Friday, April 22, 2016

Care package from thoughtful friends

We recently had visits from the Ottawa region's friends.
Wendy came for a week in the valley visiting family and friends and later her husband Claude came last weekend, from Halifax where he was working for the Navy.

During both visits, they mentioned that they had a couple planes they want to bring me, but forgot.
Received a package in the mail the other day containing both and a thoughtful note from Wendy
Thank you guys... Love you.

Rudy trying to help ???

Interesting specimen, never seen those before.
A small palm block plane and a No 4 smooth plane that has a strong European look, judging by the shape of the front knob.

What really surprised me is the form of that No 4, it has lots of the characteristics of an older Stanley design... (Stanley types dates shown are for the introduction of a given features)

Good old flat surface frog bedding area, my favorites

Adjust. nut has a recess (Stanley type 3, 1872-1873) 

Flat frog bottom (Stanley Type 4, 1874-1884)

Why you should always remove the frog on an older plane.
I always find wood chips etc which if left alone will cause rust. 

Cleaned up we can clearly see the frog receiver machined area.
These will need to be touched up lightly with a file

The four major change to the frog receiver on Stanleys

My frog look like something in between the second and third from the left on the above picture. The flat receiver came in 1874 then modified in 1888 by casting two ribs (like I have) The next big changes came in 1902, even less machining and a central rib to keep  the frog centered when adjusting with a screw in the back. At that time according to Patrick, the patents covering the earlier frog design had just expired and Stanley needed something else to distinguished themselves from the competition. 

Look like my specimen was made post 1902 but could not infringed on Stanley by adding the central rib and screw adjustment. My best guess at this time is from the 1920-30s

The bottom surface is painted  (japanned?) and rusty, paint is bubbling.
Will need a good filing.

Flattened area on top of frog (Stanley type 5, 1885-1888) 

One piece lateral lever (Stanley Type 5, 1885-1888)

Key hole lever cap, recessed back (Stanley type 3, 1872-1873) 
Rectangular spring (Stanley type 2, 1869-1872) 

The finishing before the nickel plating is kinda rough in places.
Not to the usual Stanley standards, but perfectly serviceable.

Cutter nut fit perfectly my LV screwdriver

Good length and not serious rust, will clean easily.

Interestingly, the cap iron (chip breaker) is not as wide as the blade...

Small stained hardwood handle showing signs of proper uses.

Fit my hand with those wear points perfectly

I did not uncovered any markings yet, but until found otherwise, I will assumed that it is from Germany.
I will have to ask them the story or provenance of these two planes.

The other one is a palm block plane, also without any discern able markings (?)

Solid casting, strange looking cap

At first I thought it was made like that to produce three contact points...

But on close inspection, it has obviously had its corner broken 
and a small piece at the top

Strange cover, makes adjusting the plane ...tricky??

The top of the blade shows evidences (filed away) of mushrooming, 
by repeated hit from a metal hammer used to "adjust" it.

Typical block plane frog, only two contact point, the flat band 
at the front of the mouth and in the rear on the post.

The problem often encountered with this design.
Take a good look where the screw is used to secured the blade.
If you screw it down too tight you will bend the blade up at the ends and it will choke quickly... if it still cuts.

In case you were wondering, YES, some of these designs have the screw post co planar with the mouth and rear post, avoiding that problem, but... more complex, more machining, more money and bla bla...

All in all two very interesting specimens of which I never seen before.
The No 4 got me the most excited. It has all the good bones to becomes a very good performer after some fettling.

Thank you Wendy and Claude :-)

And if you are wondering why on earth would I need yet more planes... It's because I'm putting together two kits plus mine remember?
Besides I love studying and researching old tools, you never know what you would encountered...

Bob, getting side tracked, yet again ...Squirrel! :-)


  1. Hi Bob,
    the block plane looks a bit like a Kunz 100.
    Couldn't find an old picture. But today they look like this:


  2. I need some friends like that. I hope these turn out to be nice workers for you or your sons.