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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 02-19-2012 05:14 PM 3606 views 2 times favorited 80 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

3639 posts in 2401 days


02-19-2012 05:14 PM

Hey let’s try specific threads for individual types of Stanley planes and others.

I am mostly mystified, this #78 is truly enigmatic. I just don’t get it, how well this model has sold in such big numbers over the years. After all, there’s no lateral adjuster, indeed no cutter adjustment of any kind but for the slop in its manufacturing tolerances. It does not excel in its purpose as a rabbeting plane. I have never used the forward bed to use it as a bullnose plane, because I don’t think it will get that task done well. The iron casting is clunky. I own about 6 of these, and the one I prefer is the Sears equivalent, which I prefer due to the circular cutting scribe, far superior to the 3-point spur on the Stanleys. Hey, maybe when Veritas or Lie-Nielsen comes out with a #78 reproduction I’ll take another look. Right now, in the bottom drawer of my handplane rollaway, they provide ballast and stability to the cabinet.
Let’s start other threads dedicated to other makes/models, like I did here! Please comment if you are familiar with this plane!!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


80 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5313 posts in 1265 days


#1 posted 02-19-2012 05:44 PM

I have a couple of the variations, Sargent, Craftsman, and Miller Falls. And none of them are complete! When looking to buy one, make sure its complete. The original parts can cost as much as the plane. However parts can be bought new off the web as well.

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poopiekat

3639 posts in 2401 days


#2 posted 02-19-2012 05:52 PM

Thanks, Shane!
I wonder if anyone considers this plane to be their go-to tool. You’re correct about making sure the fence and depth stop are present if buying one. Seems like those two items are listed as often as the planes themselves, often priced higher than 78s themselves, without those two accessories. I’ll sometimes buy junky 78s for a few bucks just to scavenge the spurs, which are hard to find but fit my Stanley 45s perfectly.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Dragonsrite

136 posts in 2064 days


#3 posted 02-19-2012 05:57 PM

I picked up one of the 78s last summer for $20-ish at an antique shop. I finally came across a “need” for it last week – either drag the router table into the basement for one 22” rabbet, or use the plane. So I gave the plane a real quick tune-up; just sharpened up the scribe & iron and wax the body surfaces.

I must say that I really enjoyed using this plane. It did a fine job of creating the rabbet and was very easy to use. Mine is missing the depth … foot… or whatever you call it, so I had to really watch how deep I was going.

I agree that some iron adjustments would be nice, both height & lateral. Haven’t had a need to try the front mount yet.

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

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poopiekat

3639 posts in 2401 days


#4 posted 02-19-2012 06:21 PM

Thanks, Dragonsrite! Good to know there are positive experiences to be had with this plane! Better yet, perhaps we have another ‘Convert’, someone who had a good experience with a hand plane as an alternative to a power tool. Good story, thanks for sharing!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Mauricio

6820 posts in 1818 days


#5 posted 02-19-2012 06:29 PM

Great idea posting one topic per plane!

I have the craftsman version and it is very tricky to get set up right. The nicker was proud of the side and had to be ground down, the side was not flat so it was important that the blade is in line with the nicker rather than the side of the plane.

Also it is very tricky to adjust the blade depth. You have to tap it down into position but if you go too far there is no way to tap the back of the plane to back out the blade like in a wooden plane. You have to pull it back out and start over again.

Also the bed on the craftsman is not flat it has a little elevated piece at the front of the blade that I had to file down.

But I got it for $15 bucks complete and it is set up now ready for the next rabbet I have to cut.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Brandon

4138 posts in 1618 days


#6 posted 02-19-2012 06:30 PM

I have the Craftsman version with the little horn at the front for a place to hold the plane, it’s definitely an improvement over the regular Stanley. The nicker/spur is the circular one you mentioned, but it doesn’t sit well in the bed and is virtually useless. Without the nicker, it is terrible at cross grain cuts and does okay work at rebates with the grain. I hardly use it.

The Stanley and Craftsman parts are interchangable. I purchased a new Stanley fence for mine from Highland and it fits perfectly.

