Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 259856 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #90 on: December 31, 2013, 10:00:11 AM »
Hi Branson,

So you were able to see the hidden beauty of that old #41.  You have a good eye!  Stanley made a series of similar floral casting plow planes (#41, #42, #43, #44) between 1871 and 1897.  For some reason, the #42 was last produced in 1892.  Each came with nine or ten (depending on the model) boxed interchangeable cutters.  The #43 is identical to the #41, however it did not come with a fillister bed and one could not be attached to it.  Usually whenever I see these old Stanley plow planes in less than good condition, like the one I posted above, that fillister bed is missing in action.  Trying to piece one of these planes together is tough because of that part alone.  Earlier model fillister beds don't fit later model planes, so one would need to know approximately what Type (age, era) his/her plane was before trying to match a fillister bed to it.  I've seen several of these planes in "complete" condition with a main casting and fillister bed that were correctly matched, but clearly from two different planes, based on visual clues like wear, patina, remaining japanning, etc.  The fillister bed alone can be extremely expensive, and easily run a couple hundred dollars apiece..... if you can find one!  Like most multi-cutter planes, if the cutting irons don't remain in their original boxes with the plane, they're frequently long gone.  The planes usually retain the one cutter that was left in it that last time it was used.  Such is the case with the plane depicted above.  If you look closely, notice the one cutter still rusted in place.  Again, those cutters are tough to find and they're expensive to buy.  They're usually around twenty five dollars apiece give or take.

These early Stanley plow planes, and others, were the precursors to the Stanley #45 Combination Plane, manufactured from 1883 well into the 1960s.  As you mentioned, the early #45s were also produced with a distinctive floral casting that changed throughout their production.  The floral casting was eliminated somewhere around 1908 with the Type 8 planes.  We could probably start an entirely new thread dedicated to the #45.  What an amazing contraption, but when properly set up, and with a little practice, one can actually produce some very good results with it.  I know that somewhere earlier in the thread, I mentioned something about David Heckel's book, entitled The Stanley "Forty Five" Combination Plane.  If you're really interested knowing everything there is to know about the #45, that book is the final word.  Period.  If you're interested in using a combination plane, I'd go with a #45 because they're fairly available, their parts are mostly interchangeable, and they're generally much less expensive than the earlier #41 - #44 plows.  The #45 did have some options and attachments available to it that can be expensive, however, none of those are necessary to operate the plane as it was initially meant to be used.  If you're going to buy one of these planes for your collection, do your homework!!  There's many little parts, different Types came with different cutters, etc., etc.  Know what you're looking at.  Even buying a user quality plane requires some knowledge.  Missing parts, etc., will detract from the plane's utility, and ultimately your enjoyment, not to mention costing you more money and time to find the part(s).  I can honestly say that I've never used a #45 on an actual project, but I have often gone out into my shop and just set one up to play with.  If you're ever inclined to just spend an hour or so tinkering out in the shop, spend it with a #45.

Jim C. (who hopefully did not bore you to sleep)           
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 10:10:33 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #91 on: December 31, 2013, 10:45:07 AM »
Branson above +1. A beautiful tool that needs a lot of TLC. I guess I should start photographing and posting the three Stanley 45's that I have acquired in the past month. Thank you for pressing on in spite of my tool snob rant.

John,

Yes, Branson to the rescue!!  I was a little worried that we'd lost you there for a minute.  Again, everyone's opinion is welcome.  In the many years of collecting hand planes, I HAVE encountered several "tool snobs." Once identified, I have avoided them like the plague.  Too bad because they probably have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge and experience.  On the other hand, I've met MANY, MANY others who have fantastic collections and are true gentlemen, with a passion for the tools, and wealth of knowledge that they share with humility, and respect. 

