How does this Craftsman Plane look? Good deal for first plane?

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 02-09-2013 07:45 AM 2234 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eddie's profile


212 posts in 1977 days

02-09-2013 07:45 AM

Hello all,
Wanted to ask some of you seasoned hand plane veterans to take a look at this plane.

Its for sale on craigslist nearby and looks to be in great shape.
This would be my first plane.
What do you guys think?
Do you see anything that concerns you?

The seller is asking $30 but has already admitted that he would be willing to accept lower. What would be a “gloatable” price to offer?

The ad reads——Nice Craftsman plane! Same size as Stanley no. 5
Excellent condition!

19 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3075 days

#1 posted 02-09-2013 11:58 AM

Looks nice
$20 to $30 is reasonable.
Make sure that there is not crack.
Be ready to spend several hours to fine tune is before you can really use it.
Make sure that it has an adjustable frog. That the part holding the blade can be move back and forth.
You probably can find a Bailey or a Stanley for the same price and they are more desirable for collectioners.

-- Bert

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3402 days

#2 posted 02-09-2013 12:05 PM

A good #5 is an great first plane to own. This one is in nice shape and is priced well. Any chance that’s made by Millers Falls gang? Ask what he’d take for it. $20 would be great.

It looks like it may need to be flattened, but some sand paper adhered to a flat surface will make short work of it…..I’d start at ~ 100 grit and work up to as fine as you want to go.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2387 days

#3 posted 02-09-2013 12:15 PM

I’d second this…about $20…not much more than that.

Tuning will be essential to make using the plane enjoyable. I almost threw out my garage sale # 5 because I was frustrated with it. I felt like i was digging holes in the wood…

After you buy it stop into your local hardware store – Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, whatever. Get a Package of 4” wide belt sander belts – I like Diablo. Get 80 Grit and 120 Grit. Also pick up the flattest 12×12 piece of granite tile you can find (about $5), and some spray adhesive – like 3M Super.

When you get home cut the seam out of one 80 Grit and one 120 Grit so that you have two long sheets. Spray the back of the belts and let them get tacky, then stick to the piece of granite/tile. Now you can mark up the sole of the plane with a sharpie and go to town! First on the 80 until all of the marker is gone consistently (now it’s flat), repeat on the 120 to slightly polish. You can go higher with other grits if you want, but it really won’t help/harm the kind of work you will do with a # 5.

Good luck! Check back in and let us know if you picked it up!

-- Steve

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3075 days

#4 posted 02-09-2013 12:44 PM

Watch Paul Sellers flattening his plane, his method it the best:

In fact watch Paul Sellers for everything you would want to learn, in my opinion he is the very best teacher around, subscribe to his channel.

Paul Sellers shows how to flatten and shape the sole of a bench plane. This technique is the first step once you have bought a new bench plane or have acquired a used plane. without this fairly simple step woodworking planes may not function correctly and may even damage projects or surfaces that you are working on. Also check out this video on sharpening a plane: . To find out more about Paul Sellers or the projects he is involved with visit .

-- Bert

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2387 days

#5 posted 02-09-2013 12:50 PM

B2 – great video! Pretty much the same method with a little more detail. I agree, I really enjoy Paul sellers.

-- Steve

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3420 days

#6 posted 02-09-2013 01:05 PM

nah! forget about it…..

THIS is what u need

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2645 days

#7 posted 02-09-2013 01:08 PM

A gloatable price for a later model Craftsman jack would be $5. Can’t tell by the pics, but I doubt the one above has a frog adjustment screw. It’s not a show stopper, but there are so many vintage planes that have it, so many, that I wouldn’t buy one that is without. You’ll use it only a few times, but it’s a key attribute in fettling planes.

I’d suggest you look into getting one completely refurbished / restored from LJ’s own Don W ( He’s refurbed hundreds, and all are top notch. Comes with support, too, via the Handplanes of your Dreams thread.

Good luck!

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

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3386 days

#8 posted 02-09-2013 01:08 PM

I agree that $20 would be the most you should pay for it. I think Scott is correct and that it was made by Millers Falls. Once you get it cleaned and tuned, it should make a really nice user.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2645 days

#9 posted 02-09-2013 01:11 PM

^ +1 on what Fransico says, too. That’s a nice, vintage jack.

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

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2718 days

#10 posted 02-09-2013 02:11 PM

Paul Sellers is DaMan – he gives away so much knowledge for free.

Personally, I wouldn’t bother with a Craftsman, especially a #5 Jack. There are Stanley #5’s everywhere and usually in that same $ range.

Having said that, if you want to learn how to true up a plane without worrying that you might be ruining it, then you have a good candidate there.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2978 days

#11 posted 02-09-2013 02:18 PM

I wouldn’t pay more than $10 for a Craftsman #5 since you can get good Stanley Bailey #5 planes for pretty cheap. Actually, I’d pass on the Craftsman and get a vintage Bailey instead.

Edit: Actually, I just realized I said almost the same thing Richard just said.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2594 days

#12 posted 02-09-2013 03:43 PM

I’d offer $10, hope you can get it for $15 tops or just walk away. It could be a good user (probably made my millers falls).

Also the screw that holds the cap iron is also Phillips. Make sure that’s original. I’ve seen plenty of hand planes with phillips (knob, tote and frog) screws, but I don’t ever remember that particular screw being Phillips. But it could be original, just check it before buying it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bandit571's profile


20247 posts in 2710 days

#13 posted 02-09-2013 04:43 PM

Looka about the same as a Craftsman #4 I had last year

Wasn’t too bad a little plane either

I paid around $10 for this one…

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

View Wally331's profile


350 posts in 2052 days

#14 posted 02-09-2013 06:10 PM

Ditto on bandits comment, I’ve got the same no. 4 as well, Its not as good as a stanley, but not a bad plane either. I would probably try to get $15-20 for it.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2313 days

#15 posted 02-09-2013 06:20 PM

I hope you have better luck with Craftsman planes than me. I have several and I can’t get a ribbon out of any of them without catching due to chatter. After a while I got tired of trying to get it straight and started only buying Stanley Bailey hopefully with sweetheart blades. Planing is hard enough without having to fight the plane.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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