LJ friends and gifts. #6: Soviet USSR equal Stanley #5 1/2 gift from Ukranian LJ George

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Blog entry by mafe posted 08-16-2012 08:19 PM 3958 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: A pack arrived from Canada - Thank you shipwright. Part 6 of LJ friends and gifts. series Part 7: DK David visit my new work shop. »

Soviet USSR equal Stanley #5 1/2 gift from Ukrainian LJ George
Thank you George.

Soviet equal Stanley #5 1/2 as it arrived in the box.

I said it before – if we knew how amazing life can be we would not believe it!.
This story is just one more prove that kindness really exists and that life can take magic turns.

Old times:
My grandfather Ole (photo) was a naval military man, high range, working in Washington for five years as a military attaché for the Danish government, but even more interesting he was the chief of the secret Danish cold war force fortress in the old days where we were shadow fighting the Soviet as I think all can remember.
Why do I tell that?
To say that all is possible, since that time the cold war ended (1989), the walls were broken down and a new open world emerged from this, and this is what made this story possible to ever happen. Ohhh yes and the internet.

New times:
Some time ago I made a blog about how to set up Japanese hand planes Kanna.
Fellow LJ George Ukrainian military officer had read this and he asked me kindly in a mail if he would be allowed to translate this blog into Russian and post it on a Russian wood site where he is also a member and he and some friends were interested in this.
Since I believe in sharing I said yes and that it would just make me happy and proud that others could learn from my journey down the woodworking road.

The blog in Russian:
Go to gogakot Больше 50 сообщений

Press here.

Internet forum site or public site for Russian-speaking people who love to play with wood.
Notice my new name: Мадса (MaFe).

This lead to George and I talking planes and he kindly offered me a Soviet equal Stanley #5 1/2, and those of you who know me also know I have a huge curiosity for tools and a soft spot for planes from all over the planet, so I thanked him yes.
OMG a Soviet equal Stanley #5 that is so cool!!!
He had an old unused one that was greased up, a little rusty but all new.

Next was to get the plane to Denmark where I live, the shipping was so expensive that George decided to look for alternative transportation and all of a sudden after some months I received a mail that a plane was traveling to Denmark from Ukraine in a car… And few days later I received a mail from my uncle in Jutland that two men had come to his house with a pack for me!
Press here to see the journey of 2500 Kilometer it had made:

Here you can read about where George comes from:

I was on vacation in Jutland (part of Denmark) and we passed my uncles place to pick up my pack from George.
So here is my uncle, he is trained a forester (I think it’s called), he is standing in front of sheds he build himself and my father had made the drawings for him so wood runs in the family.
Thank you Henrik for helping me on this one.

Here in front is the Soviet equal Stanley#5 plane from George.
The plane in numbers:
Sole: 37,8×8 cm / 14,9×3,15 inches
Blade 6,5 cm / 2,5 inch.
Weight, 3 kilo / 6.6 pounds.
Original Stanley #5 1/2 Jack plane, 15”L, 2 1/4”W, 6 3/4lbs.
(In the back a Marples rebate plane I just got from England, but this I will tell about another day).

Here the sole, not as bad as it looks since it is more machine grease than rust you see.

The handle is made of brown Bakelite (it seems).

The knob of black.

Notice how big the adjustment wheel is.

So first step is to take it apart.
I am to my surprise finding out the frog and the lever cap is made from aluminum.
This explains why the weight of the plane is the same as the original even though it is heavier in the body casting.

Then some cleaning to remove the worst grease and rust.

Plane after first cleaning.
The body is pitted with rust and the paint quite thin so I decide to repaint it.

Masking tape.

Sanding and degrease.


While the paint dries I flatten the bed of the frog.
Sandpaper on glass plate.

Painting some details…

Final paint on the body, I choose a dark gray to stay close to the original.

Flatten the lever cap end to secure a good grip.
Notice the paint detail…

The handle and knob are polished and given some car shine.

Blade is bend as George had told me.
No problem, fixed fast with a hammer.

Time to sharpen and see the quality of the blade.

Almost Japanese…
Back fast flattened, really cool.

I want a 30 degree angler so I need some sharpening.
A lot…
The steel is really hard, this is a good sign.

I take a pause and flatten the chip breaker on glass and sandpaper.

Fine like this.
Full contact.

The plane put back together again.
Now I can lap the sole and sides on a glass plate.

And some more sharpening.
A few hundred strokes…

Side after lapping.

Sole after lapping.

And here it is!
Fully restored.

U11P model…
I guess.

And from the back.
I think it became quite elegant.

Paint detail…
Some would have chosen a red star.
I choose a red heart.
For love and believe in peace and friendships.
The cold war is over, kindness has replaced it.
My grandfather is dead, may he rest in peace, I am sure he would have been happy and proud of this story.
Thank you George for making this possible.

