Author Topic: Hand Planes  (Read 351914 times)

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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1245 on: March 29, 2023, 07:50:11 PM »
Back a few weeks ago, I posted a hand written spreadsheet that attempted to sort out Stanley block planes. (See page 83, reply 1240)  Well, geneg got a hold of it and created a very user friendly, 21st century, computerized product that is much more legible and applicable to providing worthwhile content.  Anyway, he’s trying not to take any credit for his work.  So, here’s the spreadsheet in a much more pertinent and readable version…….ALL THANKS TO GENEG!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2023, 07:51:48 PM by Jim C. »
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Online Yadda

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1246 on: August 01, 2023, 09:59:21 PM »
This is the Friday estate sale buy from last week.  This is No. 4 Stanley  Bailey plane  with a ribbed sole. I believe it is a Model 11.  If the ID is correct, this plane was manufactured between 1910 and 1918, making it over 100 years old. I'm hoping to clean it up and maybe replace the chipped lever cap to make it a solid user.  The handles are tight, and most of the japanning is present.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1247 on: August 02, 2023, 05:16:21 AM »
Hey Yadda,

Good to hear from you!  Let me start by saying that you hit a home run with that plane.  Your identification is correct.  The plane is a Type 11 and is also a solid 100+ years old.  It’s somewhat collectible as well particularly by those who like to use them.  Your newly acquired plane appears to be in great user condition.  With just a careful cleaning, that plane will be ready to go.  Try to avoid using a wire wheel on it. Let it look its age.  The patina will give the plane an inviting look.  Please post a few more pictures when you get her cleaned up and back in service.  Nice find!

Jim C.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2023, 05:37:09 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1248 on: September 05, 2023, 02:48:47 PM »
A few months ago I started a project that began as an experiment to twist a piece of wood into a feature that would possibly become a leg on a chair or table.  I never got the twist I was looking for, but ended up with a unique sculptural feature that eventually became the legs for a small console table.  The table itself is actually a cabinet of sorts with a couple drawers.  Like any good cabinet, there’s a back panel that fits into a groove cut into the inner walls of the top, bottom and sides.  No matter how much I try to get a perfect fit between the back panel and those grooves, there’s always some adjustment that’s necessary for things to go together precisely.  A pair of side rabbet planes takes care of the problem in just a few minutes.

Stanley #98 and #99:

When you’re talking about planes that were specifically designed to adjust joints between pieces of wood, it’s impossible to leave side rabbet planes out of the conversation.  Made to widen grooves and dados, side rabbet planes are capable of taking the very finest cuts on the side shoulders of such joints.  While Stanley had a few plane options for doing this, to include the #79, the #98 and #99, were likely the best choices.  The only difference between the two is the direction in which the plane is pushed.  The #98 is the pushed from left to right, while the #99 is pushed from right to left.

As a woodworker, it’s my opinion that you really can’t have one without the other. If the grain is running one way it’s good to follow it with the correct plane in order to avoid tear out.   By flipping the front skate one hundred and eighty degrees, the plane can be converted into a bull nose, allowing the user to get closer into the corners of stopped grooves and dados going in either direction.  When I brought the planes depicted below, I bought them as a pair.  Stanley offered the #98 between 1896 and 1942, and the #99 from 1897 and 1942.  Initially the planes were offered without depth stops.  Right around 1930, Stanley added depth stops to both planes, which I personally favor.  Several parts are also interchangeable with the #79, to include the front skate and screw, the cutting irons and the cutting iron clamping mechanism.  The knobs are also interchangeable with the front knob on a #1 bench plane.  Based on the significant value of the #1, I would strongly recommend against taking a knob off a #1 for purposes of fixing up a much less expensive #98 or #99. 

That takes me to my next point.  Both the #98 and #99 have several small parts as shown below in the exploded view photo.  Be sure to know what you’re looking at before buying either plane. If you see a plane with empty threaded holes, start asking yourself why.  Replacement parts are not cheap.  Do your homework!

Like I said earlier, if you’re a serious woodworker, side rabbet planes are a necessity in your hand plane arsenal. There are other options besides the vintage Stanley #98, #99 and the #79 for that matter.  Several years ago Lie Nielsen made faithful copies of the #98 and #99.  Well, LN stopped making them and as a result, they command inordinate prices that are significantly higher than collector quality Stanley originals.  Lee Valley also offers a side rabbet plane that is based on the Sargent #81 (see page 60, reply #886) and is much more affordable than the vintage Stanleys or the out of production LN models. 

