Hand Plane Purchase Question....Need some help

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Forum topic by Pittard posted 01-21-2013 11:04 AM 1786 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Pittard's profile


5 posts in 2701 days

01-21-2013 11:04 AM

Hello all, first post. I’ve been lurking for a long time then signed up a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been pouring through all the knowledge and learning a LOT!

Brief history: I’ve been working for many years with wood, but mostly carpentry stuff. I’ve taken an interest in working more with my hands than machinery or at least working with my hands to complement my power tools.

That said I’ve gotten a bug to get into hand planes. I know very little about planes.

Here is my question (If more information is needed from me please ask away):

I’ve read the Coarse, Medium and Fine article and think I need a jointer and smoothing plane. I have a dewalt 735 planer so I think that will be my “coarse” tool.

I found a stanley No 7 on craigslist close to me. He wants $100 for it. The only information I have from him so far…It is made in England.

Here is the craigslist listing.

What do you guys think about price and functionality? I’ve read some opinions that the stanley’s made in England aren’t as good as the USA.

Any comments are appreciated.

20 replies so far

View laxbograt's profile


76 posts in 3163 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 12:05 PM

I would say a hundred dollars is pretty substantial for a plane without seeing if it is in pretty good shape. I just bought one at the flee market for $30, and it is rusty and dirty but intact. You should keep ur eyes opens on eBay they pop up pretty frequently I bought one for $50, unfortanly it was broke in transit.

Good luck


View BubbaIBA's profile


541 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 12:27 PM

The discription of the plane as “near mint” condition would be a concern. The pre-war planes are better than those made post-war, that would be my first question: “What type” is it or if the seller does not know, when was it made. In the long run you can save time and money by going to a good tool re-seller such as: , or . You will pay a little more up front but it will save you from kissing a lot of frogs (pun intended) before finding the right plane for your use. The learning curve can be steep and costly.

If you just want users to get to work, the Woodriver v. III planes from the number 3 to 6 are almost as cheap as used Bailey patterns if you include adding a new iron and chip breaker for the used Bailey patterns and they are for the most part ready to go out of the box.

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4540 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 12:39 PM

The English Stanleys made post-WW2 are better (heavier castings, usually better fit and finish) than their American equivalents. I would guess that one is from the early 1950’s, and it looks in decent shape. The $100 price is reasonable, but not great. Personally, I would pass and look around for an older Stanley/Bailey from their American-made heyday. You can probably get one for cheaper that with a little work will be a better tool.

View Brandon's profile


4213 posts in 3688 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 02:03 PM

It looks like the later model (probably 1980s era). You can see the ribbing that goes along the length of the plane, which identifies it as later. I personally would try to secure an earlier model. The 1950s era English planes have those nice fat castings as Arminius points out, but this doesn’t appear to be one of those.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View tirebob's profile


134 posts in 3591 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 03:22 PM

Do not discount a rough plane (like a #5 or #6) even though you have a thickness planer. I find that you sometimes still need to pre-flatten a distorted board to a certain degree before firing it through a lunchbox giving you a truer surface with minimal wood waste…

If anything, I would wait on the jointer plane if you are not working on very long pieces as the No.6 can still do a decent job of jointing on most regular sized pieces, and still do heavy stock removal. Having 2 blades if you have no dedicated jointer is always nice, one more heavily cambered for stock removal and one just slightly cambered for jointing…

That said, I would get the three rather than the two if it fits in your budget…


View helluvawreck's profile


32119 posts in 3603 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 03:28 PM

You can still find some good deals on Ebay also.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View waho6o9's profile


8886 posts in 3314 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 03:39 PM

Welcome to LJ’s Pittard!

You can also check with fellow LJer DonW at:
He’s honest, as are most LJer’s, and you’ll get your money’s

Other’s sell hand planes here as well.
Enjoy your journey!

View Pittard's profile


5 posts in 2701 days

#8 posted 01-22-2013 03:26 PM

Thanks for all of the reply’s. As stated my knowledge is very weak regarding planes. It’s a little stronger now thanks to the above help.

I’ll continue to look for used planes on Ebay and Craigslist and also the suggested sites above. In the mean time if anyone has (or knows of) an older Stanley No7 for sale I’d be interested. Would it be better to post this as a WTB add on the swap and sale forum?

View JayT's profile


6400 posts in 2948 days

#9 posted 01-22-2013 03:30 PM

For an older #7, contact DonW at waho6o9’s link. If he doesn’t have one available I’d be surprised.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

972 posts in 4130 days

#10 posted 01-24-2013 12:33 AM

Thts too much money!
Planes like this one are gems, and you can get them at ebay for $50.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Don W's profile

Don W

19609 posts in 3304 days

#11 posted 01-24-2013 01:29 AM

if its really mint condition, which it looks like, and you can pick it up and look at it, and you don’t have to pay shipping, and you have no desire to restore one, I’d think about it. It might be a little high, but is it worth $15 or $20 bucks to go through the hassle of finding another. Plus if its listed for $100, $80 cash will probably buy it.

EDIT: and you can check with Dave, he may have one if you don’t like the one you listed.

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

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2932 days

#12 posted 01-27-2013 02:00 AM

First, be PATIENT and don’t rush to purchase one just to have one.

Next, I’d consider waiting and finding a good #8. You’ll be able to find something usable for about the same money and the extra mass will come in handy.

#4 ‘smoothers’ are readily available and will make an essential addition to your collection.

Consider visiting the following web site:

There you’ll find tremendous amounts of information on almost every type of plane Stanley ever made.

For my money, I have a #8 (jointer), #4 (smoother), #40 (scrub), and a ‘coarse ground’ #5 (jack) plane to serve as an intermediary between my scrub and jointer. Those are the four basics I have and I’d consider for you to begin. After that, you can search for the esoteric scraper planes, router planes, etc.

If you do get into hand planes, consider a good sharpening jig such as the Veritas model.

A sharp plane is a joy to use…a dull one, drudgery and frustration.

View Pittard's profile


5 posts in 2701 days

#13 posted 01-30-2013 10:45 PM

Can someone help me trust my dating on a Stanley No 7 plane…

It has three patent dates:
Mar 25-02
Aug 19-02
Apr 19-10

I think this makes it a Type 11. Am I correct or are there later types with three patent numbers stamped into the bed? Would there be newer “reproduction” or fake models produced later to “memic” the older models?

Still learning and all responses appreciated. Thanks guys!

View shampeon's profile


2031 posts in 2920 days

#14 posted 01-30-2013 11:00 PM

Nope, no reproduction planes. If it’s got three dates it’s either a type 11 or 12, per Hyperkitten.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3164 days

#15 posted 01-30-2013 11:09 PM

That No 7 is waay overpriced, keep looking. I paid $17.00 for mine.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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