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Plane-iron mini-mystery

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Forum topic by Brett posted 976 days ago 583 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

620 posts in 1280 days


976 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

9576 posts in 1216 days


#1 posted 976 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

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5252 posts in 1196 days


#2 posted 976 days ago

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

View drfunk's profile

drfunk

223 posts in 1274 days


#3 posted 976 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

2254 posts in 1378 days


#4 posted 975 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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