Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 331519 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1230 on: December 30, 2022, 07:25:44 AM »
Hey Lou,

I know you’ve been keeping up with the thread for years, so you’re familiar with my affinity for Lie Nielsen planes.  They really are beautiful tools that function and deliver better than expected results right out of the box with very little adjustment at all.  Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to acquire a handful of L-N planes.  Most have been gifts for which I am extremely appreciative.  And while I’d really like to keep them as collector planes, I can’t resist the urge to use them whenever possible.  Now that being said, I don’t abuse them, but those that I have are well used.

As you may know, a few years ago, L-N started dramatically cutting back on their hand planes offerings.  Several planes were discontinued either temporarily or permanently.  I now look on line at the prices of some of those models that are not being made by L-N any more and I’m astounded at the prices being paid for them.  In some instances, the discontinued L-N models cost more than the vintage Stanley planes from which they were inspired.  The L-N #164 that I recently received was out of production for some time, and I regretted not buying one when they were still available.  When L-N manufactured another batch, I mentioned it to my wife and she didn’t hesitate.  Within a week, they were sold out.  Who knows if and when another production run will occur.  With that type of situation, perhaps I should have just left my new #164 in the box and waited to capitalize on the collector market.  I opted against that and will always lean in favor of using any L-N plane that comes my way.  That may be foolish in terms of potential financial gain, but that line of thinking is outweighed by the fact that these tools were made to be used.

I very recently finished the cabinet depicted below.  The L-N #62 shown above  (reply 1228) was an active participant in its construction.  I bought that plane over twenty years ago.  It was one of the very first L-N planes I acquired and has served me well over the years.  I’m careful with it, but I use it frequently!  The #164 will see plenty of service time as well.  They are great workers!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 04:18:53 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline lptools

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1231 on: December 30, 2022, 12:04:11 PM »
Hello, Jim. The cabinet is stunning!! Judging from the way you take care of things, you will get top dollar ( should you ever decide to sell ) for your  used, but not abused, LN Planes!!
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Offline Lewill2

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1232 on: December 30, 2022, 07:38:11 PM »
Stunning cabinet Jim!

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1233 on: December 31, 2022, 05:17:03 AM »
Hello, Jim. The cabinet is stunning!! Judging from the way you take care of things, you will get top dollar ( should you ever decide to sell ) for your  used, but not abused, LN Planes!!

Hi Lou,

Many thanks for the kudos on the cabinet.  It’s gotten some mixed reviews.  As you can see, it’s very tall and narrow.  It’s just a little over eight inches wide and about thirty inches tall. Unless I’m making something very specific, that has to fit perfectly, I typically don’t work from any plans or drawings. I just start cutting.  This, like most of my other projects, is another free form idea that just took shape as I went along.  It was a fun project to make.  I was somewhere around 75 - 80 hours into it by the time it was completed.  It’s been dubbed the “Enigma Cabinet” by my wife, because I can’t answer two simple questions, “Why did you make this?” and “What are we going to do with it?” 

As for my little collection of L-N planes, well, those could very likely be left to my kids to keep or dispose of.  Maybe when the time comes, they’ll send me off with one……or two.😁

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1234 on: December 31, 2022, 05:24:13 AM »
Stunning cabinet Jim!

Thanks Les!  Much appreciated! The little bits of cherry are suspended by 1/8” square dowels of various lengths.  The cherry bits themselves are the waste pieces that came from the cutting the dovetails.   

Jim C.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 09:04:18 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1235 on: December 31, 2022, 03:14:12 PM »
Way back in November of 1999, my wife and I moved into a brand new house.  When the house was being built, the builder asked us if we wanted a deck off the back.  I said no, a concrete patio would be sufficient. I went on to tell the builder I was interested in some kind of screened in structure that adjoined the patio.  Maybe a gazebo.  By the way the lot was graded and in an effort to keep rain water, etc. running away from the house, any sort of structure would have to be built on a sort of steep slope off the end of the patio.  Not impossible to do, but also not the easiest outdoor living space project.  Then he hit me with the cost.  Forget it! When we moved into that house, were counting every last penny. “I’ll build it myself.”

