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Stanley Global Planes?

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Forum topic by jeth posted 08-24-2011 01:26 AM 1361 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jeth

210 posts in 1523 days


08-24-2011 01:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane question

Hello all.. I think I should start this post with a caveat: I am based in Mexico, buying old Stanleys on ebay and renovating them is unfortunately not an option for me so if anyone has any information or experience that relates directly to my forthcoming question then please do tell…

So, question is about a plane I saw today. A Stanley no.4, was in a glass case and didn’t have time to have them get it out for me to inspect., but it looked ok, pretty well finished and not as rough as some I have seen.
The plane has quite nice looking wooden handles and the stanley logo in red on the cap iron. The blade at least has made in england stamped on it and looks a little thicker than the average, though not 1/8 thick like a hock or other quality blade. I would not expect the plane to be a UK model as Stanley has a factory here in Mexico, though the blade at least was english.
So, I have had a search around and come up with nothing. The Stanley site, both US based and their Latin American site have catalogue listings for the Bailey series, which appear to have plastic handles and the “global” series, with wooden handles but shown with the logo highlighted in yellow not red. There is no information at all on the global planes other than pic.

So, can anyone clear up the mystery, are these planes tweakable into something useable? Is the global line improved or lower quality compared with the current Baileys? Seems odd if the lower quality line comes with wood fittings compared to the Baileys plastic but the website seems to big up the Baileys and say nothing about this other line.

I had been considering some Woodriver planes, but by the time I have paid shipping I’m spending close to premium brand money. As mentioned (and I’m sure worth mentioning again just for safetys sake) there is no second hand market here so older Stanley is off the cards but maybe I can get something new here that can be made to function and upgrade the blades at a later date?


16 replies so far

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chrisstef

11092 posts in 1691 days


#1 posted 08-24-2011 01:31 AM

Im no expert but i think that with enough work any hand plane can become workable. Ive got a Groz #5 that took hours of tuning but works pretty well for me now. You might be able to check the cheek of the plane, i think the English versions have a stamped number on the sides which the American versions dont (to my knowledge). How much would it cost to ship one from the states to Mexico?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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WayneC

12292 posts in 2782 days


#2 posted 08-24-2011 01:57 AM

Sounds like a Stanley Plane made in England. You should be able to make it work.

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

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jeth

210 posts in 1523 days


#3 posted 08-24-2011 02:15 AM

I’m going to pass by the store when I have time to stop and give it a look over. Like I said it would seem very strange for them to sell an imported english plane when they are manafacturing here in Mexico. I had hoped their website might have some info about planes with UK made blades, but nothing.
I guess I’ll just give it a once over and see what I think, was cheap enough, around 30 USD but as I say didn’t look too rough at all.

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David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1683 days


#4 posted 08-24-2011 02:40 AM

I wouldn’t even worry about it. The Mexican Stanleys I have seen were not bad planes. They were not quite as cleanly machined as the old Stanleys but better than the Indian planes. The UK made Stanleys are good.

Now for the Heresy:

Any of the modern bench planes with the adjustable frogs and the adjustable mouth block planes are just fine. The worst thing machining problems you will find will be a matter of a couple minutes with a needle file or sandpaper on the frog/seat or a few minutes on the cap iron. If they have plastic handles, deal with it for a while and if you are bored, make some new ones. It doesn’t take that long. Last set I made took a couple hours and that was because I was starting with firewood.

Unless you are going to move to where tools are cheaper, you will be better off making your own. The only bench planes that really help to have a fine mouth are a smoother and maybe a jointer. If you are using your native hardwoods, you will want to get some good scrapers as well.

If you are going to spend a lot of money shipping stuff, get a kit from Ron Hock to make a plane.

Or here are some free plans:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/woodworking/1273456

Once you see how easy it is, you will be hooked. I bought a hand full of plane irons from Lee Valley (replacements for the Chinese planes) for a few dollars each.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=46322&cat=1,41182,46334

You can use replacement plane irons that you can get locally as well.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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Don W

15206 posts in 1252 days


#5 posted 08-24-2011 02:46 AM

I decided to buy (the work collect seems to have a negative connotation around here) and I now have about 50. I’ve bought Stanley planes from England, and US, newer and older. I haven’t found one yet I couldn’t make work, but some just take a lot more work than others. If I now lived in a spot were used tools were unavailable, I’d move. :-)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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jeth

210 posts in 1523 days


#6 posted 08-24-2011 03:21 AM

Ok as an update. I have found a clue, a similar looking wooden handled plane on the Mexican version of ebay (which is used mostly for selling new rather than used items) where the seller states that it comes with two English blades and is asked by a prospective buyer if the plane is English. The reply is that the plane is Indian with English blades.

