Stanley / Union No 2C / 2G - Bookend? User? or Doorstop?

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Forum topic by drfunk posted 01-27-2011 09:54 AM 3855 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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223 posts in 2882 days

01-27-2011 09:54 AM

Hi everyone. I’m new here and to bench planes in general. I recently performed a home improvement job where the best solution was a bullnose plane and next thing you know, one thing led to another and now I have a whole shelf full of random planes in various states of disrepair.

One of my most recent acquisitions is a No 2 corrugated plane. The only identifying marks are a No 2 at the toe and “Crescent MFG New York” on the iron. I also happen to have a Stanley No 2 type 15 for comparison. The planes are totally identical except for a few things:
- The corrugations (of course)
- While the total length of the tools are exactly the same, the sole on the corrugated is a bit shorter and accordingly the tab for the handle is a bit longer to compensate.
- The cap levers are the same except one is branded Stanley, the other no brand.
- The corrugated plane’s iron is much longer and thicker than the Stanley and the “hole” for the screw is at the top rather than the bottom.
- The corrugated’s chipbreaker has a much more subtle radius.
- the corrugated’s knob is a low type with no footing.
- While the frog and frog footings are totally identical, the lateral adjustment lever is a 90 deg twist style rather than the fish-fin on my Stanley.

All these things lead me to believe it is a Union 2G with an aftermarket/re-branded blade rather than a Stanley 2C. (Why the heck would Crescent make their own copy of a 2C/G? Certainly there was not much demand.) Did Stanley and Union use the same foundries and suppliers? The parts of these planes that matter could not be more similar! Is there a detailed source for information about Union Tool MFG?

Anyway, is this something I should fix up and use, or gently restore and barter for something usable?

Thanks in advance!

PS: I have another mystery block plane in my possession. Identical in every way to a 102 – except no 102 in the embossing and it has a low angle bed.

5 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3202 days

#1 posted 01-27-2011 02:40 PM
Some info to help your decision.
I found this article as well: ”The Union Manufacturing Company was founded in 1866. Some of their original stock holders included officers of the Stanley Rule and Level Company. Talk about cornering the market! In the beginning Union made “gray iron castings” for many other companies such as Davis Levels so I assume at first it was strictly a foundry. Around 1900, armed with a cash influx from a few well-heeled investors (could they have been those same Stanley people?), Union bought out the Derby Plane Manufacturing Co… which had previously bought the Birmingham Plane Co. (yeah, gets a little confusing..but at the time everyone seemed to be buying out everyone else) Roger Smith in PTAMPIA I, dates Union plane making from 1900 to 1920.”
“They were bought by Stanley in 1920 and Stanley continued to offer planes marked Union for a while, depleting the old stock. The very last listing was in a 1942 Stanley price sheet. The earliest Union planes had Union cast into the bed just behind the frog. The early castings have a “rawer” look and feel that doesn’t appear to be as refined as the later castings. The castings of the later planes are almost identical to the Stanley planes of the same era, but don’t have a frog adjustment screw. The frog bedding is close to the Stanley planes pre Type 10 (1902-1907). The early lever caps were plain; the ones after Stanley bought them out had Union cast into them. The knob and totes are mahogany, like the Sargents’ but the later ones had a heavy reddish/orange shellac finish.”

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

View drfunk's profile


223 posts in 2882 days

#2 posted 01-27-2011 06:02 PM

Thanks for the info! I had already come across that catalog, but not that paragraph about the history of Union MFG Co. That is VERY interesting – and everything seems to fit. Including the part about the mahogany reddish-orange knob and tote.

Around that time Teddy Roosevelt was starting his famous anti-trust campaign against market suppression by enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust act. (Teddy, where are you today when we need you?) It would make sense that Stanley (the savvy market corner-ers that they were) would use a clone company to do their dirty work.

Seems to me, even though the cast iron parts were likely made in the same foundry – and it has a superior blade – the simple fact that it does not have the Stanley name on it somewhere significantly reduces it’s value. Is there any consensus as to how much a percentage?

This would probably make a great user, but my hands are much too large for it. Particularly with the uncomfortably long iron. Maybe it would be good for my kid when she gets a little older…

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3202 days

#3 posted 01-27-2011 08:32 PM

I would set it aside as a collector item.

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

View swirt's profile


3448 posts in 3177 days

#4 posted 01-27-2011 09:00 PM

Welcome Drfunk. Canadianchips advice is probably right on, but you have to understand where he is coming from. LOL

He has done much to help justify to our significant others that “Yes we really do need another plane.” ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View tool879's profile


1 post in 2810 days

#5 posted 04-09-2011 02:16 AM

Hello, I collect #2 Size Planes and would be interested in buying this one if you want to sell it. Stanley and Union Produced alot of tools for other companies and hardware stores. Cresent is one of these companies. You can reach me at: Thanks

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