Question about a No 7 Vintage Stanley Jointer. Got some twist.

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Forum topic by BuzzardBird posted 06-08-2014 02:37 PM 1663 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1808 days

06-08-2014 02:37 PM

I’m new, I’m true, but I’m blue!

Hello LumberJockers, BuzzardBird here with a hand plane question. I would love some input. So very grateful.

Question: Anybody find a bit of twist in their jointer to be workable? At all? Curious if anyone has to their surprise, found some wiggle room in these longer planes? If that’s not moronic question.

Received a little Sweet Heart era beauty No. 7 in the shop to assist with some 8’ glue ups. I’m no hand plane pro but know the gist and the need for three point coplanar and the evils of twist.

How bad is it? It’s noticeable on my winding sticks and you can visibly see some lift on a flat iron top surface. The front left side of the toe seems to be the main culprit, with some wear at the toe as well. The gaps here go far beyond thous’ of inch. more like a 1/16th at the worst of it. But hey, it’s a long plane right? ;]

Again, looking to join some LONG boards together. Also working with nice LN jack and a refurbed smoother. Was hoping to get a little action out of the new guy.

Also if you must know, simply to pity the fool, paid about half as much as a new LV jointer

Greatly appreciate any input.

PS. The tote’s hardware is currently being refurbished, so the obvious “me just trying it” test isn’t happening just quite yet..

15 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3100 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 06-08-2014 02:42 PM

1/16 is a lot of twist. You need full contact with the front and rear at least if you expect to square something up. Is it the plane, are you sure the surface you have it on is flat?

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2427 days

#2 posted 06-08-2014 02:55 PM

^^^^What Bruce said^^^^

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View bandit571's profile


22748 posts in 3042 days

#3 posted 06-08-2014 02:57 PM

Find something long and flat
Get a belt from a beltsander, or three coarse, medium, and fine grit types
Glue the belts to the flat surface

Have the #7 assembled, but retract the edge of the cutter as far back into the plane as it will go
Black Sharpie pen: make a lot of lines going across the sole, left to right.

Run the plane back and forth on the coarse belt for a few trips

Look at the sole, and note where the Sharpie marks remain. This will tell you where the LOW spots are,, keep going until most of the lines are gone

Mark the lines again, then hit the medium for a bit, recheck. Rinse and repeat as in the coarse step

Finally a few passes on the fine belt, just to polish the sole a bit. Wipe things down, and add a bit of wax to the sole. Then go make some jointed wood.

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

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2919 days

#4 posted 06-08-2014 03:01 PM

bandit571 has it. For a twist of 1/16th, that is going to be a LOT of sanding. Like, hours. You’re going to get big, meaty arms. No need to go to the gym. But if you stick with it, you just might get it useable again. Good luck!

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View bandit571's profile


22748 posts in 3042 days

#5 posted 06-08-2014 04:29 PM

Really, a jointer plane does not need to be perfectly flat along the entire length of the sole. It does need to be coplanar along the areas where you will be using the sole.

While a smoothing plane SHOULD be perfectly flat, MOST jointer plane never were. The main reason the OP’s has a “twist like that, is wear. Like a track where the owner(s) used the sole the most. They may have held the plane skewed a bit. It may have been a comfort thing as to how they gripped and used the plane.

Have a Stanley #31 About the same width as a #7, but is 24” long like a #8. At the nose, the right side was worn more than the left side, by a bunch. Back at the heel, the left side was wore a bit. Most of the wear was at the right side along the length. Why? Because the user would keep a couple fingers under the plane to keep it level and cutting straight. Same might be going on with a cast iron bodied #7. Lots of wear.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

19160 posts in 2926 days

#6 posted 06-08-2014 10:11 PM

for 1/16” I think i’d start on a power sander, get it close then go by hand.

2 other options, find someone who will machine it,


Find a new sole.

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

View Pezking7p's profile


3230 posts in 2010 days

#7 posted 06-08-2014 10:29 PM

I just had a #7 that had about 0.007” of bow in the sole. It was not useable. After about 2 hours with 60 grit paper I’ve got it down to 0.005” bow and it’s usable, but barely. If I had a plane that had 1/16th twist in the sole I would put it on the shelf and buy a new one.

-- -Dan

View Buckethead's profile


3195 posts in 2227 days

#8 posted 06-08-2014 11:25 PM

I’ve been trying to reshape/sharpen a couple irons and chisels this weekend. What a laborious and un gratifying process. A full sixteenth from a jointer sole seems like a big project.

I should note, however, that after cleaning up my new block plane, and removing the nicks from the iron, there was a moment of gratification when I ran it over a piece of maple, only to reveal gossamer shavings. That was nice.

