Is This Too Junky to Save?

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Forum topic by BustedClock posted 10-31-2013 11:23 PM 1640 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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128 posts in 2488 days

10-31-2013 11:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane no 7 repair ebay

I’ve been shopping eBay for a Stanley No. 7 with the solid faced frog. The ones in reasonable condition seem to be running around $100. Recently, I ran across this listing which gave rise to the question in the title.

I’ve read that I shouldn’t worry about surface rust because it can be easily removed. Well, maybe that’s true, but I haven’t tried it, and doesn’t ductile iron pit? Also, I’m guessing I’ll have to buy a new blade and chip-breaker, but if the auction price is low enough, it might could pay for a new Hock set. The tote and handle seem to be OK, if in need of some TLC.

Of course, the bidders out in the wild might jack this one up unreasonably, like so many others have been. So, what do you folks think? Is this thing worth risking $50 on?

BTW, if you go cruising other listings for a No. 7, check out the one that has a starting bid of $54.99—with no tote, and covered in rust! What are these people thinking?

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

23 replies so far

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3107 days

#1 posted 10-31-2013 11:30 PM

Wow, that may be worse off than my No. 7 I picked up a few weeks back! I’ve seen people restore worse but I guess it just depends on how much effort you want to put into it. I tell you what though, you get that fixed up as a good working plane and I bet the effort will be worth it! Good luck!

-- David

View BustedClock's profile


128 posts in 2488 days

#2 posted 10-31-2013 11:38 PM

You know, it just hurts me when people treat good tools this way. I suppose one excuses them for ignorance, but still… And then the price some sellers think these things are worth!

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

View Oldtool's profile


2596 posts in 2156 days

#3 posted 10-31-2013 11:41 PM

I would pass on this one, too much work for a refurb., really bad shape. Who ever is bidding on this is probably looking for parts. You can remove rust, but not the pits.
I’ve found my best source of good old tools are the “antique” shops in my area. Often the booths at these places have good tools, but not what the owner normally specializes in, and you can get good tools at good prices. Even at some of these places, you’ll run across booths where old tools is all the seller handles, and because they know tools, there prices are pretty reasonable, and the tools need little if any work to get them into shape to use.
Good luck.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1870 days

#4 posted 10-31-2013 11:43 PM

Not too junky if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort. Here’s my Bailey No 7 that I bought off CL for $1.00:

Might be a close race for whose started off worse. To be honest, if it’s your first restoration I’d get something crappier and practice with that. That way, you make your mistakes with a $5 or $10 plane rather than one you might have to fight to get for $50. But buy it if the price is right, then sit on it while you find what restoration techniques work for you. Good luck! PM me if you have any questions on my process, or whatever you end up using. There are also plenty of others on this site who know way more than I.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View TravisH's profile


573 posts in 1900 days

#5 posted 10-31-2013 11:45 PM

I kick myself now but I came across a streak where I found 7 and 8 on about every trip to junk store/antique store, etc.. and they always were 30 to 40 bucks. I didn’t think much of it at the time as I wasn’t too interested in them but then when I decided I wanted one poof they all disappeared and I turned to ebay to cringe when they would have all fetched way over what I see on ebay based on condition.

I would pass also as it looks really poor.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#6 posted 11-01-2013 12:24 AM

I think it is definitely salvageable, but I wouldn’t pay $50 for one that requires that much work. If they were asking half of that, I would jump on it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4063 days

#7 posted 11-01-2013 02:08 AM

I agree with Charlie, you could restore it but not for that much. What part of the country are you in? In many parts of the country, you can find them in flea markets or antique stores for the same price or less in better condition.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2598 days

#8 posted 11-01-2013 02:36 AM

Brass City Records is selling this one for $75+shipping. I think its a better value than that tetnus-shot-waiting-to-happen on ebay. Even with the dinged tote.

View fuigb's profile


475 posts in 2923 days

#9 posted 11-01-2013 07:39 AM

Pass, and +1 on the “antiques” and flea markets as a preferable alternative source for reasonably priced fixer-uppers. In my area they’re called resale and consignment stores. Last weekend I was looking at a #7 Stanley in similar shape for 16 bucks. IMO the best way to approach this is with want and not need. This way you can shop and hunt and thereby find what you desire at a price that won’t anger you in a year. All of my daily drivers are junk store finds, and for a total of about a hundred I now have good, functional tools (mostly Stanley and Bedrock and classic Craftsman) with multiples and representation from 3 through 7. Not gloating, just saying that the #7 under discussion is an expensive screw job in comparison to what can likely be found in a rainy Saturday afternoon spent visiting local shops.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2598 days

#10 posted 11-01-2013 11:29 AM

I doubt the OP is going to stumble upon a jointer plane in a Denver thrift store or yard sale. I commonly hear people form that region complain about the scarce supply of old tools. That said, the internet is about the only play.

View unbob's profile


808 posts in 1869 days

#11 posted 11-01-2013 12:41 PM

Kind of funny, most of the planes I have came to me in like wise condition.
Yes, there are pits that have not came out, but it really does not effect the actual use of the plane. That is, once it is worked over to use, not to look at sitting on a shelf.
A badly pitted blade sucks though, makes for a notched edge.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2335 days

#12 posted 11-01-2013 01:46 PM

I’d pass. If I saw that at an estate sale or something for $20, I’d probably grab it. It’s not beyond salvageable. My favorite plane is an old Union 4G that I found in condition like that. Not being able to visually inspect that one, and with $20 shipping, I’d keep looking.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3324 days

#13 posted 11-01-2013 02:04 PM

I would pass on that. Its too expensive for something to learn on and needs a LOT of work. Walt at Brass City is a great guy to dal with, but he’s dealing with some health issues right now, so I don’t know how responsive he’ll be. If you decide to try to deal with him, I strongly suggest phoning rather than email. FWIW, there are several of us here that sell planes. I have a few 7’s that I can sell.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View BustedClock's profile


128 posts in 2488 days

#14 posted 11-01-2013 04:11 PM

Thanks so much everybody for all the input! It’s great to be part of a community so willing to help out.

The consensus seems to be that the one I mentioned is salvageable but not at the price the seller seems to expect. So, I’m going with the wisdom of the community.

As far as flea-markets, old tool stores, and the like, I’ve actually never done that—for anything! Sounds like something I need to try. I have to say, however, that Denver has been a surprise/disappointment in the woodworking area. As far as retail stores that cater to woodworkers, even a little, there’s one W@@dcraft (don’t know if store names are allowed here) and one R@ckl3r. Both of those places (I mean the individual stores here) really seem more interested in power-tool people

It’s the same with hardwood suppliers. I know of only two within any reasonable distance of the metro area, and so far as I’ve been able to determine no mills within 100 miles. Worse yet, there are thousands of acres of beetle-kill pine left to rot, or just waiting to burn, within 20 miles of me. According to the paper, there’s just no milling capacity close enough to make the trees commercially viable, even though they have a beautiful blue mottling from a bacteria that feeds on beetle poop.

The one thing we do have here is the Red Rocks Community College, School of Fine Woodworking. The Luthier program is outstanding, and some of the students make some pretty fine furniture.

Again, thanks for all the input!

-- Hey, I'm usually right twice a day! Except where they use 24 hour clocks.

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4063 days

#15 posted 11-01-2013 04:27 PM

I would also check the net to see if there are any Antique Street Fairs in the local area. They are typically in the Fall and spring and can be a great source for old tools.

I did a search on Denver area flea markets…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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