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The Clown Car plane collection

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Forum topic by BugeyedEarl posted 11-10-2021 04:06 PM 762 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


11-10-2021 04:06 PM

On a trip to a flea market a few months ago, I found a nice Bailey No. 6 in good “user” condition for a fair price. After rounding the next corner, I found a vendor with boxes of tools and a number of brightly painted planes, including two No 6’s. I asked about the fore planes and he said $20 ea, hmm, half of what I paid, but I didn’t look very closely and assumed from the finish that they were probably Asian imports. I also noticed a few decent Craftsman and block planes mixed in.

I walked past his spot several times over the next month, grabbed a 60-1/2 from him for $10, and asked the seller about the paint. He told me he bought them all from someone who like to paint and polish up his tools, but he didn’t know much about them. I realized there were a couple of decent tools in the lot, but they had mostly been badly refinished. I also got a photo of this clown car for posterity, but the collection had shrunk a little by this time:

Zooming in for a closer look, there are some familiar faces under that bright paint. This box contains some Stanley block planes, a Dunlap with the red handle, and a True Value with a red body.

This box contains No. 4 sized tools, a Ronald McDonald themed unknown, a Fulton with the orange lever cap and a Pexto-style stamped steel frog, Another with a Pexto-style lever cap and lovely red handles, and a Sears-branded unit with a suspiciously shiny iron and chipbreaker.

The next box is also No. 4 size, with a decent looking Stanley in gray, a bumblebee Stanley in yellow and black, with a jumble of patent dates, and finally a modern looking Buck Bro’s.

Next we have a Stanley No. 5 that looks pretty late, so not sure why it needed a repaint, plus a Sargent 422 with blue, red, and gray on the blade & chipbreaker (not a good sign…)

This box contains one of the few unmolested planes, a Craftsman 9-1/2 copy, and unknown 102 copy, another unknown No. 5 copy, and possibly a frankenplane with a Stanley lever cap.

Finally, another pair of jacks sporting polished lever caps and spray paint. This Craftsman has the grooved machined sides.

As of last weekend, this is what remains:

Since I like a challenge and the prices were right, I did grab a couple of projects to work on. I’ll share those when I get them cleaned up.


18 replies so far

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drsurfrat

1215 posts in 518 days


#1 posted 11-10-2021 04:14 PM

Thanks for sharing, that was funny. Can’t say I’ve seen that before.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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therealSteveN

9380 posts in 1905 days


#2 posted 11-10-2021 04:14 PM

Clown car is an apt description. Hopefully the challenge is easily bested, and you end up with a little fleet of users.

-- Think safe, be safe

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#3 posted 11-10-2021 04:19 PM

I suspect the same guy owned the pipe wrenches and the cutter in the last pic, but I guess he was in his “red phase” at that point.

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#4 posted 11-10-2021 04:20 PM



Thanks for sharing, that was funny. Can t say I ve seen that before.

- drsurfrat

Yeah, I’d rather find a box of rusty planes, that’s the norm I think we’re all accustomed to!

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#5 posted 11-10-2021 04:21 PM


Clown car is an apt description. Hopefully the challenge is easily bested, and you end up with a little fleet of users.

- therealSteveN

I will say the paint came off pretty easily, but I’m still working on what was underneath.

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GR8HUNTER

9303 posts in 2044 days


#6 posted 11-10-2021 05:44 PM

the one looks like Ronald McDonald would use it LOL :<))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#7 posted 11-10-2021 07:23 PM



the one looks like Ronald McDonald would use it LOL :<))))))

- GR8HUNTER

That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it. I did end up with the bumblebee No 4, it’s not quite as flashy :)

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SMP

5050 posts in 1237 days


#8 posted 11-10-2021 07:52 PM



the one looks like Ronald McDonald would use it LOL :<))))))

- GR8HUNTER

I’m lovin’ it!

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DevinT

2358 posts in 298 days


#9 posted 11-10-2021 09:28 PM

I think this post cured me of my desire to use “interesting” colors on planes.

cough almost cough

Still a fan of metallic paints (e.g., as if it were a car, using pearled metallic paint—Crafstman did a metallic green and I have seen metallic blue; but not much else).

-- Devin, SF, CA

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#10 posted 11-10-2021 10:28 PM


I think this post cured me of my desire to use “interesting” colors on planes.

cough almost cough

Still a fan of metallic paints (e.g., as if it were a car, using pearled metallic paint—Crafstman did a metallic green and I have seen metallic blue; but not much else).

- DevinT

Haha, yeah, this is really not a good look:

You’re right about the green Craftsman planes though, there’s one of the block planes like that in his boxes still, and I’m tempted every time I walk past it.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

9380 posts in 1905 days


#11 posted 11-10-2021 10:37 PM

I’ve got several of the green planes Dad picked up when he got home. Sears was every GI’s friend back then, plus about the only place with a good supply of whatever you wanted. Somewhat like Amazon is today, hardly ever out of stock, while the local guy is back ordered till 2055.

I often find myself with a green plane in hand. If I could buy one, or the Stanley it represented, I’d buy the greenie. Not enough difference to me to make the financial jump to the Stanley.

-- Think safe, be safe

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corelz125

4059 posts in 2307 days


#12 posted 11-11-2021 02:42 AM

You bought the Sargent 422? Think that was the pick of the litter.

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#13 posted 11-11-2021 02:57 AM



I ve got several of the green planes Dad picked up when he got home. Sears was every GI s friend back then, plus about the only place with a good supply of whatever you wanted. Somewhat like Amazon is today, hardly ever out of stock, while the local guy is back ordered till 2055.

I often find myself with a green plane in hand. If I could buy one, or the Stanley it represented, I d buy the greenie. Not enough difference to me to make the financial jump to the Stanley.

- therealSteveN

I’ve got my Dad’s red Sears smoother (made by Miller’s Falls I believe.) I’d grab the little green block plane if I didn’t already have the Stanley equivalent.

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#14 posted 11-11-2021 03:05 AM



You bought the Sargent 422? Think that was the pick of the litter.

- corelz125

Yes, I got that, an unmolested Craftsman copy of a #18, and a type 12 No. 4 with a later lever cap & blade.

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BugeyedEarl

39 posts in 137 days


#15 posted 12-04-2021 01:25 AM

So here’s what became of the planes I rescued from the “clown car:” The no. 4 was originally resplendent in yellow, with black knob & tote, missing depth adjuster screw, and the wrong lever cap and iron:

I got lucky and scored the parts I needed for free over the Thanksgiving holiday when I bought some planes from a collector in North GA. The Japanning is somewhat hammered, but I’m leaving it like this.

The 422 was a hot mess, with red, gray, black, & blue paint, plus visible grinding marks on the sides and a pitted iron (luckily mainly at the top!) The fully-involved paint was definitely a tip off, the mating surfaces, iron & chip breaker, and even the sole were painted. Still, I figured it was worth a gamble at $20.

I’m still looking for an iron for the big Sargent. The current one is useable, but I’d like to have one with an intact stamp. The Japanning was completely gone, so I didn’t feel bad about brushing on a coat of enamel.

The 9-1/2 also came from the same seller, but it was one of the few planes that didn’t get “restored” by the spray paint guy…

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