Woodworking Skills & Stuff: #1: What happened to all the Stanley #1 hand planes? You may be surprised...

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Blog entry by StumpyNubs posted 07-09-2014 07:43 PM 2506 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Woodworking Skills & Stuff: series Part 2: Rules aren't meant to be broken. They're meant to measure things... »

They’re too small to be useful, and too rare to be part of most collections. But they were once quite common and had a specific purpose! Take a minute to learn something new in the latest article at!

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6 comments so far

View lightcs1776's profile


4264 posts in 2662 days

#1 posted 07-09-2014 07:48 PM

Interesting. Those certainly were pretty small.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3999 posts in 3259 days

#2 posted 07-09-2014 08:48 PM

I’ve never seen a No. 1 in real life. Based on the size comparison with the US quarter dollar, it looks like a toy! Your logic on what happened to the No. 1’s makes sense to me, and it’s hard to prove you wrong. Proving a negative is always difficult.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3683 days

#3 posted 07-09-2014 09:03 PM

Great read…. love to learn “useless” information!!!
Not really useless, as it may become a jeopardy! question…. or is that answer??? ;^)

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3493 days

#4 posted 07-09-2014 09:56 PM

Got to handle a Lie Nielsen #1 once. Couldn’t even admire the craftsmanship, I just kept thinking, “Aw, it’s cute!”

-- Brian Timmons -

View JL7's profile


8785 posts in 3973 days

#5 posted 07-09-2014 10:09 PM

Interesting viewpoint Stumpy…...

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View xraydav's profile


218 posts in 2978 days

#6 posted 01-08-2016 06:28 PM

A few clicks back, I found a Stanley #1 on eBay for 250. It had been dropped and the bed cracked on both sides. Well the two pieces did not let go, and the former owner used some metal weld paste to try and pretend it was repaired. When I got it, I tried to file the rough bumpy dried metal glue smooth to improve its look and it fell apart in my hands.
I have always been of the mind that something old that can be repaired, it should be, as they are not making them any more. So I took it to a “Cast Metal Welding Expert” who ground the crap out of it, and handed it back to me saying this is cast iron and it can not be welded. You can see that this is not going well for me.
I read the ad for Muggy Weld, and was not sure I believed what the add claimed, welding cast iron to 5,000 lbs strength. The two silver brazing rods the add showed were $80 bucks. I am sure that at this point some of you are howling at a fool like me through good money after bad. But I bought them. Then I read that it would not work as well using a standard propane torch as it would with an Oxo-Prop setup. So another expenditure. Any way, I stripped it down to the bed. Clamped each piece to a flat bar of steel with the right gap for the mouth all to hold it correctly while heating it. I got it to the dull red the instructions described and touched the silver rod to the metal and dam if it did not pool and fill the crack.. worked my way to the bottom and then did the other side.
First time out I had lots of impurity bubbles on one side and a divot on the other. Fired up the torch again and filled the divot and smoothed out the bubbles… It may not be perfect, but it is pretty good for my first time welding cast iron that is about 1/8th thick.

Laid all three sides on my belt sander to smooth it out and steel wooled the whole thing and gave it a light coat of black. Took a piece of nice rosewood I had and traced the tote and handle and cut and filed and sanded till I had a new set of wood on this baby. Took the blade and honed the back, then did my 4 diamond stones finishing on a Sharpton 5000 stone and buffed it on my honing strop. Back together, it is friggin cute. And it cuts much better than any similar sized block or specialty plane. I now have a full set of Stanley/Baileys 1-8 including the 1/4s and 1/2 sizes.. Also have the full set of Bedrock planes except for a 602. But that sweet #1 is my pride and joy. And I want to tell you that I have big hands and I hold it like a block plane and it is pure joy to work wood with.. And now I know, you can weld cast iron as well. I have kept the original tote and handle and will probably sell them some day when I can no longer work wood. In the mean time I know I spent almost 400 on a repaired plane, and that there are some of you would say it was a foolish move. I put it in a vise and pulled on it hard with my 250b body and it is rock solid. And it may be repaired… but I have a #!.

-- David, Norwood Mass, [email protected]

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