Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 285771 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1200 on: February 03, 2022, 05:15:08 AM »
Many thanks lptools and Yadda and everyone else for reading along all these years.  I don’t think I would have made it to 1000 posts if there weren’t “regulars” on this thread keeping it going.  It’s hard to believe this thing got going in 2013!   I’ll try a little harder to keep up my end by adding some new content occasionally.  I’m out in the shop every day using hand planes almost without even thinking about it.  I’ll take some photos and make sure to post them. 

I very recently finished a bed project that involved using hand planes throughout the entire construction process.  Are you guys interested in seeing the planes being used or just being featured in information type posts?  Let me know what you think.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 06:19:11 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline lptools

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1201 on: February 03, 2022, 07:19:58 AM »
Beautiful job, and I really like the live edges !! I would like to see which planes were used, and how they were used! Thanks, Lou
« Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 07:25:54 AM by lptools »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1202 on: February 03, 2022, 08:00:05 AM »
Thank you Lou!  Funny you should mention the live edge planks.  When I started the bed several years ago the original plan was to make the headboard and footboard in the more traditional frame and panel style.  When I started back working on it, I asked my wife if that was still the plan.  Well, times change and so do design elements.  According to the “Style and Design” expert (my wife), the “in thing” is live edge furniture.  I just so happen to have had a few live edge cherry boards that would work perfectly……. that is if you like bug holes too.  After she inspected the boards, I got the green light and got to work.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 08:01:43 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline coolford

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1203 on: February 03, 2022, 08:42:34 AM »
Beautiful job Jim, when I get a new computer I will send you a few pictures of one of my projects.  Oh yes, powder post beetles.  After a hurricane in Missouri (really, 2007) and a serious ice storm I had a number of trees on the ground.  This included red oak, green ash and walnut.  I decided to harvest the best trees and have them cut into one inch lumber in a band saw mill.  I ended up with a lot of lumber, especially walnut and red oak. I air dried it in one of my barns and after two years put it in my shop.  There was so much that I had to put some where I work on my equipment.  However, after about six months I noticed a lot of very fine sawdust in the wood shop where I had the green ash and the best oak and walnut.  Now what? So, I got a couple of those aerosol bombs and applied it at the recommended rate.  No luck, didn't seem to phase them at all, so I bombed them again at double the rate and again no luck.  Rather than give up I bought a case of the bombs (8) and set them all off at the same time (I wore my pesticide mask, also have a pesticide permit and know how to be safe).  No more powder post beetles and that was seven years ago.  Now, you will probably wash your hands of me, but they had damaged the green ash so bad that I used it in a corral.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1204 on: February 03, 2022, 02:45:12 PM »
Hey coolford,

You’re not getting dismissed from the thread that easily.  If the bugs got to the wood, then they got to the wood.  What can you?  At least you used it for something instead of just sending it to a landfill.  Thanks for the kudos too!

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1205 on: April 12, 2022, 06:09:13 AM »
Recently I got into a conversation with a fellow woodworker about old tools, and hand planes in particular.  He was having some issues with an old plane and seemed frustrated with it to the point of potentially giving up on older planes and tools and sticking with more current Lie Nielsen and Lee Valley models. The following was my response.

“I can’t argue with you when it comes to Lie-Nielsen planes. They’re absolutely a pleasure to use. I don’t have any Lee Valley examples but I read nothing but good things about them. I still think that vintage hand tools do work well. It’s just a matter of getting them back into working order sometimes. Like I said earlier, once you get an old plane cleaned up and dialed in, it will provide results that you might expect from a LN or LV model. Usually the older planes are less expensive too.

Stanley #6, type 11, manufactured over 100 years ago
Stanley #4 1/2C, type 14, manufactured about 90 years ago
Stanley #608, type 4, manufactured 110 years ago
Millers Falls 14” premium bench plane, type 3, manufactured 70 years ago
Sargent #708 Autoset, manufactured at least 80 years ago

Old planes can still produce some fantastic results. Don’t give up on them. I’d hate to see you miss out something that really can be “magic.”

