Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 148256 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #870 on: December 17, 2018, 08:24:30 PM »
Hello, Jim. I always read your posts, short. or long!!!! Please,  keep up the good work!! Regards,Lou

Thanks Lou and thanks for following the thread too!

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #871 on: December 17, 2018, 09:37:57 PM »
Hey Bill,

Good points.  Trying to figure out the motives, marketing strategy, etc. behind some of Stanley’s hand plane offerings is nearly impossible.  You’re right about the #238 plow plane.  It was a strange plane to offer.  Recall that it included several different width cutters (which included duplicate width cutters offered as individual #239 plane sizes) between 1930 and 1938.  So, five years after #239 plane was manufactured with a fence in 1925, allowing it to cut both dados and grooves, around 1930, Stanley decided it could not live without a mutli cutter plow plane, the #238.  Then, after eight years, Stanley dropped the #238, and continued producing a few separate #239 plane sizes for about five more years.  That’s kind of confusing!  Okay, here’s what I’m trying to say in list form. (See below)  Maybe it’ll make more sense.  It’s like Stanley just couldn’t make up its mind. 

1915 - 1925:  #239 dado plane, 1/8” cutter
1919 - 1923:  #239 1/2 plow plane, 1/8” cutter
1926 - 1943:  #239 individual combination planes, 1/8”, 5/32”, 3/16”, 1/4” sizes
1930 - 1938:  #238 plow plane, 1/8”, 5/32”, 3/16, 7/32”, 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8” cutters

Jim C. (Who apologizes for causing any confusion!)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 12:26:59 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #872 on: December 18, 2018, 10:41:10 AM »
Of course, with no sliding section, such as the Nos. 45, 46, and 55 had, a plane with spurs to permit clean cutting of dados would have to be dedicated to one width.  I don't know what the retail was on the 239, but it's hard to imagine that a carpenter/mechanic* who needed to cut multiple widths would be more attracted to the 239 than to a 45 or 46, although I guess having all four sizes of the later 239 would have the benefit of planes set up and ready to use, rather than needing to be assembled each time, as the 45/46 are.

The other benefit of the 238/239, as I mentioned, is the shortness of the plane body, for working in sorta-bullnose situations.

Stanley was not alone in its multiplicity, although it may have been a recordholder.  Back in the 1970s and into the new century, I think, Porter-Cable offered at least three routers resembling the industry-standard 690 series.  I can't now recall the number designations, but one was, essentially, the 150 motor, with a 1/4" collet, in the standard base, about six or seven amps; and the other had an amperage rating midway between that 150-motored model and the 690.  And then there was the (fabulous) Model 100, rated very slightly less than the 150 motor.  I think they were still offering the 150, which was a D-handled router that was kind of a hybrid between the 100 and the 690.

*The 238 and 239 were apparently marketed to people like electricians, who used to bury electrical wire in grooves in the baseboard and places like that - I'm imagining trying that approach these days.  Although the term "mechanic" has come to have a fairly narrow definition involving mainly people who work with wrenches and get greasy, it used to apply to a much broader range of trades.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #873 on: December 18, 2018, 02:12:22 PM »
Hi Bill,

I’m very thankful that you’re following the thread.  In my write up regarding the #239, I really neglected to mention the “sliding section” found on the larger combination planes like the #45 and #55, etc., allowing those planes to cut different widths.  You’re right, no sliding section means various width cuts cannot be made with one plane.  I also neglected to mention the fact that Stanley attempted to market the #239 to electricians.  With the exception of perhaps using such a narrow width to cut grooves for decorative inlay, or weather stripping, who else would use these planes?  I guess maybe an electrician who was trying to hide wire behind molding.  Like I’ve said so many times, Stanley attempted to fill EVERY conceivable niche.  Who knows, maybe back in the day, electricians might have found such a plane to be a handy investment. :huh:  Thanks for jumping in!

Although I can’t really say why, I should add that I’m a sucker for old Stanley weather strip planes, and the narrow width planes like the #238 and #239.  We’ve covered several of them now throughout the thread.  I guess I’m attracted to their “contraptionism” and all the little parts typically associated with them.  Finding an example in 100% COMPLETE, vintage correct, original condition gets my attention, and in those situations, I rarely pass on it.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 05:07:39 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline coolford

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #874 on: December 18, 2018, 04:33:32 PM »
Jim-C----I have a Stanley Rule and Level Co. catalog No. 102.  The copyright date in it is 1909.  The inside pages are perfect, except it is starting to come apart.  The covers are faded but still viewable, with a small amount of silverfish damage.  Before I try to sell it on E-bay, do you have any interest.  If I spread it to take pictures it will come apart more I'm afraid.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #875 on: December 18, 2018, 05:02:11 PM »
Hi coolford,

Thanks.  I sent you a PM.

