Planes #2: Rare Stanley #60 Pre Adjustable Mouth

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Blog entry by TD Bridges posted 01-28-2010 08:22 PM 3077 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Heres where it all begins. Part 2 of Planes series no next part

A few weeks I was looking around my local junk store where I got my #4 and found two small block planes sitting on the shelf. One was a #60 1/2 with no blade and another with a broken cap and adjusting screw nut and no readily apparent model #.

I got them home, disassembled them and dropped all the pieces straight into the good old Evap-O-Rust. I left them to soak overnight and all the next day while I was at work. They both cleaned up nicely, so I WD40ed them and set them on the shelf above my desk.

On my next day off I finally got them down for closer inspection. The #60 1/2 was a standard plane with nothing to remark about. But the other was a little of a mystery.

The adjusting rod knob was very clearly marked Stanley even though it was broken. Upon close examination of the planes bed I saw this…

It reads Pat. 8-3-97 No 60

I went to Patrick Leachs Blood and Gore and pulled up the entry for the #60. I read the entry (OK I glanced at it several time without reading it all the way through) and in the last paragraph he describes the model I had found. But there was no picture of it. I searched for many hours over several days to locate a picture online with no success. Therefore I believe that I can safely say that here for your perusal is the first picture of this baby on the web.


Note the lack of an adjustable mouth. According to B&G this original #60 was only manufactured for four years from 1898-1901. Although the knuckle on the blade cap and the adjusting rod knob are broken there are a couple of features I want to point out.

The blade cap iron.

Shown here with a cap iron from a #60 1/2 (on right) for comparison you can see the differences. The keyhole for the screw is much smaller, the impressed pattern is not crosshatch but instead just raised dots (sorry my photo skills did not allow me to get a better picture of the raised pattern). Also the is no raised rim around the keyhole. By the way the screw is significantly smaller than on any other Stanley block plane I have ever seen. The cap iron reads Patd. 10-12-97.

I know this is not a perfect “paperweight” example but as a type study I found it very interesting. It is definitely not a user simply because I do not want to damage it further.

As you can see here someone overtightened the cap iron or over torqued the blade on some hardwood and put a crack on both sides of the blade side of the mouth.

The blade is correctly marked but for some reason it got such a light imprinting that I was unable to get a closeup picture no matter what I tried. Oh, the blade is very sharp, and as far as I can tell full length.

The original size picture is here, if you look closely you can barely make out the blade marking. The Jappaning is untouched by me and overall in fantastic shape for a plane this old.

The rosewood knob is in excellent condition with only a few dings and most all of the original finish.

I can just imagine back when this was new and the proud owner somehow knocked it off his bench, only to pick it up and see the damage and realize it was to painful to the palm of his hand to keep using and just stuck it in the back of his tool chest.

I would love it if this baby could talk. Hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I did finding, cleaning and researching it.

6 comments so far

View Alonso's profile


949 posts in 3235 days

#1 posted 01-28-2010 09:48 PM

TD Bridges,

I was able to get some pics really quick, I just goggle it…..

According to this website he does not recommend this plane at all, due to having a larger mouth opening than the 60 1/2. I will say that yours is a late model, since it does not seem to have an adjustable mouth opening, he also state that this is not rare and it’s a disappointment to just about every user who ever bought one. (I can’t confirm that since I don’t own one yet)
Regardless, this seems to be a nice find, I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me.

View TD Bridges's profile

TD Bridges

46 posts in 3133 days

#2 posted 01-28-2010 10:30 PM

Hi Alonso,
I am sorry but if you will go back and look at that site you will clearly see that the picture there is of a #60 with an adjustable mouth. The very last line also states “First model has non-adjustable mouth…” This is a first model manufactured from 1898-1901 not a late model. Patrick Leach on B&G also describes this in the very last paragraph in his entry on the #60.

I can understand how you missed it as I stated in my post I missed it until I finally got frustrated and read the entire entry.

I do not dispute the fact that it was not the best plane design and I will definitely not be using this one. But as one of the very first low angle block planes with mechanical blade adjustment I find it interesting.

View Alonso's profile


949 posts in 3235 days

#3 posted 01-28-2010 10:55 PM

Woooww sorry I missed that part, probably I did not understand it at first.

I totally agree with you, the older/good condition the tool it is the more value it has for me, perhaps this is your situation too. Again it is a nice finding, now time to hone the blade and get some shavings out. :)

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3751 days

#4 posted 01-28-2010 11:08 PM

Very nice find!

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3106 days

#5 posted 01-29-2010 12:23 AM

Not a brainiac in the antique world by any means, but I did read somewhere that the more valuable antique tools are the ones that were unsuccessful. The “good” tools would be manufactured in large supplies for many years but tools that did not appeal to the market would be produced in smaller supplies and would have a short run. So you might want to check the value on it. Without an adjustable mouth, it may have been a very unpopular model with most items scrapped. If you don’t find it useful for the shop, it might at least be a rare item for the auction block or the personal collection.

Just a thought,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View TD Bridges's profile

TD Bridges

46 posts in 3133 days

#6 posted 01-29-2010 12:49 AM

Thanks sIKE.

David – I did contact Patrick Leach of B&G about a possible value for this plane. He sent a nice reply and basically let me know that his area was more what I like to refer to as paperweights, you know new in the box. With all due respect to him and appreciation for B&G I feel that this does have some collector value especially since it was produced for such a short time, and I have not been able to find any for sale or just to view anywhere on the web and I cannot count the hours over the past few weeks I have searched the web (got lotsa bookmarked plane and old tool specific pages out of it though).

Anyway possession of this plane just gives me another project to add to the list, a storage/display box just for it. With my ever growing plane collection this will be a prized piece.

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