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Joe A Faulkner
07-17-2010, 1:34 AM
A few weeks ago I checked out a book regarding great shops. I was drawn to the shops with the workbenches surrounded by handtools. I mentioned to my wife that I was interested in some day branching out into handtool projects. Next thing you know, I'm looking at CL ads for handtools. This week, I picked up this collection.

I am interested in putting together a modest collection of "users". I've read a few posts on refurbishing planes and am reading up on how to tune them. Can any of you help me identify the little 4" plane in the photo?

Second question, the #4 Bailey looks pretty rough. Is it worth attempting a restore? There are two fine cracks at each side of the throat. You can't feel them, but you can see them. Also the lever cap is missing the lever.

Third question, the Tote on the #8 Union Jack plane appears to be beyond repair. Any suggestions for where to find a replacement handle?

I violated one of my new rules, which is no new projects until I finish my shop remodel. Does cleaning up an old plane count as a project?

Rick Markham
07-17-2010, 2:46 AM
Joe, I am no where near an expert...(I am in my infancy as far as the neander world goes) I think the little plane is a bull nose plane of some sort. I will let the experts tell ya the details.

As far as cleaning up the no.4, In your pics I can't see the cracks around the mouth, and I don't know if it will affect performance, also the wise folks can fill in the details. If it was mine, I would go ahead and fettle it, and see if it works! If it doesn't, then you have a good parts plane for the future!

As far as restoring planes as taking on a "new" project... you can always say the planes are old, so technically it isn't a "new" project :D Besides, It doesn't count anyway in my book... but I can justify anything ;)

Doug Shepard
07-17-2010, 7:16 AM
I'm pretty sure it's an AMT bullnose. Not sure what AMT stands for but Sears sold them at one time (maybe still does?) I've got better bullnose planes but the AMT can do a decent job if adjusted right.

Jake Rothermel
07-17-2010, 11:29 AM
I always thought bullnoses (which I'm pretty sure yours is, Joe) were used for cleaning up joints, kind of like a shoulder plane? Heck, I could be totally wrong.

And a hefty +1 to Rick's suggestion to just go for the restoration and see how you feel about hand tools! I feel I learned far more about how a plane works by reading, taking it apart, restoring and fettling it than just by buying a premium plane ready to go out of the box. NOTHING WRONG with those planes but if I'm going to spend the money on one, I want to know how to take care of it and how to use it properly. Fixing up a "user" that cost me next to nothing, I feel, gets you there.

Oh, and although I think the tote on the Union plane at least LOOKS usable in your photo, you can find just about anything on the Electronic Bay. Plenty of people putting up plane parts for auction. That's how my #4 got its sea legs!

Archie England
07-17-2010, 12:02 PM
Congrats on the tools--a very good range of possibly good users.

Your 4" plane is a bullnose, used for cleaning up to corners, grooves, dados, etc. Whether yours is a Stanley #75, I know not but I don't think that it's an AMT (looks older than that but could be a Craftsman). Go to the Blood and Gore website for P. Leach's interesting discussion of the Stanley line of tools.

Your drawknife blade is rather used up--but, that's a great thing. It means that you've bought tools that were used just not stored. That's the problem with buying most stuff from "unknown" provenances: you just don't know what you're getting.

The key to restoring each of these tools should begin with sharpening. SHARPENING is the most important component. Coplaner soles, tight totes, slight pitting, etc., are meaningless aspects of fettling these tools if they're not first and foremost scary sharp--that's sharp enough to cut wood!!! Too often we stop short--it's sharp enough to cut flesh. But that's not the goal: flesh is softer tissue than wood. So, get your blades "wood" sharp.

Welcome to the slope!

I applaud your entry and efforts. However, do yourself a favor. Buy one expensive Lie Nielson or Lee Valley handplane. Since these work right out of the box, it will provide for you the STANDARD by which to judge your efforts in restoring the functionality of your old tool purchases. Otherwise, it might take a while to figure that out. (Ask me how I know this.)