I admit that I am at a point in my collecting habits where I like, and look for, NOS (New Old Stock) planes.  Twenty years ago, I was a hand plane "discoverer" and strictly a user out of circumstantial necessity.  I discovered the utility and cost effectiveness of hand planes which I still appreciate today.  When I see a quality "user", I still can't resist buying it (even though I probably don't need it), and then taking it out into the shop for a little "tune up" and then a few test passes over some different scraps of wood.  I try to figure out what that particular plane cuts best, and it goes into my "user arsenal." (I actually take notes on each plane and try to set them up for specific repetitive tasks.) Anyway, over a period of several years, my circumstances changed and my love of planes grew along with my collection and the nature of its contents.  The purpose of this thread, at least from my perspective, is to help others "discover", or rediscover, what I found out twenty years ago.  Where each individual goes with his/her collection isn't for me to judge.  I'm just glad that they're on the path and enjoying hand planes as they see fit.  I hope you'll keep checking back here from time to time.

Jim C. (who's looking forward to seeing those #45s)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 01:47:42 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #92 on: December 31, 2013, 10:00:18 PM »
Happy New Year!!

Jim C.
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #93 on: January 02, 2014, 08:17:28 AM »
And a Happy New Year back at you.

I do speak pretty fluent Stanley 45.  The reasons I traded the old floral 45 were that it was quite incomplete, and I also had two of the later 45s.  Neither is marked Stanley.  The first I found is marked Wards.  The second I acquired is marked Sears, and came with everything except the screwdriver.  It's in a leatherette carrying case, has both sets of bars for the fence, and all the original blades -- in their wooden box.

Back in '86 I got a commission to build six chests for Fort Ross.  I needed to make sides wider than I could get boards, and the result had to look like they were made well before 1841, when Sutter bought Fort Ross.  So I decided on tongue and groove  to join the boards.  I set one of my 45s for the groove, and the other for the matching tongue and went to work.   They worked easily and perfectly.  The profit covered the cost of both planes and then some.     

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #94 on: January 02, 2014, 10:13:45 AM »
And a Happy New Year back at you.

I do speak pretty fluent Stanley 45.  The reasons I traded the old floral 45 were that it was quite incomplete, and I also had two of the later 45s.  Neither is marked Stanley.  The first I found is marked Wards.  The second I acquired is marked Sears, and came with everything except the screwdriver.  It's in a leatherette carrying case, has both sets of bars for the fence, and all the original blades -- in their wooden box.

Back in '86 I got a commission to build six chests for Fort Ross.  I needed to make sides wider than I could get boards, and the result had to look like they were made well before 1841, when Sutter bought Fort Ross.  So I decided on tongue and groove  to join the boards.  I set one of my 45s for the groove, and the other for the matching tongue and went to work.   They worked easily and perfectly.  The profit covered the cost of both planes and then some.   

Hi Branson,

You definitely know your #45s!  I'm not really familiar with the Wards and Sears versions of the #45, and I'm certainly not an expert on the Stanley versions either, particularly because there were several little changes and improvements made to the plane throughout the decades that it was manufactured.  I wonder if your Wards and/or Sears #45s were made by Sargent.  The Sargent model #1080 was very similar in appearance and function to the Stanley #45.  For a brief time, during the late 1940s into the early 1950s, Stanley actually made #45s for Sargent.  In a perfect world it would be great to compare and contrast the Wards, Sears, Sargent and Stanley #45s.  I could easily spend an entire afternoon in the shop with all four spread out on my bench studying every little detail..... I guess I need to get out more..... Anyway, that's exactly why I like complete planes that are in as close to original condition as possible.  It really cuts down on the guess work.  Original packaging, brochures, and boxes are bonus because they also provide clues about a plane's age, manufacturer, etc.  Is there any chance that you could post some pictures of your Wards and Sears #45s?  Maybe you could do a separate post on each.  I'd really like to see those planes!!  I don't think I've ever seen a complete Sears version.

You also did a nice job of all too BRIEFLY highlighting the chests you made for Fort Ross.  That's it?  I'd like MORE details (and pictures if possible) of the project.  What is Fort Ross?  How did you land the commission?  What kind of wood did you use to make the chests, etc., etc.?  Did you use any other planes during the project?  I noticed that you made the chests in 1986, so you've had those #45s for almost thirty years (or more)!  Have you used the #45s before or since?  It sounds like it was a great project!  You're holding out on us. 

Jim C. (who needs more info from Branson)       
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Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2014, 10:58:21 PM »
Sorry to interupt the discussion of Stanley 45's.  I'll get back to it tomorrow.

