Couple questions about #10 1/2 plane

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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 02-20-2016 07:24 PM 653 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 1775 days

02-20-2016 07:24 PM

Hi All,

I recently bought a beater Stanley No. 10 1/2 carriage maker’s plane. I needed to braze a crack in the cheek and will need to repaint it. Not much is left of the original blade but if I’m careful, I can get a good edge on it to last quite a few honings.

While I was working out the next phase of the work I assembled the plane and discovered something I didn’t expect. The chipbreaker is a lot thinner than a comparable-era #3 bench plane. I got .052” thickness versus .0625” on my #3. The breaker notch is also thinner than the #3. As a result, the blade/breaker assembly won’t sit flat on the frog because the tapered post is too thick at that depth for the notch in the breaker to seat. If these are original parts, the blade never would have been flat on the frog surface. I have a couple spare #3 frogs and it did the same on both of those.

I’ll take a file to either the breaker or the post to get consistent contact but I wanted to ask if anyone knows if this is typical of these planes? The parts look genuine and certainly have seen a lot of use.

Thanks for any insight, sh

4 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#1 posted 02-21-2016 12:44 PM

Is the chip break notch narrower than the #3?

I would file the chip breaker before the frog. The chip breaker is easier to replace if the time comes.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1775 days

#2 posted 02-21-2016 02:52 PM

Yes, it is slightly narrower than my other Stanleys. I filed it a little towards the back and it fits fine. What I was curious about was whether these chipbreakers were all thinner than the equivalent bench planes. If anything, I’d have thought they need to be at least as stout to support the hammerhead irons.

Then I wondered how this plane could have gone through 120 years of previous owners and I’m the first to notice the blade didn’t sit flat on the frog face. I suppose if the lever cap squished the business end down it will have worked fine.

I’ve gotten two of these on Ebay recently—both basket-cases—along with a beater #3 for wood and parts. One is a Type 1 (Type 6-era bench plane equivelant) with an adjustable mouth. It had a bad cheek break that was brazed but the side was ground pretty severely out of square. The other probably dates from 1898. It had a crack in one cheek that I brazed pretty easily. I need a sunny day to paint it. The Type 1 will get a new Hock blade and breaker (yes, he does have breakers but they aren’t listed on his site). Other than those last details, I should be able to make shavings soon. I’ll probably trade one for a #10 after that.

Cheers, sh

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15353 posts in 2617 days

#3 posted 02-21-2016 02:55 PM

What is a tapered post? I have a couple #10 1/2 planes, haven’t noticed the problem on mine that you’ve described. But aside from thin breakers, I’m not understanding the entire description either.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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146 posts in 1775 days

#4 posted 02-21-2016 03:39 PM

Here is a shot of the top of the yoke that accepts the chipbreaker notch. I put a piece of masking tape behind it so it stands out. It looks like someone may have already filed the nub a little but it is still a triangle. The rectangular hole in the chipbreaker was too narrow on the thin dimension to slide down on that nub far enough to seat the iron. When the iron and breaker were bolted together, there was about 1/2 mm of clearance to either side of that nub under the blade. Push one side down and the other rose. The thinness of the breaker wouldn’t matter here but perhaps it helped keep the cutting edge flatter despite the mismatch on the back end.

Two minutes with a file to make the notch the size of a bench plane breaker and it works like it should. The geometry of using an iron with only 1/4” of usable blade would make this worse since more of that nub engages the notch but even straight up the notch on this breaker was too tight.

The braze came out pretty well so the plane is ready for paint and sole lapping. sh

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