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Is this a decent handplane?

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Forum topic by jtm posted 02-07-2014 08:28 AM 1366 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtm

218 posts in 1103 days


02-07-2014 08:28 AM

Found this in my Grandfather’s old box of tools.

Is this a decent starter handplane?

Tried to set it up a few times, but I end up just gouging the wood.
I know the plane iron and chipbreaker could use some work, but I have no idea how to get this up and running.

Any suggestions?


18 replies so far

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knotscott

7224 posts in 2843 days


#1 posted 02-07-2014 09:57 AM

Yes. Probably made by Millers Falls, modeled after one of their econo planes. #4. flatten, sharpen, and tune it so that the blade is just peaking out as little as possible…..should work fine.

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

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jinkyjock

487 posts in 1041 days


#2 posted 02-07-2014 10:36 AM

Hi jtm, looks similar to my Stanley no.3 general purpose plane. All the parts seem to be there and no visible rust, so you’re off to a good start. If the sole plate is flat you are on your way, if not you have some elbow grease & sweat to lose. Glue graduating grits of sandpaper on to squares of MDF, both sides ‘cos it acts as a balancer, & go thru the grits until flat. If you’re not confident sharpening the blade suggest you invest in a honing guide, back-off to a mirror-finish. Good luck.

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Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#3 posted 02-07-2014 12:21 PM

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#4 posted 02-07-2014 12:38 PM

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2085 days


#5 posted 02-07-2014 01:22 PM

Pls use Don’s link. It’s all about sharp and fettling, leave the sole to last…

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

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#6 posted 02-07-2014 02:18 PM

I’m going to say it’s made by Millers Falls, because it says Millers Falls on the side.

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

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jinkyjock

487 posts in 1041 days


#7 posted 02-07-2014 04:47 PM

Please excuse my lack of knowledge re. American tools, I am new to the website & being from Scotland have limited experience of your tools. I have had a Lufkin tape measure & Estwing hammer for about 10 yrs., & bought some Craftsman drill/countersink bits 2yrs ago while visiting relatives in Columbia SC. & that’s your lot…
However I was correct in that Miller Falls equate the above plane to the Stanley range, which I find is more than adequate for most cabinet work.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#8 posted 02-07-2014 04:48 PM

Jinky, I was just goofing around, it wasn’t directed at you. Sorry if it seemed like it.

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

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Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#9 posted 02-07-2014 05:00 PM

To be clear, this is a newer style plane. Its made after the quality started to plummet. Yes, it can be tuned to work reasonable, maybe even perfect, but you probably find its lacking in some quality points. The cutter may never get to a true sharp. And if it does, it probably won’t hold its edge as long as a “good” quality plane. The frog will need more work than a good quality plane and so on.

It does equate to a Stanley of the same vintage. They are not top shelf, so be patient.

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

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2085 days


#10 posted 02-07-2014 05:36 PM

I’ll be d*mn, it does say MF on the side. Good catch, Ed!
.
.
JT, it is a decent starter but as Don says that’s about all it is: decent. Most of that centers on the iron’s ability to take and hold a keen edge, and that’s great in newer tools for mass consumption. The phillips-head screws on the knob and tote tell us it’s very much a newer plane; MF (essentially) ceased operations around 1982.

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

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ColonelTravis

1194 posts in 1361 days


#11 posted 02-07-2014 05:45 PM

jtm – if you can’t get that one working well (or tire of the effort into that one), don’t give up on planes. They are beautiful to use and bring a joy to woodworking that power tools cannot.

And they’re more addictive than crack.

Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#12 posted 02-07-2014 05:47 PM

I would venture a guess that you have a MF 9790 there. The teflon coating would explain the lack of rust after sitting for such a long time.

From the site :

Pictured left is the company’s teflon-coated smooth plane with the dealer’s display card attached. In 1969, Millers Falls introduced a short-lived series of planes featuring beds with teflon coating on the sides and soles. Three models were produced: the No. 9140 jack plane, the No. 9790 smooth plane and the No. 9775 block plane. The No. 9140 replaced the No. 140 jack plane, the No. 9790, the No. 90 smoother. The tools were equipped with black-painted beds and handles. The frogs were painted red and the lever caps nickel plated.

The company used Dupont’s industrial quality Teflon-S on the planes. At the time, the chemical firm was promoting the coating to tool manufacturers, and Stanley, as well as Millers Falls, took an interest in the new substance. The tool manufacturers were intrigued by teflon’s rust protection and friction reduction features. Stanley tried the coating on several of its saws; the Millers Falls Company’s major effort involved the three hand planes. Promotional material for the planes promised “lifelong rust protection” and a “super hard finish” that “…resists abrasion, scratching.”

Of course, as anyone who has gone through the serial replacement of teflon-coated pots and pans can attest, abrasion resistant has a meaning slightly different than that of abrasion proof. Consumers were hesitant that the coating would stand up to the abuse that tools are given. Experience soon showed them to be correct, and the planes were discontinued in 1971.

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

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Bogeyguy

548 posts in 1535 days


#13 posted 02-07-2014 05:53 PM

Found this in my Grandfather’s old box of tools.

Is this a decent starter handplane?

Tried to set it up a few times, but I end up just gouging the wood.
I know the plane iron and chipbreaker could use some work, but I have no idea how to get this up and running.

Any suggestions?

Did you try plugging it in?? Just kidding. Follow up what the LJ’ers advice above. Be patient.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2085 days


#14 posted 02-07-2014 05:56 PM

Ed, very interesting, learned something today! Thanks.

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

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#15 posted 02-07-2014 06:08 PM

Me too, I had no idea they made them. I’m not going to pretend like I knew!

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

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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