I took a trip to Ron Bertrand's prototype shop.  He is a longtime pattern maker.  He is casting some more of the big Papaws Wrenches for me.  While I was at his shop, he showed me some core box planes from at least a hundred years ago.  Fascinating!  These planes were used to shape a U shaped trough in a block of wood.  When you put two of the blocks together, you had a mold for making a sand core. The core is a sand 'casting' that is placed in a mold to prevent metal from filling an area of the mold.  Typically these were used in wheel and pulley casting molds so that the casting had a rough bore through it. Because core boxes were made often and they are very simple, most of the time, inventors a hundred years ago, were trying to speed up the process with patented gadgets.  Here are photos of two of those specialty planes along with the patent for the Wm Bayley plane. This plane was only made in 1904 and 05.  It was not successful.

http://www.datamp.org/patents/displayPatent.php?id=12656















  The second plane is also a core box plane, an all wood one.  Stanley made a metal version of this for a long time.  A previous owner removed one or more of the braces. You can see the screw holes in the wood. I could not make out the makers mark, but you can see the shape of it in the photo.  I hope I can get some help on this one.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 11:01:26 PM by johnsironsanctuary »
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #96 on: January 03, 2014, 08:27:57 AM »
Odd planes, the core boxes.  Wish I had been more flush in November because there was a metal core box on eBay that sold, second time around, for $19.95.  I have no idea what I would have done with it, but they're curious and not common.  The eBay core box wasn't a Stanley, and the seller didn't mention a manufacturer.  Didn't have the slightest idea what it was, either -- said it was for planing corners...

That wooden one is really nice!

Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #97 on: January 03, 2014, 08:53:43 AM »
Here is the Stanley 57. There is a smaller 56 that doesn't have wings. Quite a contraption.





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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #98 on: January 03, 2014, 09:03:14 AM »
WOW!! Gizmocity!
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #99 on: January 03, 2014, 09:06:10 AM »
Hey John!  Now that's what I'm talking about!  What better way to start the morning.... A cup of coffee and a GREAT writeup on core box planes, complete with pictures and a link.  Nicely done, and never worry about jumping into the #45 discussion.  There's so much information on #45s that we could get on and off that topic a dozen times and still have a lot more ground to cover.  I'm really impressed that Mr. Bertrand had the planes and was still using them in his shop.  I don't know much about pattern making.  Is the core box plane still the accepted and most common way to make the the U trough in the block of wood, or are there more modern/mechanized procedures for accomplishing the task?  I'd like to think that using a specialized hand tool such as a core box plane is still commonly applied even in a production setting, but I'm guessing that probably isn't the case.  The nostalgic part of me envisions 100 year old core box planes being used in a one or two man shop where "old school" traditional pattern making is practiced.  Is that true?  The Bayley cast iron version looks like an ingenious contraption!  Did Mr. Bertrand demonstrate it for you?  I'd love to get my hands on that and give it a try!  What really gets me thinking is the wooden version.  It appears to be a craftsman made tool that evokes an air of self sufficiency.  It makes me wonder if someone made it out of necessity and/or possibly with the attitude that "I can make my own and make it better than one I could buy." Very nice writeup John.  Thanks for jumping in with some A+ content!  I'll try to post a few pictures of Stanley's versions of the core box plane.

Jim C.           
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Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #100 on: January 03, 2014, 09:19:40 AM »
>I wonder if your Wards and/or Sears #45s were made by Sargent.  The Sargent model #1080 was very similar in appearance and function to the Stanley #45. 

No, they're Stanleys.  No Stanley mark, but the 45 is still in the casting.  At the time I got them, one of the fellows I worked with had a really great 45 that came with its original chestnut box.  It was identical to my Wards in every way except for the Stanley mark.  The Sears is identical to the Wards.

>Anyway, that's exactly why I like complete planes that are in as close to original condition as possible.  It really cuts down on the guess work. 

Amen!  Guess work is only briefly entertaining.

> Is there any chance that you could post some pictures of your Wards and Sears #45s?  Maybe you could do a separate post on each.  I'd really like to see those planes!!  I don't think I've ever seen a complete Sears version.

