What to look for in vintage hand planes?

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Forum topic by JamieH posted 10-05-2010 11:24 PM 3046 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3005 days

10-05-2010 11:24 PM

Found a few Stanley #4 and #5 for under $30 each at a local antique store. One had come small pitting on the bottom, but appeared to be cleaned and oiled. Can I go wrong for that price? They seemed to have all the parts and mostly all original with the exception of a knob or handle. I’m a newbie to handtools..heck, I’m a newbie to woodworking. But finding those tools has me excited to try them out. Any ideas/suggestions?

6 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4333 days

#1 posted 10-06-2010 12:43 AM

1. No pitting rust.
2. No cracks in metal.
3. No uncorrectable damage, like sole and mouth nicks and dents.
4. All parts present. However, the plane iron is easy to replace and, perhaps it should be done. Also, templates are available for making new knobs and handles.

Research old planes and learn about their parts and models.

-- 温故知新

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3203 days

#2 posted 10-06-2010 12:51 AM

Youi can use the blades (irons) from these and learn how to sharpen them. The planes do not need to be new and shiny to work. Remove the rust from the bottom, the iron, iron cap, tune up the blade and start planing !There are many websites that have instructions how to sharpen plane blades.
Have Fun and enjoy your planes . I DO.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4099 days

#3 posted 10-06-2010 01:14 AM

good deal

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View swirt's profile


3451 posts in 3178 days

#4 posted 10-06-2010 04:20 AM

Disassemble them. Make sure the bolts that hold the frog are able to be tightened. (sometimes the receiver is stripped or cracked) and check the bolt that goes through the center of the iron too for the same kind of damage. Check the sole for flatness (bring a straightedge) You just want to make sure it is not warped too badly.

-- Galootish log blog,

View knotscott's profile


8154 posts in 3581 days

#5 posted 10-06-2010 03:30 PM

I wrote a blog on buying used planes that might be useful to you.

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

View JamieH's profile


52 posts in 3005 days

#6 posted 10-07-2010 12:35 AM

Thanks for the help guys. Knottscott, heading to your blog now. I’ll probably pick them up this week, and when I do I will post pics.

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