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Miller's Falls Plane

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Forum topic by Chas7715 posted 07-19-2016 10:27 PM 580 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chas7715

23 posts in 348 days


07-19-2016 10:27 PM

While perusing Craigslist I saw an ad for “Planner” and thought I would check it out. Turns out the “planner” was a Miller’s Falls plane.
It needs a bit of TLC. The iron has some significant nicks, plenty of rust, and the front knob and the tote are both loose.
How much did I pay? $10.00!
So, what do I have here? Any info is appreciated.

-- Perfection is highly overrated!


17 replies so far

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14556 posts in 2145 days


#1 posted 07-19-2016 10:35 PM

Along the left side of the base, there should be an etch of sorts…..something like Millers Falls No.14?

Appears to be a type2 or 3 sometime around WWII?

Length of the base = Model Number. If it is 14” long, it is about the same as a Stanley #5 Jack plane. If it is a 11” long plane…then it is the same as the Stanley #5-1/4.

Width of the iron? 1-3/4” would be an #11, if it is 2” wide, then it is a #14. There was a era where Millers Falls did not have red paint on the lever cap…...sometimes, they were cleaned up too much, and the paint was removed.

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

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2375 posts in 739 days


#2 posted 07-19-2016 11:05 PM

What bandit said. Measure the length. Clean the side shown and see if you can read the model number. Get back to us. But I will bet its a Miller Falls 14 wich is the most common. It is probably worth $20 or maybe $30 once its is cleaned up. Maybe more. But don’t sell it is a nice plane to have. It will work a little better then a Stanley number 5.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

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Don W

17960 posts in 2029 days


#3 posted 07-19-2016 11:23 PM

Check out oldtoolheaven.com

That’s a great plane, and $10 is a steal.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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Chas7715

23 posts in 348 days


#4 posted 07-19-2016 11:45 PM

Thanks for the info. I cleaned some grunge from the left side and found the etch. It is indeed a No. 14. I forgot to include the measurement in my original post. Toe to heal it’s 14 inches.
I popped the lever cap off to look at the chip beaker and iron. The iron will need some serious work! It looks like someone used a round file on it. The bevel will have to be reground.

What’s the best method for rust removal? Is a brass wheel in my bench grinder safe or should I go with something like electrolysis?

-- Perfection is highly overrated!

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Don W

17960 posts in 2029 days


#5 posted 07-20-2016 12:08 AM

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bandit571

14556 posts in 2145 days


#6 posted 07-20-2016 12:18 AM

I prefer the wheels and cups in a drill press, you can get into all the nooks and crannies that way.

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

View Johnny7's profile

Johnny7

208 posts in 552 days


#7 posted 07-20-2016 12:24 AM


The iron will need some serious work! It looks like someone used a round file on it. The bevel will have to be reground.
- Chas7715

The bit about the round file makes me wonder if the OP is describing a hollow ground bevel.
Pictures of the iron would be useful.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2375 posts in 739 days


#8 posted 07-20-2016 01:02 AM

Show us a picture of the iron.

You won’t need electrolysis. Wire wheel, wet dry snd paper, and a metal polish like auto-sol.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View cbass's profile

cbass

13 posts in 175 days


#9 posted 07-20-2016 02:15 AM

Not sure if this is already common knowledge or not a preferred method, but I have had good luck cleaning rust by soaking in a white vinegar and salt solution. Once the rust is removed make sure to neutralize with baking soda. It’s not as quick as other methods, but it is effective and cheap. Basically works like this video demonstrates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlcL_vHODkc

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14556 posts in 2145 days


#10 posted 07-20-2016 03:20 AM

This is the one I have at the moment..

Use the drill press and a brass wire cup brush. Set the drill press table so that the base will barely pass under the brush. You can then slide the sides under the spinning cup..slowly until all rust is gone, and a shine remains.

Cut a 100 grit sanding belt, lay it out flat on a smooth, flat surface. Have the plane fully assembled, but the iron retracted up as far as it will go, you want to “sand” the sole without the edge of the cutter getting involved. Then just “plane” away until all the sole looks the same. You can even made a bunch of lines across the sole with a black sharpie, when the lines are gone, you are done.

Simple Green on a wash cloth, give the handles a good rub down. Dry them off, and add a coat of wax.

Sometimes, the iron will have a curve to it, called a camber. That is what being a jack plane is all about. How much or how little camber is up to you, Schwarz prefers an 8” radius on his, I don’t. Maybe a bit on the corners is all. Grind the bevel at 25 degrees, make sure the back is flat. Hone to about 2500 grit Wet-or-dry paper.

Make shavings.

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

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2622 days


#11 posted 07-20-2016 03:48 AM

Rust removal: Molasses & water. Less likely to damage it than any wire wheel or electrolysis IMO. But it can take a couple 2-3 weeks.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

189 posts in 288 days


#12 posted 07-20-2016 11:20 AM

Very nice, I’d definitely own that old girl! I can’t buy enough Millers Falls and have slowly replaced all the stanleys in my user stash with Millers Falls. If you tune that plane clean it up and hone the iron you will be hard pressed to buy a better Jack! Congrats on the find and price!

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

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Chas7715

23 posts in 348 days


#13 posted 07-21-2016 01:43 AM

As requested here are some pictures of the iron.

The business end is pretty beat up.

-- Perfection is highly overrated!

View Aidan1211's profile

Aidan1211

189 posts in 288 days


#14 posted 07-21-2016 02:08 AM

All it needs is some elbow grease and you’ll be on your way!!!

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14556 posts in 2145 days


#15 posted 07-21-2016 02:09 AM

Not so much beat up…as it was hollow ground awhile back, then a few sharpenings later, middle was honed a bit too much.

Just grind a new bevel, and sharpen from that. The iron shows no sign of any camber. Up to you IF you want to add a bit on the corners, or not.

The M-F No. 14 I have, has almost no camber to it. I use it more as a smooth plane.

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

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