Old Stanley planes

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Forum topic by milesb posted 01-20-2010 05:48 PM 1676 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 3291 days

01-20-2010 05:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stanley plane no 5 5 japanning

Hello all, I was wondering if anyone could provide some insight on Stanley planes from 1900-1920. I’ve been looking to buy an old #5 as a first plane to learn about the process. Is it common to find these with 90% or more of the japanning remaining? I know there are copies out there, but i’ve done my research on what to look for and the ones I’ve come across have all the proper characteristics, but they’re in excellent shape. I just don’t want to buy a reproduction. After 100 years can they be that well taken care of? Thanks.

9 replies so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3873 days

#1 posted 01-20-2010 06:19 PM

You need Patrick's Blood and Gore.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3194 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 06:32 PM

I have a No. 7 with patent date at 1864, which based on some online dating tool puts it at around 1880. Besides a little rust on the frog, the plane has I’d say 99% of its original japanning on it…at least from what I can tell.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3712 days

#3 posted 01-20-2010 07:02 PM

i have several pre wwII stanley hand planes with 90 to 95 % japanning left, i am a hugh fan of old stanleys, they are easy to get working as long as there isn’t to much rust or pitting. the only thing i have upgraded are my blades, a nice thick hock blade and you can throw up really thin for price that will depend on the condition, but i haven’t paided more then 40 or 45 bucks for mine, then a little tlc and you have a great plane for life.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Spiffpeters's profile


11 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 01-20-2010 11:24 PM

“After 100 years can they be that well taken care of?”

If a hand plane has been used for the past 100 years chances are great that it is in great shape. However, it is usually that the plane has not seen the light of day for decades or longer.

Aside from rust or a pitted sole, these guys respond quickly to a little TLC. And there is nothing like the gentle sound of a well tuned hand plane gracefully gliding across a board, peeling off the thinnest possible ribbons of wood.

It’s a wonderful experience. And most #5’s are a bargain in the $20-$30 range. Just avoid one that has seen a lot of corrosion.

-- Some say the glass is half full, others say it's half empty. I say the glass is too big. George Carlin

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 3530 days

#5 posted 01-20-2010 11:51 PM

try this

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View milesb's profile


14 posts in 3291 days

#6 posted 01-21-2010 12:34 AM

Thanks for all the information. This is the one I’ve been looking at, it has the correct patent dates, beautiful rosewood tote and knob, correct lateral adjuster, and original iron (as far as I can tell), and almost all the japanning reamains. I wouldn’t mind if some more experienced eyes took a look, but please don’t take it, I’m attempting to buy my first plane here. Thanks.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4096 days

#7 posted 01-21-2010 12:50 AM

Looks like a nicely restored Type 13. I would rate it a buy… This is the type I normally target (note the 3 patent dates). Earlier you do not have the frog adjustment screw.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3287 days

#8 posted 01-21-2010 01:18 AM

i got my eyes on that same plane thanks for the info. im the one who got the highest bid on it now.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4194 days

#9 posted 01-21-2010 02:10 AM

I have a number of Stanley planes in my shop (I am not a collector…I am not a collector) and This one looks great. It has the look of a restored plane, but unless you’re a purist collector, that’s not an issue. They are great tools in the shop. If they look good, too, so much the better. I know some will say it’s good to replace the blade with a thicker one, and no doubt that’s a good idea, I’ve been using them with the original blades & they work just fine. I’ve never felt the need to buy a new high end plane because of how well they work. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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