Tools #1: Stanley hand planes

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Blog entry by thefrozenwoodworker posted 03-31-2013 02:55 PM 1251 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
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My new favorite plane is this Stanley No. 7 – it might have something to do with the fact that I have been surfacing a couple of laminated tabletops recently. I think I’ve been using an inappropriate size plane for the job and this is the first time I’m using the right size. I have found though that even for slightly smaller jobs, the sheer length and mass of the plane is very useful.

Will I reach for a 7 instead of my 5? Probably, if I can fit it on the piece! Ok not really but it is nice when it works, and I would grab my 5 over a 4 more often now…

In any case, I was initially soured on the idea of trying to rehab old planes after a bad experience with a newer Stanley 12 – 204, thinking that there was no way they could’ve gotten this bad over time, and just looking at it the basic design elements seem to be there with a sharp blade and practice, shouldn’t i get good results? These old ones must be only so-so after a century of rust. I entered this hobby with the belief that people made beautiful things with much less than I have available to me now, so I persevered. Now after using an actual plane from the “heyday” of Stanley tools, I can reconfirm that even an old, not even fully tuned plane is miles ahead of the current offerings from Stanley. After re-honing the blade using a diamond stone followed by a waterstone, I can take very fine shavings across the full length of the blade. These really were very fine tools indeed.

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2303 posts in 3816 days

#1 posted 04-01-2013 01:34 AM

Agreed. I dislike tossing around cliche phrases, but they really don’t make ‘em like they used to.

-- Brian Timmons -

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