Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 259304 times)

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Offline Art Rafael

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #180 on: February 08, 2014, 08:56:34 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

Offline Art Rafael

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #181 on: February 08, 2014, 09:02:31 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

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #182 on: February 15, 2014, 11:19:59 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.           
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 04:06:21 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes - Stanley 118
« Reply #183 on: February 17, 2014, 08:18:35 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.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes - Stanley 118
« Reply #184 on: February 17, 2014, 02:32:38 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.   
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Offline Branson

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Re: Sargent boy proof plane
« Reply #185 on: February 20, 2014, 07:43:35 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.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #186 on: February 20, 2014, 02:40:38 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.   
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Offline Art Rafael

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #187 on: February 20, 2014, 08:16:14 PM »
I really like the looks of those planes.  Thanks for posting.   Ralph

Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #188 on: February 21, 2014, 09:25:31 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!

Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #189 on: February 21, 2014, 09:44:27 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?

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #190 on: February 21, 2014, 01:35:30 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.
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #191 on: February 22, 2014, 10:07:00 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.

Offline scottg

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #192 on: February 22, 2014, 01:51:02 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 
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 01:52:42 PM by scottg »

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #193 on: February 22, 2014, 02:50:47 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.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #194 on: February 26, 2014, 04:21:47 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.     
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 05:10:03 PM by Jim C. »
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