Car-boot sale treasures #3: One man's boat anchor... Stanley 55 find.

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Blog entry by YorkshireStewart posted 08-21-2011 04:51 PM 3588 reads 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Yorkshire tool gloat Part 3 of Car-boot sale treasures series no next part

It’s not that we needed anything, or, indeed have room for much in our little house and workshop, but Mrs YS and I decided to have a walk around the local car boot sale / flea market this morning (for the exercise of course). Towards the end, I thought I’d escaped without buying, when I spotted a box of delights under a table (I spend most of my time on hands and knees at these events; it’s where they keep the rust). It was labelled £25 GBP & the vendor shouted across: “I’ll take £20 GBP” That’s about $33. Mrs YS went through our usual three questions: “Do you like it?” – Yes. “Can you afford it?” – Yes. “Have you got somewhere to put it?” Well, I’ll manage to find a spot. Deal done.

I have yet to check out properly what’s there, but it’s obviously a Stanley No 55 which I believe should have 55 cutters. There are 37 with this, stored in their original albeit time-worn wooden cases.

Have I bought a ‘boat anchor’? Should I have left it to moulder? Who cares! I’ll enjoy researching the tool, ‘brightening’ it up somewhat & eventually making a box to keep it in. This looks like an excellent source of information and has loads of free downloads of instruction manuals.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

18 comments so far

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3189 days

#1 posted 08-21-2011 04:56 PM

Looks like a good find(and I don’t even like hand planes).

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Karson's profile


35126 posts in 4429 days

#2 posted 08-21-2011 05:18 PM

Stewart: Looks like a gen of a find. Lots of work ahead of you.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4198 days

#3 posted 08-21-2011 06:06 PM

That’s no boat anchor!

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View jschmitz1949's profile


56 posts in 3090 days

#4 posted 08-21-2011 08:14 PM

YS – If you don’t have space for it I’ll give the 25 pounds plus shipping to the US for it!

Very nice find at a really great price!

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3456 days

#5 posted 08-21-2011 08:43 PM

looks like a good deal to me

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 2499 days

#6 posted 08-21-2011 09:01 PM

Excellent find,awsome price! Originally there would have been 4 boxes of knives. Also there is an accessory set of knives-4 more boxes- that pretty much fill in the gaps of the primary set. FWIW the Stanley 45 knives will also fit. The tool takes a bit of practice to get the hang of,but once there it is amazingly versitile and for small amounts of moulding is actually faster than a machine. I have had mine for quite a while and paid way more than you did!

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#7 posted 08-22-2011 12:11 AM

congrat´s with what looking like a great score :-)
even though a few blades is missing of the standard set
I hope you sit down the day you find out how much this boat anker can go for on ebay
and what tooldealers want for them …........I like the look of the 55 its a gogeous looking plane
and is a very nice conversation piece thats even works … lol

looking forward to see it shine and singing again


View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2704 days

#8 posted 08-22-2011 10:49 PM

Looks like a a great find to me. I loved the car boot expression you used. We don’t hear that over here. Have fun with your new find.

View Grumpy's profile


24001 posts in 3880 days

#9 posted 08-22-2011 11:10 PM

Stew, pounds or dollars, that’s a real steal. Great find.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3315 days

#10 posted 08-23-2011 06:48 PM

I’m impressed. Looks like quite a haul—congratulations.


View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3069 days

#11 posted 08-23-2011 07:04 PM

Nice One !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3930 days

#12 posted 08-23-2011 07:26 PM

Thanks for your interest Lumberfriends! Grandpa – Yes, Car Boot (trunk) Sales are a big big thing over here. Usually held on a Sunday morning, often with several hundred sellers, they’re at least 95% kelterment ( a lovely East Yorkshire word for absolute rubbish), but there’s the occasional piece of treasure! Dennisgrosen – Mmm, I see one or two dealers are asking £400 or so for tidy examples (mines far from that) in original boxes. I wasn’t robbed then! jschmitz1949 – I do believe I’ll be hanging on to this. Thanks for the offer! :-) tom427cid – Not that I need to, but I’ll enjoy the search to fill the gaps in the set.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3930 days

#13 posted 08-23-2011 07:28 PM

.... does anyone have the dimensions of the original wooden Stanley box?

Thanks, YS

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2647 days

#14 posted 11-29-2011 05:36 PM

Yorkshire – Is there an update out there re: the #55? Have you built a box? Made mouldings? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

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

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3930 days

#15 posted 11-29-2011 06:49 PM

Hello Smitty. Thanks for the nudge! The truth is that I have, as yet, done very little to it or with it, other than some minor repairs to the wooden holders for the cutters, and make a list of the cutters that are there. From there I started to monitor eBay to fill the gaps, only to realise that buying the 18 blades one by one was going to cost me! So what did I do? Much to Mrs YS’s amazement, I bought a second plane, with more cutters. In the fullness of time (I said) I’ll put together the best from both, and part with what’s left (or not).

I have got dimensions of the original box, and half decent scans of the labels.

At the mo, it’s all systems go in Santa’s workshop, so little time for playing with my jewellery / jewelry’

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

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