Jim C.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2023, 05:01:48 AM by Jim C. »
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Online Yadda

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1249 on: September 05, 2023, 10:35:44 PM »
Fantastic table!
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1250 on: September 06, 2023, 05:24:46 AM »
Thanks Yadda!  It was a project that seemed to take on a life of its own.  Start to finish, the table took about 150 hours to complete.  It’s the longest start to finish time of any project I’ve ever made. They’re hard to see, but there are 52 hand cut dovetails on the corners. Those took me some time.  Needless to say, there was a ton of hand plane work throughout the process.  Widening the back panel grooves with the side rabbet planes were just one of many ways planes were used.  Fitting the two drawers would have been very difficult without planes.  Thanks again for stopping by the thread!

Jim C.
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Offline Redneck Albertan

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1251 on: September 06, 2023, 08:45:02 AM »
Absolutely gorgeous table.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1252 on: September 06, 2023, 12:36:25 PM »
Many thanks Redneck!!  :grin:

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1253 on: November 09, 2023, 05:01:51 AM »
A while back I had a cherry tree removed from my yard that was precariously leaning towards my neighbor’s house.  The tree had to come down.  As the tree was being cut into smaller firewood sized logs, I pulled a couple aside with the intention of using them in future woodworking projects. 

One of the logs was forked with one side extending straight up from the larger branch below it and the other side extended up and forward about thirty degrees.  My thought was to cut out a cross section of the forked log and use it as the door to a free form cabinet that followed the shape and contours of the the log’s cross section.  As I progressed through the project, I found it to be more complicated than I originally expected. Needless to say, hand planes were absolutely essential in completing the piece.  Small smoothers, scrapers and various block planes as well as #151 style spoke shave were the workhorses from start to finish……

Jim C.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2023, 04:18:05 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline lptools

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1254 on: November 09, 2023, 02:18:09 PM »
Hello, Jim C. Very nice work , you have a great eye , and great skills!! Thanks for sharing!
Member of PHARTS-  Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planesl
« Reply #1255 on: November 10, 2023, 04:49:49 AM »
Thanks Lou!  I was going through photos of the build and came across the last photo with several hand planes in the frame. All block planes by chance.  I took the photo not really thinking about the tools on my bench.  Occasionally I’ll get messages from people asking if I use all the planes featured in the thread.  Well, some I use and some I don’t.  But as the photo shows, I do use them on every project, usually out of necessity because they typically are the best tools for the job. Thanks for stopping by the thread.

Jim C.
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1256 on: November 23, 2023, 04:07:29 AM »
I hope you all enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends! 

Jim C.
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Online Lewill2

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1257 on: November 23, 2023, 07:10:57 AM »
Thanks Jim, same to you and your family and friends.

Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1258 on: November 28, 2023, 08:05:24 AM »
Looking back in the thread, actually going back to the first post, I noticed that we’ve been talking about hand planes for just a little over ten years.  A decade.  I never thought the thread would last this long.  A lot has changed in that time.  We lost a few friends along the way.  I know I don’t add as much content as I used to, and I apologize for that, particularly to those who have faithfully followed along from the beginning.  When I started the thread ten years ago, I didn’t give much thought to “time.”  Now, ten years later, retired, slowing down a bit, I think of time as my most valued commodity and my enemy for various reasons.  Maybe some of you can relate to this.  Anyway, I’ll still post in the thread when the mood hits me.  When I think I have a moment or two.  So, check in once in a while and don’t be shy about posting some content……… A few years ago I remember thinking to myself that if the thread survived to see its tenth anniversary, I’d do a special post to commemorate it.  Well, here we are a decade later.

Stanley #164:

If you’re a Stanley hand plane user, collector, enthusiast, etc., then you probably know of this plane.  Like any other collectible, in this case hand planes, there’s always one that stands above the rest as the rarity or the cornerstone in one’s collection.  It’s the one plane you hope to have someday because no collection is ever going to be truly complete without it.  I’ve actually owned two.  If you go back in the thread to page 78, reply 1169, I wrote a brief post that talked about the first one that I had for about an hour.  I still shake my head when I think about it. The second one (depicted below) has jumped from collection to collection for most of its existence.  It ended up in my collection as a gift from my wife.  When the time comes, I suspect that another collector will have the opportunity to own it.  So let’s get into it.
 
But before we go any further, let me dispel a couple of myths that I’ve seen written about the #164 over the years.  First off, it’s not a “low angle smoothing plane.”  It’s a block plane.  It has an adjustable throat, the iron is bedded at twelve degrees and cuts bevel side up.  All common characteristics of a low angle block plane.  Stanley even advertised it as a block plane in their catalogs.  So why some choose to call it a smoother makes no sense to me.  The second myth, which I cannot figure out, says that there was likely just one production run of the #164, thus contributing to its scarcity.  Who jumped to that conclusion without proof?  And why has the myth wrongly persisted for years, again with no evidence?  That’s absolutely one hundred percent false.  Stanley offered the #164 from 1925 to 1943.  During that eighteen year time span, I know that Stanley produced the #164 in at least three iterations, or “types.”  I have personally observed, and owned, two of those three types.  A Type 1 (which I owned for an hour and referenced above) and currently the Type 3, shown below.  Okay, so maybe you’re asking yourself, “What’s Jim’s proof? How does he know for sure that there was more than one production run of the #164?”  Well, I’m glad you asked.