Shiny sole ready for planing.

Might need to open the mouth a little since it is really tight, but this is a lot better than the upper side.

I will name the plane George.

Here I am Мадса with my favorite pipe, a whiskey and in a good chair, smiling and sending you and the whole world a smile and a peaceful thought.


The mouth was too tight so the shaves got stuck.
This is easy solved with a metal file or a multi tool.

Then some adjustment and finish.

And the mouth is better…

Yeps, fine shaves in relatively hard wood.

Looks good, perhaps it could use a little more opening, but this will do for now.

So here you are George, shaves that brings smiles.
Thank you.

News from George:
These symbols are Russian, Ц11Р in translation this is “Price is 11 Soviet Roubles”. In those times when that palne was made (probably 1970-1980) my father, an engineer with specialist diplom has had month salary near 140 roubles. And he has received this salary only after 5 years of work on his plant.

Thank you George for all the nice words we have exchanged I will here bring a few:
Here in Ukraine where I live or in Russian all tools are imported and are very priced.
Currently we have not our producer of woodworking handtools. On the fleamarket people can buy old Soviet era made planes (I have bought these) near 6-8 USD per plane, or old Soviet chisels near 2-3 USD.
Here exists a little people who work by handtools. Big shops use machines for gain profit and little use hand tools.
Only a few people buy contemporary handplanes, saw etc.

Sadly it is the same song in Denmark.

The best of my thoughts to you and yours George,

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

29 comments so far

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3145 days

#1 posted 08-16-2012 08:25 PM

George if you have any info on the plane I will be happy to know it.
Producer, name and so…

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

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2912 days

#2 posted 08-16-2012 08:33 PM

Mads & George,

thank you for a wonderful story and

a great plane


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 2748 days

#3 posted 08-16-2012 08:42 PM

Beautiful story, and a beautiful #5…... You are one blessed guy mafe.

-- Chuck

View Jonas Öster's profile

Jonas Öster

5 posts in 2456 days

#4 posted 08-16-2012 09:10 PM


The stamp “ц 11 р” is short for “цена 11 рублей” – “price 11 rubles”. In the Soviet economy, prices were fixed and were often stamped on retail goods by the manufacturer. The reason was to prevent retailers from selling at a higher price (this was called “speculation” and treated as a crime).


View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3145 days

#5 posted 08-16-2012 09:18 PM

Jamie and Chuck, thank you. ;-) yes I am truely blessed.

Jonas: So the price was 11 Russian rubles = 0.35 U.S. dollars when the plane was moulded.
Amazing, I wonder when that was…
Thank you Jonas, interesting story.

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

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2990 days

#6 posted 08-16-2012 09:29 PM

Great story Mads.

It’s an amzing journey for the plane.

This said don’t be surprise that people think of you, you have been sharing your knowledge with all of us.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View SPalm's profile


5321 posts in 3938 days

#7 posted 08-16-2012 09:39 PM

What a wonderful story.
And a nice looking plane.
Thanks for sharing – these stories touch my soul.

Peace my friend,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4247 posts in 2617 days

#8 posted 08-16-2012 09:47 PM

Awesome just really great to hear and see. Mads- Well done on the rehab of the plane.

So nice to see you back to doing woodworking things and still relaxing.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2280 days

#9 posted 08-16-2012 09:50 PM

Oh to know the life story of the plane – what woodworker used it to make a baby cradle or a game table or a chair to relax in the sun with Mafe? What a great story and what a fantastic example of how woodworkers the world over have something in common above nationality and language. Thank you!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3390 days

#10 posted 08-16-2012 10:08 PM

A very heartwarming story Mads. One of the wonderful thing about handtools is that they are portable, sendable, cultural, useful and relatively inexpensive all at the same time. No wonder we love and cherish them as you do!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View waho6o9's profile


8242 posts in 2632 days

#11 posted 08-16-2012 10:36 PM

Thanks for sharing an awesome story!

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8006 posts in 2854 days

#12 posted 08-17-2012 12:36 AM

Great story Mads.
You define woodworking ”friend”.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3359 days

#13 posted 08-17-2012 12:56 AM

mads you sure have a wonderful heart, and the story’s that your able to tell are possible because you have a loving heart and have made wonderful friends all over the world, its men like you who make lumberjocks the special place it is, thank you for a heart warming story, i just read this as im getting ready for bed, no better way to end the day then with a story like this…bravo…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 2702 days

#14 posted 08-17-2012 01:20 AM

Great story, thanks once again.

The only thing that I would change is that front knob, but I respect it being original and intact for sentimentality.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View NormG's profile


6203 posts in 3059 days

#15 posted 08-17-2012 01:21 AM

Thank you for sharing the planes travels to get to you. Wonderful restoration of the plan also, hope it is around a long time

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

showing 1 through 15 of 29 comments

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