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Forum topic by Paul Sellers posted 06-15-2011 08:20 PM 4860 views 8 times favorited 144 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul Sellers

277 posts in 1321 days


06-15-2011 08:20 PM

I’ve bought dozens of planes on eBay over the years, rarely if ever with any mishaps. I thought it might help to know what I look for beyond the usual ratings and protection systems as standard.

I have bought 10 #4 1/2s for my offering over this series via eBay. Few will get by without some necessary corrective surgery and they are either Record or Stanleys.

1:
On the description I look for the sellers knowledge to see what status they are-professional eBay seller or simply a homeowner selling their stuff. The signs are obvious. I am also looking for someone who was a heavy user of the plane but really cared for it. A joiner, cabinet (furniture) maker or some professional woodworker, which includes all who don’t do it for a living, not those who only do it for money.
2:
The photos give lots of good info to back up descriptions: Firstly on this, I do not want to have to retrofit handles, knobs, cap irons, lever caps or cutting irons unless I have an odd plane to cannibalize parts from.
3:
Split knobs should be obvious, but ask if in doubt. Rarely do glued-up handles last, but they do sometimes. I have found that rosewood totes don’t glue well at all unless you use special glues, which again adds extra unnecessary cost to your purchase.
4:
Look especially at the length of the protruding cutting iron above the rear tote. Compare it to one you have or another on eBay to see how the length compares. New irons can cost £9 +. It may still be a good price.
5:
Try to identify all the parts to make sure they are original. It’s best of they are.
6:
I must say I really like the rosewood handles better than beech because the feel good in the hand, especially older ones. I’ll pay a bit extra for this.
7:
Notice on this plane that the overall condition looks a little rough. That didn’t bother me at all. I could see before I bought it that it had lots of cutting iron, the handles were in good shape though a bit tatty, and that the rust was superficial, which as we know serves as a surface protection to deepening rust. Like the difference between painted and non-painted gates here in North Wales.
8:
There is no way to determine flatness of sole so it’s a given that you will have to work it some. Remember that buying a joiner’s plane will be slightly different than the furniture makers. The joiners plane was used to plane doors and so wer on the sole is usually along the length of the plane creating a channel down the length. Cabinet makers on the other hand plane wide boards and the plane will tend to be more bellied. Because the fore part hits roughness first and so wears that area.
9:
The handles need have no finish on them to appeal to me. I usually take off any finish and apply two or three coats of boiled linseed oil until my own sweat permeates, oils and seal the surface permanently through honest work.
10:
Greasy, oily looking planes don’t bother me either. I find the well-oiled metal parts form overly exuberant engineer woodworkers are usually rust free. degreasing takes only a minute.
11:
Nickel- or chrome-plating patchy with rust or missing altogether doesn’t bother me. I sand any edges flush, remove any loose plating and apply oil or furniture wax. It does not affect the function of plane.
12:
Paint inside the sole missing. Forget it and get on with the restoration. You can treat any rust and repaint if you like. Use a rust inhibiter to retard the rust development.
13:
Next comes the frog of the plane. The part you can’t see. No real advice on this. You could ask the seller for a pic but he’ll likely ignore you cos he can’t be bothered or he doesn’t know a frog from a toad.
The frog is the central adjustment unit that carries and controls all of the cutting assembly adjustments. Bailey’s or Bedrocks, both work fine. Not many Bedrocks on eBay any more. There’s plenty of Baileys around so don’t get hung up on Bedrocks when Baileys work just great.

Hope all this helps. Do the same with all of the bench planes and you won’t go far wrong.

Any questions I’ll try to help.

-- Paul Sellers, UK http://paulsellers.com/paul-sellers-blog


144 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1444 days


#1 posted 06-15-2011 08:42 PM

This is going to be epic. Thanks for starting this ambitious blog. I’m subscribed. If there’s a particular feature that you admit (personally) to avoid, whether based on sound principle or not, will you dare mention it? I’ll give you an example: I (personally) refuse to buy any plane with a kidney bean hole or any writing whatsoever on the lever cap (including Bedrock). Why? No reason, really. I’m just decided I don’t like those for no good reason. Never underestimate some freak like me, waiting to overbid on a plane that fulfills his illogical criteria.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1389 days


#2 posted 06-15-2011 08:48 PM

Thanks Paul, as usual, a lot of helpful information.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Paul Sellers's profile

Paul Sellers

277 posts in 1321 days


#3 posted 06-15-2011 08:49 PM

Well, I don’t have any problem with that. It cuts down the opposition. I had to make certain I bought the planes ahead of this so as not to tilt the table too much against me on the eBay bidding. What part of my plan here, time given, is to identify the specific problems I find in each plane (on arrival) I received and give out the problem and discuss the remedial steps I take to make it ready for full work. I think that might help some folks as they buy and correct their purchases.

-- Paul Sellers, UK http://paulsellers.com/paul-sellers-blog

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15806 posts in 2969 days


#4 posted 06-15-2011 08:51 PM

Great post full of sound advice, Thanks!

