Hand Planes #4: New Yard Sale Score...

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Blog entry by ryno101 posted 08-26-2008 03:34 AM 1683 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Surprisingly easy to flatten and clean up... Part 4 of Hand Planes series no next part

I’ve got my mom, who is an avid yard-saler, (although out in Western MA, they call ‘em Tag Sales) searching for planes for me to feed the need. She came to visit this weekend, and turned up this beaut for $5!

I did a bit of research, I think it’s a Type 1 (circa 1877-1891) Stanley 127 Liberty Bell:

The combination of trademarks on the blade and toe is what leads me to think it’s a Type 1… the toe is somewhat visible here:

It’s in decent shape, considering the age… the tote and knob are solid, with just a bit of chipping on the spur of the tote, the beech body is only slightly cracked around the mouth, there are a couple of chips out of the sole by the toe:

But other than that, it’s solid, reasonably flat, and considering it’s well over 100 years old, it’s held up pretty well.

According to Patrick's Blood & Gore, these planes are generally “found in dogmeat condition and have very little appeal to collectors/users, but antique shops don’t realize this since most of them are priced way more than they are worth as firewood”.

Gotta love that guy…

Not sure if I’ll refurbish this one, or leave it as-is… maybe a bit of both, clean up the blade and chip breaker, leave the rest…

Y’all have given great advice thus far, WWLJD? That is to say, what would LumberJocks do?

-- Ryno

4 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 08-26-2008 04:01 AM

Nice find ! .... as for myself -If I got something, I might as well refurbish it completely, or pass it to someone else… what’s the point in putting only half the effort? lol

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3967 days

#2 posted 08-26-2008 04:09 AM

i would refurbish it. its a nice find but in its condition i don’t think there’s much value to it. if you could get it working that would be great. just clean it up. reflatten the sole and maybe patch the sole and you’ll have a nice plane for light use or even for a decoration. i don’t know if you were a plane what would you want :)

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 3837 days

#3 posted 08-26-2008 05:52 AM

Keep in mind that my intention is to make a user and conversaton piece…not a historical restorations or preservation….

If it were mine…

I’d disassemble and use the electrolosis method to clean up all the metal parts. Then see what I had to work with. (or maybe straight into the glass bead blaster, depending on my patience level…)

As far as the body and handles and such, before I did any work, I’d get one of those two gallon plastic zip lock bags, and soak them in tung oil for a couple of days, pull them out to let them cure before I did any other cleanup. (Pour the whole pint of tung oil in the bag with the parts and let it soak, save the can because you can pour it back in when you’re done… The tung oil will restore / reinforce the wood before you do any further work. )

That is unless I decided to epoxy a repair to the missing part at the heel, I’d epoxy patch then soak in tung oil. The tung oil soak does a beautiful job hiding any epoxy lines.

Sharpen and polish your blade, refinish the steel, reassemble and try it out…

That is if it were mine…

It looks like you’re having a lot of fun, keep up the adventure.


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 3863 days

#4 posted 08-26-2008 02:54 PM

Thanks for the advice, keep it coming…

To clarify, and perhaps explain my motivation a bit… My general intent with all these plane purchases is to put them into service as working tools… I’m definitely a bit of a collector, but that is not the driving force behind why I’m looking at and buying these older planes. I really want to be able to have a collection of tools that I can actually use, not just keep on a shelf somewhere to look at and admire.

I know that one of the best ways to improve my woodworking is to ensure that what I’m starting with as raw materials is milled correctly, and to do that, I need tools. I don’t have a power jointer or planer, and don’t think that I’ll be able to invest the several hundred dollars I’d need to be able to get tools of any quality, so the best option I have available to me is learning how to properly use hand tools, like these planes.

In order for me to be able to properly learn how to use them, they need to be in a usable condition, otherwise I will end up frustrated by the inability of the tool to do what is was made to do. Thus, this refurbishing project and this blog!

That being said, if I do end up finding something that is worth far more to me being sold to a collector, I’m enough of a pragmatist to realize that if I sell it, I can use the proceeds to re-invest back into more tools! I’ve been researching what’s out there, and from what I’ve learned, it seems as if the refurbishing/refinishing process often makes the plane less valuable to collectors, so if I find a gem, and the consensus amongst my LJ friends is to leave it as-is, then that’s that!

Thanks again to all for your advice and motivation, and thanks for helping to make this journey along the learning curve as enjoyable as it’s been!

And, of course, “Keep those cards and letters coming!”

-- Ryno

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