Hand plane question

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Forum topic by Dan posted 08-15-2010 05:44 AM 2727 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3630 posts in 2305 days

08-15-2010 05:44 AM

Hello, I just picked up a jack plane from an auction for 5 dollars. Its older and needs some cleaning but I am not sure how good of a plane it is. I am not as smart when it comes to hand tools. The plane is a Sheldon. Does anyone know if thats a pretty good plane? Is it worth spending the time to clean up and restore? Did I get a good deal for 5 dollars? Only damage was some surface rust that can be cleaned off. Blade will need to be sharpened also.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

9 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2800 days

#1 posted 08-15-2010 05:54 AM

A picture would help a lot. Many of the manufacturers offered different lines and many different vintages over the years.

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

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2305 days

#2 posted 08-15-2010 08:08 AM

Here is a picture


-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2365 days

#3 posted 08-15-2010 10:41 AM

Don’t know a “Sheldon” but looks like all the vital bits are there! No harm in sharpening her up and see how she goes. What can you get for 5 bucks anyway?

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View paratrooper34's profile (online now)


867 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 08-15-2010 01:44 PM

Dcase – Looks like a typical Stanley/Bailey type plane. Once you clean it up, you will get some good use out of it. There are many resources out there to walk you through tuning and set up. I highly recommend an aftermarket blade. Not sure about the quality of the blade that’s in it, but I am sure it won’t be as good as a new Hock, LV, or the like. A new blade can make a world of difference in an old plane. Good Luck with your new purchase.

-- Mike

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2109 posts in 2396 days

#5 posted 08-16-2010 04:29 AM

I think you mean “Shelton” They don’t seem to have much respect built up for them. (third paragraph)

Here is some other scattered info

For 5$ it can’t be that bad. Even without a tight mouth it could do well for simple flattening I would imagine.

A shelton refurb here on LJ

More Shelton history

-- Galootish log blog,

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188 posts in 2828 days

#6 posted 08-16-2010 05:10 AM

Take a feeler gauge and check for any gaps between the sole and a perfectly flat surface, like a cast iron table saw top. If there are gaps more than about .010 in, then it’s should be lapped to get a good cut. I don’t think a Shelton is worth the effort unless you want to take it on as a project. Even an inexpensive plane can be made to work pretty good with enough effort and a good after market blade. But the blade is going to cost you many times what you paid for the plane.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2305 days

#7 posted 08-16-2010 05:16 AM

I just started using hand planes so I am very green as to how to use and what to look for. I sharpened the blade and tested it out and it seemed to cut really nice. I got really nice shavings with little effort. At this point I only really use the hand planes to flatten up glued panels that bend on me. Thanks for the feedback. I will check the sole and also check into after market blades.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2483 days

#8 posted 08-16-2010 05:44 AM

The Sheldon planes are, as mentioned previously, just a Stanley type plane. They can certainly be tuned to perform fairly well. The jack plane size (approx. 14-15” in length) is a very useful size. The cool thing about getting a plane inexpensively like that is that you can experiment with it without much risk. For example, one thing that you might consider doing is to convert that plane into a scrub plane to use for move large amounts of wood for purpose of changing the thickness of a board. You might experiment with different types of sharpening bevels on the iron. If you completely destroyed the tool, you would not be out much. However, what you learn about how the tool works and how to tune it will be indispensible for future planes that you may own. New or used, all planes require some maintenance and tuning occasionally as does any tool that you actually use.

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

View aurora's profile


228 posts in 2676 days

#9 posted 08-16-2010 10:13 PM

you got a great deal !! #1 get a sharpening system and learn how to use it (this will be more expensive than your bargin priced plane) #2 read up on the many lumberjocks articles and references on flattening and tuning your hand plane. in no time you will be making thin see thru shavings that require more sensitivity and interaction with the wood you are working on. perhaps your plane is not a desirable “collector”, but collectors and users can have different values when it comes to their planes. there is no reason you could not have a great functioning, nice looking hand tool that you take pride in owning and using, .... even if it is not a valuable collector. good luck and have fun learning about and using planes. post your before and after pics on the projects page, and check out other jocks planes. its a real fun journey.

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