My hand plane journey #1: The aquisition

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Blog entry by dschlic1 posted 04-05-2014 01:34 PM 2356 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My hand plane journey series Part 2: Initial cleaning »

I am writing this blog to describe my journey down the bench plane path. I hope that it does not bore everyone. I have a small shop in my two car garage which has two cars it in. In other words very cramped, but I have a niche in which I store my wood working tools.

I have an assortment of power and hand tools: table saw, router, circular saw, jig saw, hammers, screw drivers, chisels etc. However I have only one small block plane:

I don’t know how it came into my possession, nor does it have a make or model. However for many of my needs it does the job. There have been occasions though, when I have felt the need for a larger bench plane. Looking at new planes they main fall into two categories: those costing about $30 and very poor quality and those costing hundreds of dollars and very high quality. Neither appealed to me. So I started to haunt Craigslist. Absolutely no luck there. Very few planes are listed and those that are the seller wants as much as a new one!

Then I read somewhere that there are many used planes for sale on EBay. So I stated searching there and found a large assortment of used planes for reasonable prices. Now I had to decide which plane and what size plane I would place a bid on. The most common size is a #4 which is about 9” long. Because I had a block plane I decided to get a #5 plane which is 14” long. So I placed a bid and won this for$28:

Somewhat rusty but in reasonably good shape. According to my research is a Wards house brand built by Stanley. The seller claims it is from 1930. Other than the name Eclipse on the blade there is no other name or brand on it. There is Made in the USA molded into the base, and also stamped on the base is the number C 47 1/2.

Next up initial cleaning.

5 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3125 posts in 2649 days

#1 posted 04-05-2014 01:48 PM

Don’t do it. You have started down a dark and dingy path. Soon you will be buying rusty tools just to see how well you can restore them and if they will work like they used to or better.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2545 days

#2 posted 04-06-2014 09:03 PM

You should be able to find a good quality used bench plane in fair condition without braking the bank account. Try yard sales, flee markets, etc. Get there early to get the good buys and buy the brand names.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19314 posts in 3044 days

#3 posted 04-06-2014 09:09 PM

Welcome to the dark side. The block plane is a Stanley #118 or a clone of it. The #5 should be able to be made to work well. What do you plane to do with it? Make it a jack? Camber the cutter?

I’d suggest a #4 next, then a Jointer. I would say a better block should be in your future as well.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View dschlic1's profile


455 posts in 2446 days

#4 posted 04-06-2014 10:20 PM

Already on the dark side. I purchase a table saw that had been outside in someone’s backyard for several years. Now it is a finely tuned cutting machine. As far as buying more planes, probably not. I am mainly a power tool person. I really don’t use a hand plane on a day to day basis. I use them when I don’t feel like puling out the power tools.

View Slyy's profile


2840 posts in 2132 days

#5 posted 04-08-2014 03:15 AM

If you feel inspired as well, you might find additional pointer/bad influence for your wallet over at the Restoration thread and also the Handplane of your dreams thread. Plenty of like minded folks over there that could help you out should you need it as well as provide additional inspiration.

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

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