Dunlap Plane - Good Deals and Good Friends

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Blog entry by William posted 04-01-2012 01:24 AM 2109 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Between Bertha’s thread, and talking to my friend SuperD and seeing some of his creations as of late, I have been thinking about hand planes.
I am a power tool guy. I guess I always will be. I watch people like SuperD in their videos though with the long beautiful ribbons of wood flowing from a tool that seems to become an extension of their arms, and I think about hand planes.
I know little to nothing about hand planes. I know what they are. I have seen them. I’ve held them. I even tried one once before giving it away because I felt it “wasn’t for me”. I know more now though than I did then, and want to give it another go. I think I can still enjoy them on a limited basis if they are sharpened correctly, a flaw in my thinking from my first plane.
So, while looking for yard sales this morning, I wound up at an estate sale. I walked up just as a guy was paying for a box of about twenty to twenty five Stanley planes, for ten dollars. I just about cried. I knew that if I’d been a few minutes earlier, I could have had a pick of planes and made a couple of friends real happy in the process.
So I looked around under the carport. I looked inside the door, but that was about as far as I made it inside. There is no way I was going inside where about fifty women it seemed were picking through the furniture and glassware. I made another pass under the carport. I seen only one thing of interest. It was a plane. Without knowing anything about it I asked the guy how much. He told me a dollar. No matter what it was, I’ve had coffee that cost more than that for a cup. So I may as well give it a try.

She wasn’t pretty, but seemed to be sound. I found no cracks. All the japaning was in perfect condition. The blade seemed sharp. The only real problems I seen with her was handles, and since I’m a woodworker, I never worry about parts that are made of wood.
So back to the shop since I had my treasure for the day. On the way, I called SuperD to ask some information on the plane. He knows a lot about them, so I figured he was my go-to guy on planes. Since this is my first honest attempt at handplanes, I couldn’t wait to get it back to the shop and tear it up.

This was also my first time tearing into a plane. It was a lot simpler than I thought as far as the hardware goes. It wasn’t as technical or confusing as I was fearing. I cleaned everything up to see what I could find.
I only found three markings on it. The plastic knob above the blade had the name Dunlap on it.
Inside the throat area has a number 3 stamped into it.
And the blade iron as “Made in Germany” stamped on it.
Besides some surface rust, it was pretty clean. The blade was almost black. From my experience with posket knives, I thought that was a good thing. If I wasn’t looking for markings, I may have left it that way. I’m glad I cleaned it up though. I didn’t find the “Made in Germany” staming until I did.
So after cleaning everything up, I give all the metal parts a good buffing with Johnson’s Paste Wax. I don’t know if that was a good thing to do or not, but I put that stuff on everything, so why not?

Yea, yea, laugh if you want to.
I think I done a good job for my first time. I am not exactly happy with the rear handle (don’t know proper names yet), but it will do until I can make another one.

Considering I am a man who used to say he had no use for a hand plane, I’m sort of proud of my little, probably not so good, plane.
So, then I removed the blade. I sharpened it using methods I watched on a Paul Sellers video. I took my time, being my first planer blade, and got that sucker sharp enough that I was shaving hair off my arm with it. Then I put it back into the plane just the way it was when I bought it and tried it out.
I couldn’t believe it. Something definately wasn’t right. I could have gotten better results by beating the hell out of the wood with the back end of a claw hammer. What could it be?
So I took a cigarette and coffee break and thought about it.
I extended the blade all the way out and took a good look at it. With the bevel up, the way I bought it, this put the angle of the bevel almost at a ninety degree angle to the wood. There is no angle adjustment, so how could this be? This would be more like scraping the wood than cutting it. Then it hit me. I turned the blade over.

Hey! I’m not saying it’s perfect!
This is better results though than I got from my first plane, which I assumed was bought sharp and knew nothing of sharpening at the time. So I am happy. My techniques and skills will improve with time.


19 comments so far

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1055 posts in 3215 days

#1 posted 04-01-2012 01:35 AM

Very nice. I like the looks of that plane. I’ve gotten very familiar with planes the past few weeks or so. I hate that my arms are too sore to go and push one tonight though.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2911 days

#2 posted 04-01-2012 01:48 AM

Not too shabby for a first shot. Dunlap was a brand name sold by Sears and Sawbuck named for a makreting VP.
Several sources agree that Dunlap planes were made by the Sargant plane co. Put on your skis, the slippery slope gets faster, and a lot more fun.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View ShaneA's profile


6951 posts in 2620 days

#3 posted 04-01-2012 01:59 AM

Yeah William, its all downhill from here. Pretty impressive tote for first day, first plane. Welcome, and congrats.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 04-01-2012 02:02 AM

Thanks guys.
Yes, I already am thinking of ways to afford more planes. I want different sizes. I also have been looking at some of the tools on Bertha’s thread and have been thinking of all the times it would have been useful to have some of the hand plane type routers and such.


View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2696 days

#5 posted 04-01-2012 02:22 AM

The “Dark Side” is a powerful force. You should use the powers of the force for good NOT evil!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15366 posts in 2640 days

#6 posted 04-01-2012 02:22 AM

Oh, William, you are on your way!!!! ;-) Welcome to the Dark Side!

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

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2861 days

#7 posted 04-01-2012 02:58 AM

Hold on let me sit down, no, lay down. William made shavings. OUTSTANDING! There is no turning back now.
Now we attend meetings here every night. They are known as planes anonymous. Now repeat after me.” Hello my name is William I am not a collector I am a user.”
William all woodworkers need a few planes. Even if you work with machines most the time, a plane can be picked up and tweak your board with ease. Grabbing a plane and taking a high spot or easing a edge is so easy. If you do it by machine you have to set it up, check the cut, test cut,on and on and on. The human eye and hand is the perfect invention. Use it.
I am glad I could help you today.
And the plane looks great!

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

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#8 posted 04-01-2012 03:03 AM

Thank you for your help Super.
I especially thank you for answering my question about the upside down blade iron, WITHOUT making fun of me. I figured I was right, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t something I was doing wrong.

And I am not a collector. I only have one.
Hold on, what’s that I see on Ebay?


View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2861 days

#9 posted 04-01-2012 03:10 AM

HAHAHAHAH he says that now…..........

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

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3100 days

#10 posted 04-01-2012 03:29 AM

A Buck, hay? Boy, some guys have all the luck! How do I know that you’re gonna have a lot fun with your new toy?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2589 days

#11 posted 04-01-2012 12:33 PM

how many of use have said those magic words, And I am not a collector.

welcome to the plane utopia.

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

View StumpyNubs's profile


7598 posts in 2822 days

#12 posted 04-01-2012 01:18 PM

In the words of that neighbor boy I hate so much: “Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet”.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View boxcarmarty's profile


16298 posts in 2381 days

#13 posted 04-01-2012 03:41 PM

Let me know when you figure out how to motorize it…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View boxcarmarty's profile


16298 posts in 2381 days

#14 posted 04-01-2012 03:47 PM

I have a collection….. “But I’m not a collector”

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2864 days

#15 posted 04-02-2012 02:41 AM

I’ve have definately fallen prey to this ugly madness.
I was thinking today that I seen some replacement planer blades for sale at the Orange Nightmare. This got me to thinking about SuperD’s shop made planes.
I think I need to make a couple of those.


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