Shop Tools #20: Union 42 Tongue and Groove Plane

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by WayneC posted 09-28-2013 03:01 AM 7754 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: Stanley 140 Part 20 of Shop Tools series Part 21: Stanley 66 Hand Beader »

Another tool is moving into the toolbox and taking up residence. This one is a Union 42 tongue and groove plane. It was purchased to go with a Union 41 Tongue and Groove Plane I got a while back. These are functionally the same as Stanley 48 and 49 T&G planes. The Union 42 is the equivalent of the Stanley 49 and appears to be much less common that the Union 41. The Union 42 is designed to cut tongues and grooves in stock 3/8” to 3/4” thick, and centers its groove on stock 1/2” thick. These planes typically come with three blades. The normal cutters are 3/16” wide. They also came with a 5/8” wide cutter for working with wider stock. Both of my planes came without them. If you need replacement blades, they can be purchased from Saint James Bay Tool Company (use Stanley 49 blades).

Basically the fence rotates. In one position it cuts the tongue and the other it cuts the groove. I was not able to find an electronic copy of the manuals for these planes, but they are essentially the same design as the Stanley planes. A manual for the Stanley 48 and 49 can be found here.

With the Union 41. You will note that the 41 is slightly larger than the 42. This is probably because the 42 is a later model plane that the 41. It also has screws rather than the knobs the 41 has knobs.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

10 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile


7150 posts in 3390 days

#1 posted 09-28-2013 05:02 AM

Beauties! I have the 41 but I’d love to have the 42.

You gonna’ show some shavings?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View WayneC's profile


13800 posts in 4336 days

#2 posted 09-28-2013 05:45 AM

I will.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8542 posts in 2221 days

#3 posted 09-28-2013 08:11 AM

Nice. I haven’t even tinkered with a tongue and groove plane yet. I would love to eliminate router setup time on small projects.

Looks like LN pretty much copied this design. I’m eyein’ one of those.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Don W's profile

Don W

19050 posts in 2806 days

#4 posted 09-28-2013 11:41 AM

Its cool you have the set. They look a little different. Are they different vintage?

I’ve got the #48, #49. They are fun to use.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View WayneC's profile


13800 posts in 4336 days

#5 posted 09-28-2013 01:43 PM

Red, Make the jump man. :)

Don, if they followed the Stanley approach then the 42 is later in the production run. According to B&G the 48/49 were shortened later in production and the blade knobs were changed to screws. I will keep my eyes out to see if I can spot another example. I think only two have sold on eBay in the last 6 months or so.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3328 days

#6 posted 09-30-2013 11:26 AM

And a nice tool it is!
I love these, they are so well thought out.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View WayneC's profile


13800 posts in 4336 days

#7 posted 09-30-2013 03:16 PM

Thanks Mads.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


15820 posts in 2857 days

#8 posted 09-30-2013 04:25 PM

Great that you have the two of them together, Wayne. Love me some T&G plane-age…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Ub1chris's profile


129 posts in 1619 days

#9 posted 10-08-2014 04:08 AM

I know this is an old thread, but a 42 is for sale in guelph, on. For $65. Looks to be in good condition. Too bad I’m far over my tools budget lately.

View trophyjoe's profile


48 posts in 2486 days

#10 posted 06-27-2016 12:28 AM


A few years ago, I bought a box of rusted iron. Among the bones was a UNION 41, no cutters—otherwise functional. After cleanup, it will make a user if I can find cutters. To tell the absolute truth, I only plan on using it to cut 1/4” grooves. so I only need one cutter. What advice would you offer for making this tool usable?

Any advice would be appreciated.


-- Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics