Question for Plane Buffs

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 02-01-2011 03:35 AM 1783 views 2 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4457 days

02-01-2011 03:35 AM

Here is a little mystery for you plane lovers. Two or three years ago I picked up this inexpensive Stanley plane at Lowes, telling myself I really needed to learn how to use one of these things. I bought a book on planes and techniques that came highly recommended, and that’s about as far as I got.

Last night I had the strange idea to try to hand work this twisted, rough sawn piece of padauk my friend gave me, so I grabbed the plane out of its cubby and started going to town. Surprisingly enough, the results weren’t too bad.

The mystery started though when I went on the internet looking for information on this little plane, and I discovered that it only seems to be available in England, even though I got it right off the shelf at Lowes. Among other planes I see, it seems to be unusual in its dual blade adjustment. I was just curious if anyone knew anything about it, or why it used to be sold here but no longer is. FWIW, it is clearly marked “England”. It is obviously cheap… not a collectors item by any means… just an oddity of sorts.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

18 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3314 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 03:50 AM

I’m not familiar with this particular plane but many Stanley planes were manufactured in England (and labeled accordingly) and sold in the US. At one time that was standard procedure for many Stanley planes.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View bigike's profile


4055 posts in 3528 days

#2 posted 02-01-2011 04:04 AM

Me I always though these were cheap planes like a kunz or even buck bros that HD sells but I saw one on Rough cut the other day and now I see you got one too. The performance was good you also say. Maybe they are cheaper to make in England, just how all these other companies are taking their business over seas. Now you make me want one just to see how it works though so next one I’m not passing up. LOL ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3912 days

#3 posted 02-01-2011 04:25 AM

Charlie, I have one of those. Those are just junk I could never get it sharpen. It just would not work for me.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3298 days

#4 posted 02-01-2011 04:49 AM

I’ve seem these planes before. This is a plane that is sort of a combination of a spoke shave and a plane. They were pretty inexpensive and I see one on occasion. It uses the same blade adjustment mechanism as some of the Stanley spoke shaves. This mechanism works pretty well for the spoke shaves. It actually works fairly for adjusting depth of cut. The thing that is the biggest shortcoming of this plane design is the lack of a chip breaker. The double iron like the bailey planes and most of the other iron and some wooden plane designs have includes an blade and a chip breaker that goes on top of the blade. The chip breaker serves to turn the shaving so that it curls instead of splitting and causing tear out. It also adds mass to the blade assembly that helps to cut down on chatter (where the blade tries to skip and hop across the work piece instead of cut smoothly). I imagine that you could probaly get this plane to work ok on softer woods if you were to get the blade really, really sharp, but you would never be able to get it to perform all that well on some really hard woods like maple or woods with a lot of swirling grain. I would expect the tendency for tear out would be too great. On the flip side, if you got it good and sharp, this plane actually might do fairly well at plaining end grain.

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18424 posts in 3915 days

#5 posted 02-01-2011 06:02 AM

Nice plane summary doc!! Answered a lot of questions I didn’t know I had yet ;-)) But would get when I get to planing. I have wondered about the chip breaker purpose, but haven’t posted the question yet.

Well Charlie, sound like you will really be impressed with a genuine good plane :-)) ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4457 days

#6 posted 02-01-2011 06:14 AM

Thanks for the input guys.

Bob, you just nailed the big problem…. another expensive tool addiction!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18424 posts in 3915 days

#7 posted 02-01-2011 06:40 AM

I’m buying Lie Nielsen stock when the market opens in the morning!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4026 days

#8 posted 02-01-2011 08:17 PM

Charlie; If you had ANY success with this plane, you will be amazed when you get a nice plane tuned and running.

View swirt's profile


3561 posts in 3211 days

#9 posted 02-01-2011 08:51 PM

There is a bit more info here

I saw one a month or so ago at Lowes.

