Help identifying a Stanley #120

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Don W posted 03-31-2012 12:45 PM 1809 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

03-31-2012 12:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: 120 clock plane

I purchased this Stanley #120 at an antique shop. I knew it was an early 120 by the star on the cap. The main reason I was drawn to it was I could see a hint of bronze. After some clean up and research I have concluded that it is the second iteration of the plane. The first had a turned applewood knob that slips into a cast socket. Mine has a threaded knob that was the second iteration. (resource is

It also has the grooved iron which was changed from a slotted iron on the very early models.

All of the examples I can find have a painted black top with no mention of bronze. Most seem to indicate they are metal when the paint is worn enough to see through. Anybody know why this cap would be bronze, or where I may find the answers?

Note, the knob shown is one that I had from a parts pane, its not original.


-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

11 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2456 days

#1 posted 03-31-2012 01:35 PM

Don, If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that someone made a brass casting from a mold based on a 120 star cap. The casting isn’t perfect, and if it is brass, we wouldn’t expect pitting, plus the screw hole isn’t centered in the star. I could be totally wrong.

Lovely plane though! Can’t wait to see you clean it up and get that brass all shiny. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#2 posted 03-31-2012 01:41 PM

Brandon, that’s not the answer I am looking for. :-)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#3 posted 03-31-2012 01:43 PM

I guess its not that uncommon, I didn’t see this one when I searched before.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View bandit571's profile (online now)


15185 posts in 2188 days

#4 posted 03-31-2012 06:20 PM

Looks like a sand cast copy. I’d steel wire brush to get a better look at the casting. The steel wire would remove the “pitting” from being in a sand cast type of mold. Note the difference in the star as well.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View gavinzagreb's profile


210 posts in 1824 days

#5 posted 03-31-2012 06:30 PM

Perhaps not uncommon, but your star hole is off centre making it unique.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#6 posted 04-01-2012 05:29 PM

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View blackcherry's profile


3333 posts in 3328 days

#7 posted 04-01-2012 09:46 PM

This one must of belong to the sheriff.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2385 days

#8 posted 04-02-2012 02:06 PM

Thats the first one I have seen like that. I know nothing about it but from one “collector” to another I will say its a keeper. :)

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#9 posted 04-02-2012 02:42 PM

I’ve been having a block party lately. This one will stay with me for sure Dan.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 2151 days

#10 posted 04-10-2012 12:17 PM

You think nickle platting just got worn off or was “removed” after a while?

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#11 posted 04-10-2012 01:45 PM

Sam, I believe it was japanned originally (or painted). Either way I think originally it was black. I thought about repainting it, but the “bronze look” looks so cool.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics