248) that incorporates the exact same mechanical features as its predecessor (the #238)?

Here’s my theory.  When comparing these two seemingly identical functioning planes, I believe the engineers/designers at Stanley were possibly aiming for improved ergonomics and comfort.  When looking at the #238, notice the index finger hole forward of the handle.  When I grasp the plane, that hole is slightly too far away from the handle for me to hold the plane comfortably.  If I avoid trying to put my index finger through that hole and attempt to wrap all four fingers around the handle, that’s also uncomfortable because the handle opening really isn’t big enough to accommodate my average sized hand.  The handle is also a little thin.  A more rounded, fatter handle would be more comfortable to hold and use.  Perhaps someone at Stanley realized that.  When looking at the #248, one will notice that it incorporates a more traditional, comfortable, handle.  The #248 is also two inches longer than the #238 (9.5” versus 7.5” respectively), and was supplied with two cutters (1/8” and 5/32” wide) as compared to seven that were included with the #238.  I suppose that providing five less cutters was a cost savings measure taken by Stanley.  Maybe the accountants asked, "Why are we giving away a set of cutters with our weather stripping planes, when we can provide one or two and then sell the rest individually for more money?"  Okay, maybe I'm overthinking that.  (Eventually Stanley came up with a better idea.  See "Edit" paragraph below.)

Besides the obvious changes to ergonomics and styling, the only functional parts of the two planes that varied slightly between both of them were the pre-set rods connected to the fence, which allow the user to make repeatable cuts.  By setting those rods in a desired position on the fence itself, a secondary, repeatable fence location could be achieved quickly even if the fence had been removed from the plane and then later reattached.  The feature to notice is how the rods were manufactured so they would not accidentally slide out of the fence.  The #238 rods incorporated a thin wire recessed into a shallow groove to keep them from sliding, while the correct rods for the #248 incorporated two burrs set at 180 degrees from each other to keep the rods from sliding.  Again, those little rods, like ALL the other parts on both planes are interchangeable.  I suspect that adding little burrs was easier (and cheaper) to do than wrapping wire into those little milled grooves.  Only collectors care about that stuff, but I thought I had better at least mention it.       

Stanley #248:

This plane was manufactured by Stanley between 1936 and 1943.  Recall that the #238 was manufactured between 1928 and 1938.  Except for the two year over lap between 1936 and 1938, the #248 appears to have been manufactured specifically for purposes of replacing the #238 in the Stanley product line.  The #248, like #238, has several little parts that can get lost.  Before buying either one of these guys, make sure all the parts are present and accounted for.  Do your homework.

Edit:  The day after adding this post to the thread, I started thinking that Stanley made another weather stripping plane that was a variation of the #238 and/or the #248.  I checked, and sure enough, Stanley did offer a #248A.  The #248A was produced between 1939 and 1958.  The #248A and its associated parts are IDENTICAL to the #248.  The ONLY difference is the re-inclusion of the five cutters that were dropped from the #248 but were initially offered with the #238.  Basically, the #248A combined the best features of the #238 (7 cutters) and the #248 (better ergonomics).  The main body casting of the #248A is marked "248" not "248A".  Again, the cutters included with the #248 were 1/8" and 5/32" wide.  The cutters included with the #238 and #248A were 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" wide.   

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 11, 2016, 07:09:17 PM
A few more comparison photos of the Stanley #248 and #238 weather strip planes.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 12, 2016, 07:15:36 AM
Last week the current issue of Fine Woodworking arrived in the mail.  I hadn't gotten around to paging through it, so this morning I sat down with a cup of coffee and decided to give it a look.  Usually when I read Fine Woodworking, I like to check out the back cover first.  There's always a photo of an amazing project that someone made, and then an accompanying article inside the magazine about the project, the craftsperson who created it, techniques employed, tools used, etc.  Anyway, this month the back cover depicted an advertisement...... I found a little humor in it, particularly after my recent comments about Lee Valley/Veritas hand planes.  Maybe the hand plane Gods are exacting revenge for my blasphemous remarks.  Instead of a great project and article, I got this....... :rolleyes:
 
Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 13, 2016, 08:04:07 PM
Occasionally I'll come across a New Old Stock (NOS) plane that's too good to be true.  The plane is in its original box and in mint condition, showing little or no sign of use.  To a collector, that's the ultimate find.  What really makes those discoveries special isn't just the plane itself, but also the box its in, as well as the inclusion of small paper envelopes containing the parts they were supposed to hold, cardboard/paper packaging and instruction manual/advertising materials.  Although a plane may be NOS and its original box is present and in good condition, the internal packaging and manuals/advertising my not have survived.  Every now and then, it's all there.  Those moments are priceless.

The reason I'm bring this up now ties in with my recent weather stripping plane post above.  Several years ago I had the good fortune to find a NOS Stanley #289 rabbet plane, un-used in its original box, and complete with its original packaging and a four page single fold advertisement for weather stripping planes and associated weather stripping tools.  Besides being an uncommon rarity, the advertisement brochure gives us a glimpse into Stanley's constant attempts to market its products. It also provides clues as to when the #289 was produced by generally comparing the #289 to the other tools shown in the advertisement brochure.  I don't know.....Maybe that kind of stuff doesn't matter too much, but to me, it's one of the reasons I enjoy collecting.  I love knowing as much as I can about a tool and its history, etc. whenever possible.   

Anyway, I thought I'd end the weather stripping plane discussion (for now) with the advertisement brochure depicted below.  As for the #289 briefly discussed above, well, stay tuned.  I'll get to it.

Jim C.           
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 21, 2016, 09:33:56 PM
I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 26, 2016, 03:25:13 PM
Hi Hand Plane fans,

The last time I was thinking about adding some new content to the thread, I thought I’d feature a block plane.  Somehow I got side tracked and started talking about a couple different weather strip planes.  Judging by the responses, I’m not sure that was a wise choice on my part.  Anyway, today I’m going with one of the simplest block planes Stanley ever made.  What I believe started out as a tool marketed as toy for children, this plane eventually ended up being a long term offering in Stanley’s product line.

Stanley #101:

Manufactured by Stanley between 1877 and 1962, and at approximately 3.5 inches long, the #101 was likely a good size for a child’s hand, and might have made a nice little “toy” for the right child.  As a little kid I personally didn’t have access to anything like it, but looking back, I might have enjoyed one to fool around with nonetheless.  I have no clue what I would have done with it, however, I can imagine the armrests on a few chairs or some coffee table legs getting "re-styled.”  Probably a good thing I didn’t have one and possibly why my parents didn’t make one available to me.  They knew me and they knew better than to let me have that.  Well, at some point along the line, Stanley decided the #101 should be more than a trinket for kids and started advertising it as a legitimate tool in their catalogs.  Looking at a few old Stanley catalogs, the #101 appeared (as a real tool) in the August, 1900 printing, and in the 1915 catalog when it was described as,

". . . . a very handy little plane for household use and many mechanics carry one in their kits for odds and ends of light work. . . . “

It's not the block plane I would reach for in almost any circumstance, but with a sharp iron, it will produce a cut.  Set for a light pass, it might be okay on pine or other less dense woods.  All I can say is give it a try.  Even today, a user quality #101 will only cost a few dollars at most.  You have nothing to lose.  Back in 1915, the #101 was priced at twenty cents.  Other manufacturers produced versions of the #101 over the years and some are still being made today.  Stanley was still manufacturing a cheap version of the #101 well into the 1990s.  It was model #12-101.  Although I don't own one, Lie-Nielsen currently makes a small block plane that's "loosely based" on the #101.  It's advertised as a violin maker's plane and priced at $95.  Like most L-N tools, it's probably a great plane right out of the box and it incorporates a mechanical cutting iron adjustment adding some weight, which isn't a bad thing.  Still, I'd be more inclined to use something a little bigger, like a #60 for instance.  If you really have an itch to try a #101, or have a use for one, I'd try to find an original Stanley first.  It'll cost a lot less than the L-N.

In terms of pin pointing an era of production, prior to about 1950, the main body on all Stanley #101 block planes was japanned black inside and out.  After 1950, they were grey.  The only bare surface on the main body of the plane is its sole.  Unlike most block planes whose exterior walls are machined/ground flat and remain unfinished, the #101’s exterior walls are japanned.  From the several examples that I’ve seen, not much attention was paid to the sidewalls of the plane’s body.  The castings were a little bumpy and the japanning was applied right over the imperfections.  This plane was not designed to be a precision tool, so laying the plane on its side and using it with a shooting board wasn’t really an issue.

Early versions of the plane (pre-1940) also included a japanned pressure cap, while those that were produced later came with a pressure cap that was painted red.  I have no idea why.  I personally like the plane in all black, and from a collector’s point of view, believe the earlier versions with the black japanned caps are somewhat more desirable.  Several years ago I had the opportunity to buy an early pristine example with a black pressure cap and a Sweethart (mid 1920’s) logo on its cutting iron.  I passed on it because I thought the price was too high and I figured I’d for sure find another one.  (Without jumping ahead, you’ll notice the example depicted below features the later red colored cap and has a post 1935 logo on its cutting iron.)  I was dead wrong, as I haven’t seen another one since.  Examples with red caps and later logos are fairly common, as one can see, but those with black caps and Sweethart logos are not.  What the heck was I thinking?  That was another one of many instances were I didn’t do enough homework and then over estimated my knowledge when I had the plane IN MY HAND!!!!  I’m still kicking myself for that one.  Ironically, most of my mistakes have come about from misjudging a plane’s condition, quality, rarity, etc., and then overspending on it.  In this instance, I tried to underpay and ended up missing out on a good one that I HAD IN MY HAND!!!  As I recall, I believe the seller and I were about $15 - $20 apart on the price.  I thought I knew what I was looking at, but I didn’t have a clue…….  A classic example of "live and learn."

