#45 Combination Plane Storage Box

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Project by rwyoung posted 03-13-2010 04:56 PM 5026 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, eBay coughed up a very nice Wards Mastercraft 45. This is a Stanley #45 but sold through Monkey-Wards. This is a complete set, right down to the original box, instruction pamphlet and what I believe is the original purchase receipt fro $12.65. :) For me a bit more but still well under $200. And did a little checking against a friend’s Stanley and the parts interchange no problem.

That’s the good news. The bad news is the original box is cardboard as is the slip cover for the original blade box. That cardboard got damp at some point and has caused corrosion on the blades. The plane body is in good shape but I won’t be storing it or the blades in the original box.

I’ve made a new blade box and started the long process of rehabilitating the blades. I’ve got all the dado/straight blades done and started on the beading blades. Last to do will be the T&G and sash blades. The new blade box is poplar (1/8”) that I used a box joint to fix the sides together. Then I decided to try veneering the box. I recently bought some hide glue and wanted to try hammer veneering. It worked but I don’t recommend using white oak veneer for a first try! The grab-box of veneer I bought a while back to play with had mostly small pieces. Only the white oak was large enough that I wouldn’t have to spend 20 hours piecing small bits together.

After that I combed through my scrap pile of poplar and other stuff. I wanted a larger box to keep all the plane parts in. I found some poplar and resawed it down to around 1/2”. And I had some other stuff, aspen or sycamore that I had bought to experiment with handcut dovetails. Not enough poplar to do the whole box so I’ll just mix it up a bit. :)

Obviously not the greatest grain match in the world, I think I may have three different woods in the sides! Next up a top. Running low on boards long enough I decided to stop at the local Home Depot on the way home from work one day. Lawrence, KS doesn’t have a real lumber yard (yahd). So rooting around in the HD wood pile I found a funky spalted and quilted board. Just a little guy about 4 feet long, 5-1/2” wide and 1/2” thick. Perfect for a crazy looking raised panel for a seriously miss-matched wood box. :)

And just about the last of my whack-tacular green poplar leftovers to make the frame for the frame and panel top. The sides are more of the aspen/sycamore mystery wood. The top is a piston fit to the base. A little planning goes a long way. :lol:

So now my new #45 has a nice home. And I got to practice hand cutting through dovetails, milling small stock, more finish planing and a lot of scraper work for that quilted top.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

7 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5550 days

#1 posted 03-13-2010 05:33 PM

That’s an extremely cool box. And having that original receipt really adds a nice touch to the collection.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5155 days

#2 posted 03-13-2010 05:53 PM

Now this is scary I’m doing the same thing right now as a gift to my son who away at college. It is sort of a time capsule of various planes stored in a box with tilting lid. I plan on giving it to him sometime in the future after he settle with his own place. Your 2nd.pic with the cutting mat is the same one that my box is resting on at present time. I’ll post this when completed which should be soon, great idea for some special hand tools. BC

View sras's profile


6515 posts in 4461 days

#3 posted 03-13-2010 07:19 PM

A fitting home for a very nice tool. Nicely done!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5206 days

#4 posted 03-13-2010 09:38 PM

Wow, nice job! I love it when people treat there tools this well.

-- Happy woodworking!

View garysharp's profile


119 posts in 4812 days

#5 posted 03-13-2010 10:56 PM

Nice find. I was given a sears craftsman #45 made by Stanley, looks like yours. I did not see the year on the date, did you find a year? Someone tried to use my, but had never sharpened anything. Good luck with it and keep us posted.

-- Garysharp "When sharpening woodworking tools, good enough,...isn't" “Your life’s complete only when your knowledge passes on”.

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 4363 days

#6 posted 03-14-2010 02:32 AM

Wonderful box and story.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4447 days

#7 posted 03-21-2010 10:45 PM

thank´s for sharing this juorney
well done

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