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Plane-iron mini-mystery

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Forum topic by Brett posted 961 days ago 581 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

620 posts in 1265 days


961 days ago

My parents are visiting for the Thanksgiving week, and over the weekend my dad presented me with an old Stanley Bailey No.4 hand plane that used to belong to his dad (and maybe his dad’s dad before him);

Even though it’s a Sweetheart plane from the ‘20s or ‘30s, the top end of the plane iron is heavily mushroomed, as if someone had repeatedly used a hammer to adjust the depth of cut. On the other hand, the plane iron appears to be full length; the iron cannot be raised any higher by the brass adjustment wheel, so it appears to have been sharpened very little.

So there’s the mystery—the iron length indicates very little usage (and the whole plane shows very little wear), but the mushroomed end indicates it may have been used a lot.

Any possible explanations?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


4 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9485 posts in 1201 days


#1 posted 961 days ago

One theory:

- Iron was removed and used as a chisel at some point. Might only have been one task, but you never know. In a pinch, your ancestor(s) used what’s available.

Mushrooming the end of a mostly full iron via hammer taps alone isn’t very likely. So I definetly share the ‘mystery’ conclusion.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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ShaneA

5197 posts in 1181 days


#2 posted 961 days ago

I am with smitty, it was probably used as a chisel in a pinch.

View drfunk's profile

drfunk

223 posts in 1259 days


#3 posted 960 days ago

Interesting. I have a couple planes like this and I always thought it was from the poor habits of users of wedge based planes. Smitty’s explanation is much more logical.

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2231 posts in 1363 days


#4 posted 960 days ago

Ditto Drfunk, even worse I’ve got a couple of irons that way that were also sharpened with an angle grinder..both sides…and that wasn’t ancestral damage !

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

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