Over the weekend I setup an appointment with a computer client to review a Windows XP to Linux conversion, providing a much more powerful and newer machine than her tired old Dell. The street price for my services and machine was going to be around $250, depending on training time given. We got to talking about what I have been doing since the last we spoke (about 2 years). When I mentioned I was expanding into woodworking she told me about a stash of her grandfather’s hand tools she would be willing to offer in trade for services rendered and the newer machine. I wanted to say “Hell Yeah!”, settled instead for “I would be delighted to consider your offer.”
A little background:
Her grandfather was a woodworker by trade. His specialty was intricate hand carvings, in furniture he made as well as in carved pieces to display. If my client will let me, I would like to take pictures of his work and post them here. I do not have to be an expert to know that this man from Holland was a master craftsman of the kind not seen often today. I suspect that some of the tools I looked at were hand made by him. All were hand made by someone who knew the business of making fine tools. The exception in my stash is the Stanley plane, which was her father’s, and is definitely not collectible. Later on that.
So that appointment came and went. Three hours later, I was home again. Of that time, I spent maybe 20 minutes on computer related matters. Here are pictures of what I brought home. Please feel free to comment. I am interested in knowing what I have acquired. While it would be nice to know I have picked up something highly collectible, I really want to use these and their usability is really all I care about. By the way, if it turns out that I acquired a very collectible piece that is well over what I am giving back, it would be good to know. I can give her more time and future services, which is what she would like if the trade wasn’t equitable. If I got less, which I highly doubt, I will say nothing more to her. I’m fine with what I have.
Wooden Marking Gauge
I’ve been meaning to make a marking gauge of my own. When I saw this hanging on her downstairs den wall, I knew I wanted it:
The marking pin is barely 1/32”. It’s sharp, though, so do I assume correctly that this was all the tool needed? It’s in great condition. Note the wood screw.
Wooden Rabbet Plane
I’m calling this a rabbet plane because It will obviously do that, but the stepped bottom leads me to wonder if this is differently named and used for a specific type of rabbet cut. Any ideas?
From feeling the side of the iron, I don’t believe it was designed to cut on sole and sole edge.
Wooden Roundover Plane
I’m excited about this one. The holes on the side make me wonder if her grandfather attached hardware to the side of it for precision cutting along long lengths.
Wooden Shoulder Plane
This has one massive cutting edge. On the nose it is stamped with “R. Carter” and “Troy”. There are three more stampings of the same, mounted around each other in a triangle: “J. Cottier”. This has the feel and size of a heavy use shoulder plane. The iron is till very, very sharp.
I have done a little research on the Web. References to the last name point to an Edward Carter of Troy, NY. The nose of the plane is clearly stating the creator was R. Carter. One in the same?
Stanley C557MP Plane
It didn’t take long on the Web to find this isn’t a sought after plane. Information on its date of production vary greatly, so I don’t know what to think. A couple of sites said they were produced between ‘62 and ‘67. Others have stated they were made in the ‘80s, when Stanley quality had taken a nose dive. Outside of minor surface rust, it is in good condition. The iron is pretty sharp for not being in use for three decades. My expectation is only that it will cut clean and straight once cleaned and tuned up. I wonder if this is in the same class as No. 4. Anyone know?
Regardless of the collectible value of this acquisition (or lack thereof), I am excited about having these tools to add to my working environment. They bring me one step closer to the swoosh of hand plaining, dovetails and who knows what else that doesn’t require electricity and ear protection. Cool, huh?
-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA