What to do with an early Stanley jack plane (Type 3?)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by tvfd911 posted 11-26-2012 01:58 PM 1474 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tvfd911's profile


2 posts in 2004 days

11-26-2012 01:58 PM

First off, I’ve lurked the forums here for quite a while and finally decided to join. A little history- when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time in Grandpa’s wood shop. College and getting life established kept me preoccupied, but the itch to make shavings is too strong to put off any longer, so I’m getting a proper tool set together and cleaning the oil and grease out of the garage from previous projects.

To the point of the post. I’ve been getting together and tuning a set of hand planes. One of which is an early 4 1/2 with the front knob not having the ring cast around it. The knob is missing and the tote is missing its top quarter, so I bought what looked like a suitable knob donor until I got it home and realized it was older than I expected and might be worth more to someone else as a complete plane than a parts donor. I’m not into and will hold firm to not personally collecting bench planes, just not my thing. Too many other interests taking up space as it is.

From what I can tell, it is a type 3. The damage I can find is a busted tote and a chip in the mouth. No cracks from the limited amount of cleaning I did. Knowing that collectors prefer originality or at least their own cleaning extent/methods, I’m not about to take away their opportunity.

-So, what do I do with it?
-Is the damage beyond what a collector would want in a sample and I should just use it to work at making my 4 1/2 complete?
- Where is the best place sell? (I see there’s a classifides here, but I haven’t looked in it much to see if many collectors hang out there)
- Use the front knob as I intended and part out the rest to someone else trying to make their partial plane whole?

Flickr doesn’t appear to like it when I attempt to embed a photo into the post, so here are a couple links. (sad considering I pay them to store photos)

Thanks Much!

9 replies so far

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2142 days

#1 posted 11-26-2012 03:23 PM

I would suggest you try either DonW here on LJ or Patrick Leach. His email is


View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#2 posted 11-26-2012 03:57 PM

(I see there’s a classifieds here, but I haven’t looked in it much


View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2776 days

#3 posted 11-26-2012 04:44 PM

Woodworking Trade & Swap, under forums..

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2994 days

#4 posted 11-26-2012 05:55 PM

This is a perfectly fine user or parts donor. There is no inherent collectability in it. In fact, there are very few bench planes that would stand out as a collectible beyond a couple rare sizes or something really spiffy like new in the original box straight out of the time machine with all the little stickers or the like.

This is not a bad thing. For the most part, very collectible tools are the ones that sucked or really special purpose and nobody bought them.

Check the length. Can’t tell for sure but looking at the pics, I do believe might be a #6 rather than a jack. Not a big difference but if you do trade/sell it, best to advertise properly.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2679 days

#5 posted 11-26-2012 11:14 PM

The type 3 Stanley bench planes are unusual because all plane sizes (except, perhaps, the smallest ones) used the frog. Not a good idea, obviously, and they were only in production for a year or two. The rarity alone might make it slightly more interesting to some collectors, but it’s best to check with experts.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2948 days

#6 posted 11-27-2012 12:39 AM

tvfd911 – I am also not a collector of planes; I use them. I am not sure if it has collector value or not, but I will go out on a limb and lean towards not much, if any, collector value. The ding in the mouth and the ruined tote detract greatly.

However, that plane will make a very nice user. Although it has no lateral adjuster, adjusting the blade side to side can be done easily enough with taps of a hammer. In fact, I prefer to use taps on the blade as some lateral adjusters are just plain sloppy. The frogs on those early Stanleys are very similar to the Bedrocks and are very nice. The blade on it is about toast, but that is easily replaced. I say clean her up and put her to use.

Good Luck!

-- Mike

View tvfd911's profile


2 posts in 2004 days

#7 posted 12-01-2012 01:28 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions and information guys.

David- good eye calling it out as a 6 without having much to put it into perspective. I also recently purchased a 5 and had which one was for parts and which one was to live turned in my head.

I think this plane will donate its knob to the 4 1/2 at least for the time being. I bet I can find a place to store the remainder until I decide what to do with it (or need more parts). It isn’t like I’m breaking up a beautiful copy.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2831 days

#8 posted 12-01-2012 04:06 AM

It isn’t a bad looking user, the japanning doesn’t look too bad and the overall condition looks decent. Get out some thicker wood and turn a new knob and make a matching tote. Then check out woodcraft online for a replacement blade, they have a bunch on sale. With that large ding I doubt it has any real collector’s value but it would be a good user.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Lazy_K's profile


122 posts in 2186 days

#9 posted 12-01-2012 05:11 AM

if you come across one that you want to sell E-bay is generally a good option. If you should come across a plane (or any old tool ) that you think is unique or valuable send it to Martin J. Donnelly In Avoca NY. He runs an Antique tool auction and will get you a good price (if it is actually worth something).

does it Say “Stanley” on it? for some reason it looks like a Sergent to me

sadly, the chip out of the mouth makes it a “non-collectible” but a “user” tool.

-- Kai SaerPren

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