I guess the point I was trying to make, with photos included, was that old tools still can produce great results.  The average age of the planes depicted below is about 75 years old.  Provided they’re not significantly damaged or missing parts, old hand planes are always going to be useful tools to own and use.  And those great results aren’t just limited to old Stanleys.  Anyway, I’m sure you already know that, but I thought I’d just give you a reminder.  Keep using your old planes!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 08:27:33 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1206 on: April 12, 2022, 11:44:46 AM »
Thanks for the post, Jim.  Nice shavings there!

Offline lptools

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1207 on: April 12, 2022, 01:45:43 PM »
Hello Jim. Nice planes, and nice work!! What is the wood you are planing? Is it the nature of that species that gives the shavings that lace look to them? Combined, of course , with your expert sharpening/honing/tuning skills!!
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Online Yadda

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1208 on: April 12, 2022, 05:00:26 PM »
Hello Jim. Nice planes, and nice work!! What is the wood you are planing? Is it the nature of that species that gives the shavings that lace look to them? Combined, of course , with your expert sharpening/honing/tuning skills!!

I thought he was showing shavings of Baby Swiss cheese.  :grin:
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1209 on: April 13, 2022, 06:56:03 AM »
Thanks for the post, Jim.  Nice shavings there!

Hi Bill,

Thanks for stopping by!  If I get a little time I’ll try to add some new content soon.

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1210 on: April 13, 2022, 07:09:37 AM »
Hello Jim. Nice planes, and nice work!! What is the wood you are planing? Is it the nature of that species that gives the shavings that lace look to them? Combined, of course , with your expert sharpening/honing/tuning skills!!

It’s nothing fancy or exotic.  Just a chunk of red oak.  I guess the point I was trying to make is that old tools can easily get the job done if they’re set up correctly and have a sharp iron.  With a light pass, they’ll peel off shavings as well as any high end plane past or current….. for the most part.  Now everyone knows I’m a fan of Lie Nielsen planes so I don’t want to leave them out of the conversation.  As you can see, the LN #4 1/2 below is a nice tool that delivers.  But that being said, even a home made plane that was carefully crafted and set for a light pass does a pretty nice job too.

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1211 on: May 08, 2022, 08:28:21 PM »
Somewhere way back in the thread I remember saying something about maintaining my collection of planes only temporarily and preserving them for a time when at some point they’d be scattered around to other hand plane enthusiasts and probably a few collectors.  The plane I’ll feature today is one of those examples that has resided in various collections for decades.  Next month I’ll have owned this plane for twenty one years.  I (collector #4) bought it from a collector (#3) who owned it for approximately fifteen years.  He (#3) bought it from a collector (#2) as well (who I had also known and bought a few planes from in the past).  He (#2) bought from another collector (#1) who I never knew.  I can sort of trace the plane’s ownership history to roughly the 1960s.  I have no idea where it was or who owned it prior to that time.  Looking only at the trade mark on the iron, which Stanley used between 1912 and 1918, there’s about thirty to forty years that I can’t account for.  Still, by the looks of things, I think it’s safe to say that the plane saw little or no use whatsoever.  My guess is that when the time comes, another collector(#5) will end up with it.

Stanley #9:

Believe it or not, the #9 is a block plane.  It very clearly does not resemble any of the block planes that we’ve covered earlier in the thread, but it is a block plane. Like a traditional looking block plane, the cutting iron is seated bevel side up at about twenty degrees.  Although the earliest versions of the #9 did not have an adjustable throat (prior to 1912), almost every #9 that I’ve seen has one.  The #9 was made to be a precision tool, marketed to cabinet and piano makers.  If you’re familiar with the H.O. Studley (piano maker) tool cabinet, then you might recall that he had what looked to be well used #9 in his arsenal of tools.

I seem to recall reading that the #9 was Stanley’s first block plane offering having been produced in some form between 1867 and 1943.  That’s about seventy six years.  There may have been a brief period that the #9 was out of production, but generally speaking, Stanley was committed to this tool.  It was designed to compete with British infilled miter planes.  With both sides of the main body ground dead flat and at ninety degrees to the sole, the #9 was capable of producing extremely accurate results particularly when used with a shooting board. For years it came with a handle or palm rest that could be mounted on either side of the plane.  With the handle mounted on the side of the plane and held in place with a set screw, it created a perfect place to put one’s hand, particularity right beneath the fat pad of the thumb.  This provided the user with a way to really guide the plane through the cut while his/her other hand grasped the squirrel tail handle and pushed from the rear.  The side mounted handle is often referred to as the “hot dog” handle because it does resemble a hot dog.  Real hot dog handles were castings, so they’re hollow inside. Beware of reproduction hot dog handles which are usually manufactured from solid bar stock.  They are not hollow inside.  If you’re thinking about adding a #9 to your collection, don’t make the mistake of just assuming that the hot dogs handle is factory original.  Take the time to remove it and check to see if it’s hollow or solid.  A real hot dog handle can easily cost a couple hundred dollars.

