Learning about values of old hand planes

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-21-2011 05:58 AM 2988 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2707 days

01-21-2011 05:58 AM

I’ve just been getting into woodworking over the past few months and am starting to learn about hand planes. In my reading, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of old hand planes for sale online and at antique stores. Where can I find out how much a particular plane might be worth, either as a collectible or as a user?

Also, here are three questions about specific planes:

1) Are old coffin-style, wooden block planes worth anything as collectibles?

2) I’ve seen several old metal-bodied planes that don’t seem to have any maker’s information on them. Was that common back in the day, or are they just too rusty or dirty for me to read the information?

3) I saw a Diamond Edge jointer plane that has a wooden body about two feet long and a metal top part that looks similar to a bench plane (as if someone had stuck a metal bench plane onto a 3×3x24-inch wooden block, and then inserted a plane iron long enough to reach through a slot to the underside of the wooden block). Anybody know about these planes?

I’m looking for an old plane to fix up and use, but I’d also like to know if any of the planes I see are worth buying and reselling (to help pay for my woodworking habit).

-- More tools, fewer machines.

3 replies so far

View swirt's profile


2780 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 01-21-2011 06:38 AM

Most coffin planes don’t have a lot of value, but it really depends on both their condition and their maker. There is no blanket statement that will assess their value.

There are a lot of metal planes without maker ID on them. Some were made by big name companies that made them for other companies or hardware stores to brand and sell. Some companies only put maker info on 1 of several parts, so if that one part disappeared (lost, broken, canibalized…) then the maker’s mark was lost too. Some may have only had it stamped lightly on the back of the iron. Rust may have obscured it, or it may have been fitted with a new iron that lacked a name.

The wooden soled, metal topped planes are called “transitional” planes. There were a lot of them made. If in good shape they can make good planes…. not as stable as iron, but easier to re-flatten.

If you want to make money re-selling planes, then you have a lot more homework to do.
Here is one of the best places to start

-- Galootish log blog,

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2707 days

#2 posted 01-21-2011 04:49 PM

Sorry, this post seems to be a duplicate. I didn’t realize that my first post needed to be approved, so I resubmitted it after it didn’t show up right away.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2864 days

#3 posted 02-16-2011 05:58 AM

Hope ya got ya readin spec’s ready
here is some food for thought
That should keep you busy for a while. It did me.
As far as pricing. I personally am looking for a good deal. Is the plane flat. Does it have any cracks. Who made the iron. What state is it in. Does it feel solid. I am doing this because I want it for a (user) for me. For every 20 I pick up and look at I might buy one. To me 20 to 50 bucks is my limit on an old plane. Personally I like the old wood planes. There is something in what wood feels like on wood.
I would tune up what you have and see what direction you want to go in.
Swirts link is the go to link for stanley. hope I helped ;)

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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