Got a real surprise in my dad's garage yesterday!

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Forum topic by realityinabox posted 10-05-2015 03:38 PM 1751 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1864 days

10-05-2015 03:38 PM

For as long as I can remember, my dad’s garage has been the home of a relatively modest set of woodworking power tools (band saw, table saw, router, etc). He is a part-time power tool hobbyist who is more into carpentry than fine woodworking. I’ve always dreamed of getting into woodworking, but have lacked the time, space, and funds to setup a big power tool shop. I recently graduated college and decided it was time to pick up a new hobby. Over the summer I started delving into the world of hand tools, a world that I’m coming to have a deep appreciation for, but a world that my dad doesn’t full understand. He is a few hand tools that he never uses (cheap chisels and a dull block plane) but knows very little of the types of tools that don’t scream and spew dust.

I was visiting him yesterday when he mentioned that he has “some old wood carving tools” in the garage. I think to myself, “Eh, woodcarving? I guess I can feign interest, but woodworking is what I’m really interested in.” As I follow him out to his garage, his story changes and my ears perk up. What started as “carving tools” are not describes as a “router of some sort”. It takes him a few minutes to find it in a box under some clutter on a lower shelf.

Imagine my surprise when he pulls out a Stanley 45 without a part missing. It even has the original irons! It was covered in dust and has a bit of rust, but it should clean up beautifully. It turns out that it belonged to my great-great-grandfather, who apparently was a professional woodworker. I had no idea that woodworking went that far back in my family, so I’m still in shock that such a gem would emerge from the dusty shelves in my dad’s garage.

The best part is that I’ve been keeping any eye out for a combination plane recently, but didn’t work to fork out the cash on eBay just yet. Now I have a priceless (to me) Stanley 45, passed down direct from the original owner, my grandpa’s grandpa. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all, and can’t wait to get off work and start cleaning it up!

Edit: Here is a photo I took yesterday with my phone.

-- Steve, GR, MI

16 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile


2608 posts in 3496 days

#1 posted 10-05-2015 03:41 PM

Congratulations! Please remember to give it to your grandson one day. Write down everything you know about it so that it is not forgotten.


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2626 days

#2 posted 10-05-2015 03:47 PM

Your GG would be pleased to see you have it.


View Michaelmjc's profile


20 posts in 1952 days

#3 posted 10-05-2015 03:50 PM

Post a photo when it’s all cleaned up!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6437 posts in 3352 days

#4 posted 10-05-2015 04:51 PM

Now how cool is that???

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2820 days

#5 posted 10-05-2015 05:00 PM

That’s totally awesome, but we have rules here. Pictures or it didn’t happen. You’ll have a lot of fun with that, both cleaning it up and using it.

View jobewan's profile


34 posts in 1836 days

#6 posted 10-05-2015 05:46 PM

Steve – best kind of story! A surprise gem and a wonderful story behind it! You will be channeling your GGGF soon and making 100 year old sawdust from gorgeous old virgin lumber! You will be chopping down trees, milling your own stock, and making gorgeous furniture in no time!

As most have said – lets see the plane after cleanup – there are tons of threads on this forum about how to clean it up. Don’t clean it too much – don’t want to change that patina! Have fun!


-- Measure Twice, Cut Once - throw it in the woodpile, start over...

View onoitsmatt's profile


446 posts in 2034 days

#7 posted 10-05-2015 07:00 PM

Congrats on the find! I recently got a Keen Kutter #3 that belonged to my grandfather. My favorite tool by far and I haven’t even cleaned it up/used it yet. You’re Great grandfather would be happy to know it’s been handed down to someone like you.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View realityinabox's profile


5 posts in 1864 days

#8 posted 10-06-2015 12:35 AM

Here are some better photos after a bit of scrubbing!

-- Steve, GR, MI

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1029 posts in 2433 days

#9 posted 10-06-2015 01:43 AM

Down the slippery slope we slide,only 19 other types of #45’s to go!

View Slyy's profile


2840 posts in 2514 days

#10 posted 10-06-2015 02:13 AM

Awesome Steve!! What a great story and a great plane!

If you don’t know about it, might wanna check out the Handplane Thread lots of helpful tips and people over there. Also there is a great thread dedicated to combo planes started by the resident expert Mosquito.

You’re about to ride down a VERY slippery slope.

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View TM3's profile


5 posts in 1836 days

#11 posted 10-06-2015 01:24 PM

That’s awesome! It’s not everyday that you see a great find like that, so lucky you.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4217 days

#12 posted 10-09-2015 03:16 AM

Congrats!!! You are a very, very lucky guy. As cool as it is that you’re using your great-great-grandfather’s tool, think how cool it will be if/when you pass it on to your own child.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Don W's profile

Don W

19707 posts in 3426 days

#13 posted 10-09-2015 11:51 AM

Excellent story. You should dig up a picture of your great granddad if you can and keep the story alive.

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

View Clarkie's profile


500 posts in 2699 days

#14 posted 10-09-2015 12:04 PM

Hey Steve, that was a very nice thing your father did by giving you the plane. Be careful in cleaning the plane, it is nickle-plated and the wood on it is rosewood. The 45 was the first old plane I got when I started out seeking hand planes. It was laying in a puddle of water in a basement and the guy selling it was having a beer or 3 or 4 and it was only 8 am. I kicked it when walking out, as I looked down and saw it he said, “you can have that four a couple bucks”. After paying him for it I saw over on the shelf a box with the picture of this tool on it. I asked him if the box went with it, he said, yes it has some cutters, you can have that for a dollar. So, like it has been said, the slippery slope began, lol. Hope you enjoy your GGF 45, have fun, make some dust.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3725 days

#15 posted 10-09-2015 04:59 PM

That’s a nice find. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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