Back in 2006, Charles Wirtenson and John Wells actually published a comprehensive Type Study specifically describing and detailing the #164.  Amazingly, they had several examples in their respective collections to compare and contrast.  In their paper, Wirtenson and Wells were able to clearly and confidently show two very distinct differences between Type 1 and Type 2 / 3 main body castings.  They also identified two different front knobs, and three different logos on the the cutting irons.  Unfortunately I don’t have several examples of the #164 to show you, so the first five photos below come directly from the Wirtenson/Wells type study.  They’re pretty much self explanatory, showing the differences in the castings, knobs, etc.  More importantly, debunking any further discussion that the #164 was a single production run item.  It simply is not the case.  The significant difference between the Type 2 and Type 3 is the very unique lever cap screw and the more common screw found on many other Stanley models.  The large knurled screw found on the Type 1 and Type 2 was specifically made for the #164 only.  It was probably expensive to make and was eventually dropped in favor of the “cheaper to make” more common, standard lever cap screw.  Since we’re talking about parts, I should mention that the #164 is loaded with parts that are only found on the #164.  Those include the lever cap and screw, the overhead iron adjustment mechanism, the cutting iron, and the rear tote.  So, spare parts are extremely rare and consequently very expensive. 

The example depicted below is a Type 3, likely manufactured between 1935 and 1943. As mentioned above, the Type 3 was produced with a relatively common lever cap screw. I personally like the big head screw with the knurling for no other reason than it looks cool, and with the overhead cutting iron adjustment mechanism, adds a bit of “contraptionism” to the overall design and possibly its desirability.  The #164 is definitely one of a kind.  It’s the only plane Stanley ever made with the overhead cutting iron adjustment.  With the iron bedded at twelve degrees, and the main casting measuring about nine inches long, there just wasn’t enough room to fit in some kind of adjustment mechanism below the iron, as was incorporated into so many other models to include the #62.  With its longer main casting, the #62 could accommodate the more traditional adjustment mechanism below the cutting iron.  Much like the #62, the #164 shared the same trait that made the #62 vulnerable to damage….. its fragile throat that tapered down to practically nothing beneath the iron, thus making it prone to cracking should a thick shaving ever get jammed between the main casting and the iron.  I grit my teeth and cringe just thinking about it!😬 If the opportunity ever presents itself resist the temptation and don’t ever use it…..not even once! 

If you really want the experience of using a #164, a much better alternative would be to track down a Lie-Nielsen #164 for literally about one tenth the cost of an original Stanley.  For several years starting back in the 2000s L-N made a relatively faithful copy of the #164.  Like all L-N hand planes, it was expensive.  A few years ago, the L-N #164 went out of production.  Now it’s hit or miss.  Sometimes L-N has them for sale and sometimes they don’t.  I will say that I did get one about a year ago and it has become one of the most used planes in my shop. 

I’ve read that Stanley marketed the #164 in England more so than in the United States.  I don’t know if that’s true or not.  That might contribute to its scarcity.  Maybe its unique design and higher price wasn’t appealing to potential customers.  When it made its debut, the #164 cost five dollars.  That was a lot of money in 1926.  About $83 dollars in today’s (2023) dollars. The plane was advertised in the 1926 Stanley Tool Catalog as being “Especially adapted for use in cutting across the grain on heavy work, where more power is required than can be obtained by the use of the ordinary block plane.”  In actuality it was fragile and many didn’t survive the rough work they were expected to endure.  With a relatively dull cutting iron and a tradesman pushing a little harder to make up for the less than sharp iron, a shaving getting jammed between the back of the throat and the iron was a recipe for disaster.  The same goes for its larger sibling, the #62. 

If you’re a collector, this is definitely not the plane to make a mistake with! Know exactly what you’re looking at and REALLY INSPECT IT CAREFULLY for cracks around the throat.  Don’t be in hurry.  Really look the plane over before you buy it.  Don’t get romanced by the plane.  If you want the experience of using a #164, I’d highly recommended the Lie- Nielsen version. It’s expensive, but it definitely delivers and is one of my favorites to use.  Happy hunting and thanks for hanging in there for ten years!

Jim C.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2024, 05:17:15 AM by Jim C. »
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Offline Jim C.

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Re: Hand Planes
« Reply #1259 on: November 30, 2023, 10:49:15 AM »
Having mentioned the Lie-Nielsen #164 several times in my last post, I figured I should at least show it to you.  Here it is next to the original Stanley.

Jim C.
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