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Is the Redheaded stepchild just as good? Pun intended!

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Review by Aidan1211 posted 04-18-2016 03:06 PM 3417 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Is the Redheaded stepchild just as good? Pun intended! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Let start me off with this MY opinion…. Please don’t stalk me slash my tires or leave little bags of lit——on my doorstep because we disagree…... Haha remember those days! I AM very opinionated but I appreciate anything that was made by a true craftsperson and was well thought out including the big guys tools.

I almost hate to do this review and risk people scooping up stuff that I really have become addicted to buying but I’m a woodworker at heart and want to help in anyway I can! BTW Whoever is driving up my bids on THAT auction site STOP IT….Hahaha They’re mine all mine!!!!! Sorry don’t know the movie reference to actually make that funny.

So after conversations with ALOT of different people on the topic of hand plane pros and cons I’ve decided to review a Millers Falls No. 10 Smoothing Plane. For full disclosure those of you that know me or have gotten to know me I LOVE Millers Falls and enjoy the fact that others shun their products for a more common brand. I am a tool dealer and have been for a while now, I get to play with and tune up a ton of different planes I have gone from a fully powered almost state of the art power tool shop to 99% hand tools and have become somewhat of a hand tool freak. I love the control and accuracy of a well tuned hand tool. I do sell the big guys offerings and do believe they make great products once fettled just right, but my heart has gone out to Millers Falls. My first MF was a Number 9 or for Stanley fanatics a Number 4. I was love at first sight, a shiny well cared for example of an older Bailey style bench plane. I have a full stable of Stanley planes from a No. 2 all the way through a No. 8. I use them regularly but I always seem to end up using them to do rough work not because I have a specific collector preference one way or the other (really I don’t haha) but simply because I have found over the years that thats what they excel at plain and simple. So on to the review…....

I picked up 2 MF 10’s a while back and got one up and going but didn’t spend a lot of time fettling it to make really fine shavings. I didn’t really need to because I had my MF 9 sitting on the shelf with a big smile waiting to make wispys. So fast forward to about three weeks ago I get a contract to do a Bubinga Live edge table with Tiger Maple legs. (Curly Maple if you will, looks like tiger stripes to me so tiger it is) To my dismay as has happened with all of us that have ever worked a wavy brick I couldn’t seem to tame the grain on the Bubinga. I tried everything I could think of to get the darn thing to smooth out including purchasing A LN No 62….. I never buy new but this top cost a fortune (Think nice used car!!!!) and I wasn’t about to buy it from the customer. So what to do???? I get a few card scrapers and bring out a customers Stanley No. 12-1/2 (Thanks Scott) The LN got things relatively smooth but I still had a lot of tear out to deal with (Used toothed iron and straight iron). End result was some darn sore hands and still more work to go. I got it close enough to do my initial oiling and moved on to the tiger…..... Darn Maple gave me the same problem, I must be really good at picking crazy grain because the maple acted as if i was cutting it with a dull rock. (My Edges are stupid sharp mouths set stupid tight) So I say to myself time to think outside the box. I pull out this dirty crusty MF 10 tune it lap it and really put some major effort into getting her just right. After about 6 hours of cleaning honing tuning and lapping she ready to rock and roll. WOOOOOOOOOW that old girl takes to the wild grain like it was straight grain southern white pine….. Wisp Wisp Wisp!!!! You could see the tigering in the freaking shaving!!!! Again Love in my eyes. Darn Engineers at MF did it again. Picked up the old girl for about $25 in lethargic and down trotten condition almost looked like a dumpster diver that found the wrong dumpster to dive in. I know what I paid was steep but Hey I like MFs stuff I pay dearly for the stuff that I really want (You know what I’m talking about right Bill!) Either way in the condition I’ve got the old girl in now I’d be more than happy to pay $100 and it’s still cheaper than the LN which did well but not as good at the end!

In closing Guys if you want a solid performer don’t look down your nose at Millers Falls it will blow your mind how so many people pass it up because Stanley is the “Household Name”. At the end of the day there are collectors and Users. If you wanna collect and just dust em off once in a while then call me I’ll trade you my Stanleys for your Millers Falls ALL DAY LONG! Sorry Stanley enthusiasts I’m not saying Stanleys aren’t as good I’m just saying I have had better results and opinions are like———- everyone has one. Mine is the other guy isn’t garbage its just as good or in this case BETTER. I too started with only Stanleys and passed up some MF early on that I kick myself every time I think about it!

And just in case you didn’t already think I was slightly nuts my go to Jointer Plane is actually a Record 07 from the 70’s that my dad tuned and gave to me (Thanks Pops) maybe it works better because his spirit is actually the one pushing and guiding it or it just is better who knows.

Have fun and make LOTS of shavings. We are are collectively keeping the american craftsperson spirit going for my boys to enjoy!

If you know of a MF Plane that is being abused let me know I’ll Rescue her and take her to the spa for a well deserved bath and tune!

Robert

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.




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Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days



18 comments so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3956 days


#1 posted 04-18-2016 05:49 PM

Did that mean that I paid too much for the stuff I bought from you? NAHHHHH!
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#2 posted 04-18-2016 07:03 PM

Bill I try to hold you to the fire everytime without success!