Aside to Al: Even though I am a firm supporter of the second amendment, I am somewhat frightened by the knowledge that you carry a gun. Never mind the implications of mental instability with regard to medical decisions. :-)

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

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1389 days


#5 posted 06-15-2011 08:52 PM

Ah, Bertha, you snuck in ahead of me. I thought I was going to be first. Just shows to go ya what thinking will do. ;^)))

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1389 days


#6 posted 06-15-2011 08:56 PM

Charlie, you are a remarkably perceptive individual (re: Al). I’d be scared too if I lived anywhere near Al. BSEG

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1444 days


#7 posted 06-15-2011 09:47 PM

Paul Sellers, I suspected you’d feel that way.

Charlie, you’d probalby never even notice the frayed circuits in me. I’m generally a nice guy and I’d advocate for any of my patients to the death. In my older age, I tolerate perceived infringements against certin things terribly. Returning to planes, if someone would explain why my reasons for choosing the planes I do were bad ones, I’d ask, why, and they may convince me I’m wrong. When it comes to protecting my home and the family of planes and human beings that live withiin it, entirely different set of woodworking priciples;)

And to saddle a honk at the gate, a wave, and recognition by me, you’d have nothing to worry about; Stop on by! ;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5594 posts in 2336 days


#8 posted 06-15-2011 09:47 PM

You’re a genius Charlie don’t ask me why because I don’t know. Just a feeling your a Genius,and not one of those mini Geniuses you read about on kellogs corn flakes packets latin certificated with three tear off coupons no sir your a dead deal ding dang doodly real thing,I love your videos man if I had your talent I would get a job and stop begging from my wife .For now I’ll just stay dumb rich and retired Kindest regards big daft Al LOL

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15806 posts in 2969 days


#9 posted 06-15-2011 09:52 PM

Alistair: I’m working and you’re not. You tell me who the genius is?! lol!

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1444 days


#10 posted 06-15-2011 09:53 PM

^Amen, Charlie:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2848 days


#11 posted 06-15-2011 10:06 PM

Thanks Paul. I would add to check the mouth of the plane. Any damage to the front of the mouth would really impact the performance of the plane.

I also reject any plane with cracks or chips. There are too many planes out there to buy damaged ones.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5594 posts in 2336 days


#12 posted 06-15-2011 10:16 PM

Charlie I worked believe me I did my share I was involved in dental orthodontics for almost thirty years before buying a large hotel .Which we sold when Bronwen got cancer and had a tumour removed from her neck a year later at 45 I got a form of parkinsons disease and we sold everything bought this nice house overlooking the sea. I built a large woodshop then an extension onto that afew years later all dedicated to woodworking with double glazing and central heating for the winter.So I try when I can to go there sometimes I just sit and do very little as I am on morphine everyday for the last eleven years to help overcome the jumping motions.I have a great deal of time for my wonderful friends here on this lumberjocks site including my friendship with your good genius self LOL keep wel pal Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1444 days


#13 posted 06-15-2011 10:42 PM

Also possibly, for me a broken handle is a plane I gravitate towards. I know may who will avoid them. For $5 and some time, make your own. For $30 and about 3 days, let that Ebay dude make the walnut replacements. Mine were dead on.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Jack_T's profile

Jack_T

621 posts in 1782 days


#14 posted 06-16-2011 02:03 AM

Al wasn’t it Kervorkian that advocated to the death of his clients? With your guns it may be very productive.

I admire all who play/work with restoring old planes.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1390 days


#15 posted 06-16-2011 04:43 AM

@SCOTSMAN: You MUST be a genius as well. If not, then how could you POSSIBLY tell that Charlie is ? ;=)

My “plane sickness” puke from Ebay over the past two weeks:

Vintage STANLEY NO.2 SWEETHEART SMOOTH PLANE ..NICE

VINTAGE STANLEY BAILEY NO 5 1/4 WOOD HAND PLANE USA

LARGE 22 ” VINTAGE STANLEY PLANE , BAILEY # 7

ANTIQUE STANLEY-BAILEY #6 HAND PLANE – EX. CONDITION

PROFESSIONAL HAND CHISEL SET

VGC Stanley #4 smooth plane razor sharp

NICE STANLEY NO 101 WOOD BLOCK PLANE ANTIQUE OLD TOOL !

original box STANLEY NO 110 block plane A+ shape tool

Perfect-Edge Planer Iron Sharpening Guide

ANTIQUE STANLEY BAILEY No 4 SMOOTH PLANE, TYPE 11 – VGC

Stanley Block PLane #220

Bailey No. 3 Plane Patent 1902 Stanley 992 blade

STANLEY/ BAILEY NO 5 CORRUGATED PLANE

Vintage 1925 Hand Crank Clamp On Bench Grinder & Wheel

Junior Jack Bench Plane (Stanley 5) NICE

STANLEY NO. 18 KNUCKLE JOINT CAP BLOCK PLANE

Yeah, I realize I got two #4’s. Hair triggers on a double barrel, you know.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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