So… You guys don’t suppose it could be twisted closer to flat? I realize its brittle, but if this isn’t from wear, but maybe from having been dropped? I’m rambling. Forgive me. :-)

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3718 days

#9 posted 06-09-2014 01:42 AM

I’ve rehabbed a few planes and I don’t think I’d even attempt to flatten one that’s 1/16” out of flat. If you paid about 1/2 of what a new LV jointer would cost, you should try to take it back. For that much money, it should be flat. If you can’t return it, you might want to contact Tablesaw Tom and see if he thinks he can save it for you. Tom does excellent work. PM me if you want his contact info.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2262 days

#10 posted 06-09-2014 05:50 AM

It is possible a twist can be removed or at least improved in cast iron.
A twist can happen to multi-ton metal lathes that have sat on an uneven floor for a period of time.
First, it needs to be determined where and how much twist there is.
If the plane has a twist the full length, opposite corners at the toe and heel will be raised.
A word of caution, doing what I describe, its possible the plane could break at the blade slot, so go easy.
Say, the plane shows raised 1/16” at opposite corners toe and heel.
Use same height wood blocks under the four corners, clamp the corners down pulling the twist flat.
Then with a brass or soft metal hammer, or very careful with a polished face steel hammer, ping the casting all along the sides.
Then remove the clamp pressure, and ping the casting again. Test to see any improvement.
When the casting is pinged under pressure it will help “set” it in the right direction.
When the casting is pinged with the pressure removed it will “relieve” some of the stress that was just induced, but, the casting most always starts improving.
Go slowly doing the same thing over and over- set, then relieve.
Most likely, you will end up using shorter blocks on the high corners when clamping, but work up to it, dont do it all at once, or it will surely break or crack.
You asked-there it is.

View BuzzardBird's profile


5 posts in 1808 days

#11 posted 06-12-2014 07:15 PM

Gentlemen, thanks for all the replies. Truly appreciated, as these replies really solved my dilemma.

Bandit your observations about good ol’ fashioned wear, relative to explaining the “twist”, seems to be right on the money here.

All the tips and reality checks on sole flattening are golden.
This reaffirms my original position—that I am simply not up to this task.
Sadly/happily I will return this plane. Will revisit acquiring a (new) jointer in the future, but for now I will merrily be putting the “Jack” in my Jack plane to good use ;]


A personal, anecdotal observation on Ebay/used planes. Timewise, can’t say I really recommend the ebay plane thing without great caution. Obviously subjective, but perhaps wisely, severe caution should apply to vintage $100 + planes (as in my case) which undoubtedly carry high probability for flaws/headaches (despite seller’s listed specs), along with a diminishing return on value, compared to buying a brand new plane. After all, the greatest sin of this particular plane is that is was used as intended, but for decades. Why should it last forever?

A common counterpoint to that: I myself, picked up a $60 Sweet Heart era smoother that I’m pretty happy with. It’s far from perfect too but it’s flaws paired with the tool’s remaining quality AND decent price, worked out in this case. Plus what I learned from refurbing and studying it were priceless. But in general, in the future, I think I’ll skip some meals and save for the new plane.

Last, I’ll just add, perhaps like many of you, I do weigh these decisions in terms of economics: my own, but also where/ who do I want my money to go? I’d much rather it go to a private individual (ala ebay) rather than a globalized, outsourced corporation (Stanley/ WoodRiver). Additionally, I’m also more inclined to pay a bit more for a domestic (and superior) product like LN. Anyways, I find this particular yarn germane to hand planes in particular..

View Buckethead's profile


3195 posts in 2227 days

#12 posted 06-12-2014 07:54 PM

BuzzardBird… Stick around. There are a couple guys here who sell planes regularly. You can take them at their word, and you’ll likely get a better price on a usable plane than you will for an abused plane on eBay. Not to say all eBay deals are bad, but there’s quite a few people who seek solely to maximize profit.

There is a hand plane pun in that last sentence.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View BuzzardBird's profile


5 posts in 1808 days

#13 posted 06-12-2014 08:19 PM

Buckethead that’s great to know actually.


For Sale: No 7 Sweetheart Dandy with a Twist. Come on down!

I kid, and I look forward to a more vetted market place..

View Don W's profile

Don W

19160 posts in 2926 days

#14 posted 06-12-2014 08:29 PM

$100? I now know why I can’t keep my jointers in stock.

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

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2248 days

#15 posted 06-12-2014 09:29 PM

Don, Ive always thought you sell your stuff WAY too cheap, i always thought you were giving me sweet deals.

Your stuff is worth much more i think.

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