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Identifying a Transitional Iron Top...Going Backwards?

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 07-25-2019 01:38 PM 745 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

4527 posts in 4239 days


07-25-2019 01:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: transitional plane identification question plane

I picked up a very low-priced parts plane at an antique shop. I really like transitional planes, but this one has a lot of secrets. It was mounted crudely to an old wooden jack plane. The frog is snapped in half, so the lateral lever is missing. The tote is gone. But like I said, I am interested in only this iron top because it is a 2 5/8” cutter width, which puts it in the equivalent of the Stanley #32, #33, or #34s, if indeed it is a Stanley at all. The cutter is a S&S Siegley. The chipper is unmarked. Note that there are four countersunk holes for mounting to the base.

So… What have I got here? Are there any resources out there for identifying top iron castings without relying on evidence elsewhere on the plane? I’ve got a few roughed-in beech bodies, but want to build up this plane by using parts of the original brand and break the Franken-plane curse this one is living under.

I just don’t know what brand this casting is. Any help identifying is appreciated!

-- 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!!


12 replies so far

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Don W

19329 posts in 3072 days


#1 posted 07-25-2019 01:58 PM

So S&S Siegley is probably STS or SSS. It would be Stanley made so I would start matching this to Stanley bases.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#2 posted 07-25-2019 02:05 PM

I am no expert on trasitional planes, but it looks like a Stanley casting to me. Don W has a nice collection of Stanley transitionals, so he may be able to identify it precisely. I suspect he will need to know the dimensions of it though.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Delete

439 posts in 877 days


#3 posted 07-25-2019 02:30 PM

I agree it’s a Stanley, mainly because they seem to be the only manufacturer noted in the history of this type of plane, and the casting in the picture below is very close to yours. There is a little change but that could be attributed to the fact it is a newer casting than the one in the picture. Heres a little history from “Dictionary Of Woodworking Tools” by R.A. Salaman.

Edit: Googling “Jenny Smooth Plane” will bring up pictures of planes with your casting, Stanleys.

https://www.google.ca/search?client=opera&hs=y22&ei=-8M5XZC_HMuntQaPvrT4Cg&q=%22jenny+smooth+plane%22

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bandit571

23763 posts in 3188 days


#4 posted 07-25-2019 04:03 PM

Sitting behind the Stanley No. 28…is a Sargent No. 3416…

and…

The sargent frog…..

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

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SMP

1387 posts in 410 days


#5 posted 07-25-2019 04:43 PM

I was curious if on my stanley, the hole for the knob was countersunk, simce its kind of pointless. Lo and behold it is!

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poopiekat

4527 posts in 4239 days


#6 posted 07-25-2019 05:15 PM

Thanks for all the great replies!! What throws me off is that the hole for the front knob is countersunk. Why would any manufacturer do that? The four countersunk holes is what seems to set this apart from others.
I’ve already ruled out a “Jenny” model, those had a dip in the rear of the casting. I have six Jennys, though you are correct in that the width of the cutter is also 2 5/8”. Bandit: Thanks for the Sargent pics, the frog does not look like mine so Sargent and Fulton can be eliminated.
The lever cap is plain steel, no cast or embossed fish-scale or cross hatch pattern. My first guess when I bought it was that it was an early Ohio, based on the plain steel lever cap.
I own perhaps 100 Transitionals of varying manufacturers. About 12 separate brand names though I’m sure most were sourced and rebranded if not Original Stanleys to begin with. I’ve refurbished about thirty so far, but they were usually intact planes to begin with. I’ve never had a cast iron top alone, never had to develop the Spidey Senses to identify it based on its own attributes by itself. But now, I wonder, why would there be a countersunk hole where the toe screw for the front of the tote should be? And no toe screw at all ever on any transitional plane? Ty SMP for another view of this anomaly! Wonder if you also have another countersunk hole where the missing toe-screw would have been?

-- 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!!

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poopiekat

4527 posts in 4239 days


#7 posted 07-25-2019 05:41 PM


I agree it s a Stanley, mainly because they seem to be the only manufacturer noted in the history of this type of plane, and the casting in the picture below is very close to yours. There is a little change but that could be attributed to the fact it is a newer casting than the one in the picture. Heres a little history from “Dictionary Of Woodworking Tools” by R.A. Salaman.

Edit: Googling “Jenny Smooth Plane” will bring up pictures of planes with your casting, Stanleys.

https://www.google.ca/search?client=opera&hs=y22&ei=-8M5XZC_HMuntQaPvrT4Cg&q=%22jenny+smooth+plane%22

- CarlosInTheSticks

Carlos: There is a bit of bad information in the article you quoted. Just to set the record straight, there are perhaps dozens of name-brand Transitional planes. Among those in my possession are Stanley, Sargent, Edge-Rite, Union, National, Black Diamond, Hickory, Siegley, Fulton and Marshall-Wells. Though of course there disproportionally more Stanleys manufactured, possibly even more than all the rest combined, but don’t quote me on that statistic.
If it is a Stanley, I’m hoping for some guidance on the actual ‘type’ as well.

-- 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!!

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SMP

1387 posts in 410 days


#8 posted 07-25-2019 05:55 PM

I took the tote off, no screw under, but its only a #29, so maybe the 32s etc have that extra screw hole?

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Delete

439 posts in 877 days


#9 posted 07-25-2019 06:02 PM

Poopiekat Just sat down for a coffee and saw your magnificent collection and I started to think the same thing. The original edition was published in 1975 before Taunton published the revised edition in 89, ha, ha, given the large variety of manufactures, someone should have caught that. It,s amazing the number of manufacturers who will jump into a good thing once the patents come off.

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houblon

46 posts in 2158 days


#10 posted 07-26-2019 01:35 AM

Here is my Siegley STS transitional with a 2 5/8 cutter. Length is 26’’.
There are only 3 holes in the base. All countersunk. But it is cast.

Blade has some real heft…No other markings besides the blade.

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poopiekat

4527 posts in 4239 days


#11 posted 07-26-2019 02:51 AM

houblon: Thanks for weighing in! This is valuable information to me. I see that yours has a countersunk hole under the front knob too. Odd too is the absence of a countersunk hole where the forward toe screw would be if it had one! The lower half, (that’s all I have) of the tote resembles yours quite a bit, is your blade height adjustment left-hand threaded like mine? Wish I had the lateral lever! Good to see that your lever cap is smooth plain steel, like mine, no garnishment on the surface.
Thx again for taking the time to post pics, yours is a rather spiffy example of what a Seigley plane ought to look like!!

-- 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!!

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houblon

46 posts in 2158 days


#12 posted 07-27-2019 03:00 AM

The blade adjustment is left handed, too. The lever cap is not completely plain. There is some unpainted baroque wave on the bottom

I happen to have another Siegley STS transitional. This one is 15’’ with a 2’ iron. Less spiffy.


The prevailing opinion seems to be that all Siegley transitionals were made by Stanley.
The tapered STS iron is a bit weird with the depth adjustment mechanism. When you raise the blade the assembly gets tighter. But it seems to work for the small adjustments you really have to do.
The large one is a good user.

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