Have fun. BTW, working on the tools can be just as fun as working with them. OTOH, working with them can be even more fun.

harry strasil
07-17-2010, 12:13 PM
It's a 75 Stanley Bull Nose Rabbet, or a knock off of one.

Although I don't do iron planes mostly Woodies, the tote is a common ailment for planes. Its not unusable, just file or sand off any sharp places and try it.

As for the minute cracks, etc, before you go to a lot of maybe unneccasary work, just clean the bottoms (soles) of the planes. sharpen the irons and give em a test drive.

As far as the missing lever, just make a temporary small wooden wedge to drive in its place to see if you like how it works.

As you can gather by my post, I am not one for doing a lot of fettling, which I call "Fiddling", that outa stir up some, its all about if the tool works to satisfy you, not how pretty it is, after all its an old user tool not some extremely rare priceless thing that should be put on a pedestal behind glass and worshipped. Its like anything else old, even bodies, as it went thru life it got used and abused and picked up a few dents and scars, but they still work.

Terry Beadle
07-17-2010, 1:00 PM
Highland Hardware has totes in rose wood that should give you a quick fix. However, it's not hard to make your own totes. There are several places on the web that show how to make one. If memory serves, the Lee Valley folks even have a plan for a tote that you can use. I like making my totes out of Babinga. I nice grain interlocked wood that will give you good service and look beautiful doing it.

Regarding the reconditioning of the #4, I vote with the guys above. Sharpen the blade and check the flatness of the sole. Give her a go. If she will take 2 thou shavings you are in business. If the plane is unpredictable in results and the cracks are the cause then you can get a welder to braze the cracks. Just make sure the plane is anchored to a good piece of steel to absorb most of the heat if possible. Be prepared to have to re-flatten the sole and maybe dress the sides depending on how much brazing is required.

You've got a great start to a wonderful experience.

Good Luch and best wishes for shavings galore !

jerry nazard
07-17-2010, 1:30 PM
...after all its an old user tool not some extremely rare priceless thing that should be put on a pedestal behind glass and worshipped. Its like anything else old, even bodies, as it went thru life it got used and abused and picked up a few dents and scars, but they still work.

Harry, you do have a way with words. That was especially good! :D

-Jerry

Jim Koepke
07-17-2010, 2:00 PM
A lot of good advice precedes this.

As far as the #4 is concerned, I would not put too much effort into it. The #4 is a very common size and you can most likely buy another for less than the cost of having someone braze the cracks. Do as Harry said and have fun with it until you find a good base that needs parts. I really can not see from the pictures, but it looks to be a type 8 or earlier. I have a few of those and at least one has cracks in the same place and it still works great. If the lever cap isn't broken, it shouldn't be too difficult to to find the lever and rivet to get it back to working.

Often an old #4 like this is worth more as parts especially with the wood in good shape.

jim

george wilson
07-17-2010, 2:51 PM
At least,with the raw knife being that narrow,you can use it better for hollow curves.

Rick Markham
07-17-2010, 5:05 PM
As for the minute cracks, etc, before you go to a lot of maybe unneccasary work, just clean the bottoms (soles) of the planes. sharpen the irons and give em a test drive.

As far as the missing lever, just make a temporary small wooden wedge to drive in its place to see if you like how it works.

There ya go that's the key right there, don't waste your time on the sides of the sole and aesthetics until you know you can get it to function acceptably. My take is it is worth the effort to fettle all of the them, it's a good learning experience, and a good start to refurbing planes. I find it enjoyable personally.

Here's the real key to all of this... Hopefully there is someone around you that would be willing to share some experience and hands on examples of how a well functioning plane works, it will speed up your learning curve. I was in the camp of get a premium plane first so I had a good working tool and could learn why it works. It helped me tremendously but isn't required!

Just DONT get FRUSTRATED, be prepared to set it down for awhile and read some good replies to any questions you need to post here. There are a lot of little factors that go into getting a plane to work just right, so it takes some learning... but it is so incredibly worth it! Just don't toss it on the shelf and give up! It will change your woodworking tremendously!:)

Harlan Barnhart
07-17-2010, 5:39 PM
Second question, the #4 Bailey looks pretty rough. Is it worth attempting a restore? There are two fine cracks at each side of the throat. You can't feel them, but you can see them. Also the lever cap is missing the lever.


