Stanley Handyman and Wards Master planes

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Forum topic by Axle505 posted 07-07-2016 12:35 AM 2473 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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143 posts in 982 days

07-07-2016 12:35 AM

I’ve come across two planes. One is a Stanley Handyman, a No. 5 I think. Anyway the tote and the knob were painted blue. I stripped the finish from the wood, but there was this blue tint left in the grain. So finally, I bleached these pieces. It took a while, but even after the wood went white there was still blue paint within the end rain. A neighbor of mine told me how complementary colors will contrast each other with a desirable effect.

I decided to use a red stain with the blue. It came out looking really good, a lot like the Soviet Red seen on wood stock parts of Russian AK-47s. I was never able to figure out what species the wood was, but I was pretty sure it was not rosewood. I know that the Handyman series was not of the same quality that one found in Stanley Bailey planes. But, after a lot of work flattening and sharpening, I have to say that I have a pretty good scrub plane now.

Recently, I acquired a Wards Master No. 7. I understand that these were made by Stanley. The thing is a behemoth. The metal is thick, the bottom is not corrugated. The thing screams Made in America. (Really, I marvel at the fact that nothing at Lowes or Home Depot even comes close to this kind of handtool.) The tote and the knob were not painted. I stripped them and found the wood to be rather light tan. Again, it is not rosewood. Can anyone tell me what type of wood was used on these planes? I believe that both of them used the same wood species. Maple?

6 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 07-07-2016 12:56 AM

My guess would be beech. Very common wood used in lower end tools. I have several tools with beech handles.

-- Mike

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Don W

18962 posts in 2714 days

#2 posted 07-07-2016 01:11 AM

more likely some kind of beech.

You’ll find the Wards Master will be a much better plane than the Handyman. If its got the same lateral as a Bailey, then its exactly like a Baily except the name stamp. If its got a twisted lateral, it will be like a Stanley made Victor. They to were a good plane.

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

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143 posts in 982 days

#3 posted 07-07-2016 01:18 AM

It has the twisted lateral. Thanks for the link!

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2050 days

#4 posted 07-07-2016 08:19 PM

My Wards Master No 7 looks to be made by Union, and is a very heavy plane with a thick sole. The plane is nicely finished with rosewood totes.

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143 posts in 982 days

#5 posted 07-07-2016 09:18 PM

Do you think it’s from Union because of a stamped “U” on the top of the frog? I have that on mine, but I’m pretty sure the tote and nob are beech. Do you know how old my Ward plane might be?

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143 posts in 982 days

#6 posted 07-07-2016 09:24 PM

Here, by the way, is the Stanley Handyman plane.

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