Not real soon.  They're somewhere in storage, and I'm just not sure where, possibly close to my Stanley #10, wherever that is.  I'm still trying to get the most important stuff into my newly built workshop -- get it in and still have room to work.

Fort Ross is a California State Historical Park.  It was the southern most  Russian settlement in California, established by the Russian American Trade Company.  As the fur trade dwindled to a halt, the Russians abandoned it and sold it, and its contents to Sutter -- 1841.  (It turns out that among the stuff Sutter bought were the cooper tools -- no specifics in his inventory, just "cooper's tools").  He even bought "threshing floors" at least one of which met with disaster.  He floated it down the coastline towards San Francisco Bay, and it sank somewhere around the entrance to the bay.

I landed the commission because two of the State Parks  people  were also active docents at Sutter's Fort, and a refugee program  I ran (carpentry and blacksmithing) had already produced four Russian pattern axes for Fort Ross.  When the plan for six chests was funded, they asked me if I could make them.  They are very simple chests with rabbeted and cut nailed corners, and hide glue.  I made them all of clear pine.  The handles I had made by a blacksmith from drawings of original Russian chest handles.  Those took a long time to get, and I had to send the chests up to Ross without them.  I have some snap shots of the time when I took the finished hardware to Fort Ross, in period costume, with period tools, and installed them on the chests, which had already been painted and adorned with Russian folk art. 

> Did you use any other planes during the project?

Yes, I did.  Every surface of the chests was hand planed, and all the planes I used were wooden planes.  Jacks for the interiors, smooth planes for the exterior.   In another commission, for Sutter's Fort some years later, I did the same surface treatment.  Kept two smoothing planes sharp and used both for all the visible surfaces, but I used a nice wooden quirk and bead plane to dress up the sides of the T&G boards used.  That commission came when I submitted the lowest bid for the project to State Parks.

>I noticed that you made the chests in 1986, so you've had those #45s for almost thirty years (or more)!

I've had the Wards since about '75.  The Sears, if I remember right, came to me around '77 or'78.  I was excited to get the Sears because it had everything with it (except the screwdriver) and came in its original case.

>Have you used the #45s before or since?

Not since I packed them up in the late '80s.  But I have used them for rabbets and dados.  I probably ought to tune up the sash molding blades and give that a go.  Thing is, I have picked up 20 or 30 wooden molding planes since then which I have used -- some other tools waiting in storage until I can make room in the shop for them.   

Offline Branson

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #101 on: January 03, 2014, 09:25:55 AM »
>  Is the core box plane still the accepted and most common way to make the the U trough in the block of wood, or are there more modern/mechanized procedures for accomplishing the task?
Jim C.           

There's a way that still isn't modern, but faster.  Run a fence diagonally across a table saw, and push your board along the diagonal fence.  De Cristoforo shows this in his Power Tools for Everyone, featuring the ShopSmith 10ER

Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #102 on: January 03, 2014, 09:26:31 AM »
Thanks Jim.  Ron doesn't use the old planes.  He uses a CNC mill, but does have an impressive bench full of traditional tools.  While I was talking to him he grabbed a beautiful goose neck pattern chisel and trimmed a lug in a mold.  Many of the machines in his shop are in the century old category. Big band saw, big wood lathe, his vertical mill is pre WWII. Except for the CNC horizontal and the sand machines, most everything is antique. He also builds and repairs furniture. Fun for me was seeing the Cheese Head foam molds that he was reworking for a customer.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #103 on: January 03, 2014, 09:44:56 AM »
Here is the Stanley 57. There is a smaller 56 that doesn't have wings. Quite a contraption.






