My Elusive #2 Stanley

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 09-27-2011 02:30 AM 1883 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5270 days

09-27-2011 02:30 AM

After I was bitten by the old plane bug some months back, I quickly built a small collection of the common and less expensive sizes (#3, 4, 5, 5 1/2, 6, 7, and various block planes). What bugged me was that darned No. 2 size. There were none to be found at local garage sales or flea markets, and every one I ran across on eBay was quickly bid up to the $200 range unless it was a total dog with cracked metal or missing parts.

After months of watching the new listings with buy-it-now prices, hoping someone who didn’t know what they were doing would put a No. 2 for sale cheap, I still had no success.

Then one day I saw this ugly duckling up for auction:

The bidding was around $100 with a few hours left to go. I’m not really what I would call a collector, and generally don’t care to pay collectible prices for anything. But, like I said, my lack of a No. 2 was eating at me like a swarm of termites on a rotting wood pile. So I bit the bullet, put in a max bid of $120 at the last second, and won it for $118 plus change.

I had a hunch that it was mechanically sound other than the tote, and I was right. The tote was BADLY damaged, with missing material, and it took a combination of glue, epoxy, and a stain pen to get it back in decent shape. There are a few scratches on the sole, and minor pitting here and there, but all in all it cleaned up even better than I had anticipated.

Hopefully now I can stay off eBay for a while. But I’m not counting on it. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

37 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4485 days

#1 posted 09-27-2011 02:33 AM

What about the 2.5? Got one of those??? lol

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Don W's profile

Don W

19969 posts in 3619 days

#2 posted 09-27-2011 02:35 AM

How’d I miss that???
Very nice restore.
I paid $28 for mine. Ill trade ya.

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

View mrg's profile


880 posts in 4051 days

#3 posted 09-27-2011 02:37 AM

Nice restore Charlie. I disassembled the one I posted last night and have started cleaning it. I posted another picture of it with the back handle off and the blade assembly removed. I am trying to figure who manufactured it. It is a #8 Made in USA looks very much like a Stanley but doesn’t say Stanley has an U in a circle and what looks like an “m” or 11 in the casting.

-- mrg

View Kirk's profile


116 posts in 5106 days

#4 posted 09-27-2011 02:40 AM

Damn Charlie, you do look good when you clean up.

Most good tools seem to last for generations.

-- W. Kirk Crawford - Tularosa, New Mexico

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4700 days

#5 posted 09-27-2011 02:46 AM

it still looks like an ugly ducking – just send it over to me, I’ll even pay half the shipping ;)

you did good… sometimes you just have to go beyond your comfort zone to achieve mental stability. you did a great job on the restoration on this now as you did on the rest.

are you getting to use them all? or just a few ?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4785 days

#6 posted 09-27-2011 02:47 AM

Great job, Charlie. How about a blog about how you clean and beautify these ugly dogs for those of us who really don’t have a clue. I have a Stanley #5 that I have done some work on (appears to be a pre-1900 model) but it surely doesn’t look like yours do after you’ve performed your magic.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 3614 days

#7 posted 09-27-2011 02:55 AM

Great restore, Charlie. I’m in the same boat as you, but you’re a couple of planes ahead of me. Don W just recently helped me add to my line of users – thanks, Don!

There’s almost nothing better than cleaning up an old plane, getting the iron nice and sharp and making that first pass. Best sound in the world.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5270 days

#8 posted 09-27-2011 03:03 AM

Sharon, I make a few shavings now and then. I’m trying to learn to use them more.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3745 days

#9 posted 09-27-2011 03:07 AM

Very nice restore!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5149 days

#10 posted 09-27-2011 03:12 AM

Wonderful. Perfect example of why people restore planes. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5118 days

#11 posted 09-27-2011 03:20 AM

Nice job Charlie. I was just given an old wooden plane. I’ll have to post a picture of it to see if I can find out what I have.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4548 days

#12 posted 09-27-2011 03:22 AM

Wow, beautiful job Charlie….. what a difference a little “TLC” will do… Nice collection you must have now, when you get a chance, a pic of the whole set would be wonderful!!!

Now you need to build a special cabinet for them…......

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 3698 days

#13 posted 09-27-2011 03:25 AM

Congrats. How does it work?

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5270 days

#14 posted 09-27-2011 03:45 AM

Sam, believe this or not… I honed the blade to a mirror finish last night, but have not made a pass with it yet. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 3698 days

#15 posted 09-27-2011 03:53 AM

How could you not? That would be like a bowl of M&Ms.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

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