Over the winter, I drew up some plans for purposes of pulling a permit and started saving for materials to build a gazebo.  By the late spring of 2000, I was ready to go.  And like a lot of my projects, I tend to over complicate them for some reason.  Anyway, in my initial plan, I intended to cut a shallow rabbet joint all the way around the top plate of the walls to accommodate a bird’s mouth at the end of each rafter.  I don’t know why I thought I needed that, but it was in the plan.  I just had to figure out how to cut the joint.

Stanley #10:

The #10 is the carriage maker’s rabbet plane.  With its arched sides and full width cutting iron, it was designed to cut rabbet joints on larger pieces of wood and in situations that called for large structural joints on timbers and planks…like building a gazebo.  Well, based on my gazebo plan, I needed a large rabbet plane to cut some rabbet joints and somehow convinced my wife that I needed a Stanley #10.  I tracked one down on eBay and had it within a week.  Looking back, I really lucked out with this plane.  I knew little or nothing about it and fortunately got one that was what I still believe is factory original.

Looking at the bottom of the lever cap and the main casting below the rear tote, one can see a foundry mark letter “B.”  That foundry mark was a characteristic of Stanley planes manufactured between 1899 and 1905.  The lateral adjustment lever on the frog bears a single patent date that reads, “7 24 88,” characteristic of planes manufactured between 1899 and 1902.  The trademark on the cutting iron was used by Stanley between 1891 and 1904.  Based on the telltales, I would guess that my #10 was made at some point between 1899 and 1905.  When I bought the plane, I had zero clue as to the plane’s age nor even if the sum of its parts were original to each other.  Like I said, it was pure luck that I ended up with this plane.

Stanley carried the #10 for decades between 1870 and 1957.   I guess if one is working on a larger project that requires large rabbet joints, such a plane would be a valuable tool to have on hand.  But like any other plane with arched sides, it’s prone to cracking along those arches.  Also, because the iron is full width and must fit between the arched sides of the main casting, the useable part of the iron isn’t very long.  Make sure there’s still some steel left to grind if you’re planning to buy a #10 to use.  Another thing to watch out for is the frog itself.  I don’t think the #10 was ever outfitted with a frog advance/retract adjustment screw like is found on most standard bench planes. 

So maybe you’re wondering, when the time came to build the gazebo, how did the plane perform in terms of cutting that rabbet joint.  Well, once the walls were up and I got started on the roof, I distinctly remember asking myself, do I really need that rabbet joint???…….
 
Jim C.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 10:54:00 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1236 on: December 31, 2022, 03:34:12 PM »
Wow.  That's a lot of rabbeting.  I think I'd have been tempted to do a "built-up" rabbet, face-nailing two pieces of stock of suitable (different) widths together.  Or, if I had to rabbet it from the whole stock, roughing it out with a carpenter's gouge and then refining it with a suitable rabbet plane.  From what I understand, that's fairly common in boat building, where the rabbets are often in compound curves.

I picked up a Stanley 10-1/2 early in my tool-gathering years - I can still remember finding it (broken on one side - my uncle fixed it) and a Stanley No. 40 scrub plane in the same sale.  I use the No. 40 a lot, but I have yet to figure out what the No. 40 can do that the No. 78 can't (obviously, "really wide rabbets" would be one response).

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1237 on: January 01, 2023, 05:41:32 AM »
Hi Bill,

Happy New year to you and everyone else following the thread all these years!  This coming October will be ten years!  I’m really honored to have had you and others keeping up with the thread since I kicked it off.  Many thanks to you all!  So about that #10 bench rabbet plane……..  The gazebo was twelve feet by twelve feet.  When I got the walls up and nailed on the top plate, I started to lay out my lines for a rabbet joint that would go all the way around all eight sides.  For whatever reason I thought it would look cool and would also sort of lock the ends of all sixteen rafters in place. I tacked on a batten and got to planing.  After literally three or four light passes with the plane on the first board, I looked around at the eight walls and pretty much thought what you just said.  That’s a lot of rabbeting!  Then I asked myself if I really needed a joint that would be mostly unseen, unnoticed, and unappreciated by future gazebo visitors?  The answer came pretty quickly and I made a design change on the spot.  That was the one and only time I used my #10. 

As I got more into planes, I came to realize how lucky I had been to have purchased an example that was still in possession of all of its very likely factory original to each other parts.  The plane was and still is in great condition considering its 115+ year old age.  It’s one of the older planes in my collection. 

