Anyone own an older Stanley style Kunz #4 hand plane?

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Forum topic by stefang posted 06-09-2016 04:42 PM 1464 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15953 posts in 3483 days

06-09-2016 04:42 PM

I can buy an old Kunz #4 for about $10 at our local thrift store. It has a layer of rust on it and one side has a fine crack in it, but it is still whole. It looks to be maybe 10 to 20 years old.

At best I could restore it as a gift for my son for DIY work and at worst I could use the blade in a shop made wooden body, also for my son as I already have 2 others for my own use.

I know some might think the crack would distort the sole, but I have a Stanley #5 with a chunk broken out of one side (I dropped it on a cement floor 20 years ago) and it still performs beautifully even though it still erks me every time I look at it.

I’m just wondering how good/bad these planes were. If you have any firsthand experience I would be interested in hearing your opinion about it. I know Paul Sellers doesn’t think much of them, and perhaps I don’t need to know any more than that, but I always think a 2nd opinion is worth having and yours would therefore be appreciated.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

10 replies so far

View UpstateNYdude's profile


917 posts in 2132 days

#1 posted 06-09-2016 04:45 PM

All the Kunz planes I’ve seen (3 of them) have had plastic handles, that immediately turned me off to them, if they can’t even make a softwood handle and tote that says a lot to the craftsmanship they care about.

Just my 2 cents…

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View Dutchy's profile


3087 posts in 2318 days

#2 posted 06-09-2016 05:39 PM

I don’t know what type you can get but when I want to buy here in Holland a a Kunz bankschaaf #4 plus ductile I have to pay E 168,00. For that money it must be a good quality otherwise it wouldn’t be sold. The blade is Rockwell 60-62. Also Dieter Schmid in DLD is selling Kunz. And also Dictum is selling Kunz.


View stefang's profile


15953 posts in 3483 days

#3 posted 06-09-2016 06:31 PM

Thanks guys.

UpstateNYdude The used/rusted plane in question has a wooden tote and knob.

Jan Not really looking for a new plane. I have 3 good Stanleys and 3 good bedrock knockoffs, the last three purchased from Dictum. They are Chinese made, but very well machined and finished.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5072 posts in 4110 days

#4 posted 06-09-2016 09:06 PM

Crack? Not in my lifetime.
$10.00 plane and $40.00 in time and repair.


View stefang's profile


15953 posts in 3483 days

#5 posted 06-10-2016 10:42 AM

OK, I bought it anyway since it is the only used handplane I have been able to find here in Norway during the last 20 years since I took up woodworking. I think I can silver solder the fine crack in the side. I have what I need for that and the only extra expenditure was rust remover which was about $8. It seems smaller than a #4, maybe it’s a #3?

Other than the rust and the crack the plane looks to be in good shape. The tote and knob are beech and with no cracks. In general the plane looks to be pretty solidly built. We’ll see.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3238 days

#6 posted 06-14-2016 09:29 PM

Hi Mike,
I have fixed cracks like this with silver solder, but you have to make a groove with a dremmel tool to fill it up with solder or brass.
Look forward to see what you do.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View stefang's profile


15953 posts in 3483 days

#7 posted 06-14-2016 10:41 PM

That was my original plan Mads, but the first and last time I did any silver soldering was about 20 years ago and I was a little worried what the heat would do the sole as the crack runs right donwn to the side of the mouth. Instead I use superglue just to stabilize it. I think that will work ok. I have read somewhere that cyanoacrylate glue was formulated originally to bond metal to metal.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bandit571's profile


21317 posts in 2832 days

#8 posted 06-14-2016 10:50 PM

If I remember, our own Dave Bardin had a youtube on how to repair a crack side. He even used a Millers Fallls No. 14 I sent him. The youtube shows all the steps Dave used to do the repair. Might do a search of..

Chisel & Forge

And see what he has…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 2565 days

#9 posted 06-14-2016 10:59 PM

i have a spare stanley 4-1/2 you can have for the postage if you want ? (From england)
as found in need of cleaning restoration but is mechanically sound

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View stefang's profile


15953 posts in 3483 days

#10 posted 06-15-2016 09:21 AM

BigYin Thanks so much for your generous offer, but I’m not planning to restore any more old planes. I’m almost finished with the Kunz and it came out great, but I have to admit that while I enjoyed the result I didn’t much like the process. I will be blogging my one and only experience this evening just for fun.

Bandit571 Thanks, I will have a look at it, but I think my metal working days are finished.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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