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Thread: stanley 102/103 a good purchase?

  1. #1

    stanley 102/103 a good purchase?

    What do people think of the Stanley 102 & 103? If I can find one cheap (not hard to do) should i pick one up?

    I want a plane that can be used one-handed to chamber edges, so that means an old 102/103 or the modern LV or LN equivalent. Patrick Leach call them "Junk", so that causes me some pause, but hey, LN & LV made copies, so how bad can they be..
    -Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Trussville, AL
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    Blood and Gore site doesn't think much of either plane

  3. #3
    The #103, that has a blade adjust lever is nice.
    I've a no name #103, like it. (blade could be better, though, but for chamfering edge, it's more than enough)

    HTH.

    Pinwu

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Austin, TX
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    410
    I got a 103 cheaply at a tool meet. I thought it was a (hate to use this word for tools) cute little plane.

    I do like it because it slips into a pocket and is useful for chamfers or the occasional small spot cleanup. I then got an Apron Plane from Lee Valley. Like al their tools it is very well made. This would be the low angle version of the 103. Also like to kepe it in my pocket.

    How much can you lose?

    /p

  5. #5
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    I bought a #102 at the Restore for about $2.50. I like it.

    I posted it when I bought it, but the search engine just ain't what it used to be.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    102's and 103's are great block planes if you have a smaller hand. I do, and I love mine. I have a Stanley 102, an LN 102, and a Veritas Apron plane. The adjusters on the LN's and LV's are nice. Further, the Stanley 102/103 are high angle. The LN/Veritas ones are low angle.

    The bed angle combined with the adjuster and slightly smaller size vis-a-vis the Apron plane make the LN 102 my choice among the three.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    My most used plane is my LN 102. I've never handled a vintage Stanley 102 or 103, but since they should be dirt cheap, give one a shot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
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    A couple of years ago I got a 103 for five bucks and I love it . It's a great little plane and for the price you can't go wrong. I also have a 102 and they are identical except the 102 doesn't have the depth adjusting lever (which is not the best, but is useful).
    I liked the size of the 103 so much that last summer I got a bronze LN 102 which is now my default little block. I still use the 102 for a lot of little tasks here and there. The iron stanley 102 is a much lighter plane and there are small shaping tasks where I prefer it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I use the LV apron plane.

    I made a bevel fence with a piece of white oak and two rare earth magnets that just attaches to the sole of the plane.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    I have an old #103 I'll sell to you for $10, shipping included, if you want it. It's not pretty. It is an early type 7 with the "S" foundry castings, so it has the added advantage of being old as well as ugly.

    For the record, I have never found a use for either the #102 or #103.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Sorry Mark, I picked this 102 up earlier tonight before i checked back on the forum, based on the recommendations from earlier in the day.

    If the seller is to be believed it's a type 2, and it was only $9.95 so even if I don't like it, it will make interesting desk art at work.
    -Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Dan,

    I hope that one works as well for you as mine does for me.

    Here is mine:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?146013

    If you do not already have one, you may want to make a small mallet for adjusting the blade. Light taps with the mallet with the cap a bit nut loosened a quarter to half a turn should do the trick. To retract the blade, tap on the little hump at the back of the plane.

    There are some pictures and explanation in the body of this post:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...anes&p=1513682

    Even if Mr. Leach is right about them being a little piece of junk, they are a right fine piece of junk.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
    I'd bet Stanley sold a ton of those . . . because they're small, comfortable, inexpensive, easy to use, relatively solid, and useful in so many applications. My unloved 102 was rusting on some gravel at a flea market and I bought it for something like $1. Spent a lot of time getting the sole flat and getting the blade sharp again. There's a saying that your best tools are the ones you use the most, and this one is in my carpenter's tool box. It's come in handy over and over again--easing an edge, trimming plywood to fit, shaving the paint from around sash beads. The recess where the "knob" should be is comfortable and never gets unscrewed. Adjusting the iron is a bit fiddly and more hit-and-miss than on a bench plane, but I find it less fiddly than endlessly tapping on wood planes. Everyone should have one, whether they get one the way I did or from LV or LN.

  14. #14
    I made a Maloof Rocking chair last year and used my 102 for a great deal of the shaping. Believe it or not, it did a great job smoothing curves in the headrest and arms when used cross grain. I've even contemplated grinding the soul convex to make it better for that. It's a great 'beater' plane if nothing else. I found it the easiest of all the used planes to 'fettle'. It's small sole makes it a breeze to flatten with a belt sander, and the small blade is easy to get square. Further, there just aren't that many parts to it, which makes it hard to screw up too bad.

    About the only thing that I've seen happen to them is the dial can get wonky; but even that doesn't affect performance.

    I wouldn't, though, go spending a lot of money on a replacement blade; I'd get an LV or LN b4 that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    That does appear to be a fine and early #102. Certainly the iron is. I hope it works out well. It appears there are several others (who are finer craftsman than me) enjoy using one.

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