Jim C.  (who’s still looking for an early #101)                 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 28, 2016, 11:21:33 AM
I had a No. 101 in the late-model clown colors for a while - picked up for 87 cents (averaged price from a group of tools purchased at a yard sale).  I never did find a use for it, and the local ReStore eventually got it.  I did more recently pick up a No. 100, with the squirrel tail handle, which fits my hand better; but even that has yet to see any service.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 28, 2016, 12:47:47 PM
Hey Bill,

Thanks for stopping by!  I have the feeling a lot of #101s were sold over the years that were used a few times and then left to sit untouched for decades in favor of other models that were more versatile, accurate, user friendly, etc.  Like I said above, the #101 isn't the block plane I'd reach for in almost any circumstance, although I might have had fun with it as a kid.  It may not be a bad tool, but I think its capabilities are limited at best and other basic, fixed throat block planes would deliver better overall results.  Maybe I'm wrong...... If anyone reading along has some experience using a #101, please join the conversation and let us know what you think of it.

The traditional looking #101 depicted above was dropped by Stanley in the early 1960s, however, Stanley continued to offer a similar version of the plane well into the 1990s, and perhaps later.  The post 1960s versions of the #101 were cheaply made, eventually featuring stamped steel bodies and pressure caps, versus cast iron.  I know that Stanley also manufactured inexpensive stamped steel versions of the #101 for various retailers to include Sears/Craftsman.  I think I have a few such planes out in my shop.   I'll dig them out and post a few photos this evening so you can see what I'm talking about.  Stay tuned and thanks for joining in the conversation.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: lptools on November 28, 2016, 01:55:11 PM
Hello, Jim. I believe that Stanley made a Handyman stamped steel version. I may have one around here somewhere. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 28, 2016, 02:35:43 PM
It's interesting, Jim: when I think of "block plane," I think of planes on which the cutting iron is low enough that the bevel is placed upward; that's how I was taught, back when I was taught these things (dinosaurs could be seen out the living room window in those days).  Your use of the term seems to incorporate little planes like the 101 into the block plane group.  It's hard to think of the 100, 100-1/2, or 101 as bench planes.  Maybe we need a new general category.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 28, 2016, 06:45:55 PM
Okay, continuing our discussion from this afternoon, depicted below are two planes, both manufactured by Stanley and somewhat modeled after the #101.  Although the original #101s were out of production around 1962, Stanley must have thought there was still a market for a small 3.5” block plane.  Other retailers, like Sears for example, must have thought so too.

Take a look at the first photo.  The plane in the background, painted green with the red pressure cap is actually a Sears/Craftsman model that has a Craftsman “crown” logo on its cutting iron (model #187.37057).  I suspect the plane was manufactured by Stanley during the mid 1960s to early 1970s, shortly after the demise of the original #101.  Notice that the red pressure cap is still cast iron, just like of it’s immediate predecessor, the Stanley #101.  Long gone was the cast iron body however.  The body is now just stamped steel with a couple strategically located steel pins running perpendicular through the side walls of the plane, which take the place of a more traditional block plane frog.  The plane’s devolution didn’t end there.

The plane in the fore ground was also manufactured by Stanley at some point during the 1990s (Stanley model #12-101).  If it was even possible, one can see that it’s more cheaply made than the earlier Craftsman branded plane.  Now gone is the cast iron pressure cap, which was replaced by a stamped steel cap.  The steel pins are also gone, replaced by stamped inward pointing tabs that were part of the plane’s side walls.  Parallel slots were also cut into the side walls to accommodate the cutting iron and stamped steel pressure cap.  Where the Craftsman branded example was constructed of a stamped steel body and two steel pins, the later version of the plane was made from one stamped piece of steel.  All cost saving measures for sure.  There was no attempt to leave the sole bare either.  Notice that it’s painted black like the rest of the plane.

The last photo shows the #101 as compared to some of its successors.  Just to be clear, I’m not really recommending that any of these planes be used if you can avoid them.  Inexpensive, yet much better block planes were made by Stanley and others.  In an effort to create a comprehensive study of as many Stanley planes as I can, I only wanted to present the #101 and its stamped steel cousins for purposes of completeness.

Jim C.         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 28, 2016, 06:51:52 PM
Hello, Jim. I believe that Stanley made a Handyman stamped steel version. I may have one around here somewhere. Regards, Lou

I'd love to see it Lou.  Maybe you could post a few pictures of it.  Thanks.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 28, 2016, 07:13:50 PM
It's interesting, Jim: when I think of "block plane," I think of planes on which the cutting iron is low enough that the bevel is placed upward; that's how I was taught, back when I was taught these things (dinosaurs could be seen out the living room window in those days).  Your use of the term seems to incorporate little planes like the 101 into the block plane group.  It's hard to think of the 100, 100-1/2, or 101 as bench planes.  Maybe we need a new general category.

Hi Bill,

Yes, I agree the Stanley #100, #100 1/2 and #101 planes are not bench planes.  I guess I got caught up referring to them as "block planes" mostly because Stanley does so.  I attached a photo from the Stanley catalogue No. 26, published in August, 1900.  As for mounting the irons bevel side up, you're absolutely correct.  It's a little hard to see in the photos above, but if you look closely, both the Craftsman and later Stanley plane irons are stamped on the bevel side with "THIS SIDE UP."  (see second photo below)     

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 28, 2016, 09:32:01 PM
Ah.  I didn't know that, Jim.  Here it is, the end of the day, and I learned my "something new for the day."
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 29, 2016, 06:14:18 AM
Ah.  I didn't know that, Jim.  Here it is, the end of the day, and I learned my "something new for the day."

Hey Bill,

A good rule of thumb when mounting a cutting iron on a plane is logo side up.  On a few rare occasions, I've seen the logo stamped on the wrong side of the iron.  Honestly, prior to posting those last couple pictures, I had to check the cutting irons just to make sure I was providing accurate information and I also wanted to make sure Stanley did in fact advertise those little planes as block planes.  I think we got it right.  Thanks again for adding to the conversation. 

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on November 29, 2016, 03:52:02 PM
Twice, now, if memory serves, I've found irons stamped on both sides.  Those would confuse a newcomer to woodworking who was following the "logo side up" rule.  Better, I suspect, to teach the logic for when it's up and when down.

And it's really odd that Stanley would have stamped "this side up" on the bevel side of those irons.  I just went out and looked at my remaining plane of that series, a No. 100 (notched logo, japanned - not sure what that says as far as age), and the logo is opposite the bevel, with no "this side up" stamp on either face; so it wasn't universal.

If we're talking about the 100/101 series planes, their irons are set somewhere around 45 degrees, so putting the bevel side up would present the edge at about 70 degrees - almost scraping territory.  Maybe that would make sense for planing some of the exotic woods, but Stanley never focused much on that market.

So I'm puzzled.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: lptools on November 29, 2016, 07:27:54 PM
Hello, Jim, Bill. Stanley planes can be confusing/mis-leading. Bench planes with a cap iron, are usually bevel down. I see a lot of these at a table assembled the wrong way. Label up? A very good rule of thumb. I am looking at a No. 65 Knuckle Joint Block Plane, label up, bevel up, notches on back, impossible to install incorrectly. I am looking at a No. 75 Rabbet Plane, label up bevel down, but this blade will fit the plane either way. I grabbed a No. 92 , notched back, bevel up, no markings on the blade!!!! I have included pics of a stamped steel block plane, I am guessing it is a Handyman, H102 on the blade. Unusual design, 2 piece iron, both pieces marked "This Side Up" , and is bevel up .Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 30, 2016, 04:21:23 PM
Twice, now, if memory serves, I've found irons stamped on both sides.  Those would confuse a newcomer to woodworking who was following the "logo side up" rule.  Better, I suspect, to teach the logic for when it's up and when down.

And it's really odd that Stanley would have stamped "this side up" on the bevel side of those irons.  I just went out and looked at my remaining plane of that series, a No. 100 (notched logo, japanned - not sure what that says as far as age), and the logo is opposite the bevel, with no "this side up" stamp on either face; so it wasn't universal.

If we're talking about the 100/101 series planes, their irons are set somewhere around 45 degrees, so putting the bevel side up would present the edge at about 70 degrees - almost scraping territory.  Maybe that would make sense for planing some of the exotic woods, but Stanley never focused much on that market.

Hi Bill,

Sorry I didn't get back to you a little sooner.  It didn't really dawn on me until you said in part, ".....about 70 degrees - almost scraping territory....." That rung a bell with me and I got to thinking about it.  Throughout this discussion, you've made some great points.  Although Stanley advertised the #100, #100 1/2, and #101 as block planes, they really are unusual.  Their irons are bedded at a high angle to begin with.  By installing the iron bevel side up, you're right, the planes really do start to approach scraper status.  As a result, the bevels need to be facing down, like one would see on a traditional bench plane.  I agree with you that hand plane users should know which way (bevel up or bevel down) to mount a cutting iron as it relates to the type of plane being used.  But I'll stick to my general "rule of thumb" and say, "logo faces up" when installing the iron onto a plane body.  I went out into my shop and studied a Stanley #100, #100 1/2, and #101.  All three planes have the Stanley logo stamped on the non-bevel side of the iron, exactly like you observed on your planes.  That's no accident.  The 100 series "block planes"  as Stanley calls them, were designed to cut bevel down.  I really should have caught that sooner.  I do use the #100 1/2 occasionally to add a scalloped finish to the inside and bottom of drawers, and upon checking the iron in that plane, I have it mounted bevel side down.  So, great points Bill.  I'll post a few photos so others can see what we're talking about.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 30, 2016, 05:57:13 PM
I've attached a few photos hopefully showing what we've been talking about.  Notice the first photo.  In the background you'll see the Stanley #101.  In the fore ground, you'll see the 1990s version of the #101.  See how steep the iron is bedded on the original #101 and how low the angle is on the later version in the fore ground.  That later version of the plane, with its bevel up iron is what one would expect to see on a traditional block plane.  Mounting the bevel down on a block plane is not typical, so it's interesting that Stanley advertised its #100, #100 1/2 and #101 (second photo) as block planes.  They were certainly unusual in terms of the way their cutting irons were mounted (being bevel down).  I still believe the "logo up" rule of thumb generally holds true.  At least it does in this instance.  I'm convinced that Stanley intended the respective irons in the #100, #100 1/2 and #101 "block planes" to be mounted bevel side down.