So, in light of David Ks remark about the Indian planes, are these going to be risky? I think any plane can be tuned up, my main concern is what I have heard about the metalwork on some of the newer planes being prone to warping. I don’t want to be fettling on a regular basis, once I can handle.

I was thinking of getting cheaper planes, tuning up and at some later date ordering hock blades and cap irons as an upgrade. Shipping on the blades and irons is a whole lot more reasonable than on complete planes.

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David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1683 days


#7 posted 08-24-2011 03:58 AM

What I have seen of the newer Indian (Anant), I have not seen anything I would turn away from. What you have heard about warped planes is overblown. You have people that get their micrometers out and measure to the 0.0001. The wood you are planing isn’t stable enough for that to make a difference. Any tuning you do as far as flattening will likely be a one time thing. If you are expecting a tool that will be ready for the finest work, I would go by what I could see in person unless you have a relationship with the dealer. If you are willing to gamble a bit and put a little sweat into it, pick up one and live with it a while. Worst case scenario is you have one for rough work. If it tunes up well, great.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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jeth

210 posts in 1523 days


#8 posted 08-24-2011 04:32 AM

Yep, that was my thinking, I will wait to get a closer look at it , probably tomorrow. This is really meant to be a stop gap thing, if it works ok I might keep it and upgrade the iron as I said, if not then along the line I can splash out on something nicer. Just for now I need to get something usable and have other things to spend on so can’t go all out on premium models for the time being.

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David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1683 days


#9 posted 08-24-2011 05:11 AM

Don’t dismiss the idea of making your own. It is a lot of fun and they work nicely.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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wingate_52

219 posts in 1254 days


#10 posted 08-24-2011 08:47 AM

I have a number of Stanley/Record/Marples bench planes. Most made in England, some in the U.S. all work. All work better after flattening the soles and doing a bit of work on the frog. I go even further and fine tune in all areas, as well as replace beech handles with Bubinga, home made ones. I leave the walnut and plastic handles as standard after a polish up. The blades are a problem. The original blades do not retain their edge. I have a Rob Cosman combo which is excellent. A few Smoothcut blades with Quangsheng chipbreakers which retro fit any of my planes with no adjustment, and a No.3 Stanley with a Quangsheng combo. The replacement blades are so much better, sharper and have a better edge retention. The Cosman and Quangsheng blades need more than just “the mouth filing” to get them to work nicely. If I had my time again, I would probably buy a Lie-Nielson set of planes. The Quangsheng/WoodRiver series are great, but reports of the bodies rusting and pitting has worried me. I have a Quangsheng 62 LA bevel up with 3 differently ground blades that is excellent.

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jeth

210 posts in 1523 days


#11 posted 08-24-2011 02:25 PM

David, I had thought about it but can’t see it being easy with no good way of milling up accurately dimensioned stock ;) Once I’m better set up i would like to have a go at some shoulder planes or something.

@wingate, I am thinking the stock blades will get me by then if the plane itself is tweaked into shape ok then I can upgrade to aftermarket blade/chipbreaker later.
The Quangsheng (aka Woodriver) planes definitely look nice for the money. I saw an article where 3 planes were compared, a Stanley bedrock, a Nielson and a Woodriver. Hopefully I won’t cause any great debate in saying that to me in the photos the Woodriver looked the better machined piece of the 3.

Something I had missed was the comment that if the cheaper plane doesn’t work out I at least have a plane for rough work and that is a very good point.

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racerglen

2324 posts in 1465 days


#12 posted 08-24-2011 02:49 PM

Jeth,
Whenever I’m visiting another country I’m always looking for old tools, even new sometimes, brought some small stuff home from New Zealand, including the scarey Stanley RB 10 plane. But I’ve never had any luck in Mexico, like you are saying.
Is there a reason for that ? One American ex-pat in Puerto Vallarta said there it was because the area (P.V.)was relatively “new” and most tools just got used up ?

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1378 days


#13 posted 08-24-2011 02:51 PM

I’ve got an English 220 that I like better than my other 220s. It’s a heavy casting with adjustable mouth. Even the newer blade works nicely after cleanup. They’re nice planes but I wouldn’t pay a ton of money for one.

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

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jeth

210 posts in 1523 days


#14 posted 08-24-2011 03:05 PM

Glen, I actually think alot of it is cultural and economic. people tend to hold on to things here and use/repair/use till the point of complete destruction. The city I live has just got a new fire truck to sit aside the others that they have, which are all from the WWII era :)
There is very little secondhand market, shame as I love a bit of bric a brac as much as the next man.
Also there is very little tradition of finer work here and tools are therefore not required to be of high quality and are not so esteemed and cared for.

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racerglen

2324 posts in 1465 days


#15 posted 08-24-2011 03:22 PM

Hmm.. Maybe you could start a new tradition ?

;-)

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

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