A handplane I can't find on the Internet

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by emiliof posted 06-20-2015 02:36 PM 1519 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View emiliof's profile


33 posts in 2264 days

06-20-2015 02:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vintage handplane alumimium stahls

I bought a presumably old handplane. The seller could not explain its origin, only that it belonged to his father. I have been looking for this plane or similar ones on the internet but I haven’t found anything.

I bought it without the iron. The lever cap was sort of sharpened, which looks to me like a desperate attempt to make it work without the iron, because the lever cap is long enough for protruding from the mouth. I guess the lever cap is that long because it also plays the role of the chip breaker. I may well be wrong.

The brand on the lever cap is Stahls, apparently swedish, but I can not tell it for sure after a long searching session on google.

It’s about the size of a #3 Stanley plane but the iron is 1 5/8” wide instead of 1 3/4”. I fitted an iron from an old block plane and it works well. Its body is made of aluminium.

It does not have a frog like the stanley bailey planes but a sort of ramp where the iron rests. The ramp is part of the body and it has a minimalistic structure in terms of volume. This design, combined with the fact that the plane has an aluminium body, renders a very lightweight tool. I guess the absence of the chip breaker could have been a decision for making it very lightweight. Including the iron I fitted to it, this handplane weighs 600 grams, that is 1-1/3 pounds, having a 9-1/8 inches long sole.

Judging by visible consequences on the heel, I also guess the technique for tuning the cut depth includes tapping the heel with a hammer, like you do for wooden planes.

Are my guesses right? Could anyone tell a bit more about this plane? Should I improve my googling techniques? :-)



-- Emilio

7 replies so far

View poopiekat's profile


4423 posts in 4005 days

#1 posted 06-20-2015 05:05 PM

The only “Stahl” plane I’ve ever seen is a #78, an exact knockoff of a Stanley #78. It’s frequently listed in eBay, and never gets any bids. There’s some great Swedish planes out there, notably Memo, and Esteel, , but this in my opinion is not up there, quality-wise. The aluminum body is interesting, though!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View bandit571's profile


22207 posts in 2954 days

#2 posted 06-20-2015 05:59 PM

Just saw a Stahls spokeshave on the FeeBay…...couldn’t find any planes, though. It appears as though Stahls has moved on to other types of tools, though. mainly things like soldering guns, and electronics hand tools…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View rwe2156's profile


3280 posts in 1751 days

#3 posted 06-20-2015 09:05 PM

You should have passed on this one unless you wanted it just for the novelty of it.

1) How can a frog with basically no bearing surface possible work very well?
2) How could aluminum be a good choice? Its so subject to warping it probably flexes just clamping the blade.
3) What can be good about 1 1/3# pounds in a bench plane?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bandit571's profile


22207 posts in 2954 days

#4 posted 06-20-2015 09:23 PM

Ok, here it goes again..

For one thing, it would make a decent enough scrub plane

1) Ask THAT of any Stanley No. 110. About half of all block planes use this style of “frog”
2) Might ask Stanley, as they made a full range of bench plane that used aluminum for their bases. Ever try to buy a No. A6? IF you can even find one, they will be expensive to own.
3) What exactly does how much a plane weigh mean to how it would work?? I’m at a loss to figure #3 out. Run out of reasons?

It might even work as a handled block plane. Or, just add a camber of 8-9” radius to the edge, and scrub away. Once the depth is set, no reason to fiddle any longer with it, just use it.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View johnstoneb's profile


3080 posts in 2443 days

#5 posted 06-20-2015 09:29 PM

I wasn’t aware that aluminum was subject to warping. As long as the mouth supports the iron fully the rest of the frog just supports the angle of the iron.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Don W's profile

Don W

19092 posts in 2838 days

#6 posted 06-20-2015 11:03 PM

Interesting design.

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

View emiliof's profile


33 posts in 2264 days

#7 posted 06-21-2015 01:29 PM

Thank you all for your answers and opinions!!!

Yes, I personally prefer heavy planes, I feel particularly comfortable using a 4 1/2 plane.

However, you find a myriad of Stanley plane models, not to mention other brands. Most of them were designed for a very specific purpose.

I wonder what could have been the specific purpose that the designer of this extremely lightweight plane (for its size) had in mind. Probably planing a wooden ceiling :-)

I bought it within a lot of old tools, that included a very nice Lufkin combination square (20cm or 8 inches), with a “drop forged and hardened head” and a vintage Stanley bevel square… It was a bargain, really.


-- Emilio

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics