Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 277881 times)

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Offline Papaw

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #195 on: February 26, 2014, 04:41:40 PM »
That's a cool tool, Jim!! I have never used one since my carpentry skills are poor to say the least, but I remember my father using one years ago.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #196 on: February 26, 2014, 04:53:43 PM »
That's a cool tool, Jim!! I have never used one since my carpentry skills are poor to say the least, but I remember my father using one years ago.

Hey Papaw,

Thanks for checking in.  The hand beader is practically fool proof to use.  Secure the work to your bench, then set the fence on the tool to the desired distance away from the edge of the workpiece.  Mount the cutter into the tool and initially set it for a light pass.  Be mindful of keeping the fence up against the edge of the workpiece and just start pulling the tool.  Keep downward pressure on the tool and the cutter will start scratching into the wood.  Occasionally lower the cutter until you've scratched your way to the bottom of the cut, which is usually the lowest section of the cutter's profile.  You can do it!!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 06:56:32 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline mikeswrenches

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #197 on: February 26, 2014, 07:15:50 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.

I saw one of these in an antique shop in NY and I'm 99% sure it was marked Union.  Still not sure why I didn't buy it.

Mike
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #198 on: February 26, 2014, 10:16:57 PM »
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?

Hi Branson,

Although I'm still not 100% sure about who may have manufactured your corrugated sole block plane, I'm starting to lean toward it having possibly been made by O. R. Chaplin.  The pressure cap on your plane is still throwing me off because it does resemble the type of cap that was characteristic of something manufactured by Stanley (or possibly Union???).  That being said, I'm fairly certain that Stanley never made a corrugated sole block plane.  Perhaps the pressure cap is not original to the plane.  I do know that Chaplin made a fairly large corrugated sole block plane with a fixed throat, that was approximately seven inches long with a two inch wide cutting iron.  I believe that it was model #420.  Regardless, it's still a really unusual and unique plane.  I'm really glad that you posted a couple pictures of it.

Jim C.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 10:21:05 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #199 on: February 27, 2014, 08:51:48 AM »
Scratch stocks are the bomb!  Need to duplicate a molding on a chest you're repairing, to match the rest of the molding that is intact?  The scratch stock is the answer!  I have one I made, a rough thing of scrap wood that I used to duplicate the molded skirt on a table leaf, and later to match the molding on a mid-1800s blanket chest.  Another is shop made by some English cabinet maker, nicely turned, but unloved on eBay. 

I found, years ago, one of the nickel plated #66 Stanleys.  It came with the straight fence and no blades.  Later, I ran across one of the curved fences that got lost at the bottom of some tool chest.  Still no blades, though.  Checking the bottoms of old tool chests....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #200 on: February 27, 2014, 12:07:08 PM »
Scratch stocks are the bomb!  Need to duplicate a molding on a chest you're repairing, to match the rest of the molding that is intact?  The scratch stock is the answer!  I have one I made, a rough thing of scrap wood that I used to duplicate the molded skirt on a table leaf, and later to match the molding on a mid-1800s blanket chest.  Another is shop made by some English cabinet maker, nicely turned, but unloved on eBay. 

I found, years ago, one of the nickel plated #66 Stanleys.  It came with the straight fence and no blades.  Later, I ran across one of the curved fences that got lost at the bottom of some tool chest.  Still no blades, though.  Checking the bottoms of old tool chests....

Hey Branson,

Could you please post a few pictures of the scratch stock that you made?  I think it would really add a lot to the discussion if others could see how simply these tools can be made in the shop and then used.  Thanks.

Jim C.
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #201 on: March 01, 2014, 06:54:47 AM »
[Hey Branson,
Could you please post a few pictures of the scratch stock that you made?  I think it would really add a lot to the discussion if others could see how simply these tools can be made in the shop and then used.  Thanks.

