Just some planes restored #12: Let's trick out a type 21 #4

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Blog entry by Don W posted 07-03-2012 12:58 PM 5614 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Its a 4 1/2 Part 12 of Just some planes restored series Part 13: My Stanley #8 »

Ok, I know type 21 isn’t really a type, its actually the type after the last type, but then we know most types are a bit vague anyhow.

I am always a little saddened by some statements I hear about the later Stanley planes. Although some of it is justified, most of it can be easily overcome and all can be fixed to make a great user plane. I think overlooking these later planes leaves a whole set of possibilities off the table.

Some of the things I like about the later planes like the one pictured is they have a heavy sole. It’s cast heavy and has a heavy look and feel. These planes are also fairly abundant and can be come across fairly cheap. But not all is gleam and glory however, and this is the reason I say some if it is justified. I do like the older style laterial adjuster better, and the frog on the new style has a cheaper look and feel. That said, it will work once tuned.

I’m also not a big fan of the chromed cap, and I often strip the chrome if its in bad shape on any chromed cap plane. This one however was in pretty good shape, so I just polished it up and left it. If you find one with a lot of rust, a good wire wheel will remove it. Depending on your taste, you may want to strip it totally.

Also its worth noting that Stanley (or most manufactures for that mater) never made a plane that was ready right off the assembly line, so tune up is required on every vintage plane you find, and some may take some time. This was actually one of my more enjoyable restores.

The V shaped bars behind the frog kind of intrigues me. I know they are probably there to supplement a lesser quality cast, but it seems to serve the purpose of holding the tote straight as well. These only seem to be on the English made planes and add a little weight as well.

The other sad part is the knob and tote. Its pathetic as is and it just can not be fixed using the existing in my opinion.

But hey, we’re woodworkers. So for mine, I made a set from bloodwood.

I also decided to checker the tote. Now I haven’t had my checkering files out in about 10-15 years, so if you look close, you may find a few slight mishaps, but I was happy with the outcome. Note I also went bold and went straight to borderless.

I was also going to change out the knob and tote screw and the adjustment knob for the brass style, but after just a few minutes the metal came out just fine.

The rest is a normal tuning. I flattened the frog which didn’t take much at all. I flatten the sole, which also was extremely easy (much to my surprise). The iron was sharpened, the back flattened and polished and then put to work. The chip breaker was tuned and polished as with everything I tune.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

18 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 07-03-2012 01:41 PM

Nice work, Don.

I agree with you that the later planes get something of an undeserved bad rap sometimes.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View racerglen's profile


2910 posts in 1866 days

#2 posted 07-03-2012 01:52 PM

And you’ve seen that blue demon of mine..
With time off for a 50th wedding aniversary I’m about to start on it again..

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 1287 days

#3 posted 07-03-2012 02:06 PM

once again what was near useless is now a plane worth working.. great job,, love the tote and knob..
do you sell these? I am needing a tote for a Millers Falls #22… just wondering… again great job on the Stanley,, she sure is purty now… Papa..


View AnthonyReed's profile


6726 posts in 1526 days

#4 posted 07-03-2012 02:10 PM

Checkiering none the less … show off.

Nicely done Don.

Thanks for the post.

-- ~Tony

View poopiekat's profile


4044 posts in 2820 days

#5 posted 07-03-2012 02:11 PM

Nice work, Don!
We can always count on you to Bring ‘em back Alive!
Hey, if you were to ever carve individual finger rests in the forward edge of the tote, would you do it with a rasp, small sanding drum, or what?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Don W's profile

Don W

16817 posts in 1653 days

#6 posted 07-03-2012 02:54 PM

papa, I will make a set for anyone who is wants them. I’ve made a couple of sets for some LJ members.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View BTimmons's profile


2284 posts in 1571 days

#7 posted 07-03-2012 02:54 PM

@ woodworker59 – I’ll happily give Don a plug. I bought a #4 smoother from him pretty recently and I’m very happy with it!

-- Brian Timmons -

View carguy460's profile


796 posts in 1421 days

#8 posted 07-03-2012 03:25 PM

Awesome, Don Yoda…I love the checkering!

-- Jason K

View Dave's profile


11256 posts in 1926 days

#9 posted 07-05-2012 03:45 AM

Don wonderfully written and Stanley should be proud.
Can you explain the checkering a bit more. If you dont mind.
great post!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


5824 posts in 1684 days

#10 posted 07-05-2012 04:15 AM

The original tote shape is a trainwreck. You have done another plane justice.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

778 posts in 2919 days

#11 posted 07-05-2012 04:53 AM

That swisch sound is so cooool. Nice work

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View Don W's profile

Don W

16817 posts in 1653 days

#12 posted 07-05-2012 10:31 AM

Dave, I’ll do a blog on the checkering next time. I was thinking about it this time, but its been so long since I had my checkering tools out, I really wasn’t sure of the outcome.

Brian, thanks for the plug. Every once in a while there’s a plane I wish I hadn’t sold. You got one of them. I don’t know where I’d put them all, but I loved that tote.

Rob, the swisch is like a mothers lullaby.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Dave's profile


11256 posts in 1926 days

#13 posted 07-05-2012 06:11 PM

Thanks Don I await your post.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View lysdexic's profile


4971 posts in 1709 days

#14 posted 08-09-2012 12:46 PM

It’s great what you do with these “undesirables.”

-- I love Jeeps

View Don W's profile

Don W

16817 posts in 1653 days

#15 posted 08-09-2012 01:19 PM

thanks Scott.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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