Jim C. (who likes learning new stuff about Stanley planes)   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on November 30, 2016, 06:07:02 PM
Hello, Jim, Bill. Stanley planes can be confusing/mis-leading. Bench planes with a cap iron, are usually bevel down. I see a lot of these at a table assembled the wrong way. Label up? A very good rule of thumb. I am looking at a No. 65 Knuckle Joint Block Plane, label up, bevel up, notches on back, impossible to install incorrectly. I am looking at a No. 75 Rabbet Plane, label up bevel down, but this blade will fit the plane either way. I grabbed a No. 92 , notched back, bevel up, no markings on the blade!!!! I have included pics of a stamped steel block plane, I am guessing it is a Handyman, H102 on the blade. Unusual design, 2 piece iron, both pieces marked "This Side Up" , and is bevel up .Regards, Lou

Hi Lou,

Thanks for joining in the conversation and thanks for posting a couple photos too!  Your plane is definitely a low angle block plane with a traditional bevel up mounted cutting iron, but the double iron assembly isn't so common.  Most block planes employ a single iron and pressure cap of some sort.  It's also interesting that plane manufacturers felt the need to stamp "THIS SIDE UP" on their plane irons.  There must have been some confusion among users, otherwise, why would Stanley and others take the time and effort to do that?  Thanks again for jumping in with some great content!

Jim C.   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2016, 06:34:43 PM
Just a little way back in the thread, I mentioned getting a Stanley Bedrock #608 jointer from a former co-worker who said the plane, and a few other tools she had given me, belonged to father.  Remember?  If you’d like to refresh your memory, turn back to page 41, reply #600.  The reason that particular plane came up in the discussion had to do with my intention to not only feature the #608, but to also revisit Bedrock frog construction (which is unique) and “parts chasing.”  The #608 depicted below is to date, the most expensive “free” plane I’ve ever received.  We’ll definitely get into that story.  Also, immediately proceeding this post, I “reserved” the next two posts so that I can discuss the similarities and differences of Bedrock frog design between early models and later models, and the joy of chasing parts.  I wanted to keep the topics close together within the thread since they will generally relate to the #608.  I’ll probably go off on a few tangents too.  Like I’ve said many times before, I really appreciate your comments, etc.  So even though I set aside the next two posts, please feel free to join in the conversation at ANY TIME!!  You don’t need to wait until I’ve finished all three posts.  Join in! 

The earliest Bedrock bench planes were offered by Stanley beginning in approximately 1898 and various models stayed in production until about 1943.  For a little more detail on this, refer back in the thread to page 11, reply #162.  There, we talked about the #604 and a little bit of Bedrock history.  Bedrocks were the “Cadillac standard” of bench planes in Stanley’s product line, and were touted as the best bench planes on the market.  Whether or not that’s true is really up to the individual craftsperson.  I still think that a super sharp cutting iron mounted in a properly tuned non-Bedrock bench plane and set for a light pass will produce the same results that can be achieved with a Bedrock outfitted and set in a similar fashion.  With the exception of how the frog mates to the main plane body (which is sort of a gimmick that a lot of people bought into and seem to like), every feature of a Bedrock plane mimics its non-Bedrock cousin.  So, the only difference between a standard #4 and a #604 is the frog design.  Like I was saying, go back and take a look at the featured #604 on page 11.  All that being said, I, like so many others, am totally drawn into the Bedrock hype.  If given a choice, I’d go for the Bedrock every time.  There’s something about the theory that went into their design that I like.  I’m fascinated by the multiple precision machining processes that went into manufacturing them, and as a result, I’ll pay the extra price for a vintage Bedrock whenever I see a good one for sale. 

Stanley #608:

The #608, like the standard #8 is the longest cast iron jointer plane (24”) that Stanley made.  It was manufactured between 1898 and 1935 and weighed in at about nine pounds.  It’s heavy and was basically designed to leave large surfaces dead flat by initially working down the high spots while the sole’s length allowed the tool to ride over the low spots.  Pushing the plane in a calculated pattern over the large work piece, the high spots would eventually be reduced down to the level of the low spots resulting in the entire surface being brought into a coplanar dimension across its length and width.   When working with really large slabs for instance, a #8 sized jointer is invaluable and does an amazing job of making things flat.   Pushing the plane along the uneven edge of a board or plank, knocking down the high spots and riding over the low ones, will also produce a dead flat edge that can be edge joined to another board or plank dressed with a similarly planed dead flat edge.  (If one needs a little help making sure the plane is producing an edge that’s 90 degrees to the board’s face, a jointer gauge might help.  I use one mounted on a Stanley #7.  Remember we talked about those?  (Refer back in the thread to page 16, reply #225 and #226.)

The #608 depicted below is a Type 4 Bedrock and was manufactured between 1908 and 1910.  The early Bedrock planes had rounded side walls, while later version Bedrocks (post 1910) had squared off side walls, making them distinctive and easily identified.  Interestingly, right about the time the sidewalls were changed, Stanley also changed the way Bedrock frogs were joined to the main body of the plane.  We’ll discuss that topic in a little more detail during the next post.

While I like my #608 and have it ready to go in my “user” arsenal of planes, it doesn’t see too much action.  Like I said before, it’s heavy, and there hasn’t been many projects where I’ve felt like I needed it.  For purposes of edge joining, I almost exclusively rely on my #7 equipped with a #386 jointer gauge.  Over the years I’ve had opportunities to buy a few nice #7 and #8 sized jointers, but I haven’t.  They take up a lot of space.  The #608 shown below is the only #8 sized plane in my entire collection, and the #7 mentioned earlier is my only #7 sized bench plane.  In terms of rarity, the larger Bedrocks, like the #608, are sort of scare and certainly not as common as their smaller siblings like the #603, #604 and #605.  To be honest, at approximately 18” long, I much prefer a #6 sized bench plane (called a “fore plane”) for medium to large surface area flat joining.  To me, it just seems to be the right size and weight for those types of jobs.  I have a few of those and I’m always looking for more.  My all time favorite larger plane to use, however, is a Stanley Bedrock #605 ½ jack plane.  I seem to pick up that plane more than any other bench plane.  I’ll definitely feature it at some point in the future.  Take a look at the last picture.  From top to bottom there’s the #608, the #7, a #6 and my favorite, the #605 ½.  They're 24", 22", 18" and 15" long respectively.  Those are Stanley’s longest cast iron, jointer bench planes.

Stay tuned for more on Bedrock frog design and chasing parts.

Jim C.                   
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2016, 06:35:34 PM
Thanks for your patience..... When I was finishing the discussion about the Stanley Bedrock #608 jointer, I remembered that I had presented some Bedrock related material earlier in the thread.  If you go back to page 11, reply 162, you’ll see that we did discuss the #604 Bedrock smoothing plane.  What I failed to mention then was the difference in frog configurations between early Bedrocks (Types 1 through 4) and later versions.  Looking back at the #604 discussion, you might recall that I wrote this:

   “What makes the Bedrock bench plane different from its standard counter part is the unique way in which the frog and bed are designed, milled, and mated together within extremely close tolerances.  The frog and bed on most standard bench planes contact each other on the front and back of both parts.  The area in between does not touch, leaving significant air space between the parts, which are connected together via two slotted head screws passing through the frog into the bed.  The bearing surfaces are very small in comparison to the full contact surfaces of the Bedrock models.  The Bedrock frog and bed are in full contact with each other across their entire length and width as a result of carefully milling both parts.  To accomplish the union, the two parts are connected via two pins that pass through the frog into the bed.  Then screws with tapered ends, running at a perpendicular angle through the back of the bed, go into tapered dimples in the pins.  The pins are drawn downward by the tapered ends of the screws going into the pin dimples, pulling the frog and the bed together to form a solid union, hence their name, Bedrock.”

Okay, that’s still true, but prior to 1911, early Bedrock bench plane frogs were mated to their beds via basic slotted screws, just like on standard non-Bedrock bench planes.  There were no pins with dimples and tapered set screws creating the union. The bearing surfaces between the frog and bed were still milled to close tolerances and were in full contact across their entire lengths and widths.  The only difference was the method of attachment.  I think the three photos below will show the differences.  (In all three photos, the early frog is depicted on the left, while the later frog is on the right.)  Interestingly, the method of attaching the frog to the bed of the plane changed along with the visual styling of the plane’s main body.  Older version (pre-Type 5) Bedrocks had rounded sidewalls and used slotted screws to attach the frog to the bed.  Later versions, beginning in 1911 (Type 5 and up) had flat top sidewalls and employed the pin and tapered set screw method of joining the frog to the bed.  Again, I think the photos will be beneficial in clarifying my explanation.

In terms of function, I’m not sure one method of attaching the frog to the bed is better or worse than the other.  Honestly, I prefer the Type 3 and Type 4 versions with their simple to use slotted screws and rounded sidewalls.  I also like the classic look of the rounded sidewalls.  While I do like the “contraptionism factor” of the pins and tapered sets screws, and think it’s a clever design, I’m not so sure that method of joining the frog to the bed made any significant difference in the plane’s performance.  I’m also not so sure Stanley always added “improvements” for the sake of enhanced tool function.  In the case of pins and tapered set screws, I believed they created a unique design that might attract customers to spend a little more money on what was marketed as an upgrade from the standard bench plane.  Changing the sidewalls from round to flat made the plane easily identifiable, while the pin/tapered set screw method of frog/bed attachment certainly made them one of a kind, thus separating them from everything else on the market.  While I know a well tuned standard non-Bedrock bench plane will produce great results, I’m still drawn to the Bedrock hype.     