If someone is really interested in this plane, I’d recommend purchasing the English version made by Woden, which seems to have some nice upgrades from the usual Stanley version.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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Mauricio

6820 posts in 1818 days


#7 posted 02-19-2012 06:32 PM

Ah, and this thread would not be complete without a link to Smitty’s Skill Builder on using the 78 to raise a panel!
http://lumberjocks.com/Smitty_Cabinetshop/blog/24504

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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poopiekat

3639 posts in 2401 days


#8 posted 02-19-2012 06:56 PM

Okay, I’ve gotta admit I’ve not even been paying attention to my own planes… or does itt mean I simply have too many of ‘em? Nahhh!!! So I went to get my 78s out, and lo and behold: Yes, height adjusting levers DO exist on some of these planes! I misspoke about this earlier. Photobucket On the left, a Stanley 78, with a height adjuster on the rear cutter bed! Next to it, a couple of ‘USA’ 78s probably knockoffs, both with spur cutters. Note the ‘horn’ on one of ‘em. And, in picture #2: Photobucket A Sears Craftsman 78 in the box, with a height adjuster lever and circular scribe cutter! Alas, no horn! I think I have more, but probably in my future garage-sale stash outside. Thanks for looking, and all of the great comments! I remember now, not being able to combine the best of the best into one custom 78 that had all features. I like having a horn on front, lever height adjuster, filled handle, etc. Definitely going to check out that panel-raising post as Mauricio suggested. Keep the comments coming, and thanks everyone!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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racerglen

2303 posts in 1447 days


#9 posted 02-19-2012 07:23 PM

[Poopie I have a Canadian Stanley ‘78..works just fine, has the lever adjustment for blade depth,
and like you I’ve never triedthe BULLnose position…..

;-)

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9954 posts in 1285 days


#10 posted 02-19-2012 08:12 PM

Thanks for posting the link, Mauricio. Yep, I’m a fan of the #78, and I’m actually wrapping up using it today to narrow some floating panels for use in a headboard frame and panel build.

The blade depth adjuster on the Stanley #78 (later) models makes it painless to use the tool effectively. Wax helps alot, too.

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

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poopiekat

3639 posts in 2401 days


#11 posted 02-19-2012 09:27 PM

Smitty, I was glad to see the link to your panel-raising technique using a #78. Are you freehanding the angle? I never would have thought of a 78, or ANY rabbet plane, to do a mortise. I’ve always just used a 4 1/2 and followed up with a 9 1/2. Still, a fascinating method, thanks for posting it!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9954 posts in 1285 days


#12 posted 02-20-2012 01:22 AM

The panels I’ve done are backsides of a headboard and drawer bottoms, so freehand worked great. Glad you liked the post, and thanks for giving the ‘venerable’ #78 it’s due with it’s very own thread!

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

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poopiekat

3639 posts in 2401 days


#13 posted 02-20-2012 03:07 AM

Thanks again, Smitty! I’m thinking of a way to perhaps devise a jig of some sort to achieve a taper such as your raised panels. I’ll try freehand first of course, perhaps some sort of skate that will ensure a consistent angle and depth. Again, thanks!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9954 posts in 1285 days


#14 posted 02-20-2012 03:47 AM

It is a different way to work, setting a fine cut and then shaving to the edge and face gauge lines. I hope when you give it a try that you’re freed of a jig mindset. Only reason I say this is because it is liberating to have such fine control with a tool while using it. When you’re to the marks, simply stop.

Good luck!

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

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BobM001

388 posts in 997 days


#15 posted 02-20-2012 03:57 AM

I bought this one off “the Bay”. Made in England. The blade was “so so”. I got a replacement Lie-Nielsen blade for it. Once I saw how sharp they were and how they did their sharpening I put the original in the Veritas MK II and put a mirror edge on it with DMT’s and a 4000 grit water stone. This was a “recommended tool” for cleaning to the shoulder of a tenon at the timber framing school I plan to attend.

Bob

-- OK, who's the wise guy that shrunk the plywood?

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