Don't know that I can find it for a while, probably a long while.  It's a very simple thing, made like a marking gauge.  It has a 1" square bar that
goes through a wedged fence.  The bar is slit lengthwise with a simple saw kerf just wide enough to slip in a piece of old saw blade snugly, perpendicular to the bottom of the bar.   Once the blade is cut to the profile of the molding (no angles to worry about as you would in making a molding plane)  it is slipped into the saw kerf and held tightly in place with a screw on either side.   You can pay a bunch of money for one from Lee Valley, or make one yourself from scrap. 

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #202 on: March 01, 2014, 08:26:46 AM »
Hey Branson,

Thanks a ton for posting those craftsman made scratch stock pictures!  I think it's always helpful to see the tools being described, particularly when someone isn't completely familiar with the topic.  One of my hopes for this thread was to ensure that it was educational without being too technical and potentially boring.  Pictures help a lot!  What I like about the photos and the brief writeup you included, is that they clearly depict shop made tools that can be constructed relatively easily and then used successfully.  Thanks again for taking the time to add that information to the thread. 

Jim C.       
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #203 on: March 01, 2014, 06:14:30 PM »
How many times have I said that Stanley manufactured several different block plane patterns?  If you’ve been reading along in the thread, you know that I’ve said it many times because it’s true.  Stanley made a lot of block planes!  I could feature traditional looking block planes for weeks to come, but I want to try to keep things interesting.  With that being said, a good many block planes were extremely useful, very handy, and well conceived.  While a handful of Stanley block planes filled niches that didn’t really exist (at least in my mind), some were right on target.  I believe that Stanley’s edge trimming block plane hit the bull’s eye.  Although it seems a bit unusual, almost “contraption like” in appearance, and doesn’t fit the mold of the traditional looking block plane, this thing works…… and it works very well.

Stanley #95:

The edge trimming block plane was manufactured by Stanley between 1911 and 1961.  Early models had the Stanley name cast in script lettering on the body of the plane, while later models produced after 1922, were cast with block lettering.  Like the name says, the plane was designed to trim the edges of wood so that the face and perpendicular edges of the wood formed ninety degree angles to each other.  One will immediately notice that the sole of the plane is cast with a permanent fence on its side that holds the cutting iron.  The fence is cast at ninety degrees to the sole of the plane.  With sole riding along the face of the wood (and assuming that the face is flat), the fence holding the iron at ninety degrees to the sole will remove stock from the perpendicular edge leaving a ninety degree angle where the face and edge meet.  With a super sharp iron, the plane does a better than average job on end grain too.  The iron is bedded at a low angle, producing a slicing type of cut; a characteristic that’s associated with common looking low angle block planes.  The only real difference is that the cutting iron on the #95 is mounted in the permanent fence, versus in the main body of the plane and protruding through the plane’s sole.  The throat on the #95 can also be adjusted via a very unique adjuster that protrudes through the hollow palm rest.  By pushing or pulling the little adjusting lever that engages milled slots in the back of the cutting iron, the user is able to set the throat for a very fine pass (which I prefer), or one that’s more aggressive depending on the work at hand.  Also notice that the sole has two little holes drilled in it.  Normally, I’d say that such holes were drilled after the plane left the factory, and from a pure collector’s point of view, that’s not what one would want to see.  In this case however, they were part of the original design.  The little holes allowed the user to attach a strip of wood (that’s hopefully strait and flat) to the plane’s sole with screws, thus adding to the sole’s length and ability to trim longer stock more accurately.

Based on a few clues that the plane’s box gives me, the logo on the cutting iron, and the plane’s casting marks, I’d estimate that the #95 depicted below was manufactured during the mid to late 1930s.  This particular block plane pattern delivers.  The tool is very easy to use and it’s accurate.  I still see them online, in antique shops, and at well attended tool shows/auctions.  It doesn’t seem to show up as often at garage sales or low end flea markets.  Perhaps that’s because the plane’s appearance was misleading to the average consumer who might have opted for the more traditional looking block plane.   It’s a little bit scarce, but hardly unobtainable at reasonable prices depending on condition.  Just remember, for as well as the #95 performs its intended trimming and/or squaring functions, it is limited to creating ninety degree angles between the faces and edges of small pieces of stock.  The #95 does not replace a good low angle block plane, but it does allow the user a relatively foolproof option for quickly squaring up small stock.

