Fun with a Stanley #45 - #2: Plowing a Groove

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 04-17-2013 05:10 AM 5595 reads 3 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introduction and References Part 2 of Fun with a Stanley #45 - series Part 3: Tongue and Groove »

Glad to have my workbench in a usable state, so I thought I’d make the first video for this blog series.

In this blog entry, I will be using my Stanley #45 plane to cut a groove along the face of a board.

For the purpose of this example I am using a scrap piece of pine.

I am using a 1/2” cutter, and have the depth stop set up for 3/8”, as well as the fence 3/8” away from the edge of the cutter.


I am using the second skate in addition to the main body for this. This is not necessarily required for a cutter that is this narrow, according to some of what I read, but I find that it helps me to keep the plane perpendicular to the work piece. Anything wider than 1/2”, and I would recommend using the skate, as it prevents the cutter from twisting. In harder woods, I would also recommend using the second skate on cutters 1/4” wide and larger.

The #45 is set up with the short rods as opposed to the long rods. There is nothing stopping a person from using the long rods, I just prefer to use the short ones when I can.


The knickers are not required, nor recommended for working along the grain.


And of course, the video on the subject.

View on YouTube


Thanks for checking it out. I look forward to creating the rest of the videos I hope to make.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

37 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2788 posts in 2698 days

#1 posted 04-17-2013 11:49 AM

Great series, video, and detailed information for reference. Should prove very beneficial to those who own a plow like this Stanley, unfortunately I do not. However, I do have a wooden plow, and I find your postings very interesting. Thanks.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16190 posts in 3125 days

#2 posted 04-17-2013 12:01 PM

The thing about measuring distances from the fence (for instance) on the #45… Assuming you’re using the tool to cut a dado that will be matched on another board (or set of boards making up a carcase, for example), make all dados at the same time, while the tool is in this setup, and measurements don’t matter.

Of course, I realize my habit is not to measure stuff… :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View terryR's profile


7535 posts in 2815 days

#3 posted 04-17-2013 12:09 PM

Thanks for all the tips, Mos! I just THOUGHT a 45 looked intimidating…then I got a SW in the original box. I can’t even assemble the tool without the .pdf I downloaded! :) But, that’s sorta like meeting Photoshop for the first time…very powerful program…too many feautures to learn without experienced help!

Thanks, again, and keep it coming! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8768 posts in 3084 days

#4 posted 04-17-2013 01:01 PM

Good stuff, thank you Mos.

View theoldfart's profile


10903 posts in 2958 days

#5 posted 04-17-2013 01:25 PM

Great video, everything is spot on in my experience. Have you tried the hollow and round yet?

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 2770 days

#6 posted 04-17-2013 01:43 PM

I have a Stanley 45 that belonged to my wife’s grandfather that I want to use, but wasn’t sure how it all worked. Now, I have an idea!
Thanks for sharing this video!

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3659 days

#7 posted 04-17-2013 02:02 PM

Good video Mos, look forward to seeing more. So nice to see the #45 in action without the workbench rocking!

Question: wouldnt there be an advantage to setting the work piece flush with the bench? Wouldn’t that give the fence more bearing surface?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Julian's profile


1484 posts in 3197 days

#8 posted 04-17-2013 02:16 PM

I purchased a Stanley 45 on Ebay some time ago and only tried to use it once on oak. This plane does take some time to set up and understand how to use. Roy Underhill used this plane on his show several times and did a good job explaining how it works. Looks like you are pretty efficient with this plane. Thanks.

-- Julian

View Mosquito's profile (online now)


9851 posts in 2799 days

#9 posted 04-17-2013 03:02 PM

Oldtool thanks, I’m sure some of the techniques can transfer over to the wooden plow planes; specifically in regards to the actual planing techniques.

Smitty Thanks. When I am working on a project, I do as you say. I will cut the groove along the whole thing before cutting it into the pieces I need. I did that in the video with my chalkboard project. Good tip that I forgot to mention, for doing everything with the same settings at once, before switching to the next one

Terry Thanks man, I was thinking about doing a video at some point to just go through assembling disassembling, and adjustments.

Thanks waho

Keving Thanks, I have not had the opportunity to try the hollows and rounds yet. I have been keeping an eye on them as they come and go…

Enoelf Thanks! Stick around, I hope to be making a few more videos covering the different advertised uses. :-)

Mauricio Thanks, it’s so nice to not have to waste energy fighting with the workmate… I have tried it that way, before, but I use the fence in the upper position, so the fence rides on the workpiece even after the cutter is most of the way through. When I tried using ti against the bench, I found that if there was any movement in the workpiece it would throw it off.

Julian Thanks. I really do enjoy using the #45, so I use it quite often :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2992 days

#10 posted 04-17-2013 04:58 PM

Thanks for posting the video. I picked up a #45 at a swap meet a while back. I haven’t tried using it yet because the screws securing the nickers are absolutely frozen in place with the blades up. But now that I know they aren’t needed on long grain planing, I’ll give it a shot!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Mosquito's profile (online now)


9851 posts in 2799 days

#11 posted 04-17-2013 06:34 PM

Thanks Brian. I will use the knickers in some long grain work, but very rarely. More often than not I would forget to disengage them and the next time I used it, the knickers would leave nice big grooves in my work piece when making a rabbet, or something. I’ve had issues with them in oak when I was too lazy to take the time to disengage them. They’d get in the grain and push it off track. Not the best results.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2992 days

#12 posted 04-17-2013 07:56 PM

Alright, so unless one is working across the grain, the nickers are a detriment. Good to know! Now I can’t wait to get home and try it out.

-- Brian Timmons -

View terryR's profile


7535 posts in 2815 days

#13 posted 04-18-2013 01:36 PM

No nickers for long grain rabbets? No wonder I’m frustrated with the 5 minutes I tried my 45…on a piece of Oak! With an iron that I sharpened for 3 minutes…

I hearby apoligize for the words I spoke to my lil sweetheart! :)

Mos, a video showing ANY tips on the 45 would be great! I really DON’T want to own a router…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Mosquito's profile (online now)


9851 posts in 2799 days

#14 posted 04-18-2013 03:43 PM

Thanks Terry. I was sort of in the same boat the first couple times I tried it with the nickers in long grain. It was rather frustrating.

I like having the router for more difficult woods, or lots of the same thing, but having to send the piece through the table, stop, adjust height, re-run, stop, adjust height, re-run, etc … gets annoying lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View AnthonyReed's profile


10105 posts in 2947 days

#15 posted 04-24-2013 07:44 PM

I really appreciate and am enjoying all the information and instruction that you are producing/compiling regarding the #45 Mos. And i am with Mauricio in liking that fact that you now have a much more accommodating surface on which to display your skills; too cool.

I am missing the secondary depth stop for my #45, is that something that will be a necessity for some tasks? i.e. do i need to start looking for one?

Thanks again Mos.

-- ~Tony

showing 1 through 15 of 37 comments

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