Stanley Handyman and Wards Master planes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Axle505 posted 07-07-2016 12:35 AM 394 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Axle505's profile


107 posts in 259 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


867 posts in 2376 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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17882 posts in 1992 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.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Axle505's profile


107 posts in 259 days

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

It has the twisted lateral. Thanks for the link!

View unbob's profile


699 posts in 1327 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.

View Axle505's profile


107 posts in 259 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?

View Axle505's profile


107 posts in 259 days

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

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics