Tool Musings - Thoughts about tools and working with them. #4: Oddball tools to love and hate.

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Blog entry by David Kirtley posted 07-20-2010 05:48 AM 1679 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Thoughts of the Tool Orphanage. Part 4 of Tool Musings - Thoughts about tools and working with them. series Part 5: Made from scratch. »

I hate some of my tools. I love some. It doesn’t really follow any pattern. It is not the most expensive or the cheapest. I picked up some oddballs in my “collector” days and never really used them. Now, I am actually using them and see them in a different light. Here is a short list:

I hate my Stanley 45. It is the proverbial jack of all trades and master of none. The adjustments suck. The seating for the cutters is pitiful. It chatters. The screws shake loose unless you crank them down too tightly. It doesn’t track well. The skates on the body are too sharp and hang on everything. It is hateful to use. I can hardly wait until I get a decent plow plane. It is the most frustrating tool that I have ever used. It is almost easier to just cut grooves with a chisel. It is one of those tools that has so much promise and you keep trying and trying to find out what it is really good for and it falls flat every time.

My Stanley 66, on the other hand, is amazing. It is supposedly for holding scrapers for beading and reeding but much like Clark Kent, that is it’s mild mannered disguise. It has an alter identity. With the “other” cutters, it is one of the most wonderful small routers available. It gets into the tightest places, it actually rides it’s fence. You can actually adjust the fence from the top without tools. Unlike other small routers, it has nice big handles that you can hold and turn and it goes where you tell it You can lift one side and take a lighter cut and work your way down to full depth. The cutters don’t stick out as far as other routers and don’t hang and twist off in other directions like other routers. The cutters are cheap and you can make them whatever shape you want.

My cheap knock-off Stanley 95 clone (from AMT, anybody remember them?) is another special purpose plane that is really nice to have. It is not a plane that you use that much by itself but it is a great little secret weapon. Get ready to edge joint and make a couple passes with it to set the angle and then pull out the jointer. I can’t say that I would buy one of the new remakes at the premium price but if you find one that is cheap, don’t hesitate. Snap it up quickly.

Well, I got that off my chest. Have a great night.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

3 comments so far

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3024 days

#1 posted 07-20-2010 06:42 AM

I know what you mean. For the most part, a lot of my tool collection is sort of fluid. By that I mean, I use what I have or I eBay it and get rid of it. I have very few tools that I keep just to look at and collect. My most favorite single tool that I own has got to be a little ebony block plane that I think I paid $15.00 for. It cuts so beautifully and wiht a 52 degree blade angle, it is great for flushing joints as well as some smoothing a smaller areas. It is a great little tool.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 07-20-2010 08:35 AM

hello David as a newbie in to this woodworking world I will proppeply
collect the same kind of odballs :-)

the 1/4 inch mortiise cheisel you name in the other blog is a sashmakers tool
when they make windows and have to make the mortisse for the locksystem
and the holes to the mittle posts

take care

View vicrider's profile


179 posts in 2864 days

#3 posted 07-20-2010 09:17 AM

Hi David,

I have the Stanley 95. It’s a great little tool. Lee Valley has two new ones, a right and left that go for $109 a pop.,41182,48945

Stanley quit making this plane in 1961, a mistake in my book. Got mine at an estate sale in about 1985 for $12 as I recall.

have a good day,

-- vicrider

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