Jim C.       
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 09:59:34 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #204 on: March 02, 2014, 07:33:36 AM »
Thanks a ton for posting those craftsman made scratch stock pictures!  I think it's always helpful to see the tools being described, particularly when someone isn't completely familiar with the topic.  One of my hopes for this thread was to ensure that it was educational without being too technical and potentially boring.  Pictures help a lot!  What I like about the photos and the brief writeup you included, is that they clearly depict shop made tools that can be constructed relatively easily and then used successfully.  Thanks again for taking the time to add that information to the thread. 

Quite a few years ago I bought an English book on antique restoration.  It showed tools that one seldom sees on this side of the pond.  Lots of excellent information as well.  It described using a scratch stock, but the scratch stock, probably made by Preston, was a cast iron beauty capable of holding wide blades or holding blades up to, maybe 8 inches from the fence.  I thought it was wonderful, but unavailable.  Then I took on a project making table top inserts for an antique table, and the skirt had to precisely match the existing skirt on the table.  Then I found that none of my round and hollow planes matched the contours...  Remembering that scratch stock, I thought I could make something, if crude, that would do the job.  So was born my first scratch stock -- long bar and adjustable fence.  I was prepared to find the job tedious and maybe troublesome, but the field expedient scratch stock worked quickly and very, very well, which was fortunate!  The customer was a passed journeyman cabinet maker from Scotland, but was a building contractor here.  Nervous I was!  I used the tool for a couple of other projects that required duplication of moldings and
it never failed.  No tool is better for reproducing obscure moldings.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #205 on: March 02, 2014, 09:49:55 AM »
Branson,

Thanks for the follow up details.  I think it's good to see and hear about the practical uses of hand tools that may not be as commonly recognizable as some others.  As I progress further into the thread, I'm still trying to determine what the readers will find interesting.  I'm starting to lean toward featuring more tools that are truly useful and relatively obtainable, versus those that may be more likely categorized as purely "collectable." With that, I'll still try to feature the very best examples that I've got on hand for purposes of clarity, completeness, and factory originality.  Certainly ALL the tools featured here can be used, but in reality, some are much more user friendly, affordable, available and functional.  The scratch stock is definitely one of those tools that scores high marks in all those categories.  The content you added really pulled together and explained the value of having a scratch stock in the shop.  Good stuff!  Thanks.

Jim C.                 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 11:43:47 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #206 on: March 04, 2014, 02:10:01 PM »
And the horn is not really straight. It curls around your hand a little.
And, at least from some makers, it's shaped to fit one side or the other - left or right hand.  I once considered buying an ECE plane at a junk shop until I picked it up as I would normally use it, with right hand at the horn (yep, I'm left handed).  It was so uncomfortable I put it down right away; like putting a shoe on the wrong foot.  Too bad; if it had been a leftie plane, I might have haggled some to get the price down.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #207 on: March 08, 2014, 01:14:09 PM »
This will probably not come as anything new to those of you who have been reading along so far.  If you’re absolutely honest with yourself, some of what I’ll say may even strike a few chords with you.  I’ve been a “collector” since childhood.  I don’t know why or what influenced me to be one, but I’m a “collector” to the bone.  There must be some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in my DNA that drives me to collect.  Ever since I was a young kid, my goal was to “collect the complete set”, and to “have one of every example.”  It started with baseball cards in the 1960s and when I stopped collecting them in the 1990s, I literally had Hall of Fame worthy collection.  The hunt for the rare card, completing the set, finding the variations, were always on my mind.  Educating myself and learning history, facts, figures and anything to do with baseball cards fascinated me.