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

9699 posts in 2447 days


#3 posted 04-18-2016 07:05 PM

Robert, I think the MF #8 is actually a #3 in Stanley speak. The MF #9 is equivalent to the Stanley #4. I do agree with you on the quality the MF tools. BTW hang on to those MF #10’s, they’re price is climbing of late since the Stanley 4 1/2’s have become almost untouchable price wise!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#4 posted 04-18-2016 07:08 PM

You are absolutely right! My brain was going one way and the fingers another!

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#5 posted 04-18-2016 07:11 PM

I think all of the other brands will start climbing since the market has figured out how many stanleys there really are. The MF and Union tools are getting really hard to acquire in any kind of quantity vs. Stanleys I can usually buy 20-30 decent Stanleys for every 3-4 MF and 8-10 Unions.


Robert, I think the MF #8 is actually a #3 in Stanley speak. The MF #9 is equivalent to the Stanley #4. I do agree with you on the quality the MF tools. BTW hang on to those MF #10 s, they re price is climbing of late since the Stanley 4 1/2 s have become almost untouchable price wise!

- theoldfart

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View Lumberpunk's profile

Lumberpunk

334 posts in 2332 days


#6 posted 04-19-2016 12:46 AM

I have a #9 #10 and a #22c love them all.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

1084 posts in 1600 days


#7 posted 04-19-2016 02:40 AM

I fell in love with my first MF No 9 and I’ve been keeping an eye out for more MF locally, since. Recently picked up a second No 9 because a) it needed a little love and b) it was less than $20. Would love to add a 14 sooner rather than later and really want to get a 24, but that may take a while.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#8 posted 04-19-2016 02:57 AM

Good to hear I’m not the only one with an “affliction” for quality tools!


I have a #9 #10 and a #22c love them all.

- Lumberpunk


-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#9 posted 04-19-2016 03:00 AM

MF stuff is kinda hard to get sometimes in decent shape there are probably 1 MF for every 30 Stanleys. Keep your eye out and you MIGHT find one I didn’t buy up!!! Nice thing is the prices for them are still pretty reasonable but if you find one you better buy it now Stanley prices have been slowly dropping and other makers are slowly rising. Or at least that has been my observation as of yet!


I fell in love with my first MF No 9 and I ve been keeping an eye out for more MF locally, since. Recently picked up a second No 9 because a) it needed a little love and b) it was less than $20. Would love to add a 14 sooner rather than later and really want to get a 24, but that may take a while.

- WillliamMSP


-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View sampavman's profile

sampavman

3 posts in 1231 days


#10 posted 04-19-2016 03:40 PM

Speaking of non-Stanleys, what do y’all think about Ohio Tool Co planes? Seems like their irons are much thicker than the stanleys. Also, the lack of brand recognition sometimes means you can find for decent bargains. Any opinions?

View chiseler's profile

chiseler

124 posts in 884 days


#11 posted 04-20-2016 01:43 AM

Your welcome Robert,I think I figured out why you tried to talk me out of buying MF,you want them all for yourself LOL!!
By the way guys and gals,when it comes to vintage tools (which I am a fanatic about) Robert is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time,he is extremely knowledgeable,honest,a straight shooter, fair prices,and just a good guy,(and no we’re not in business together LOL)Thanks Bob

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too! Ask me how I know

View firebirds's profile

firebirds

2 posts in 763 days


#12 posted 04-20-2016 01:51 AM

Great tool

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#13 posted 04-20-2016 12:04 PM

Haven’t had a lot of experience with Ohio Tool planes but from the buzz around me they seem to be solid and perform well. As far as the thicker irons the early unions also came with thicker irons and I have a lot of experience with them. They perform exceptionally well and I enjoy the heck out of them. Early unions are in my opinion some of the best on the user market. I thoroughly love collecting and using them. Very true on the bargain side for the Non-Stanleys but enjoy it while it lasts people have started to figure out that Stanley made a copious amount of planes and aren’t as “rare” as the other quality brands this driving the non-Stanley brand tools pricing up!


Speaking of non-Stanleys, what do y all think about Ohio Tool Co planes? Seems like their irons are much thicker than the stanleys. Also, the lack of brand recognition sometimes means you can find for decent bargains. Any opinions?

- sampavman


-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

198 posts in 822 days


#14 posted 04-20-2016 12:07 PM

Thanks Scott you made me blush! Be careful how many people you tell that I’m good you’ll ruin my rep…. Hahaha and I’ll have to sell my babies! And you bet ya on the MF. I want them all to myself! Hahaha


Your welcome Robert,I think I figured out why you tried to talk me out of buying MF,you want them all for yourself LOL!!
By the way guys and gals,when it comes to vintage tools (which I am a fanatic about) Robert is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time,he is extremely knowledgeable,honest,a straight shooter, fair prices,and just a good guy,(and no we re not in business together LOL)Thanks Bob

- chiseler


-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

2238 posts in 2311 days


#15 posted 04-22-2016 08:19 PM

Millers Falls planes are a well made plane in my book, I own a few that I have picked up at flea markets and garage sales; cleaned, re-sharpened and put to use in my shop.

Along with the Record, this is an often overlooked tool by the Stanley collectors.

I have more than twenty planes in my shop, all users, that I have acquired them at the flea market and garage sales, and I have never paid more than $25 for any of them. Oh yeah, they will ask enormous process but I explain that the value they have on that tool is for the restored version … about 20 hours away.

E-bay has lots of over priced Planes … get off your butt and go visit your neighbors when they have a sale … I bought a #4 Stanley that still had the decal on the tote for $7.50; I put the blade in the right way, sharpened it and it sits proudly in the till.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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