Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 188106 times)

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Offline Chillylulu

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #210 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

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #211 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. 

   
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 06:22:00 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #212 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. 






Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #213 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.           
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 01:13:24 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #214 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.

Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #215 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
 

Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #216 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.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #217 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!!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:22:14 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #218 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
       

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #219 on: March 11, 2014, 04:22:40 PM »
Nice looking tool Scott and good info on getting them shined up too!!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 04:32:59 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #220 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.     
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 07:33:04 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #221 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
 
 
       

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #222 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. 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 05:13:58 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #223 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.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #224 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.
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