Around the Shop #10: Stanley #55 Set Up Follow Up

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 09-13-2015 07:17 PM 1075 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Winding Sticks Part 10 of Around the Shop series Part 11: M-W TCA Regional Tool Meet Feb 2016 »

I guess my definition of “Soon” is somewhat lax lol I had mentioned before (5 months ago, in this blog post I had taken some extra pictures and I would do a follow up on how I set up the various skates of the #55 to make the molding profile I had been testing out.

So this is the profile I had been using:


There are up to 3 skates on the #55 ( I used all 3 on this profile, but only two with the smaller version of it).

First is the skate that’s on the main casting. I set the iron depth in the #55 to be where you would expect a #45 to be, or any other plow plane.

Then there is the sliding skate. The sliding skate on the #55 is much like that of a #45 or #45. The big difference between the #55 and those, however, is that it can also be adjusted up or down, as well as in or out on the rods.

I start by setting the sliding skate to be close to the outside edge of the iron

After the horizontal position is set and locked in, I adjust the vertical height, and position it just below the edge of the iron (ideally the same distance as the main skate and iron)

And lastly, there is an additional skate that can be used in between the other two skates. It is also height adjustable, and gets set in a similar way. Unfortunately I don’t have many other detailed pictures of the actual setting up of the plane, just the skate positions.

And that’s it, off and running. For the two smaller profiles I did not use the 3rd (center) skate, only on the largest one.

My approach is to set the iron in the main skate, and then set the sliding skate to the lowest outside point on the iron (in this case, the very outside has a fillet after the bead). Then I pick another arbitrary spot in the middle of the iron for the center skate (it is limited in how close to the sliding skate it can get, since that’s what it’s attached to).

Hopefully someone finds this useful. Once I get the new shop finished, set up, and get things rolling again I can do some more combination plane related blogs. They’re probably my favorite planes to use (and probably why I have so many…)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

4 comments so far

View terryR's profile (online now)


6232 posts in 1732 days

#1 posted 09-14-2015 01:24 AM

Thanks for showing the skate set up, Mos!
Added to fav’s so when I actually score a 55 I can play along. LOL. Still no router in my shop…I wanna learn to make moldings as nice as yours’, though!

Good luck with the new shop!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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Don W

17882 posts in 1991 days

#2 posted 09-14-2015 10:05 AM

I need to find a set of cutters for my #55.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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#3 posted 09-14-2015 02:08 PM

Awesome. Thank you Mos.

-- ~Tony

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Combo Prof

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#4 posted 09-18-2015 06:46 PM

I think I’ll start to try this tonight if my high commander will let me.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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