Jim C.

(This post was added on 12/23/16)       
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2016, 06:36:13 PM
Future post on chasing parts.....stay tuned.   :rolleyes:

Jim C.

EDIT on January 2, 2017:  Although it was my intent to add the "Chasing Parts" post here, I found it was easier to do so below.  Please go to page 43, replies 643 and 644.  Thanks and sorry for any confusion.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on December 10, 2016, 07:26:18 PM
Jim,

If you count the "transitional" wood/metal hybrid planes, Stanley's longest plane is actually the No. 34 jointer, 30" long, with the shorter 32 (26") and 33 (28") also being longer than the No. 8 or 608.

I owned, some years back, either a 32 or 33 - can't now remember the length, but it was long.  It also twisted in its length enough to be useless; I joke that it was optimized for planing airplane propellers.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 10, 2016, 07:37:17 PM
:
Jim,

If you count the "transitional" wood/metal hybrid planes, Stanley's longest plane is actually the No. 34 jointer, 30" long, with the shorter 32 (26") and 33 (28") also being longer than the No. 8 or 608.

I owned, some years back, either a 32 or 33 - can't now remember the length, but it was long.  It also twisted in its length enough to be useless; I joke that it was optimized for planing airplane propellers.

Thanks Bill!  Good thing I have someone fact checking me!  I better edit my write up to say longest "cast iron" plane.  You know, I never considered the transitional planes when I was writing about Stanley jointers.  Good catch!!!

It's funny that you mentioned the inaccuracy of your long transitional plane.  I have zero experience using them and always wondered how much care, if any, Stanley took in choosing the best wood with grain oriented (like quarter sawn perhaps) for the least amount of twist, warp, etc.  I'm no cast iron expert, but I'd think that when exposed to moisture or changing conditions, the worst that will happen is rust.  With wood, moisture means potential movement.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Yadda on December 11, 2016, 04:54:06 PM
Great info!  Keep it coming!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 11, 2016, 05:04:26 PM
Thanks Yadda!  Good to know you're reading along.  Feel free to join in any time.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 11, 2016, 05:16:53 PM
It's snowing pretty good here so I spent the afternoon out in the shop working on a small walnut slab coffee table.  The legs and stretchers are maple.  I had to do a little trimming on some maple end grain with one of my favorite block planes.  I have it set for a light pass and the iron is super sharp..... There's nothing like a few good hours out in the shop.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on December 12, 2016, 08:23:06 AM
Jim,

About the stability of the long transitional planes: I got rid of that twisted Stanley, but last summer I got, for free on the giveaway day of a contractor's retirement sale*, a Sargent transitional jointer, 30" long, that appears to be pretty close to straight (it went into storage, awaiting its turn for attention).  As you know, warp in wood can come about from instability in the wood or poor storage conditions, so my new-to-me transitional is resting on top of three 3/4" stickers on a mechanic's rollaway with a close-enough flat top.  Cast iron can go warpy, too, although less so than wood; at least with wood, the average home mechanic can correct the warp.
-------
*That was a heck of a sale.  I got a Sweetheart era Stanley No. 7 jointer and a Columbian bench vise for $5 each on the first day, and some other stuff that can't be named because I can't remember.  When I went back on the second, giveaway day, in addition to the Sargent plane, I got a set of Starrett 50A trammel points (missing the pencil holder) and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 12, 2016, 03:41:18 PM
Jim,

About the stability of the long transitional planes: I got rid of that twisted Stanley, but last summer I got, for free on the giveaway day of a contractor's retirement sale*, a Sargent transitional jointer, 30" long, that appears to be pretty close to straight (it went into storage, awaiting its turn for attention).  As you know, warp in wood can come about from instability in the wood or poor storage conditions, so my new-to-me transitional is resting on top of three 3/4" stickers on a mechanic's rollaway with a close-enough flat top.  Cast iron can go warpy, too, although less so than wood; at least with wood, the average home mechanic can correct the warp.
-------
*That was a heck of a sale.  I got a Sweetheart era Stanley No. 7 jointer and a Columbian bench vise for $5 each on the first day, and some other stuff that can't be named because I can't remember.  When I went back on the second, giveaway day, in addition to the Sargent plane, I got a set of Starrett 50A trammel points (missing the pencil holder) and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for checking in.  You know, another guy once told me that cast iron planes can warp.  I guess I didn't give it much thought at the time because none of my "user" planes had contorted or become misshaped...... at least not enough for me to notice.  I would imagine a cast iron plane could be knocked out of whack if it were dropped or abused in some way, or if it was exposed to extreme heat.  I'm definitely no cast iron authority.  I know (or thought) for instance that old Stanley's were not necessarily dead flat from the factory.  There's occasionally high and low spots on a plane's sole that become apparent with just a little lapping.  Do you think those imperfections naturally occurred in the cast iron after being manufactured, but not because of the manufacturing process?   If a component like the level cap, or frog, was over tightened and it put undue pressure somewhere, then the plane was left to sit for decades under stress, warping could occur.  Yes? No?  Usually, at least from my experience, cast iron parts that are over tightened to such a degree, just crack.

In response to your comments about getting great deals on a few planes last summer, well, let's see what you got!  How about a few pictures?  You can't just leave us hanging, and although I'd like to keep the thread mostly dedicated to hand planes and associated topics, you got a Colombian vise for five dollars?  I'm envious.      :angry:

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on December 12, 2016, 07:29:48 PM
I got the vise; haven't had time to install it.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 13, 2016, 06:14:01 AM
I got the vise; haven't had time to install it.

In my continual hunt for hand planes, I'm always on the lookout for a quality old vise (a Wilton bullet would be nice) and an arbor press.  Good ones are about as easy to find as an old Stanley still in the box!

Jim C. (Who's still envious..... )
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 23, 2016, 09:33:46 AM
Hi Hand Plane Enthusiasts,

You might recall that I was going to add a post regarding the two Bedrock frog designs.  Well, I finally got to it, so if you go back to page 42, reply 624, it's there for your review......

Finally, I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Yew with family and friends.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: john k on December 23, 2016, 07:29:21 PM
Jim, Be very careful in searching for old vises.  I had a worn vise, and went to an auction, came home with 3 more, auctioneer said all for the money.  Took two damaged ones home from work,  that they had tossed out back.   Then dug dads blacksmith post vise out of the barn, and found he had stashed a 5 inch post vise in there too.   Then the junk shop in town had a post vise for sale.  The big "barrel"  part with the female threads is cast in bronze, had to have it.   Stopped at a tiny antique shop, literally tripped over another one, post vise, jaws almost six inches, got it cheap.  Owner said he couldn't hardly move it, it scales at 122lbs.  Then got a couple of little bench vises at a house sale for a buck.   Started counting one day and I'm up to 13, and didn't dig under the bench in the barn.  I think I have enough.  They creep up on one.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: kwoswalt99 on December 24, 2016, 12:09:06 AM
Jim, Be very careful in searching for old vises.  I had a worn vise, and went to an auction, came home with 3 more, auctioneer said all for the money.  Took two damaged ones home from work,  that they had tossed out back.   Then dug dads blacksmith post vise out of the barn, and found he had stashed a 5 inch post vise in there too.   Then the junk shop in town had a post vise for sale.  The big "barrel"  part with the female threads is cast in bronze, had to have it.   Stopped at a tiny antique shop, literally tripped over another one, post vise, jaws almost six inches, got it cheap.  Owner said he couldn't hardly move it, it scales at 122lbs.  Then got a couple of little bench vises at a house sale for a buck.   Started counting one day and I'm up to 13, and didn't dig under the bench in the barn.  I think I have enough.  They creep up on one.


The people at GJ would say 13 is not nearly enough. :grin:
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 24, 2016, 01:26:34 PM
Jim, Be very careful in searching for old vises.  I had a worn vise, and went to an auction, came home with 3 more, auctioneer said all for the money.  Took two damaged ones home from work,  that they had tossed out back.   Then dug dads blacksmith post vise out of the barn, and found he had stashed a 5 inch post vise in there too.   Then the junk shop in town had a post vise for sale.  The big "barrel"  part with the female threads is cast in bronze, had to have it.   Stopped at a tiny antique shop, literally tripped over another one, post vise, jaws almost six inches, got it cheap.  Owner said he couldn't hardly move it, it scales at 122lbs.  Then got a couple of little bench vises at a house sale for a buck.   Started counting one day and I'm up to 13, and didn't dig under the bench in the barn.  I think I have enough.  They creep up on one.

Hi John,

Thanks for the word of caution.  If all your vises were hand planes, I'd say you were right on track.  It's probably safe to say that we're all hand tool enthusiasts of some sort.  The fascinating thing to me is how people (including me) lock into a certain type, brand, etc., of tool.  For me it's hand planes.  I also like Craftsman =V= tools too, and then there's those Williams obstruction wrenches which recently caught my attention...... It sounds like you go all in for vises.  I know for sure you're not alone.  Right now I don't think I'd get hooked on vises, but a few years ago I didn't see myself getting hooked on Craftsman =V= tools either.  For years, I was fully and exclusively committed to Stanley hand planes.  That was it.  Over the last two years or so, however, I went on a MAJOR Craftsman =V= tool binge.  I slowed down a little, but I haven't completely stopped.   Anyway, I'd like to track down a nice (preferably unrestored) Wilton bullet vise to use.  Who knows what that might trigger?  One might lead to another, and another......  I'm willing to risk it!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 24, 2016, 01:29:18 PM
Jim, Be very careful in searching for old vises.  I had a worn vise, and went to an auction, came home with 3 more, auctioneer said all for the money.  Took two damaged ones home from work,  that they had tossed out back.   Then dug dads blacksmith post vise out of the barn, and found he had stashed a 5 inch post vise in there too.   Then the junk shop in town had a post vise for sale.  The big "barrel"  part with the female threads is cast in bronze, had to have it.   Stopped at a tiny antique shop, literally tripped over another one, post vise, jaws almost six inches, got it cheap.  Owner said he couldn't hardly move it, it scales at 122lbs.  Then got a couple of little bench vises at a house sale for a buck.   Started counting one day and I'm up to 13, and didn't dig under the bench in the barn.  I think I have enough.  They creep up on one.