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #876 on: December 24, 2018, 08:09:10 PM »
I hope you all enjoy a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:16:34 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline p_toad

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #877 on: December 24, 2018, 09:26:29 PM »
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all the others here on Papaws site.
Be careful out there.   

Offline coolford

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #878 on: January 21, 2019, 01:51:02 PM »
When it comes to sharpening irons I'm somewhat confused.  I have three different sharpening tools and have read a number of articles on sharpening.  For the most part irons are found sharpened to 30 degrees, although the guides usually suggest 30 degree and then 25 at the last.  Of the three sharpeners show in the first picture, only the no name one in the middle has positions for both 30 and 25 degrees.  The two Gereral sharpeners metal on the left and plastic on the right only suggest sharpen to the original angle in the instructions.  Of course this is for the sandpaper method of sharpening.  I would like some comments concerning the above.

I will post this, pictures later.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 01:53:28 PM by coolford »

Offline coolford

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #879 on: January 21, 2019, 02:10:46 PM »
Here they are individually, Metal General, No Name and Plastic General.  I also have a new in the box Metal General with instructions which say "sharpen to the original angle".

Offline papadan

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #880 on: January 21, 2019, 08:08:07 PM »
Blades should always be sharpened to the original angle, like 30 degrees, but for having a really nice user that can shave the wood clean and fast, a micro bevel works great. That is the 25 degree setting for just the cutting edge after the blade is normally sharpened.
VWs to D10s, I've fixed em.
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Offline coolford

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #881 on: January 22, 2019, 10:53:33 AM »
Okay, now you will see why I asked the question.  So, I settled on the 30 degrees for most irons and I'm only doing this to save those that have been damaged by hitting a nail or something else.  It is too time consuming to sandpaper out a nick so I came up this this system.  First have a good stationary belt sander.  Second make a hard wood block cut to 30 degrees on one side.  Third apply double sided carpet tape to the 30 degree angle of the block.  Lastly being very careful, attach the damaged iron to the 30 degree angle of the block so the angle of the iron is in contact the belt the same as the bottom of the block.  Now turn on the sander and sand away, you will be removing steel from the blade and wood from the block, but soon the nick will be gone (just don't heat the iron and lose the temper). Once the nick is gone go back to the sandpaper method and finish the sharpening.  Pictures show top view, side view and bottom view.

Offline gibsontool

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #882 on: January 22, 2019, 01:41:52 PM »
Thanks for that idea coolford, it looks like a good good way to get nicks out of the cutter.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #883 on: January 22, 2019, 02:11:23 PM »
Hi coolford,

Thanks for adding a couple great posts to the thread!  When I get an old plane with an iron that’s dull, nicked, pitted, etc, I generally try to determine the angle and then grind a new one.  On a typical bench plane, that’s usually somewhere around twenty five or thirty degrees.  I really like your low tech, but effective, method of re-grinding the cutting angle. And like you mentioned, as long as one doesn’t overheat the steel, your method for re-grinding is sound and efficient.  It’s a good idea!

Many years ago, when I started to figure out that planes were GREAT tools to have and use, it became apparent pretty quickly that they weren’t so great if they were not tuned and their cutting irons weren’t super sharp.  A really sharp iron is half the battle, and they make the plane a lot safer to use.  Anyway, I bought a book and a few other things (like stones for instance), and did some investigation into sharpening my plane irons, as well as chisels, and other tools.  I did it all by hand and got pretty good at it, but as you likely know, sharpening can be a slow process.  I’ll freely admit that it’s not my favorite activity out in the shop, but certainly a necessary one.  So, after years of sharpening by hand, I bought a slow speed grinder that bathes its wheel in a water trough as it spins.  The slow speed and water essentially eliminate the possibility of overheating a cutting edge, which I did more than once on my regular grinder.  The slow speed grinder was equipped with a few jigs that allow the user to achieve almost any angle uniformly across a cutting edge.  It speeds up the process tremendously and the accuracy is right on the money!  Once I have the desired angle, I polish it to a mirror-like finish on sandpaper glued to a flat granite slab, or a section of float glass.  I adhere the sandpaper to those flat surfaces with spray adhesive.  I usually start at 400 grit and end somewhere around 2000 grit.  I do it by “feel” and totally free hand.  Once I’ve got the cutting edge polished, I mount the iron back on my slow speed grinder and run the edge over a leather strop wheel loaded with a fine grit paste polishing compound.  When I’m done, the finish on the cutting edge is literally a mirror, and SUPER SHARP!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 02:30:29 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline papadan

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #884 on: January 22, 2019, 03:54:12 PM »
Years ago when I was able to do a lot of woodworking, I spent way too much time sharpening tools of all types. I found this slow speed grinder with a water drip system at Harbor Frieght, and it made life in the shop so much easier. Still have it as usual, just don't use it anymore. Also has a small diameter fast wheel on it.
VWs to D10s, I've fixed em.
Member of PHARTS-  Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society