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If there are no cracks, or warps / twists in the castings, pretty much all planes are worth putting a little bit of effort into flattening / honing. Having said that, there are some planes that are just, well bent, or badly cast to be not worth bothering with… Or made with such cheap materials as to not be worth it…

Modern Stanley block planes like you see at Home Depot are a waste of time and effort. Pretty much anything with the Buck Bros name is worthless. Although I have seen one Buck Bros #4 smoother that was lapped and honed up just fine, a good working plane. For the money I would buy a Groz, Anant, or get a used 1980s or older Vintage Stanley, Bedrock, etc…
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
John, your links have so far confirmed two of the planes I have are only beginner models and not worth a bunch. One is a 596a Craftsman Corrugated jack plane and the other a Stanley handyman, both have a reputation of NON quality parts and actions.
Ike, I guess my time will be the only real measure if these were worth the time to sharpen them. Since I'm not the type that uses hand tools much, it was more along the lines of was it worth the time to do it.Is there a nice how to for restoring a plane's finish,lapping and assembly tips?
dbhost, et al thank you for taking the time to respond, what's your opinion on worthiness of these two items so far? Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The two smaller ones are both Stanley 220's, one is much older the coloring on the older unit is blue and the newer one was a no brainer since it still had the Stanley tag on it. I was hoping to use one of these little ones just to knock the edge off of some poplar edge banding, they are the ones I feel a little more comfortable using and spending time on.
Ok, here goes the first duhhh question. On the larger planes both blade irons were installed with the sharpened edge down against the sole and on the two smaller ones the sharpened side is up. Is this right and how should they relate to the chip breaker in the bigger ones? Pat
 

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The block planes are usually bevel up, and the larger planes are usually bevel down but there are some specific "bevel up" larger low angle planes like the Lie Nielsens.

Your Stanley 220s are definitely worth sharpening and using. If the bevel is in good shape, you might find that just honing the edge will be enough. My Stanley 220 was my grandfather's and is one of my favorite tools. Even if you don't use many planes, a block plane is an essential IMHO.

Some pics of your planes will tell us a lot.
 

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