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New vs vintage Stanley planes

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Forum topic by All10fingers posted 504 days ago 1581 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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All10fingers

17 posts in 510 days


504 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: plane question 78 stanley vintage

Hello jocks! I have a question regarding the brand new, UK made Stanley 78 plane and the older vintage 78 planes that are prolific on eBay. Is there any real difference between the old and the new, besides the antique look? They sure look the same, but people are paying crazy prices for like-new vintage 78’s. Any thoughts???

-- "Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you" Carl Jung


23 replies so far

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Brandon

4137 posts in 1556 days


#1 posted 504 days ago

The 78s, in my opinion, aren’t as sophisticated in terms of manufacturing as most other Stanley planes. I really doubt there’s a noticiable difference between the vintage and newer models. As a general rule with Stanley planes, vintage is better, but I’m not sure it really matters with this particular plane. Perhaps others will disagree with me.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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Don W

14674 posts in 1173 days


#2 posted 504 days ago

I haven’t really heard much about the new #78. I’m inclined to agree with Brandon though. I’d just make sure you purchase it from someplace with a decent return policy and your covered.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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All10fingers

17 posts in 510 days


#3 posted 504 days ago

Thank you Brandon and Don for your input. If the Stanley 78 is not sophisticated as a rabbet plane, is there a rabbet plane you could suggest. Shoulder planes are nice but they aren’t really rabbet makers…

-- "Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you" Carl Jung

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9624 posts in 1223 days


#4 posted 504 days ago

Quality is the perceived difference, and it’s closely related to consistency.

The pre-war #78s are bankable tools. The sides will be machined flat and perpendicular to the sole, a key attribute to the moving fillister. And the iron sits well in the plane, and the mouth opening will be straight across and consistent.

Like Don says, have a good return policy and you can check those things right off. Even with vintage via ebay, you’d want the same thing.

So old isn’t for patina, although collectors are out there. But we’re talking users.

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

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14674 posts in 1173 days


#5 posted 504 days ago

I don’t think Brandon meant (or at least I didn’t) that the 78 wasn’t as sophisticated as a rabbit, but a rabbit wasn’t as sophisticated as most other planes we see problems with.

I also agree with Smitty. Vintage is not for patina, its for ability to easily get things flat and smooth. One of our regular contributors had to send a new Stanley #62 back twice and still does not have an acceptable tool.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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twelvepoint

38 posts in 568 days


#6 posted 504 days ago

Is there a particular period where quality slipped? I have an old #7, and I think it’s a Stanley, though the only brand marking is on the blade.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9624 posts in 1223 days


#7 posted 504 days ago

The last two ‘types’ produced in the US had ‘japanning’ that was blue, then cordovan (purple). Those are iffy. Anything before that, you’d be hard pressed to identify overarching flaws.

That said, a majority seem to want planes made before world war 2, and from there ones with low knobs and adjustable frog and lateral adjuster.

I could go on and on, but I’ll go back to my first statement above and refine it thus: Any stanley bench plane with rosewood knob and tote, brass depth adjuster wheel and frog adjustment screw should be a quite decent user.

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

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twelvepoint

38 posts in 568 days


#8 posted 504 days ago

Mine definitely has the brass adjuster and it looks like the frog is held with two screws and has elliptical holes for adjustment.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9624 posts in 1223 days


#9 posted 504 days ago

If it’s a Stanley, it’ll have “Bailey” near the toe. Even if it doesn’t, not to worry. There are literally more than a dozen plane ‘brands’ that are either quality in their own right, or were made by Stanley (or Millers Falls) for sale as house brands.

Post a pic and someone more qualified than myself will opine as well.

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

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1557 days


#10 posted 504 days ago

All10fingers, I have two planes that are my go to tools for rabbets; my Stanley 45 or my old moving filester plane. Both work excellent for those tasks. I have an old Craftsman #78 Stanley knock off (which is very good quality) and only used it once because I don’t think it matches up to the other two for cutting rabbets.

-- Mike

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Deycart

372 posts in 863 days


#11 posted 504 days ago

The only think I can think of is that the older Stanleys had better blades in my opinion. My the ones with a 1992 TM to the sweethearts can keep an edge. In my experience the newer ones don’t and are often not that flat.

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twelvepoint

38 posts in 568 days


#12 posted 504 days ago

The blade says
STANLEY
PAT AP’L 19 92

The base is ribbed.

Also, sorry, I meant #6. I think my mind was swayed by lots of talk about #7s

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14674 posts in 1173 days


#13 posted 504 days ago

Twelve point, that #6 is of a vintage when they were made well. I can’t tell if its really a Stanley, but it looks like it was Stanley made. It is certainly a nice user.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Deycart

372 posts in 863 days


#14 posted 504 days ago

Your plane is a type 6A 1891-1892 worth I would say in the 80-160 department. The only defect I can see is the japanning. Otherwise a VERY nice plane for that age. This also assumes there is no damage I cant see.

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Deycart

372 posts in 863 days


#15 posted 504 days ago

Yes it is a Stanley.

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