I’ve never gotten into anything that I didn’t throw myself into 100%.  As a teenager I got interested in old cars and woodworking and those “hobbies” have stuck with me for decades.  Over the years, a “hobby within the hobby” took hold, and my OCD kicked into overdrive.  As much as I love driving and tinkering with old cars, and making projects out in the shop, I found that I really loved the tools for working on the cars and for making things from wood.  That’s how I eventually took an interest in hand planes.  As you know, I started out using them, but that eventually morphed into collecting them.  Me being me, it was almost unavoidable.  As my knowledge, and experience grew, so did my collecting habits.  I can’t resist complete, clean examples of old planes.  I simply can’t walk away from those pristine tools that still retain their original boxes, pamphlets, instructions, etc.  I guess it’s a sickness.  Maybe some of you can relate to that.  Maybe some of you collect things for reasons that only you can understand.  I’ve been collecting planes for several years now with no end in sight.  The old tool bug has bitten me so hard that in the last couple years, I’ve started actively collecting Sears Craftsman mechanics tools from the 1950s and 1960s.  Maybe you’ve seen the Craftsman =V= Tools thread I started on this site?

Anyway, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.  If you look back in this thread to Page 2, Reply 16, you’ll remember that we were discussing razor plane planes.  I had a couple that I received from my dad and grandfather, so I featured them in the thread.  I thought they would be interesting.  Remember?  If you take a little time to review that prior post, I stated that I really don’t collect razor blade planes and didn’t really think they delivered on actual performance.  During the post, I mentioned that I was missing the curved sole “Little Giant.”  At the time I wrote that, I didn’t see myself ever buying that little plane, nor even looking for it………. but then I came across this.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I was doomed.  Still, I tried to resist it, and I tried to tell myself that it was outside of my collection’s primary focus.  But who was I kidding?  It hit EVERY aspect of collecting that I hold near and dear to my OCD riddled heart.  It’s a complete, never used set of planes with original packaging, sales pamphlets, and instructions.  From a rational tool user’s standpoint, I really view them almost as toys, and I know that I’m NEVER going to use these planes!!!  As some of you know, and may be willing to admit, the rational tool user in you, and the tool collector in you can be in conflict.  In my case, the “collector” usually wins the argument.

Jim C.                           
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 01:17:26 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline oldtools

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #208 on: March 08, 2014, 04:24:53 PM »
nice!! did you try them out? must have been a pretty penny for that one?
Aloha!  the OldTool guy
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #209 on: March 08, 2014, 05:51:34 PM »
nice!! did you try them out? must have been a pretty penny for that one?

Hey oldtools,

No, I will most probably not ever try them out.  Part of my OCD collector mentality would never allow me to actually use an antique tool that's not been used prior to it coming into my possession.  They're safe until I'm gone from this earth.  Then who knows?  Maybe the next guy will try them out.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I do have a couple razor blade planes that I received from my dad and grandfather.  I have used them and wasn't really impressed.  Anything more than balsa  wood or some really soft pine would probably be too much for these little guys to handle.  As I tried to explain earlier today, the collector part of me couldn't pass them up.  If the planes and their associated materials had been anything less than in NOS condition, I would have, and could have easily passed on them.  But as you can see, they're in great condition for being about fifty years old. 

As for the price, I usually don't like to disclose what I paid for a tool, because that can only be determined between a buyer and seller.  A tool that has little or no monetary value to me, might be the one tool someone else needs to complete a set, or simply finsh a project.  Suddenly that tool takes on a value that might seem unreasonable to the rest of us.  Vintage razor blade planes are generally not very collectible.  Even in mint condition, they're still not sought after, so in this instance, I'll break my own rule.  I paid about $13 for the set.  For me, it wasn't about the money spent, it was about finding, preserving, and observing an antique tool in its most original, untouched form. 

Jim C.   
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