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Millers Falls #18 Type 1 - help

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Forum topic by cjsolo posted 06-22-2010 05:19 PM 2187 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cjsolo

24 posts in 2366 days


06-22-2010 05:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: millers falls type 1 help question plane

Hi all,

I was hoping someone could give me some advice, as I’m new to the vintage tools area.

I recently won a Millers Falls #18 jointer plane on ebay. When it arrived (I couldn’t tell from the pictures online) I noticed the “Millers Falls” cast into the bed around the front knob, “PAT APLD FOR” on the backside of the lever cap and the cast fork adjustment (as opposed to pressed steel).

I bought it to restore it and turn it into a user, but now I’m having second thoughts.

It’s not in great shape but it’s not terrible either – a lot of surface rust but it would clean up well with minimal pitting.

Should I turn it into a user, or try to sell it to a collector?

I don’t have much room to keep tools that won’t get usage, and I have 2 other #18s (one flat sole and one corrugated).

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears


12 replies so far

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2439 days


#1 posted 06-22-2010 05:31 PM

Photos would help answer that question better. If you already have 2 18’s, then why would you want it as another user? (unless planning to put in a different style iron, with more camber or with a back bevel for a higher angle.)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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cjsolo

24 posts in 2366 days


#2 posted 06-22-2010 06:25 PM

I don’t have photos yet – I actually got the others after I got this one – my knee jerk reaction was, “don’t mess this one up. Just get a different one.” I got the other 2 for $18 and $24 – thought it was a good deal. Either that or I paid way too much for the type 1. I put a max bid at something like $92.51, not thinking it could possibly go that high. Someone must have put in $90 or so at the last second, because it was like $26 at the two second mark, then when it flipped to one second it did this wierd whitescreen pause and then said congats, you’re the winning bidder at $92.51.

The rust is superficial (electrolysis would clear it/restore it without complication), the japanning is about 95%, the tote is original (I’m pretty sure), the iron and chipbreaker are replacements (again, pretty sure), the front knob almost looks like it got broken and a different species wood was glued up and turned. I suppose it might (theoretically) be possible that it’s the same piece with heartwood and sapwood, but either way, I don’t see a possibility in it being original. The red paint on the frog is good, but not much of it left on the face of the lever cap.

If I keep it as a user, then it’ll probably get a Hock A2 for general use, and the other will get lapped and trued up along with a Hock O1 and I’ll use it as a shooting plane for guitar backs and soundboards.

Anyway, I guess if I can’t unload it for close to what I paid, then I’ll give it the ol’ electrolyte bath, followed by 5 hot oven treatments with separate coats japanning.

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

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knotscott

7224 posts in 2843 days


#3 posted 06-22-2010 06:34 PM

Some of the Millers Falls planes are very good. It’s been my opinion that the better MF planes are a bit beefier than the comparable Bailey’s. $90 for a good Bailey #6 is on the steep side but not by much, so I wouldn’t hesitate to use the MF unless it’s rare and is in unusually good condition,which it sounds like it’s not.

I recently paid $60 for a nice MF #14 (Bailey #5 equivalent):

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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cjsolo

24 posts in 2366 days


#4 posted 06-23-2010 03:17 PM

If $90 is on the steep side for a Bailey, then it’s considerably over the hill for a Millers Falls. Guess I better put this one in the “lessons learned” column and move on, eh?
I’ve been playing with both MF and S/B, and though I may be blaspheming, but I think the MF are noticeably better. But this is probably a “fit” issue – the MF fits me and the way I work better.

I’m used to using smaller planes, but never had much need of the bigger ones until now. I have to say, it’s REALLY addicting! I look forward to going home after work every day just so I can plane stuff.

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

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swirt

2118 posts in 2439 days


#5 posted 06-23-2010 04:06 PM

Planing is addicting. For some odd reason I find it very relaxing … and a bit of a workout.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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marcfromny

45 posts in 2826 days


#6 posted 06-28-2010 01:49 AM

ah ha…so you’re the one that won!!!!!!!!! aargh!

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cjsolo

24 posts in 2366 days


#7 posted 06-28-2010 02:44 AM

LOL – Sorry Marcfromny!

I’m thinking about putting it back up for auction. I’ll give you first dibs, though.

Looks like you’re a luthier as well? Violin type or guitar?

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1051 posts in 2661 days


#8 posted 07-02-2010 09:11 PM

Yeah, I was wondering who the sap was that paid that…... Just Kidding. In the past month, I’ve been picking up Millers falls planes on ebay in lots. I got a Stanley 7c and 95 locally yesterday…. ($90)

Just be glad that 18 isn’t like the Stanley 5 I got in a lot the other day… The seller put it between two other planes to cover up the crappy tack welds holding the sole together at the mouth. I can’t say if this was intentional or not. Have a look and see, it’s ebay auction number 250653531767. I think I paid a bit much for a decent number 9 and a dunlap I’ll probably never use.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

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cjsolo

24 posts in 2366 days


#9 posted 07-07-2010 03:41 AM

KTMM, just looked up your lot. I would bet my hands they did it on purpose. I wonder how much it would cost to have a decent welder do it right and grind it flat? It might be worth it – who knows? That MF looks to be pretty decent though. It’ll be good to tune it up and put it to use!

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

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docholladay

1287 posts in 2526 days


#10 posted 07-07-2010 04:13 AM

Speaking as a person that has somewhat of an addiction for restoring old tools for use and not to sit on a shelf, I would much prefer that you restore the tool as best as you can for the purpose of using it. If done correctly, it would do nothing to hurt the value (unless you start altering the basic design and function) and you just might end up with a tool that provides you some very good use. I have several old Stanley Baileys and a whole nest full of Disston saws as well as a collection of just about every brand of chisel you can think of. I can’t seem to go to a flea market or antique shop without coming home with some rusty junk. Also, when it comes to understanding how a tool works, no better way to learn than by restoring an old one.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1051 posts in 2661 days


#11 posted 07-07-2010 05:56 AM

Oh yeah, I agree with both of you. I’ve been racking up plane lots here lately. I’m about to post the planes I worked on “refreshing” yesterday. I wouldn’t call them restored yet, but I think they look good for about an hour of work each…...
I have a buddy I haven’t talked to in a while that just loves to weld stuff and knowing him he’d weld that plane back to within .001 of an inch. Might have to give him a call, he loves bragging rights…...

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View cjsolo's profile

cjsolo

24 posts in 2366 days


#12 posted 07-07-2010 08:55 PM

Absolutely give him a call! Give him the bragging rights – heck, you get a perfect sole out of the deal. I’m with Doc though – I’m turning into a restoration junkie.

Speaking of, for anyone who doesn’t know – go to books.google.com and type in japanning – LOTS of great info for those who want to restore the japanning. These books all have expired copyrights, which means they’re now in the public domain – which also means they’re very old. That also implies more “genuine” regarding recipes and procedures.

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

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