You mentioned using a #40 scrub and a #78 fillister and comparing their functions.  I use a #40 at the beginning of almost every project to start the rough stock flattening process, and that’s about it.  I think the #40 is better at removing stock quickly and efficiently.  I suppose the #78 could do the same to some extent but I think of it more as a joint making/joint refining plane. 

Jim C.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 05:50:08 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1238 on: January 01, 2023, 04:42:52 PM »
Sorry, I meant "what the No. 10 or 10-1/2 can do that the No. 78 can't."  Brain fade.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1239 on: January 01, 2023, 05:59:58 PM »
Sorry, I meant "what the No. 10 or 10-1/2 can do that the No. 78 can't."  Brain fade.

I agree.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1240 on: February 20, 2023, 09:35:25 PM »
I was digging through some old hand plane reference materials and came across this Stanley block plane chart that I made for myself several years ago.  I had forgotten about it.  I recall putting it together during a slow day at work.  Stanley made so many block planes that I had trouble keeping them straight.  What I wanted to make into a handy reference guide turned into a full sheet of accounting paper.  Hardly compact or easy to put in your pocket.  I’m not even sure it’s 100% correct.  If you find any errors, don’t be afraid to point them out.

Jim C.
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Offline geneg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1241 on: February 21, 2023, 02:16:51 PM »
That's a great chart Jim.  I'll definitely print out a copy to tack on the wall in my shop & 1 for the house.   I really like the columnar pad.  I still have a file cabinet drawer full of them upstairs.  Many construction projects were estimated on them before Excel spreadsheets & estimating programs.   

Back on the plane topic, i think block planes are very under appreciated.  Seems like alot of them have had hard lives.  Almost every sale has broken, rusty, missing parts block planes.  Tuned up- they're extremely useful, can be slipped in a sweatshirt pocket & for the most part easy to replace if they get damaged or borrowed.   The good ones always stay at home.

I'm really not a plane collector but for some reason, I've bought lots of them & spend time rehabbing them.  I probably have a least one in every working toolbox & tote that has ever been to a jobsite.






Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Plan
« Reply #1242 on: February 21, 2023, 02:59:53 PM »
Hi geneg,

Thanks for stopping by the thread.  I didn’t expect anyone to actually print the chart, but I guess it’s more readily accessible as a hard copy versus an internet posting.  That being said, I honestly forgot I made it.  I guess that tells you how much I referred to it over the years.  I tried to put a date on its creation, and believe it was the late 1990s.  I just remember it was a slow morning at work and I somehow ended up charting Stanley block planes.  Like I said earlier, I’m not even sure it’s 100% correct.  If anyone wants to fact check anything, have at it. 

I’m in total agreement with you. Block planes are the workhorses in my shop, and when you have one that cuts nicely I can see where one might take it for granted.  Like you, I’ve seen MANY block planes at yard sales and flea markets and they’re usually beat up pretty badly.  Those are most definitely under appreciated and abused/neglected.  I hate to see that because they probably were good tools at one time.  Anyway, I’m happy to hear that the chart might be a handy reference for you.  Thanks again for checking out the thread.

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1243 on: March 28, 2023, 06:55:13 AM »
Hello hand plane enthusiasts!  I hope everyone made it through another winter.  For those of you who may still be experiencing winter, hang in there, it’s almost over.  I spent a good part of the cold months making sawdust.  Of course every project included using at least a couple hand planes.  I sort of went on a block plane kick and decided that I would attempt to use a different one for each project, if possible.  Occasionally, depending on the task, I might deviate from plan and use a second plane that I felt would do a better job.  Anyway, two planes that saw a lot of use this winter were the Stanley #140 and the Stanley #65.  If you want to look back, we discussed the #65 on page 16, reply #238, and the #140 on page 24, reply 349.  What I always liked about those two planes were their pressure caps.  Those big shiny caps are very inviting and a pleasure to hold.  I’ve found myself gravitating to them for years.  The knuckle cap was one of Stanley’s best designs and over the years it was featured on several different block plane models. 

Stanley #18, #18 1/4, #19 :

So you’re probably wondering why I’m going to feature three different planes in this installment.  Well, you’re right to ask that question, because I’ve typically not covered more that one plane per discussion.  In this particular instance, however, the three planes listed above are essentially the same plane.  Well, sort of, and I’ll get into that as we move along.

