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Forum topic by Karda posted 11-09-2019 06:56 PM 390 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


11-09-2019 06:56 PM

Hi, i know nothing about planes and don’t do the kind of wood working where a plane is needed. However i have needed one on occasion so i thought i would get a small one. how are the newer craftsman plane, are they worth having. I saw a small one in a second hand shop in pretty good condition, as far as I can tell for 30.00. But i don’t want to get a Harbor Freight quality tool. What do you think thanks Mike


18 replies so far

View OleGrump's profile

OleGrump

507 posts in 880 days


#1 posted 11-09-2019 10:08 PM

You’re probably looking for a SMOOTHING PLANE. If you only need one occasionally, a Buck Brothers or ANANT will most likely serve your purpose well. If you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, a vintage Craftsman or Stanley would be available inexpensively, at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and the like.
Be warned: One you start using a hand plane, it becomes addictive, and soon you will find several have appeared in your shop. This is evidenced by the “Handplanes Of Your Dreams” thread.
to paraphrase the popular deer hunter’s tee shirt: “Happiness is a HUGE shavings pile….”

-- OleGrump

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Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


#2 posted 11-09-2019 11:25 PM

ok thanks, but what about the craftsman, I don’t drive so rummage sales are out and no flea markets in my area

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

878 posts in 1511 days


#3 posted 11-09-2019 11:56 PM

Sounds like a block plane is what would work for you. If its a brand new craftsman from the store right now. It will need to be sharpened. You can find some old Stanley’s for sale that are sharp and ready to go.

View Eric's profile

Eric

130 posts in 773 days


#4 posted 11-10-2019 08:29 AM

Can you take a picture and post it? Most of the Craftsman planes were made by Stanley and Sargent before Sears sold the name off. I have a British Stanley 220 block plane I bought from Sears/Craftsman in the 80s. I see them these days for under $20.

-- Eric

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4080 posts in 1923 days


#5 posted 11-10-2019 02:13 PM

I picked up a Craftsman #4 at a garage sale a year or two ago that was perfectly tuned and setup and it is an excellent plane (in my limited experience). When you pick it up it definitely has some weight to it and seems pretty well built. I don’t really know how old it is but it is either relatively new or very well cared for (or both). Even some of the cheap planes can be tuned and sharpened so the key really is that you will have to spend some time doing that. There are several good YouTube videos about tuning both new and old planes that will also give a good idea what to look for when looking for a used one.

BTW, I bought a really cheap small Japanese style plane on Amazon for about $9 and it works surprisingly well for the money. It came razor sharp and is actually very easy to use, though it is best used when pulling instead of pushing. I actually reach for this first when I just need to take some light shavings but I have used it for some light jointing work as well. So if you don’t want to spend a lot of money or time tuning, and just need it for some occasional edge work, this is not a bad way to go.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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bondogaposis

5555 posts in 2887 days


#6 posted 11-10-2019 03:24 PM

With out a picture of the plane you are looking at it hard to tell whether it is a good user or not. With used hand planes, pre-WWII is the gold standard. But still good users were made through the 50’s, 60’s and into the early 70’s. After that not so much. Most Craftsman planes were made by Stanley or Sargent, and they made some really great planes. So the Craftsman label had some nice planes if they are made earlier and in the US. Once manufacturing was shipped over seas to places like India and China the quality really dropped off and today even the venerable Stanley label planes produced in China are crap. If I were you I’d be looking for a block plane, it is great starter plane. A Stanley 60 1/2 is what I stated with 40 years ago and I still have it and use on nearly every project. Lots of them can still be found online.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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bandit571

23959 posts in 3219 days


#7 posted 11-10-2019 04:33 PM

Millers Falls also made planes for Sears….it all depended on who had the contract that year. I have a Craftsman (says so right on the lever cap, in a blue background) #3 sized plane….that if I swap out the lever caps with my M-F #8..dead-ringer….

The Stanley#60-1/2 does come in very handy…

Was adding a small beveled edge to a door panel’s inside…trying to “erase” a bit of tear-out…

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

View Eric's profile

Eric

130 posts in 773 days


#8 posted 11-10-2019 05:32 PM


With used hand planes, pre-WWII is the gold standard.

And never fall for this line. The best users are post ww2 type 19. By then QC was introduced in the Stanley factory along with modern metallurgy (thanks to ww2). The design change to the 19’s frog base made the 19 the gold standard for flat bottoms (patented). There’s a cottage industry machining all those older types’ warped bottoms to compensate for the poor manufacturing practices left over from the Civil War.

-- Eric

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bandit571

23959 posts in 3219 days


#9 posted 11-10-2019 06:33 PM

Hmmm…

The Craftsman has a Fulton iron, because the plane’s OEM iron was needed elsewhere….and the Fulton plane itself was a POS…..had set in a DAMP cellar far too long. Pitting was almost through the sides and sole..tossed the bad out, kept the good…

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

View BubbaIBA's profile

BubbaIBA

507 posts in 2912 days


#10 posted 11-11-2019 11:03 AM


With used hand planes, pre-WWII is the gold standard.

And never fall for this line. The best users are post ww2 type 19. By then QC was introduced in the Stanley factory along with modern metallurgy (thanks to ww2). The design change to the 19 s frog base made the 19 the gold standard for flat bottoms (patented). There s a cottage industry machining all those older types warped bottoms to compensate for the poor manufacturing practices left over from the Civil War.

- Eric

Humm, the mind it boggles

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2437 posts in 2525 days


#11 posted 11-11-2019 01:34 PM

How will you use a plane? What were the situations where you thought you needed one? Planes are task oriented and using the wrong one for something can make it much more difficult than necessary. This is why its difficult to have just one. A Stanley 4 bench and a 60 block plane (or equivalent from other mfr) are indispensable to have around. After that it gets more task oriented.

Interested in refurbishing or new only? Don’t forget you are gonna have to sharpen the iron.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19365 posts in 3103 days


#12 posted 11-11-2019 08:28 PM

Starting with a new cheaper hand plane will probably wind up in nothing but frustration and discouragement. Either look for a vintage plane fully restored by some you trust, or a vintage plane you plan to tune yourself, or spend the money and get a quality hand plane. It will be worth the cost and effort in the long run.

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

View Karda's profile (online now)

Karda

1765 posts in 1089 days


#13 posted 11-12-2019 05:20 AM

what are the basics in evaluating if a plane is still in decent shape, I know nothing about them other than you push them and they cut

View Don W's profile

Don W

19365 posts in 3103 days


#14 posted 11-12-2019 10:37 AM



what are the basics in evaluating if a plane is still in decent shape, I know nothing about them other than you push them and they cut

- Karda

https://www.timetestedtools.net/2016/01/26/what-to-look-for-when-buying-vintage-planes/

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

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2437 posts in 2525 days


#15 posted 11-12-2019 01:12 PM

A new Stanley 12-960 low angle block for $40 is one new cheap plane that works well once tuned, at least mine does. The new cheap bench planes ie #4’s etc not so much unless you really know how to tune and have the time, and even then many have serious flaws that cant be corrected. Buy a vintage one from Don.

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