I was looking around in a local thrift store and tucked away on the shelf was this little beauty. It is a Stanley #122 Liberty Bell hand plane. These plane were produced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. They were made between 1876 and 1918. The plane is 8" long and the blade is 1.75" wide. The body is beech and has a tiny bit of checking. At some point somebody tried to paint it and the metal and beech have tiny specks of green paint. The casting has a letter "B" on it indicating that it may have started life at the Bridgewater Iron Works. I think this plane probably dates between 1909 and 1918.
I have given it a light brushing to remove dirt and spider webs. The blade adjustment lever is intact and works smoothly. Once I do some research, I will try to clean off the green paint, clean and sharpen the blade and put this back into service.
I should mention a very good source of information that I used to date the Liberty Bell Planes. Robert Ziegler put together a summary of the characteristics that helped with dating the planes. The document can be found at:
I like these! I'm trying to get a set together, the cast iron ones as well as the transitionals. I recently re-bodied a #135. My latest acquisition is also a #122, but it came together from pieces from several different sources. I'm still missing that little nubbie that clamps into the slot of the cutter, and engages that height mechanism. It's a tough little piece to find! The plane does seem to work without it, but I imagine it will loosen up after a bit of use.
Great score, Vincent! Wow, $5, !! I've got 10X that tied up in mine!
Update: I had a bit of time to start cleaning the plane iron.
Under all of the rust was a Stanley logo which likely dates the plane to somewhere between 1907-1909.
I am not sure if the rusty bit in the lower right of the second picture is just rust or another logo. It appears man made but I need to work on it a bit more. Thanks for looking and any suggestions on the restoration are appreciated.
Poopiekat, I most certainly agree. Since this posting, I have acquired or am in the process of acquiring a 135 and 127 Liberty Bell. In addition, I now own a Sargent 3408, 3410, 3411 and a 3415. I think I will have a busy few months cleaning these babies. Now, if I can find a Stanley 140 and 112 or Sargent 507 and 57 or 59, my collection will be complete….at least for the moment. And maybe a Sargent 3418.
Vincent: so you're the one competing with me on those Liberty Bells in eBay? I really wanted that #135, but my intuition tells me that I usually spend too much money to put a single plane together.
I don't dare let myself get interested in Sargents, I have a few trannies which I did not recognize as Sargents when I bought them, but that's all! It would take too much of my resources to put together a whole set.
Sounds like you're well on your way to a well-stocked Sargent collection!
The 3410 was another thrift store find for $15. It is in ok condition except for a crack in the top. Doesn't interfere with its operation. Some did come from ebay and others from antique stores/flea markets. I found an old Stanley 65 in CT last week for $12. Need to touch up the sole and she is ready to go. Now I need to build a proper till to hold the Liberty Bells and Sargents. My new problem is how to I keep them secret from SWMBO.
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