I have a #3 with cracks trailing the corners of the mouth and it is my favorite smoother. I take it with me on job sites because I don't have to worry about damaging a "good" plane.

Peace,
Harlan

Joe A Faulkner
07-17-2010, 10:33 PM
I spent most of the day working with my wife on getting a bedroom back in order after painting it. We even did windows. As I was putting the furniture back in the room, including twin beds I made last summer out of hickory, my wife gestured towards a small pine workbench/saw horse that my oldest son made as his one and only 4H woodworking project about 10 years ago. She asked that we not use this as a night stand any longer. After a brief objection, I gave in. While she wasn't looking, I moved the little bench to our bedroom, set it at the foot of our bed and placed a couple of the old planes on it along with a candle.

An hour later she commented that she didn't much care for my idea of interior decorating. I guess I should be happy that I've got the shop to remodel. Thanks again for all the feedback on my questions. I look forward to fiddling and fettling with these handtools.

Joe A Faulkner
07-18-2010, 11:40 PM
Went out to the shop this afternoon to make a little leg for a suit case. One of the plastic ones broke of. I plan to replace it with some scrap hardwood. While rumaging around, I came across this little 3 1/2 inch plane that I forgot I had. I think it was left in the garrage by the previous owner. Long story short, I decided to fettle this as my first attempt at tuning a plane. The pictures don't do the sole justice, it actually looks fairly consistent heal to toe. I've got along way to go in learning to sharpen an iron, but doing a little test run on a piece of hickory produced shavings. Another baby neander takes his first step. :)

harry strasil
07-18-2010, 11:52 PM
It's called a Thumb Plane, I have a similar sized Stanley 101 that is my go to tool for breaking sharp corners in my basement shop and for my Demo shop I made a Woodie counterpart. Quarter is for size comparison.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/thumbplane.jpg

Rick Markham
07-19-2010, 12:29 AM
It's called a Thumb Plane, I have a similar sized Stanley 101 that is my go to tool for breaking sharp corners in my basement shop and for my Demo shop I made a Woodie counterpart. Quarter is for size comparison.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/thumbplane.jpg

That's just a lil guy...

Good looking work on the sole of that plane Joe! I think your ready to start work on your collection there!:)

harry strasil
07-19-2010, 12:44 AM
This dowel grooving plane is about half the width, but a little longer.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/dowelboxandfluttingplane.jpg

Rick Markham
07-19-2010, 1:09 AM
This dowel grooving plane is about half the width, but a little longer.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/dowelboxandfluttingplane.jpg

Harry, Man it really kills me that I don't live in Lawrence Ks anymore... you would have to chase me off on the weekends. I'd be bugging you to show me all your tools that you have, and bothering you to let me apprentice in your blacksmith shop. You would never have a moment of peace! I guess I'm kicking myself for moving to Florida, and your grateful I did :D

Joe A Faulkner
07-19-2010, 6:40 PM
That is a neat little plane. I take it your basement is fairly dry. The metal looks rust free.

harry strasil
07-19-2010, 11:06 PM
Air conditioned and dehumidified

Steve Branam
07-21-2010, 8:17 AM
I applaud your entry and efforts. However, do yourself a favor. Buy one expensive Lie Nielson or Lee Valley handplane. Since these work right out of the box, it will provide for you the STANDARD by which to judge your efforts in restoring the functionality of your old tool purchases. Otherwise, it might take a while to figure that out. (Ask me how I know this.)

Now that is an excellent piece of practical advice! You really do need to have a good benchmark on hand to know when you've got things in proper shape. When I started using hand planes, I struggled for quite a while, the sweat pouring off tackling the simplest tasks, because I thought I had done a good enough job preparing the tools, but I hadn't. Only by luck did I realize I had to go further, and eventually the work got much easier.

Getting just one really top notch tool is an affordable and worthwhile investment. Of course, that becomes another slope all its own...

In fact, maybe I'll take that advice today. Honey, where did you hide my credit card?