I should preface everything I am about to write by saying I am very new to woodworking and so I cannot be looked upon as anything but a beginner; I am no expert so don’t think this is a blog from a pro!
A few months ago I embarked on a journey to build a workbench based on a design inspired by Christopher Schwarz’s book “Workbenches.” Specifially I am attempting to build his French-style Roubo bench. Long-story short, I found it difficult to joint and plane the very long boards needed to make the top. I am using Douglas Fir and unfortunately it is a very “bendy” wood which requires a good amount of jointing in order to have flat surfaces for the big glue-up. I have a good power jointer, but to get the little high spots I got inspired by comments posted by Dave Pearce to use hand planes to flatten everything up.
So I bought a number 4 and number 6 off ebay. The number 6 looks pretty old – the cap shows a 1918 production date although I can’t be sure that the rest of the plane is from the same era…but I would not doubt it! I wound up paying about $40 for it. The number 4 was not a Stanley…it’s apparently at “Firestone” although I thought that was an auto-parts company…the production date on that one says 1946. Either way, it looks and behaves alot like a Stanley and I read somewhere on a blog that it is suspected that Stanley actually built those planes for companies like Firestone who just put their logo on it. In any case I only paid $10 for it so it was a good deal!
Here’s the Stanley Number 6 in “as-is” condition when it arrived:
Here is the front view:
And here is the sole:
It actually looks worse than it is. There was a lot of surface rust and darkened metal due to years of what I imagine is non-use. However, there are no cracks in the sole or anywhere else on the body of the plane. The frog is intact, no cracks, and the front and back handles were intact without any cracks. The top of the back handle is missing wood, which I believe was something done on occasion with older planes so that the adjustment screw could be tightened harder when the wood moved…but either way the handle is solid and there is no wiggle. All the parts were there so I just needed to clean it up…here we go!
-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.