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Extremely Average #113: Is it A Good Deal?

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Blog entry by Ecocandle posted 04-25-2010 03:36 AM 1180 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 112: Tonight's blog and a bit more... Part 113 of Extremely Average series Part 114: I bought some Stanley stuff... »

I awoke this morning and ate a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. As I sat and ate, nom nom nom, I thought about the rest of the day. This day was a ‘blank sheet’ and I had some ‘writer’s block’. I intended to work on my jig a bit, so I made a mental note on the blank page in my mind. As I stared at the sole objective it occurred to me that I needed another set of Rockler cam clamps, or as I like to call them, clampy thingies.

A trip to ACME was added to the list. That was all I needed on my list, as I was sure that other good ideas would present themselves. A quick shower and I was off. Out of AAA batteries and air filters for the furnace, I noted it and decided to keep my eyes open for a reasonable place to buy both.

ACME in Cedar Rapids has recently increased their hours on Saturday, now open until 5:00, or is it 5:30, I don’t know, I just know that it is not 3:00. It is ironic that, on this day, I was not in danger of bumping up against 3:00. I arrived with all sorts of time to look around. I found my cam clamps, ran across a feather board, and then happened to see the Shop Fox set of templates. I already have this set. What was interesting is that when I saw it, I realized that my design for the router planer portion of my jig was all wrong. I didn’t need to make a special base plate, I could just use the 1 inch template. The bit I had imagined using for the planing is actually 1 1/4”, so it obviously wouldn’t work. I picked out a lovely 3/4 Freud double flute straight bit.

While at ACME I met a delightful gentleman named Mr. Houser. He is a woodworker and turner. It was obvious that he is much more experienced than me, and we talked about lathes. I can’t remember the name of his lathe, but it sounds very cool. It is made in Australia and doesn’t have belts. How it keeps it’s pants up, I don’t know, nor did I ask. His mother was an artist who kept meticulous records and we discussed the merits of such. It did get me thinking about how I am, through the blog, actually keeping pretty good records of my projects. This made me happy.

Target called me into its big boxness and I looked about for my batteries and air filters, which I promptly found. I mentally crossed it off my list.

When downtown Marion appeared up ahead, the list suddenly included, ‘shop at antique stores’. So I wondered into the Park Place Hotel Antique Mall. It is right next to the Boardwalk Hotel Antique Mall, and only a few spaces from Go. I did not pass Go, nor did I collect $200.00. In fact, I had a bit of a financial crisis.

At one of the booths there were a couple of very enticing hand planes. A Stanley 110, Stanley 220, and a Stanley 15 spokeshave. All 3 could be had for $79.00. I don’t know if this is a good deal. I am hoping a reader will be able to tell me. I decided I would risk it. All three are in beautiful shape. I am sure the bottoms will need to be lapped and the blades sharpened, but to look at the bottoms they very nice. The rest of the bodies are excellent too. Now I don’t now anything about antique hand planes, but I have been lusting after getting some planes, since I bought the English plane.

The problem began when she ran my debit card. It gave her a weird message that she had never seen, so she tried again, and it didn’t work. I had checked my balance before leaving for the day, so I didn’t know what the problem was until I got home. Both charges were pending. I called and asked her about it. It turns out that the antique mall isn’t set up for debit cards and that was the problem. So I got on the phone and called PayPal and a very helpful man named Chris was able to cancel both sales. He was great, as if I had just waited for the charges to come off on their own, it would have taken 5 business days for the money to show up back in my account.

The good news is that the lady at the Antique Mall put all three items behind the counter for me. I will simply go get some cash tomorrow and then use legal tender to buy them. That is, unless the clever readers tell me I shouldn’t. So the question of the day is this, is this a good deal. Stanley 110 $25.00, Stanley 220 $25.00 and a Stanley spokeshave @ $29.00?

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com



11 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2345 posts in 2458 days


#1 posted 04-25-2010 04:38 AM

The spokeshave is a 15 ?
Maybe a 51 or 151 ?.
I think prices are fair.
If you have never had a spokeshave before you are going to enjoy working with one.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1025 posts in 2947 days


#2 posted 04-25-2010 04:47 AM

Patrick Leach is probably the very best source on the web to learn about the good, and not so good hand planes. Scroll down to the bottom of his front page and go to the set of planes you want to know more about. Remember, Leach is a bit of a plane snob, but a very educated plane snob. I have bought and turned down offers to buy planes based on his words. Good luck.

http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#3 posted 04-25-2010 07:09 AM

It might have been 151, now that I think about it.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

