Besides P-51’s & B-17’s (how can you NOT love these old warbirds/), I’ve mentioned in the past that love old wood planes & can’t really see what all the hype is over new expensive planes which can’t work any better than my old ones (don’t get me wrong…I think they’re beautiful and, no doubt, work really well, I just, well, I just don’t get it…that’s all. And I really don’t understand getting a low(?) priced new plane that many people seem to continue to make excuses for because of the workmanship.
Now, while I have continued to deny being a collector of planes, (I’ll admit to collecting shopsmiths…not a real efficient use of space, I’ll admit) I probably am kind of a plane collector. Not a total nut job with hundreds that I’ll never use, but a group of about 20 of different sizes & uses, most…ok, many…ok, some of which I use, and I do intend to use more.
Ok, back to the point of all this. Why I like old planes. First, I like ‘em because they’re old. But it’s not the age. Lots of old stuff is just old junk. Old wood planes are a part of American history. Some of mine were used to build things in the 1800’s…the 1800’s. They make me feel good just using them & feeling that. For me, a big part of woodworking is the “feeling” part of it. Sure, I like seeing my completed work, but I’ve really come to love the process. It’s like taking a trip by train. It’s not just the destination…it’s also the journey.
Second, I don’t buy rare or pristine planes. I get (collect) ones that I can restore & that I’m likely to use so the prices range from reasonable to downright cheap.
Here’s my most recent purchase, a Stanley #18 block plane. It was $15.50 plus $5 to deliver it.
I used the electrolysis method for the rust, a bit of wire wheeling & lapped & sharpened it. It took about an hour in total and the end result is:
It just seems to me that, for about $20 and some elbow grease, this beats the heck out the new low priced planes (& new Stanleys) and makes a shaving that even the expensive planes can’t improve on.
I know that I’ll never convince everyone that this is the way to go…not really trying, why would I want more buying competition on ebay, I just wanted to write down a bunch of my thoughts on the subject.
So I did. -SST
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you