Stanley LA Block Plane Adjustments

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Forum topic by Dave posted 10-21-2008 08:56 PM 1658 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dave's profile


6 posts in 3747 days

10-21-2008 08:56 PM

Folks, I’m not sure where to actually post this question about Stanley planes but this seems to be a good Forum…

I’ve purchased a new Stanley low angle block plane from Lee Valley just to have a plane to play around and practice with. It is the one with the two brass knobs at the front and back. I took it apart to have a look at all the individual pieces. This plane has both a screw to tighten the cap iron to the blade to the bed. It also has a very cheap looking cam lever at the top of the cap iron which I assume is to further lock down the Iron to stabalize the blade. When I was putting it all back together (the instructions where terrible) i couldn’t seem to get the cam lever to fully engage unless I really loosened the cap screw and did some hand fiddling to get everything lined. To make it all fit tightly together, the last thing I did was tighten the cap screw tight so the whole assembly was rigid…My question is what the heck is the relationship between the cap screw and the cam lever? Should the cap screw bet tightened before the cam lever is moved??



-- Dave

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3886 days

#1 posted 10-22-2008 12:33 AM

The cap screw should be set so the cam lever operates to loosen
or tighten the whole assembly. If you overtighten the screw
you will not only have to loosen it every time, it may also
stress and warp the casting or lift the end of the blade off
the bearing surface at the mouth.

I don’t have any of these planes that I use myself – I find the
lever cheesy and prefer the thumbscrew found on the record
block planes.

View Dave's profile


6 posts in 3747 days

#2 posted 10-22-2008 07:58 PM

Hey Thanks Loren. I hear what you are saying is that there is a balance between how tight the screw is so that the cam lever can be fully engaged to keep the blade tight in the bed. I will play around with that. My reasearch shows that most all other types of block planes use the thumbscrew approach. I certainly look for that feature on my next block plane.

-- Dave

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3966 days

#3 posted 10-22-2008 09:24 PM

I won’t pretent to know much about this, but I’m struggling with the same issues right now after restoring my first bench plane. my apprach has been to assemble everything (with the cam level locked down and tighten the screw (snug but not tight). then I unlock the cam lever and give the screw another 1/2 turn. If I can still dissassmeble the parts without a screwdriver (when unlocked) but the planes holds together (when locked), I’ve been calling it good to go. Again though, I’m really new and got the first decent shavings from my restored plane last night.

View Dave's profile


6 posts in 3747 days

#4 posted 10-23-2008 12:26 AM

Thanks HokieMojo…I think you have come up with a way…I’ll give it a go tonight. I’ve had an old Stanley #5 jack plane hanging around my shop for 15 years gathering dust. I’ve also just started to take it apart as well. Same issue there…thanks again.

-- Dave

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