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Forum topic by adam77 posted 12-31-2009 02:02 AM 1120 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 3500 days

12-31-2009 02:02 AM

For Christmas I recieved my first plane. A Stanley 5 in a half. Its a very old plane in great condition. The bottom has corragations running front to back. I ve found a lot of info on the number 5 plane but I cant find much on the 5 and a half. Is this a collector plane or should I use it? Also theres not much meat on the original blade. Where can I find a replacement blade? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

3 replies so far

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

67 posts in 3092 days

#1 posted 12-31-2009 02:58 AM

Hi, Adam:
The Stanley 5 1/2 is the wider, heavier version of a jack plane. The wider blade makes it a terrific tool for flattening table tops, chair and table legs, etc…..before breaking out the smoothing plane….#4, 4 1/2, or even a #3.

During that era, Stanley made a lot of these planes. They also made a line of planes called Bedrock’s, which the current Lie Nielsen bench planes are modeled after. Your plane is a fairly common plane, but not as common as the regular #5. The 5 1/2 is actually one of the planes that I use the most at my bench.

As far as value goes, I’m not a collector, but these planes are quite common, and are readily available at auction sites, at flea markets, etc…..You should learn how to tune the plane up, and use it to improve your results in woodworking projects. It’s a user, not a collector’s item.

As far as replacement blades go, there are several options. Ron Hock makes excellent replacement blades, and so does Lie Nielsen, Lee Valley, and several others. Also available are Stanley actual replacement blades, which I personally don’t care for. If you look at your blade, the thickness of the iron is not too sturdy. You can make the tool perform much better by getting a thicker iron for it. Hock and Lie Nielsen would be the two that I would consider.

Depending on it’s age, the blade is either 2 1/4” or 2 3/8” wide. You need to know this before buying the wrong one. With my old Stanley Bedrock planes that I restored for use, I purchased replacement blades AND cap irons from Hock. If you want more info on tuning the plane, just ask.

-- Jeff Heath

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3757 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 03:15 AM

One of my favorite references is “Patrick’s Blood and Gore”, an unusual title but helps you to get an idea how your plane compares to others, with some great anecdotes and little-known information. Click this:

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3398 days

#3 posted 12-31-2009 04:30 PM

Definitely use it if it’s viable condition. A very similar Record 5-1/2 is one of my favorites. The 5-1/2 is less common than the #5, but not a rare collector’s item.


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