I went to an auction West of Fort Worth, Texas last week. During the auction this plane came up.
I did not know what kind of plane it was or what it did. The bid was $15 and I was not going to let it go for that so I held up my hand. Someone else did the same thing. The auctioneer got the other guy at $20 and me at $25. I figured what the heck. No one else bid and I got it. Didn’t know what I had but thought it was neat looking.
I came home and found out it is a Stanley #48 Tonguing and Grooving plane. After going to a couple of websites, I think it is a Type 1 from the late 1880’s or 1890’s.
Why is it a Type 1? According to The Superior Works: Patrick's Blood and Gore ”The early models of the plane, those that are japanned, have the characteristic bead turned at the base of the knob. ”
Yep, got the japanning and the bead around the base of the knob.
The website says ”the fence on the earliest model is about 2/3rd’s the thickness as that of the more common japanned models; the earliest being 7/16” and the later being 3/4”. ”
Got that too.
The website says ”The plane, when put in full production, was japanned, with brass lever cap screws (for the cutters).”
Those are definitely brass screws.
The site states ”The original cutters of these planes do not have a circular notch cut on their right side up toward the top.” No circular notches near the top of the cutters.
Also the site says ”It’s very easy to distinguish the earlier japanned models from the later World War II japanned models – the earlier models have a vine decoration cast into their totes whereas the World War II models have the fish scale-like casting to them.
Got the right handle.
However, there is one issue. In the next sentence after the one quoted above, the site states ” Further, the World War II models don’t have any patent date information on them.” There is no patent date on the plane. Most of the early japanned models are said to have the patent date either cast below the handle or the patent date stamped on the sole in two lines. My plane has no patent date anywhere on the plane.
So all this leads to the question, how old is this plane?
The other question, what is it worth?
Finally do I recondition it if I am going to keep it or resell it or just clean it?
For now it is just cool looking at it setting on my desk.
One final note. I went to the auction because it had a number of pieces of Ridgid equipment to sell. Some of the pieces were new, never used. The others had barely been used. I was interested in the table saw, a model 3650. There were several of us woodworkers there. Only one of us bought any of the equipment. He bought the table saw without a guard for $450! The new version is $499. Everything went for near new or in some cases over new cost!!!! I guess there is a sucker born every minutes.
-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school