• Creator
  • #2027848

    Post count: 6

    Hi Again,

    I was the lucky recipient of a dry shed full of hand tools that belonged to my great grandfather, a German trained (apprenticed) cabinet maker that immigrated to this country. Among the Stanley hand planes, including a number 2, was a small unnamed plane of about 5 1/2 inches long. It is a simple tool, with only one adjustment. There is no tote handle and a small wooden knob in the front. As all of the tools that I recovered last week, it was covered with rust and 60 years of grime. None of these things were used since the late forties early fifties.

    Since I am new to restoration, I decided to tackle this little plane first. I took it all apart, (six pieces all together, body, blade, blade holder, adjustment screw, knob, and knob screw), put it all except the knob in a basket and lowered it into a vapor degreaser for several hours, hosed it off with carb cleaner and let dry. Then I put it all into a 5 gallon bucket of Evaporust for a week. After that week, it came out a nice cast iron grey, except the blade which is a bi-metal affair, the back part being iron/low grade steel and about 3/4 of an inch from the cutting edge being a higher grade steel.

    I decided to paint the inside of the body red (as there was some little areas under the knob that were red). The only markings on this plane are on the body and blade holder. The body has the number 4 on the back edge of the mouth, the letter U enclosed in a circle under the rod that the blade holder sits under, another 4 near the back quarter and “Made in the U.S.A.” on the back of the body. The blade holder has the number 5 and the letter U on its underside.

    Does anyone have any clue as to who made this plane? I intend to use it, not “collect” it. I do not intend to sell it so “value” does not matter. I am flattening the sole using water proof sandpaper on a sheet of glass. The sole was not finely finished, rather there are medium coarse machine lines on it. The sole is also “cupped” and warped to use lumber terminology. I am about half way done flattening it.

    Thank you for any information that you might have on this.

    Best to all,

    Joe Herdler

  • Author
  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 293

    Hi Kotobuki,

    Congratulations on the inheritance. It sounds like you have an inexpensive block plane that could have by any one of many manufacturers . If the blade is steel forge welded on iron, as you stated. I suspect that it is an earlier piece that has been repurposed for this plane. Is the blade tapered? That would also indicate a high likelihood that it is not original. I would guess that a previous owner found the original blade to be unacceptable and simply replaced it with something they had handy.

    Have fun with it all and thank your ancestors.

  • Kotobuki
    Post count: 6

    Thank you!

    Thank you for your response! I guess it goes to show that back then, even the “cheap” wood tools were better than todays’ stuff.

    The blade is indeed bi-metal, as the back half is grey after de-rusting, and the front (cutting edge) is a darker, harder steel. What you said about someone finding a substitute blade, I think that is the case, as the round top portion of the blade is not symmetrical. Looks like someone cut a sheet of iron, welded the harder steel onto it and then flattened it. I have about 3/4 of an inch of the hard stuff. As I always pull my blade back into the body after using a plane, it should last my lifetime at least.

    Someone had “procured” my little can of black enamel, and I didn’t want to run to the hardware store for more, so the contrasting color of the plane is a dark royal blue. That is the stamped in letters and numbers, the adjustment know and maybe the top of the front knob screw. As I said, I plan on using it, not collecting it, so it doesn’t really matter to me if the paint scheme is original.



    Joe Herdler

  • Bob63
    Post count: 1

    unknown small hand planes

    Hi there, I also have a couple of old rusty hand planes I want to bring back to life, also on mine I have a broken Tote and would like any idea of a drawing that I can copy and make a new one.

    Good luck in you venture hope everything works out for you

    • Mike in TN
      Post count: 293

      Hi Bob63,

      I don’t know if your tote is salvageable or not but it isn’t unusual to simply glue them back together if it is a clean break. Most of the guys who go that route use a quick epoxy and just hand hold the pieces until the initial set. clean the broken surfaces with acetone since some woods are naturally oily and old breaks tend to get dirty and you want a good lean surface. Let it dry well and just lay down some wax paper. Put the epoxy on the break and lay the tote on it’s side, hold it in line and press it together. hold it for a couple of minutes and then just back away until it has set up well. Clean it up and finish as required.

      If you do decide to go with a new tote you can find them online. If you really want to make one you should be able to draw one out from the old tote or by tracing one from another plane. If you don’t have another plane with a similar tote then you don’t have enough planes. Seriously, you shouldn’t have much of a problem coming up with an example to copy.

      Have fun.

      Have fun

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