DocHolliday is right about the lack of a chip breaker. I have seen one modification to a Stanley spokeshave that could apply here with this style as well. Flatten the back side of the cap as best you can, then put a good clean angle on the front of it. Use a round file to elongate the hole that the retainer screw goes through so that the cap iron can move down farther and be locked in place closer to the cutting edge of the blade. Simple modification that could bring quite an improvement … and if it didn’t, it wouldn’t hurt much.

-- Galootish log blog,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4457 days

#10 posted 02-01-2011 09:07 PM

Thanks for the idea, swirt. That might be worth trying until I save my pennies up for a better tool.

Is a #4 a good size for a beginner to start with, or is there another size that is more frequently used around the shop? (I realize of course that one needs a number of different planes to really get into hand work.)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3354 days

#11 posted 02-01-2011 10:00 PM

Charlie :
its a cheap handymans plane , with other words a scrappiece of a DIY -plane no more and no less
and is sold as a handiman plane in Denmark one of those things made to convince people not to
try with woodworking and convince them of that the frustration they had in the Sloejd-leassons
with handtools in the schooltime was right and they wuold never learn it
I bought one years ago and four hours later it was tossed in the back off a cabinet , promissed
myself never to tuch it again …....but today I actuly found it again and try´d to set it up once more
gess what…............right … luck….can´t work with it …not even on pine …I have other planes
from the days when I thought a plane was a plane that is worser made but works better = poor work :-)

so don´t expect anything deasen from the handyman plane at all….other than scare you from using tools

take care

View swirt's profile


3561 posts in 3211 days

#12 posted 02-01-2011 10:07 PM

Charlie I think a #4 is a great place to start for smoothing, it can also be just as handy (though not as small as) a block plane for quickly chamfering an edge or flush up some dovetails. You make so many great boxes that I would think a smoothing plane and a low angle block plane would be a very useful combination. If you did more larger stuff I would also include a #5 Jack plane or something of that length.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3491 days

#13 posted 02-01-2011 10:28 PM

The first plane I bought was a Stanley very similar to this, either from Lowes or HD. Tried it once, it sucked, then got away from planes for a bit. I then read up on tuning a plane, tried that, it worked a little better, but still not enjoyable. Finally, I got a LN as a present two xmas’s ago and felt how a plane should work. I came back to this not too long aafter, and I really flattened the sole, put a heavy camber on the blade, sharpened it, and now I use it as a scrub plane for things I don’t want my better plane to touch until cleaned up a bit. It works in this capacity fairly well.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3354 days

#14 posted 02-02-2011 12:56 AM

Dchip :
thank´s you gave me an idea for it :-)
I think I will set it up to be used to remove paint and to make the first clearning on Palletwood
and wood from the beach ....maybee there is still hope for it


View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 3143 days

#15 posted 02-02-2011 02:37 AM

What everbody else said.

This is basically a spoke shave iron mounted in a plane shoe, accordingly the tool is sometimes referred to as a “shave plane.” I’ve seen a couple designs similar to this that use a big razor blade instead of an iron. The tool can be used, if it’s razor sharp and trued. You’ll also get much better results if the throat is very narrow (the gap between the shoe and blade), the blade depth is very very shallow, and the wood is hard and straight grained – basically you want it to work almost like a scraper, pushing the tool straight down the grain instead of angled like a real plane. You said you got OK results on paduk, try it on soft wood, like pine or spruce, and I suspect you’ll get different and worse results.

Basically it’s a cheap bastard hybrid, not a shave, not a plane, not a scraper – and the iron is crap steel that likely won’t hold an edge for more than a few strokes.

If you enjoy using a handplane (or think you might) you can get decent ones for dirt cheap on eBay or the like. A couple of good books will teach you how to refurish and recondition them, and then tune and true your new high-end replacement blades, and the resulting tool is a joy to use. I’ve dozens of old Baileys and Stanleys that after refurbishment, are amzaing tools and can flatten rough cut stock faster and smoother than my powered thickness planer.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

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