The people at GJ would say 13 is not nearly enough. :grin:

I've been over there and you're absolutely right.  There's a few guys who have some serious vise collections.

Jim C.  (Who "thinks" he could stop at one Wilton bullet)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Yadda on December 24, 2016, 04:27:20 PM
I was cleaning up my father's shop.  I found a post vise in the corner.  I remember mentioning that I would like to own one.  I suspect he ran across it and brought it home to give to me or sell it to me.  Either way it is now mine.  I brought it home.  I haven't had time to look at it or clean it.  Dad died the day after Christmas last year. I purchased all of his woodworking tools from Mom.  Of all of the tools, I cherish that rusty old post vise the most
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on December 25, 2016, 02:15:16 PM
I was cleaning up my father's shop.  I found a post vise in the corner.  I remember mentioning that I would like to own one.  I suspect he ran across it and brought it home to give to me or sell it to me.  Either way it is now mine.  I brought it home.  I haven't had time to look at it or clean it.  Dad died the day after Christmas last year. I purchased all of his woodworking tools from Mom.  Of all of the tools, I cherish that rusty old post vise the most

Hi Yadda,

It's great that you were able to hang on to your dad's woodworking tools.  I hope my kids will hold on to some of my tools and machines when I'm gone.  As a woodworker, I'm guessing your dad probably had a few hand planes in his tool arsenal.  If so, tell us what he had.  Pictures would be great too!

Jim C.

(500th post)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on December 25, 2016, 02:15:36 PM
Yadda,

As time goes along, you'll find yourself thinking of him every time you use one of his tools.  Dad's been gone for 12 years, and my Uncle Charlie, from whom I inherited a lot of tools, even longer; and I still thank them when I'm using one of their tools.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 02, 2017, 06:07:45 PM
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you all enjoyed a great holiday season with friends and family.  I have several topics I’d like to cover in 2017.  I’m not sure how many I’ll get to, but I’ll try to hit as many as I can between now and 2018.  As always, I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to jump into the conversation at any time and to post some pictures, etc.  I’d like to keep the content as close to hand planes as possible, but if we veer off course a little bit, that’s okay too.

Chasing Parts:

If you’ve been following the thread with any regularity, you’ve heard me say that I frequently receive old planes (and a few other tools) from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.  Over the years I’ve received dozens of old hand planes and I accept them all with sincere gratitude and many thanks.  Unfortunately, more often than not, many of the old planes I receive never really make it back to work.  Some are just too far gone in terms of condition/damage incurred, and others sit neglected in storage boxes out in my shop for another reason……  MISSING PARTS!!!!

Seldom do I receive an old plane that’s not without some issues.  Missing and/or broken parts is commonly the problem.  While it’s always nice to receive an old tool for free, I’ve found that very few of them really are free.  There are always exceptions however.  You may recall a Stanley #6C that I received from my uncle a couple summers ago. (See page 26, reply 379)  Although it had incurred some minor damage over the years, it was still in good working order and complete with all of its original vintage correct parts.  With some well applied elbow grease and a dose of TLC on a rainy Saturday afternoon, the plane was good to go in a few hours.  Thankfully I didn’t have to chase parts and spend a lot of money to make it “right” again.  I guess “right” has different meanings to different people.  In my case, “right” means undamaged parts that are manufacturer and vintage correct.  That adds another level of complication to the situation.  Stanley and other manufacturers were actually pretty good about making parts that would fit and work on planes that were separated by many decades.  Plane irons are an obvious example.  An iron produced for a common #4 in 1900 will also work on a #4 made in 1950.  That probably works for rational people and that makes things “right.”  Then there are those of us with OCD who think, not only must the iron fit the plane but the iron must also be vintage correct.  Suddenly the logo on the iron matters too.  In my insane mind, logos can be differentiated and it’s one of the first things I look at when evaluating a “user” or “collector” quality plane.  Do the parts match?  Are they all the correct vintage?  Over the years logos changed, lever caps were redesigned, the shapes of totes and knobs were slightly restyled, hardware (screws, nuts, spurs,) changed.  Finding some of these parts can be difficult and expensive.  That's why I don't like chasing parts.

Not too long ago, I talked about acquiring a Stanley #608 from a former co-worker.  (See page 41, reply 600 and page 42, reply 623) The plane was given to me for “free” and I was happy to have it.  It had a few issues, but I thought it would be worth saving from the dreaded boxes of other parts planes sitting in the corner of my shop.  Well, it became the most expensive free plane I ever received.  It was missing its knob, the rear tote was badly cracked in a couple places, the lever cap was broken and repaired, and the iron was badly pitted and unmarked (no logo).  In the end, after some searching, I found vintage correct parts (except for the lever cap) and paid a total of $115 for them! (Knob and correct hardware $20, Tote and correct hardware $25, correct iron $25, almost correct lever cap $45)  Yikes!!!  The cost of spare parts can add up quickly.  And don’t forget to factor in shipping costs.  Part of my problem is a sense of responsibility I have to try and preserve old tools that are given to me.  I hate to be the one who scraps a 100 year old tool.  On the other hand, that #608 taught me a lesson.  At some point one needs to know when enough is enough.  Now when I receive an old plane in need of parts, I'm VERY picky about how far I'll go (that means how much I'll spend) to fix it.  Anyway.....

If you take a look below, included are a few photos providing some examples of the planes I’ve received over the years.  This is just a small sampling of the things you may encounter when “free” planes come your way.  Be critical of the planes before you start putting good money into them.  Ask yourself, "Are parts available?  Are parts expensive?  Will I spend more on parts versus just waiting for a complete example to show up?"  What I've found is that very few of the planes I receive from people are uncommon.  They were basic planes used by individuals to get the job done.  Therefore, there's tons of good used COMPLETE examples still out there.  More and more, the used planes I receive that are in need of parts, become "parts planes" themselves.  While there is some satisfaction in rehabbing an old plane, time and economics now have some influence on my decision to go forward or not.  Let's look at a few pictures.  (It should be noted that the planes and parts depicted below are in the same condition they were in when I received them.)

The first photo depicts two common bench planes.  Notice the plane in the background is missing its double iron assembly and lever cap, while the plane in the fore ground is missing its knob but strangely enough, the screw is still there. The tote is clearly attached to the body with unusual, and probably not manufacturer original hardware.  It’s really unlikely that I’m going to chase any of those parts to correct the problems.  Neither plane really warrants the time or expense.

The second photo is probably the least complete plane I ever received.  A co-worker recently told me his father had an old hand plane in his tool box.  My associate didn’t want it and asked if I was interested.  I think I said something like “Sure! I’d be glad to have it.”  He said the plane might be missing a few parts, but he’d give it to me anyway.  I wish he had told me it was missing parts before I said I’d take it.  Anyway, the second photo sums up EXACTLY what my co-worker gave me.  Nothing more. Nothing less.  I guess he did say it was missing a few parts.  I'm pretty sure I could buy a complete example in good used condition for less than the cost of buying all the parts necessary to essentially rebuild the plane.

Looking at the third and fourth photos, one will see that the plane's frog was altered at some point and for reasons I can’t even imagine.  Notice how the screw that adjusts the lever cap tension extends all the way through the frog.  Normally, the screw is threaded into the frog and can be adjusted with a turn of a screwdriver.  Never have I seen that screw pass all the way through the frog, and I don't think I've seen a manufacturer use a square nut to secure anything on a plane.  Upon further examination with a flashlight and magnifying glass from my kit (See page 35, reply 516), it’s clear the hole was drilled larger by someone for some reason.  Inside the hole, remnants of the original threads still exist as applied most probably by the manufacturer.  It’s doubtful that I’ll go “frog hunting” any time soon.  Frog assemblies tend to be expensive.

In the immediately following post I added a few more photos of parts related issues that are not uncommon.  Remember the broken and repaired lever cap from that Stanley #608?  I'm still looking for a vintage correct example, and already paid $45 for one that's almost right.  And the two cracked totes next to it are more often the rule than not when old planes come my way.  Generally speaking, replacing the knob and/or tote is going to cost a few bucks.  If you recall our discussion about the Millers Falls 14” jack plane (See page 40, reply 595) you’ll remember that the tote was cracked and I tried to find a correct replacement, but could not.  Sometimes parts just aren’t available.

More than once I’ve cautioned readers to know what they’re looking at and to do their homework when it comes to knowing which parts go on which planes, and to also know that some parts are rare and therefore expensive…..if they can be found at all.  Take a look at the second and third photos below.  The theme of those two pictures is a little spur and accompanying screw.  Several years ago I bought a complete Stanley #444 dovetail plane.  Well almost complete.  It’s got a lot of little parts, and while examining the plane, I missed the spur that attaches to the left side on the main plane body.  Stanley used that little spur on several of their planes, most of which are today considered extremely collectable and scarce.  It was clearly my oversight.  While I trusted the seller, it was still up to me to know what I was looking at.  I missed it, and have had a lot of trouble replacing it.  As a result, I took the spur off of my user #289 and attached it to my #444.  Now the more scarce #444 is complete, but my #289 is missing a spur.  For the last few years, I’ve been “chasing” that little spur and screw.  I did see one on eBay a while ago and bid $30 thinking that would do the trick.  It didn’t.  Looks like someone else made a similar mistake and wanted it more than I did.  I’m still searching.

