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Stanley No. 3 -- what is it's primary "purpose"?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 07-03-2015 10:05 PM 909 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffP

573 posts in 854 days


07-03-2015 10:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane

At this point I have “amassed” what to me seems like a cornucopia of Stanley planes.

I got tired of waiting for my (non woodworker) Dad to decide he was done with his #4, so I recently gifted myself a brand new Sweetheart #4 from woodcraft. It is, as the name says, a sweetheart.

Today, I was looking for something else in a crate in my shop and ran across a rusty old #2 that I “knew I had laying around somewhere”. On a lark, I pulled it out and spent a couple of hours bringing it back near its former glory. Looks ok now, and works pretty well. I don’t know jack about sharpening plane blades yet, so probably did that poorly. Might just buy a new one.

Anyway, spurred on by my recent upsurge in plane quantity and quality, I rummaged some more and found an old #3 that I scavenged from one of my grandfather’s estates several years ago and never did anything with. This thing is in just as bad a shape as the #2 was this morning. I haven’t refurbished it just yet.

Looking at the 3 planes sitting next to each other on my bench, I was puzzled about what sort of a situation one might find oneself in where neither the #4 nor the #2 was the “goldilocks” plane at the moment.

The #2 and the #4 are different enough in size, weight , and shape that they “seem” like different animals. Not just big and little, but different tools for different uses.

The #3 on the other hand is shaped so much like the #4, and not all that much smaller. Please educate me…what’s it good for?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.


12 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4450 posts in 3423 days


#1 posted 07-03-2015 10:47 PM

I have my #3 set with a straight grind on the iron for smoothing, the #4 with a slight camber. Not as much as the #5 1/2.
The #2 that you have can be worth some bucks if it can be restored properly though some find ‘em hard to use unless you have small hands.
Might wanna share some pics when you get a chance.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

2446 posts in 1654 days


#2 posted 07-03-2015 10:50 PM

Small smoother, barely big enough for my paws, cant imagine having a smaller smoother, (#2) id sell the #2 and buy me a bronze LN #4..

I use a 4.5 for smoothing mostly, have a #4 and 3 in rehab. I think both will prove useful for smaller projects when done, where the 4.5 is just too beefy.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

4773 posts in 1673 days


#3 posted 07-03-2015 10:55 PM

#3 and #4 are both smoothing planes. Which someone wants to use is personal preference. I prefer a #4, but others like the #3 better. Hand size, project size, where it will be stored can all play into the choice. As you said, they are so close as to be interchangeable.

What’s weird for me is that I find a #3 a bit small to use comfortably, but love my #2 size and use it frequently. Though in a lot of cases it’a used in place of a block plane instead of a smoother.

And BTW, you just had a #2 sitting around somewhere? Not sure if that’s a you suck or if you should be slapped. :-) Glad you’ve restored it back to its working glory.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 948 days


#4 posted 07-03-2015 11:11 PM

I use my #3 on small stuff and the 4 1/2 on everything else.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 854 days


#5 posted 07-03-2015 11:33 PM

Interesting. I did not know #2 was valuable.

What do I know. Certainly not a plane expert. It was smaller than the 4 and the 3, and there was a big “2” somewhere on it, which made sense to me.

Actually, after looking on eBay, it looks like I have one of these (apparently much less exciting):

This seems to be a “9 1/2 block plane”. (though it might be a 60 1/2, as they look identical to me online)

Anyway, thanks for the answers. Confirmed my suspicion that to a primarily power-tool kinda guy, it might be nice to clean that other smaller smoothing plane up some rainy afternoon, it doesn’t really have a purpose all to itself. More like a spare for when my #4 gets lost in the shavings.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View upchuck's profile

upchuck

540 posts in 1127 days


#6 posted 07-04-2015 12:17 AM


I don t know jack about sharpening plane blades yet, so probably did that poorly. Might just buy a new one.

- JeffP

JeffP-
If you decide that buying new blades when your old ones need sharpening I’d go ahead and pay for the postage on the old ones just to keep them from cluttering up your shop.
chuck

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JeffP

573 posts in 854 days


#7 posted 07-04-2015 01:26 AM

Chuck,
That’s real big of you. Really appreciate the help. :)

Just watched a couple of youtube videos on sharpening these blades. I reckon I can get it close enough for my use. After all, I’m more of a power tool kind of guy…definitely not a collector/aficionado like some folks here.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1114 days


#8 posted 07-04-2015 01:44 AM



After all, I m more of a power tool kind of guy…definitely not a collector/aficionado like some folks here.

- JeffP


Famous last words.

-- -Dan

View upchuck's profile

upchuck

540 posts in 1127 days


#9 posted 07-04-2015 02:25 AM

JeffP-
Always willing to help where I can. Shop clutter can be a hazard.
chuck
P.S. On a more serious note I find that a #3 is more useful then a #4. I know this is a minority opinion.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17960 posts in 2030 days


#10 posted 07-05-2015 12:57 PM

think of the #2, #3, #4 and #4 1/2 like size 36,38,40 and 42 jeans. Whatever size fits best is the ones you’ll use most.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 854 days


#11 posted 07-05-2015 04:58 PM

Thanks Don. I get your point.

On the humorous side, given where you jeans sizing stopped, I’m thinking there are some LumberJocks who might be needing a #7 plane. :)

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17960 posts in 2030 days


#12 posted 07-05-2015 07:41 PM

Well, I will admit it’s been a while since I could squeeze into a 36”.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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