Speaking strictly as a collector, the only way to add any one of these to your top shelf is to find them in NOS to mint condition.  Be patient.  If the pressure cap isn’t absolutely perfect or close to it, keep looking.  When I was on the hunt for these particular models, I was extremely picky about their condition. With their nickel plated trimmings and jet black japanning they’re some of the most attractive block planes Stanley ever made.  Don’t pay collector prices for user quality planes.  If the finish on the knuckle cap is scratched up, flaking off, missing in spots, or worn/dull, that’s a user grade plane.

When discussing the #18 and the #19, the only feature that distinguishes them from each other is their length.  The #18 is about six inches long and the #19 is about seven inches long.  Other than that, they’re the same plane.  Both have adjustable throats, which I find to be a very desirable feature on any block plane, both have the same threaded rod and nickel plated nut mechanism for advancing and retracting the cutting iron, and both have the same style lateral adjustment lever.  Of course, both share the same pressure cap.  Both were in production beginning in 1888 and were terminated in 1949 (#19) and 1950 (#18).  That being said, between the two, I believe the larger #19 is a little less common.  The #18 depicted below is a Type 12 and was manufactured between 1913 and 1919. The #19 is a Type 14 and was manufactured between 1930 and 1935.  Once again, Stanley continued to try and fill every conceivable niche by carrying two planes that were essentially same, except for one inch in length, for sixty years. 

The #18 and #19 were dropped from Stanley’s offerings at a time when the company was eliminating, or had already discontinued many of their specialty planes and less popular models.  Someone at Stanley probably concluded that the #18 and #19 block planes were competing with other, cheaper to produce, planes already in their lineup, specifically the #9 1/2.  While the #9 1/2 had the same features as the #18 and #19, it did not include nickel trimmings and the knuckle style pressure cap. 

So maybe you’re wondering about the #18 1/4 that I mentioned above. How does it fit into this discussion?  Well, someone at Stanley must have really like the looks of the #18 and #19 as much as I do, and perhaps had enough pull to do something about it.  So in 1952, Stanley introduced the #18 1/4.  At six inches long and with the great looking nickel trimmings to include that shiny knuckle cap, it looked very much like the #18.  Except for one thing, it had a fixed throat, which likely reduced its manufacturing cost.  While it was a very nice looking tool, the #18 1/4 was only in production from 1952 to 1958.  After a few years, the accountants at Stanley must have figured out that the more expensive to produce #18 1/4 was competing with the less expensive, #9 1/4 which went into production in 1947.  So after just six years, the 18 1/4 was gone.  Today, it’s considered to be a relatively tough plane to find.  Not impossible but you’ll have to do some searching to find one. 

Here’s a few things to think about if you ever come across an #18 1/4.  By the time it went into production, Stanley was routinely stamping their block planes with their respective model numbers on the left side just below the concave thumb grip.  EVERY #18 1/4 will be stamped with is model number.  I suppose that an older #9 1/4 could be outfitted with nickel trimmings and the knuckle pressure cap and passed off as a much rarer and more expensive #18 1/4.  If the plane isn’t stamped with its model number, it’s not a #18 1/4.  Be extremely careful about that.  Take a close look at the knuckle pressure cap.  While Stanley logos and patent information were stamped on the #18 an #19 caps reflecting the time/era from which they were made, the cap that was used on the #18 1/4 is simply stamped with “STANLEY.”

Over the years, the knuckle style pressure caps went through some changes.  Early caps had a two piece hinged mechanism that looked good but was prone to cracking.  The second generation knuckle caps were not hinged and held up much better.  As I mentioned when I wrote about the #65 block plane, there’s a lot of engineering that went into the knuckle cap.  It’s “contraptionism” at its very best!  One final word about the knuckle pressure caps.  Like any other plane made from cast iron, if the screw holding the cap in place is over tightened and the cap is then pressed down over the cutting iron, the excessive force could crack the body of the plane. 

Jim C.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2023, 04:38:02 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline geneg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1244 on: March 29, 2023, 03:51:51 PM »
Hi Jim,  Here is a spot to attach your block plane spreadsheet.  You did all the work- I just typed it into a modern spreadsheet.  The problem is that it won't let me attach a .xls file.  I copied everything to a word document.