The forth photo again depicts the Millers Falls jack plane discussed above.  Although I could not find a tote, I did need to find a lever cap.  It cost me about $12.  Finally the last photo depicts a Stanley #180 (See page 33 reply 494).  The plane was also given to me without the depth stop and appropriate hardware.  Eventually I was able to find good replacements for about $25.  That's one of those that might have been cheaper had I just waited for a complete example versus buying a correct depth stop, thumb screw and washer..... and don't forget a couple bucks for shipping.

I’m always happy to receive old hand planes and I’ll continue to take every single one of them always hoping for a gem.  Every now and then I do get lucky.  I’ll show you a few of those too.  For now, however, just remember that free planes usually come with a cost.  If you see a “great deal” at a garage sale, flea market etc. and it’s missing a part or two, know what you're looking at, and think twice before shelling out any money for it…………..

Jim C.  (who does not like chasing parts)         
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 02, 2017, 06:08:48 PM
Additional photos regarding "Chasing Parts" post.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2017, 11:10:48 AM
I just went back and read the "Chasing Parts" post......Wow!  That was a long one.  I always like to go back after writing these things and edit them as necessary.  This time I went back and tried to cut out some stuff, but actually ended up adding more to it!!!  Anyway, if you made it through the whole thing, many congratulations!  And to all, my apologies for being so long winded.  I'll try to keep them shorter in the future.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Papaw on January 03, 2017, 12:33:02 PM
Jim- Even those of us who don't collect planes or even use them often, enjoy this thread.
Keep it up!
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2017, 01:44:10 PM
Jim- Even those of us who don't collect planes or even use them often, enjoy this thread.
Keep it up!

Thanks Papaw.  I'm not always sure what topics are successes and which ones missed the mark.  Hopefully I can keep it interesting and encourage people to keep coming back for more.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: bill300d on January 03, 2017, 01:55:32 PM
I wholeheartedly agree. I know that I had not thought about or knew much about this genre of the tool world. Now that I've been following along with this thread I will stop and look at them and test what little knowlege i have. And in a couple of years when I figure out how to pick out the good ones they will all be gone. Que Sera, Sera, thats life.

No need to worry Jim. You tell the story well.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 03, 2017, 06:38:42 PM
I wholeheartedly agree. I know that I had not thought about or knew much about this genre of the tool world. Now that I've been following along with this thread I will stop and look at them and test what little knowlege i have. And in a couple of years when I figure out how to pick out the good ones they will all be gone. Que Sera, Sera, thats life.

No need to worry Jim. You tell the story well.

Hi bill300d,

Thanks for reading along.  I hope the "Chasing Parts" post didn't scare you away from picking out "the good ones."  Don't be afraid to try out an old hand plane that might not be perfect.  Stanley and other manufacturers produced millions of planes between 1890 and 1960, and a lot of them are still out there on the used tool market at very affordable prices.  If you do just a little homework, and make sure to get one with all of its parts, you almost can't go wrong.

Jim C. 
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: p_toad on January 03, 2017, 06:40:32 PM
I liked it, too.   Thanks and keep it up.  :-)
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: lptools on January 03, 2017, 06:57:35 PM
Hello, Jim. Thanks for taking the time for your very insightful posts. I have more planes here than I know what to do with, and yet I am still learning. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 04, 2017, 06:26:22 AM
I liked it, too.   Thanks and keep it up.  :-)

Hi p_toad,

Thanks for the feedback.  I noticed that you're relatively new to the site.  You found a great place to talk about old tools.  Welcome to the site and welcome to the Hand Plane thread.  I hope you'll stop by regularly and add some content, pictures, etc. if you're so inclined.  Thanks again.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 04, 2017, 10:59:32 AM
Hello, Jim. Thanks for taking the time for your very insightful posts. I have more planes here than I know what to do with, and yet I am still learning. Regards, Lou

Hey Lou,

Thanks for reading along.  I know there are more than a few of you following the thread who are sitting on a hoard of hand planes.  I'd love to see what you have.  Post a few pictures if you get a chance.  I'm sure we'd all like to see your collection or at least a couple of your favorites.  As far as having more planes than you know what to do with, well, can you ever really have too many?  I will admit that I'm trying to be a little more selective about what I buy these days based mostly on storage space concerns.  I really ran out of room in my shop about two years ago, and now I have planes "puzzled" into every available spot I can find, while still leaving just enough room to actually work out there.  That being said, I'm still taking in "orphans" every time one comes my way, and I'm still buying planes too.  I guess there are worse things I could be doing.  Thanks for sticking with the thread.  There's a lot more to come.

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 10, 2017, 01:58:48 PM
It's raining cats, dogs, and elephants here on California's North Coast, so I've got some time for some show and tell.

First, I'd like to show two knuckle joint block planes.  Jim's talked about the most famous of Stanley's knuckle joint planes, the No. 65 (page 16, reply 238 in this thread).  But Stanley also offered knuckle joint planes in standard angle (20 degree bedding; effective cutting angle, with a 25 degree bevel on the cutting iron, 45 degrees, the same as the standard bench planes).  If you're not familiar with the knuckle joint lever cap, let me refer you to Jim's description here: http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=9443.msg69366#msg69366 (http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=9443.msg69366#msg69366).

For reasons that escape my understanding, Stanley offered many more or less identical standard angle block planes in two sizes, 6" long and 7" long (there were also some other sizes, smaller and maybe a touch bigger).  The Stanley No. 18, basically a Stanley No. 9-1/2 with the knuckle joint cap, was 6" long; the No. 19, basically a No. 15 or No. 17 but with the knuckle joint cap, is 7" long.
 
(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44440;image)

I actually converted a No. 15 into the No. 19 shown below by replacing the lever cap screw with the longer one needed for the knuckle joint cap.

I don't find the No. 19 terribly useful, and the cap has a tendency to lift when I use the plane; so I may, down the line, switch back to a regular cam-type cap before releasing it into the wild.  The No. 18 has its uses, although I'll confess I reach for the No. 60 about 95% of the time.  The 6" length of the No. 18 makes it a good one-handed tool, with a slightly wider iron than the No. 60.
-----------
Jim's talked about the No. 90 bull nose shoulder plane (page 2, reply 25; http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=9443.msg60648#msg60648 (http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=9443.msg60648#msg60648)).  Stanley played some variations on this design.  Featuring, today, the No. 90J.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44442;image)

This is vastly simpler than the No. 90: one-piece body, adjustment by feel, four pieces total (body, cutting iron, lever cap, and tightening screw).

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44444;image)

The lever cap slips under the body casting, where it is held in place by the tightening screw.  There's a nice depression in the top of the body for your index finger, and the lever cap tucks into your palm; so it's a fairly comfortable plane in the hand.  I own two bull nose shoulder planes, the other being a Record 077A with adjustable mouth opening and a nut to adjust the depth of cut; but I find I use this one about as often, because it's more comfortable.  Stanley produced this tool in the U.S., according to Patrick Leach (an authority on the subject), from 1937 to 1943 only.  But Stanley of England liked the design, and you could get them into the late 80s or even the 90s.  There used to be a mail order supplier, John Alden, who brought over the English Stanley line.  I could have had one of these, brand new, in the 80s for less, allowing for inflation, than I'd paid for the awful Stanley 75 I bought in the mid-70s; alas, money was still tight then, and the example I own came from eBay in recent years.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 10, 2017, 03:06:16 PM
There's no particular sequence or logic to the planes I'm featuring, by the way; just what I found on the shelf that looked interesting.

First, another one of Stanley's simplest planes, the 110.  This is a long-pattern (7-1/2" long) high-angle block plane.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44446;image)

People assert that Stanley's block planes came in standard angle (20 degree bedding) and low angle (12 degree bedding); but, oddly, some of the cheap block planes came with higher bedding than the standard angle.  I forgot to bring the protractor in, and am NOT going out to the shop in this rain, but other high-angle planes I've measured have been about 23 degrees.

This, at any rate, was surely marketed to the homeowner who was convinced s/he needed a block plane but didn't want to, or couldn't, spend real money on one.  There are five parts: body, wooden knob on the front that screws onto a threaded boss on the front, cutting iron, lever cap, and the screw that tightens the lever cap down.  Adjustment is by feel, and the iron, not needing any slots for adjustment mechanisms, is just a piece of steel: tempered, flattened, logo stamped at the top, bevel ground.  The knob, surprisingly, is rosewood in the early years, slowly becoming a cheaper, coarser piece made from cheap wood.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44448;image)

I picked this one up a few years ago for 50 cents or so because one of my maybe-someday projects is to make a piece of furniture or two with the simplest kit I can assemble, and this is the ideal block plane for such a project.  First, of course, I have to finish all the projects on the house (ha!).  Woodworkers get all over themselves with Have to Have the Very Best - I'm not immune - and I think it would be fun to find out how good a piece of furniture I can make with Less Than the Best.
----------
John, of johnsironsanctuary, has posted about one of the "transitional" planes from Stanley, the No. 27 (page 3, reply 34: http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=9443.msg63036#msg63036 (http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=9443.msg63036#msg63036)).  I don't much like the term "transitional," because Stanley actually offered these concurrently with the metal-bodied planes.  Stanley's catalog No. 110 introduces them by saying, "Every Carpenter needs two or more wood planes in his kit, for rough outside work."  I think the reality is that some carpenters preferred the feel of the wood body in general; and the jointer planes are a lot lighter than the all-metal ones.  I consider "hybrid" a more accurate term, as they combine a wood body with the Bailey adjusting and lever cap mechanisms.

At any rate, let me show off what I consider the prettiest of the hybrid planes, the No. 36 smoothing plane:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44450;image)

Notice the "razee" mounting of the tote, dropping it down lower than the rest of the body, presumably to focus the thrust on the cutting edge (I believe "razee" is adopted from shipbuilding, where it refers to a ship with one or more decks removed).  This, and the coffin - curved - shape of the body, make for a really pretty plane.  I found this at a rummage sale at the local historical society years ago, under a table until I saw it, at which point it was magically in my hands.  I haven't actually used it, other than to try it out; it's one of many planes I want to try out when I get out from under this fix-the-house project that's been going on forever.