788 posts in 3656 days


#4 posted 04-25-2010 04:42 PM

A Stanley 220 is a $5-$10 plane. Nice, but common. The 110 about the same price, but not as useful.
If you watch ebay, you can get a handle on the going rate for these things. Not sure on the spokeshave, but that sounds a bit high unless it’s a #151 with a clean blade. If the blades are pitted on any of them, I wouldn’t buy them. (actually, I wouldn’t buy at these prices, anyway.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3189 days


#5 posted 04-26-2010 04:45 AM

Yeah, I know you are pretty technology savvy already, but here has been my approach. check ebay, factor in shipping, and factor in that you can look at what you are buying. Even with good photos, it is easy to overlook a flaw (like a TINY crack in the sole) unless the seller points it out. The seller doesn’t usually know what they are selling though. I know I’m posting too late to help you, but let us know what you decided.

For a very reasonable price, I’d strongly recommend a book on planes. While you can learn a lot about planes on the web, a book allows you to read from start to finish without the fear of huge gaps in your foundational knowledge. No book could teach you everything there is to know about planes, or even the come close, but it can give you a good overview of how they work, what to look for in used or new planes, and how to tune/use them. Aside from that, make sure you are reading Chris Schwarz blog. You’d love his writing style and you can search for the keyword “plane” to learn a lot for free. Then you’ll buy his book just like i did.

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

788 posts in 3656 days


#6 posted 04-26-2010 11:08 PM

If you continue to look for planes, another great site is : http://www.hansbrunnertools.gil.com.au/Stanley%20by%20numbers/Stanley%201.htm

The pics are great, although I have found the values he lists vary widely from actual selling prices on ebay. (Usually, his are too high; for example, I just bought a Stanley # 18 for $15.50 plus $5 shipping It looked awful with a lot of surface rust (but not deep pitting) I spent about an hour in cleanup time & it came out just about as nice as the one in Brunner’s picture which he says has a value of $120). Even without the need for cleanup, you should find these for $35-50.

The comment above is valid in that you’ve got to figure in some shipping, but all the ebay vendors I’ve dealt with have been accurate in their description, or, if a little vague, will answer your questions readily & honestly, so don’t be afraid to ask. Also, if you decide to get more into planes, you just can’t read enough on the subject.

Have fun & be sure to wave as you go by me on the slippery slope. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#7 posted 04-26-2010 11:11 PM

Great comments. Though sadly they came the day after I made my purchases. Oh well. I still like my planes. You can see them here. I do appreciate it though.

http://bit.ly/crbVJe

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3189 days


#8 posted 04-27-2010 03:15 PM

I’m not saying this is the case, but if someone told me I overpaid when spending $80 on four planes, I’d say “Maybe I did, but I could have done much worse.” The ones you got were in pretty good starting condition. Good luck.

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#9 posted 04-27-2010 09:55 PM

It is interesting, someone who read my blog, posted the pictures of the Jack Plane on another woodworking forum and I have already been offered $160.00 for it. There is a large contingent of people who want to ‘save’ the Jack plane from being used, but I really love my Jack plane and I don’t want to sell it. I am going to keep it and use it and love it and quite possibly blog about how I used and loved it.

It is ok if overpaid on the others, as it made me a little smarter. Next time I will be able to wheel and deal. :-) I consider the bit I over paid, tuition. :-)

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 3189 days


#10 posted 04-28-2010 01:09 AM

I’ll admit, I’ve never seen one that is actually called a “jack plane” like it is labeled on the box. I always thought it was really just a number 5 being called a jack. My guess is the value is being driven by the box and manual along with the fact that it is a sweetheart plane (assuming that logo went with the jack). If it were me, I’d sell it and buy an old #3,5, and 7 with the money. We are all different though. Just out of curiosity, does the box or instructions have a date printed on them? I couldn’t find anything about your plane on patrick leach’s website. I’m just wondering how old it is. It doesn’t look THAT old, so I wonder what makes it so valuable to someone. The large brass knob also leads me to believe that it is a “newer” old plane. If you aren’t interested, don’t worry about looking into it. I’m not trying to send you on any errands to satisfy my curiosity. I’m just thinking aloud here.

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 2527 days


#11 posted 04-28-2010 06:21 AM

The people on the other site did a bunch of looking around. One person has one, though in much worse shape, and says it is from the 30’s, apparently that is when the 4 square line was out. I have checked and there aren’t any dates anywhere. I don’t think it has been used too much as the sticker on the handle is only partly worn away. I would think that if it had been used more that it wouldn’t have lasted too long.

I appreciate your idea about selling it and buying another plane, but I think I will probably buy other planes regardless and just keep this one. I really like it. There is something about it…possibly has secret powers. Did I mention the magic genie that comes out and grants wishes? Oh well, it isn’t an important detail.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

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