For whatever reason, my #9 did not come with the hot dog handle.  Under magnification and bright lighting, I can’t see anything that would make me think there ever was a hot dog handle on this plane. I would expect at least a small indentation on the plane’s side from a tightened set screw or some sort of discoloration/shadow on the body casting where the hot dog handle may have once been located.  Still, it’s one of those parts that once separated from the plane, is likely to be lost forever.  Prior to the late 1880s, none of the catalogs depict the #9 with the hot dog handle.  The plane depicted below, if relying only on the logo on the cutting iron, was likely manufactured between 1912 and 1918.  Based on that information, I think the plane probably left the factory with a hot dog handle and somewhere along the line, it was separated from the plane.

Based on the reference materials that I have on hand, the #9 initially measured ten inches long and remained that long until 1936 when they were shortened to 8 1/4 inches.  Now this is a tough plane to acquire, and I’ll admit that I haven’t seen or examined that many in person.  But of the handful I have had the chance to see and hold in my hands I have never come across one that’s 8 1/4 inches long.  Not a single one.  What I have consistently seen is that the #9 planes were just a tad short of 9 1/4 inches long.  I almost think the plane’s length was accidentally misstated at 8 1/4 inches long and it perpetuated from one catalog to the next finally becoming “fact.”  Mine measures 9 3/16 inches long.  If you have a #9 or have access to one, please measure it for me. I’d be interested in knowing its length. 

As useful as this plane may be, it’s also very fragile and prone to cracking.  The squirrel tail handle at the rear of the plane screws directly into the main body casting.  You know where this is going.  If the iron is just a little bit dull and set for anything less than a really light pass, it can dig into the work piece and with the force of the craftsperson pushing from behind create enough stress to crack the handle off the main body casting.  As a collector, I don’t even want to think about it!! Yikes! The same goes for the adjustable throat screws located on the top and front of the plane.  If over tightened the plane could crack. The point is this, if you are even considering a #9 for your collection examine it closely for hairline cracks. Like I’ve said so many times before, do your homework and know what you’re looking at.  Getting it wrong could be an expensive mistake.  I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from acquiring a #9, it’s a great plane. Just be really careful with it.  A couple other things to remember… The Stanley #9 was never manufactured with the #9 anywhere on it.  Also, the correct lever cap on a #9 has a neck that’s longer than those found on bench planes.  In my next post, I’ll compare the #9 lever cap to a standard bench plane lever cap so you can see what I’m talking about.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 11:41:51 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1212 on: May 09, 2022, 09:14:06 PM »
At the end of the Stanley #9 write up, I mentioned that the lever cap on the #9 has a longer neck than those found on a typical bench plane.  See the difference?  I also included a couple pictures of the hot dog handle. I spent so much time talking about it, I figured I better add a photo or two so you could see what I was talking about. 

Jim C.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 05:04:12 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Lewill2

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1213 on: May 10, 2022, 08:01:32 AM »

As always Jim an informative post.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1214 on: May 10, 2022, 05:05:09 PM »
Thanks Les!  And more thanks for following the thread after all these years.  I have a lot more planes that I’d like to cover and I will try to get to a few more in the near future.  I had some trouble getting the Stanley #9 post finished.  I must have started and stopped writing at least ten times.  As I said, it’s been in collections for decades.  I’ve never used it or even made one pass with it.  Still, from a collector’s perspective, if you’re into old Stanleys then you have to have one.  But I don’t feel any real connection to it.  There’s no story behind it, and I never made anything with it.  You know, while I was taking some pictures to post, I did consider testing it out.  Who knows, maybe I’ll see if it’s any good or not.  If I do, I’ll be sure to post the results here.  Stay tuned and again, thanks for stopping by the thread.

Jim C.
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