Some years back, my bride and I went to a silent auction fund-raiser of some sort.  On the wall was a photo-realistic painting of a No. 36, lit for maximum romance.  I can't recall what the bid was when I saw the painting, but it was a lot more than the $10 I paid for my cellulose-and-iron version.  I tried to gloat just quietly to myself.

The iron beds on the wooden bed and the modified Bailey frog, both; so the frog's adjustment slots are there just to get the iron frog aligned with the wooden bed.  There's no mouth adjustment; for a tighter mouth, you'd have to put in a patch; looser would require a rasp and file.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44452;image)

People say sarcastic things about these, which puzzles me, since a lot of woodworkers are fanatical about all-wood planes, which have the same issues with warpage as these but more awkward adjustments for the iron.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 10, 2017, 04:07:41 PM
One last Stanley plane, and then I'm going to wander off into non-Stanley tools for a bit.

Stanley did some real mix-and-match with their bench planes.  Not counting the Nos. 1 and 2, which are silly small, the bench planes had irons in several widths: 1-3/4", 2", 2-1/4" (only on one model, and not for its entire life), 2-3/8", and (on the No. 8 only) 2-5/8".  They were trying so hard to offer (nearly) all possibilities to the customer that they jammed themselves up in the middle of the bench plane series and had to introduce fractional model numbers.  The No. 5 jack plane had it worst: there was the standard No. 5 (2" wide iron, 14" long).  But then they introduced the jumbo sized No. 5-1/2 (2-1/4" iron until 1939, then 2-3/8" to be the same as the Nos. 6 and 7; 15" long); and the No. 5-1/4, apparently developed for shop classes, where the lads (and maybe lasses in progressive schools) needed a lighter plane (1-3/4" iron, 11-1/2" long).  Here's a No. 5-1/4:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44453;image)

Stanley offered, as an option, an aluminum tote (back handle, for those unfamiliar with weird plane terminology).  These were, apparently, most popular on planes used in shop classes, since the lads/lasses tended to be rough on wooden totes.  When I decided I really needed just one 5-1/4 (if that), I held on to the one with the aluminum tote, for its historical interest.

Some modern woodworkers find these useful for small scale work.  Me, I'm holding onto mine in case one of the boys produces a grandchild, or I somehow acquire an informal grandchild.
-----------
OK, here's a strange one.  The McAller patent plane, manufactured, according to the Interweb, by Shelton, introduces a novel method of just about everything.  You can find information on the patent here: http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?number=1914609&typeCode=0 (http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?number=1914609&typeCode=0).

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44455;image)

The patent application refers to it as a "carpenter's plane," which is about right.  The construction is far too coarse for fine cabinetmaking work.  The screw-tightened lever cap carries the depth adjustment, a screw that moves a pin-on-a-nut up and down.  The pin fits in a hole in the cutting iron (see below), and the top side of the nut has a stubby little lever that can be used to move the top of the iron sideways for lateral adjustment.  The lever cap also serves as a chipbreaker, reaching almost all the way to the sole of the plane.  A slot in the lever cap registers against a cross-pin in the body, and the lever cap is tightened by the knurled screw visible just at the height of the plane's sides, which screw (brass, fortunately) presses directly on the cutting iron, tensioning it between the bedding for the iron at the sole and a ridge running across the body of the plane just behind the high point of the sides.  There's no adjustment for the mouth.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44457;image)

There must have been some market for these, as this is the second one I've found.  The first one, purchased some years back, had lost a battle with exposure to water.  When I found this one at the Habitat ReStore for $5, the ReStore got the rusty one, and this one stayed with me (for no good reason except it's interesting).  I think it's worth noting, though, that both this one and the rusty one have almost no wear on the cutting iron.  Apparently, when their proud new owners got them home, they didn't use them much.

I've picked up a decent number of nearly unused planes over the years that I suspect were purchased by homeowners because you just have to have a plane in your toolkit; but who never actually found a use for a plane.  This may be another one.  Or maybe it's not a usable design; this is another tool I've never had the time to play with.

The battery on the camera is just about flat (I think I need a new battery), so this is it for today.  If it keeps storming tomorrow, I may have some more show and tell.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Jim C. on January 11, 2017, 12:44:17 PM
Hi Bill,

I read through your recent posts and can't say "thank you" enough!!!  It's just great to see some outstanding content added to the thread, particularly coming from one of the guys who visits here often.  I also like the fact that you took the time to talk about the planes and post a few photos.  It looks like you have a really nice collection, and I can't wait to see more of it!!  I'm sure you don't necessarily like the rain, and while I know there were probably other things you could be doing, the effort that went into your posts is noted and much appreciated.  Thanks for sharing your time with us.   Great stuff and I strongly encourage you to add posts when you have the time or when it starts raining.

I gotta say, the McAller plane is not one I've seen before.  The lever cap kind of reminds me of the Sargent Autoset caps.  Very nice that you added the the patent link too.  I love looking at stuff like that.  It must sound like I'm gushing, but I really do like this stuff and I do enjoy being, for lack of a better term, "entertained" by seeing and reading about planes that others have in their shops, collections, etc., and if there's a back story, all the better.  I'm going back to the top so I can read yours posts again!  Nice job!

Jim C.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: p_toad on January 11, 2017, 06:46:11 PM
"at which point it was magically in my hands"

Yeah, i know how that happens...   :grin:

Unfortunately for me, the half dozen restores that i've been in haven't had much at all in the way of planes (although I've found a few braces and things which said "take me home".... :embarrassed:
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 14, 2017, 01:17:51 PM
Some home-made planes today.

First, one I made, a hinge mortise (or butt hinge mortise) plane:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44505;image)

These are used to create the shallow, wide "mortises" (actually housings or dados) made for installing butt hinges, latchsets and their strikes, and similar architectural hardware (they can also be used on cabinet hardware - I used mine recently on a cabinet-sized weather cover for the electric meter/main panel on the house).

There's a story behind this tool.  My revered Uncle Charlie, in his later years but while still living at home, had a tendency to fall.  He was good at catching his fall, so he rarely injured himself much, but he had trouble getting up again.  When he fell in the small bathroom in his house, he would block the inswinging door, making it hard for his daytime caregivers or the family to help him.  The solution was to change the door to swing out, and, as the only competent woodworker in the family, I got nominated to make it so.  I knew I'd have to work fast, since Charlie would not be pleased, so I made this from bits around the house.  It helped; I got the whole job done in about half an hour, including switching the door stops, hardware, etc.  I wrote an article for WoodCentral on how I built it and how they're used, available here: http://woodcentral.com/articles/handtools/articles_114.shtml (http://woodcentral.com/articles/handtools/articles_114.shtml).
--------------
This next tool is a vivid example of applying creativity while failing to understand the requirements of the thing being made.  I got this plane from a friend at a yard sale, and am keeping it around to remind me to understand what something needs to do before I make it.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44507;image)

It's made up from several castings, each riveted to a steel sole, with very nicely shaped sheet metal palm rests front and back, and wooden rear and front handle.  It's modeled on the continental planes, with a "horn" up front instead of a knob.  You can see in the second photo that the horn is shaped for the left hand, and the sheet metal piece covering the casting there is designed as a rest for the side of the palm.  So the maker of this tool was right-handed.

It's got a carefully tapered cutting iron - someone put a lot of effort into this - and a really ingenious locking wedge, with dovetail shapes on the wedge and the receiver to lock it down thoroughly, and a place on which you can hammer to remove the wedge.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44509;image)

That's the good news.  The bad news is in several parts.  The several castings aren't tied together, and the sole of the plane is far from flat, with no obvious way to make it flat.  The lovely tapered iron is too thick at the cutting edge to fit into the mouth of the plane.  The only way to get it to extend past the sole is to flip it over, so the chipbreaker is on the bottom.  I'm sure I could find other issues, but these two are enough to doom it to a life of shelf sitting.

This was clearly a shop project.  I wonder what grade the student got?
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: lptools on January 14, 2017, 02:34:35 PM
Hello, Bill. Nice job on the Hinge Mortise Plane, and on the article that you wrote. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 14, 2017, 03:15:07 PM
Thanks.  If I did it over, I'd look at brass or aluminum stock for the sides - 1/4" thick or so.  This one has trouble sneaking up on the very edge of the mortise on (architectural) doors with integral, or existing, stops.  It's not worth remaking it just for that, though; once I've established the depth over most of the mortise, cleaning out the remainder at the same level is easy.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 15, 2017, 12:12:50 PM
OK, back to manufactured planes.

Stanley produced a number of rabbet planes, many of which have been discussed here, including (I may have missed some) the Nos. 78, 90, 94, 140, and 180.  They also produced the Nos. 10 (jack plane size), 10-1/4 (also jack plane size), and 10-1/2 (smoothing plane size), planes that resemble a bench plane but that have cutouts on both sides and t-shaped cutting irons and chipbreakers; so they'll rabbet from both sides.  The "wings" on the side of the plane's body swoop higher than on a bench plane, but Stanley made no other attempt to reinforce the sides; so they're often found with broken sides.  That's how I acquired my 10-1/2 on the cheap: one side was broken.  A friend of mine, recently certified in welding, did a terrible repair that left the front of the sole out of line with the back.  I took it to my revered Uncle Charlie, who cut out the weld, clamped the front and rear of the sole to a known flat surface, and rewelded it, letting the plane cool completely before unclamping it.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44513;image)

You can see, looking at the parts, that it's very similar to a bench plane, but for the cutouts and t-shaped iron (apologies for the fuzzy picture; my camera doesn't always get the idea about sharp focus).