John,

Please tell me those two Stanley #57s are in your collection!  Those are amazing examples!  Most #57s were commonly nickel plated but some were also japanned.  They were produced by Stanley between 1896 and 1943.  It could be that like many of Stanley's traditionally nickel plated planes, most were japanned during WWII, in an effort to conserve nickel strictly for war materials production. I believe that as many as three sets of extensions could be added to the Stanley model.  One set of extensions would allow the user to make up to a 5" semi circle, while two sets would allow for up to a 7 1/2" semi circle, and three sets for up to a 10" semi circle.  By that point, it would seem that the plane would be almost too heavy and unruly to comfortably use.  Maybe that partially answers my earlier question about the wooden version you posted in the picture above.  Perhaps it was lighter and therefore more easily used than a similarly sized cast iron version.  From a collector's perspective, the #57 is much like any other plane with several little parts and pieces.  Those things are frequently missing and not always easy to replace.  As always, do your homework before bidding or buying.  Thanks again John. Great stuff!!

Jim C.         
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 12:53:31 PM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #104 on: January 03, 2014, 10:00:33 AM »
>I wonder if your Wards and/or Sears #45s were made by Sargent.  The Sargent model #1080 was very similar in appearance and function to the Stanley #45. 

No, they're Stanleys.  No Stanley mark, but the 45 is still in the casting.  At the time I got them, one of the fellows I worked with had a really great 45 that came with its original chestnut box.  It was identical to my Wards in every way except for the Stanley mark.  The Sears is identical to the Wards.

>Anyway, that's exactly why I like complete planes that are in as close to original condition as possible.  It really cuts down on the guess work. 

Amen!  Guess work is only briefly entertaining.

> Is there any chance that you could post some pictures of your Wards and Sears #45s?  Maybe you could do a separate post on each.  I'd really like to see those planes!!  I don't think I've ever seen a complete Sears version.

Not real soon.  They're somewhere in storage, and I'm just not sure where, possibly close to my Stanley #10, wherever that is.  I'm still trying to get the most important stuff into my newly built workshop -- get it in and still have room to work.

Fort Ross is a California State Historical Park.  It was the southern most  Russian settlement in California, established by the Russian American Trade Company.  As the fur trade dwindled to a halt, the Russians abandoned it and sold it, and its contents to Sutter -- 1841.  (It turns out that among the stuff Sutter bought were the cooper tools -- no specifics in his inventory, just "cooper's tools").  He even bought "threshing floors" at least one of which met with disaster.  He floated it down the coastline towards San Francisco Bay, and it sank somewhere around the entrance to the bay.

I landed the commission because two of the State Parks  people  were also active docents at Sutter's Fort, and a refugee program  I ran (carpentry and blacksmithing) had already produced four Russian pattern axes for Fort Ross.  When the plan for six chests was funded, they asked me if I could make them.  They are very simple chests with rabbeted and cut nailed corners, and hide glue.  I made them all of clear pine.  The handles I had made by a blacksmith from drawings of original Russian chest handles.  Those took a long time to get, and I had to send the chests up to Ross without them.  I have some snap shots of the time when I took the finished hardware to Fort Ross, in period costume, with period tools, and installed them on the chests, which had already been painted and adorned with Russian folk art. 

> Did you use any other planes during the project?

Yes, I did.  Every surface of the chests was hand planed, and all the planes I used were wooden planes.  Jacks for the interiors, smooth planes for the exterior.   In another commission, for Sutter's Fort some years later, I did the same surface treatment.  Kept two smoothing planes sharp and used both for all the visible surfaces, but I used a nice wooden quirk and bead plane to dress up the sides of the T&G boards used.  That commission came when I submitted the lowest bid for the project to State Parks.

>I noticed that you made the chests in 1986, so you've had those #45s for almost thirty years (or more)!

I've had the Wards since about '75.  The Sears, if I remember right, came to me around '77 or'78.  I was excited to get the Sears because it had everything with it (except the screwdriver) and came in its original case.

>Have you used the #45s before or since?

Not since I packed them up in the late '80s.  But I have used them for rabbets and dados.  I probably ought to tune up the sash molding blades and give that a go.  Thing is, I have picked up 20 or 30 wooden molding planes since then which I have used -- some other tools waiting in storage until I can make room in the shop for them.

Branson,

Thank you for the detailed answers!  But you know that's just going to spark our interest even more.  If you ever find the time, I think we'd all like to see those chests.  It sounds like it was a great project!  If you can find the pictures and post them here, that would be fantastic, and when the planes come out of storage we'll be waiting to see those too!

Jim C.
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