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44515;image)

But there's no fence, no spurs, and no depth gauge.  So, in using this plane, you need to nail/clamp a batten to the work to set the width of the rabbet, and gauge the depth; and, for cross-grain work, knife heavily along the layout line for the width to avoid tearout.  This makes it less efficient to use than a No. 78.  Why did Stanley produce this plane, and the No. 10, from 1870 (No. 10's start) to 1964 (No. 10-1/2's end)?

In their catalog 110, Stanley claimed that the plane was useful "...for the heavy framing used in mining work, for carriage or wagon building, or in any work of similar nature."  I'm thinking that, at the time this catalog was issued, mining framing may have been the last place that traditional timber framing was in common use.  The Record Tool Co., in England, copied this design, producing it until 1993.  In their 1934 book "Planecraft,"* C.W. Hampton and E. Clifford of the Record Tool Company suggest that it's useful for the joiner and the carriage builder.  In British usage, a joiner "...constructs the wooden components of a building, such as stairs, doors, and door and window frames..."  British buildings, with their deep masonry walls, often have impressively deep door and window frames.  So this plane was designed for wide rabbets; I am thinking, too, that a lot of those rabbets might be exposed, and the bench plane construction of the plane would permit smoother finishes on tricky grain.  Also in "Planecraft," Hampton and Clifford demonstrate the use of this plane for fielding a panel.  If you're not familiar with fielding in panels, this is a fielded panel:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Eh0PnFZOguE/TW1YQfB0lrI/AAAAAAAABJk/mZIhG0vKqLw/s1600/4.++Completed+raised+and+fielded+panelSMALL.jpg)

The 10 or 10-1/2 would be used to plane the slanted "field" portions of the panel.

In my own shop, I've been unable, as of yet, to find the best use for this plane.  Granted, I've not done much furniture work.  Perhaps when time permits that, I'll find the plane offers superior finish over the No. 78 that I use regularly.  But, for the $6 I paid for it 40 years ago, I'm willing to give it a home while figuring that out.

The 10-1/4, by the way, is a jack-sized plane with a tote and knob that can be tilted side to side, so you can work up against a high sidewall without hurting your fingers.
-----------
*This is a worthwhile book for anyone wanting to learn to use a plane.  Woodcraft reprinted it for years, and, while it's now out of print, lots of copies are available fairly cheap on the online used market.  There's a certain amount of infomercial for Record's products, and you have to learn early-20th-century Brit-speak (if you don't already know it); but there's a LOT of content I've never found anywhere else.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 16, 2017, 01:34:31 PM
Short one today - it's just about warm enough to work outside, and it's not raining!

Stanley produced, from 1929 to some point in the 1950s, a line of tools under the banner, "Defiance."  Among these tools were hand planes.  I'm not sure if they offered just bench and block planes, or others as well; what I have are two bench planes.  These planes are stripped down to very basic features: fixed and rather skimpy frogs, no lateral adjusters, cutting irons shorter than the Bailey models and at least 0.010" thinner, blocky totes.

I'm not sure why I bought the first of these, except it was cheap (this is my pitfall every danged time!); I bought the second one because it's in better shape (and it was cheap - see, there it is again!).  They've been shelf sitters, but I'm thinking, at some point, of putting a heavily cambered, thicker iron in the wider one (funkier looking one), filing out the mouth, and trying it out as a scrub plane.  People do this with Nos. 4 and 5, but I'd hate to ruin a good Bailey plane on such a project.

The narrower one, by the way, has a cutting iron of a really odd width: 1-9/16".

"Farm Collector" magazine has an article on the Defiance line (which, they say, often sold for 30% less than the first line Stanley tools), and makes the sensible argument that, if one of these tools got lost or ruined out in the field, the loss was less painful than if the farmer had purchased first line tools.  Here's the article: http://www.farmcollector.com/tools/stanley-tool-co-defiance-zm0z12augzbea (http://www.farmcollector.com/tools/stanley-tool-co-defiance-zm0z12augzbea).

Still...I'd hate to try using one of these planes on anything but the very mildest, softest wood.  Certainly not on a knotty fence post that I had to shave to make the gate fit.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 18, 2017, 04:01:50 PM
Jim's talked earlier (page 40 - scroll down a bit) about the Stanley No. 112 scraper plane.  I'm here today, staying inside out of our latest rainstorm, to talk about some others.

Probably pretty well all the manufacturers of woodworking tools, including some who didn't make planes but concentrated on other tools of the trades, made scrapers.  Before power sanders, scrapers were used more extensively than now, for furniture, floors, architectural trim, painting preparation, and on and on.  For instance, after installing a fine hardwood floor, the installers would hand-scrape every inch of it to achieve a smooth surface; when refinishing, too, they'd hand-scrape the wood back to a clean surface.  Scrapers survive somewhat - painters have a range of scrapers in the toolkit, and hardwood flooring installers and refinishers often use scrapers for the corners that power sanders can't reach.  And many furniture makers, amateur and some professionals, use them.  But, as with so many hand tools, it's not like the glory days. 

Here's the main interesting scrapers in my gathering of tools (NOT a collection!  I'm NOT a collector!  No, I'm NOT!).

First, the Stanley No. 80 cabinet scraper.  Several woodworking writers have touted this as the most useful of Stanley's scrapers for the furniture maker, and its name seems to confirm that idea.  The tool holds a fairly thick scraper blade leaning forward by way of a clamp across the blade.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44529;image)

The blade, unlike a card scraper, is filed and stoned at 45 degrees before a burr is turned toward the face opposite that 45 degrees.  A thumbscrew on the back of the scraper's body presses against the center of the scraper blade below the clamp, pushing it forward and cambering it more or less, depending on how much the thumbscrew is turned in.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44527;image)

The sole is fairly short: this is a finishing tool, designed for flat surfaces.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44531;image)

I actually bought my made-in-England No. 80 brand new, back in the 1980s, at which time it was surprisingly inexpensive (can't recall the price; can recall the pleased surprise).  I've used it several times, in the limited opportunities I've had for furniture work, and, yep, it sure works as advertised.  The blade on mine is heavily cambered on one end, apparently for those times that you need to move a lot of wood by scraping; in the photos, that cambered end is covered by a plastic safety cover,  thoughtfully provided by Stanley.

As best I can tell, Stanley no longer makes the No. 80 (if they're still making it in England, no one seems to be importing it).  You can find them used on places like eBay, where they're often mislabeled as spokeshaves.  Woodcraft, Lee Valley, and others are making them or redesigned versions of them.

Stanley also made the No. 81 (I acquired mine at a yard sale).  At first glance, this appears very similar to the No. 80.  The general shape is the same:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44533;image)

but the blade is retained by a lever cap pivoting on pins and tightened by a thumbscrew:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44535;image)

and the sole is rosewood, screwed to the metal body:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44537;image)

The blade, though different in width, is filed, stoned, and a burr raised in the same manner as the No. 80.  Given the similarity of the Nos. 80 and 81, the question of "why did they make this one?" arises.  I'm told that the No. 81 is for fine finishing, such as final smoothing of veneered work.  I hope to find out someday, when I can get into the shop for furniture work.

Stanley also made scrapers designed for flooring work, painting prep, and rough scraping.  I'm wandering a bit from planes here, but hope Jim will forgive me.  I own one example of the several they made, a No. 82.  I apologize that I have just one picture here, but the camera was moody the day I took the pictures of this and the next scraper, and I got just one picture in focus.

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44539;image)

The No. 82's a clever tool.  This is the later version of the two versions they made.  The scraper blade is retained by being pinched between the two parts of the body.  The body casting is designed to accommodate a U-shaped scraper blade similar to the blades common on modern paint scrapers; but it can also accommodate a simple flat blade of whatever size and shape, within the limits of its clamping.  The blade can be set off to one side, for access to corners and tight spots.

The body is mounted on a pivot, with a spring pushing against another mounting point, apparently to reduce chatter.  A wing nut on a pivot between the body and handle permits you to adjust the angle of the body relative to the handle, and a knob atop the body lets you apply downward pressure.  One of the Fine Woodworking editors thinks the 82 is a great tool (although he favors the earlier design): http://www.finewoodworking.com/2016/11/10/a-great-mistake (http://www.finewoodworking.com/2016/11/10/a-great-mistake).

Wandering away from Stanley...over the years, I've had a number of other pivoting handle scrapers, similar in concept to the Stanley No. 82.  Most of them use a ball joint to allow the handle to pivot not just up and down relative to the body, but also sideways, to protect your fingers when working up against walls and suchlike.  I've gotten rid of all of them but one, made by E. C. Stearns:

(http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=9443.0;attach=44541;image)

Stearns didn't, as far as I know, make planes, but they made a number of other tools of the wood trades, including this scraper.  What I like about it is the heavy cast iron body, in two pieces: the main casting, and a cap that clamps a blade similar to those in the Nos. 80 and 81, but with a hole in the middle to accommodate the screw that attaches the cap to the body.  The body and cap together are heavy enough that I have to watch, when I pick it up, not to drop it.  I can't imagine the blade on this tool even attempting to chatter; the castings would absorb vast amounts of vibration.
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: lptools on January 18, 2017, 06:14:55 PM
Hello, Bill. Stearns made a No. 8 Cabinet Scraper, similar to the Stanley No. 80. I have one here somewhere, I will try to post a pic tomorrow. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: p_toad on January 18, 2017, 06:24:34 PM
"my gathering of tools (NOT a collection!  I'm NOT a collector!  No, I'm NOT!)"

yeah, riiiiiiight   :huh:

Like the scrapers.   Thank you.   :cool:
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: lptools on January 24, 2017, 04:52:53 PM
Hello, Bill Here are a few pics of the E C Stearns No. 8 Cabinet Scraper. Regards, Lou
Title: Re: Hand Planes
Post by: Bill Houghton on January 24, 2017, 07:17:55 PM