Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Millers Falls No 85 Duplex fillester

Out of the blue I received this package from an old friend in Ottawa.  In his short note he said that he was cleaning up and sent me these, which he no longer used, wondering if they would be of any use to me.  Silly question, but Yes, of course :-)

What I found inside with the short note.

The two Millers Falls planes and a yet to be identified saw set.  A MF No 4 Bullnose plane (Stanley No 75).  The No 85 (Stanley 78) has the fence but no rod, a broken cap and a replacement made from a solid chunk of copper (heavy :-) and a strange unidentified U shape piece of metal???

Very cool, thank you Denis.

Lets have a closer look at the Millers Falls which are copies of older Stanley designs.

MILLERS FALLS No 85 (Stanley No 78) Duplex rabbet fillister plane.

Its called Duplex, because there are two location for the cutter.  Up front as a Bullnose plane, rear position as a rabbet plane.  The fence can pass under the sole making it a Fillister plane

The earliest Craftsman (Sears) were made by Sargent and the later ones by Millers Falls.

Essentially a copy of the Stanley, with a few twist.  I suppose they just could not resist changing something??

I fetched one of my No 78 (I have two Stanley plus two Record 078)

The fences looks very much the same

This Stanley No 78 being blue is from the 70s
My replacement fence (Older Stanley black)

Surprise, the rod fit perfectly and so does the fence

Well that's interesting, the MF fence fit my rod perfectly, while... 

... the so called Stanley fence does not.

My fence for the Stanley is a replacement part, I got that plane years ago without a depth stop, rod and fence.  I have since acquired more of these planes and spare parts along the way.  Problems with spare parts is that Stanley, Millers Falls, Sargent, Record, Ohio and etc all made similar tools.  But they stopped at being similar.  There are a few quirks between them making parts ID difficult at time.

These two fences and rods are interchangeable, but the screw to tighten the fence on the rod are different.  I know from my spare parts inventory that there are variation in threads pitch, OD of rods etc  Not quite sure yet, which is which??

In this example Stanley (?) and MF.  They differ both in style, length and thread pitch.

Top, believed to be Stanley, bottom, MF. 

Threads on the MF are a bit finer, screw goes in and turn but quickly jam.
I did not measured them but there is about 1 TPI differences.
Close, but no cigar!

What else is different?  The body casting look pretty similar.

The twisted adjuster lever for depth of cut are different.
MF on Left, Stanley on Right 

Here is another difference

The screw holding the chip breaker cap are different.
The larger one is the MF

What about the blades?

Very similar but look at the placement of the slot for the screw.
Left Stanley (offset) Right MF (centered).

Overlay they have just about the same dimensions, save for the slot location.

MF logo, tool steel blade

Can we swap them?

The MF blade in the Stanley body, pushed as far to one side as possible.
Flush on one side...
Flush on the other.  It fits

The Stanley blade in the MF

Definite gap on this side, unable to move blade further on this side.
Does not work.

Interesting differences, glad to have yet another sample to compare on the variations.
All that to say these parts (fence, rod, depth stop) are often missing with this type of planes.  You can find replacement parts here, that is where I get my spare parts usually.
But as you can see there is a few variations in screws threads, size, pitch rods OD and threads etc, etc.
Correct identification is not always easy, and they are sometimes confused between all the various makers.  Buyer beware!!

Its original chip breaker cap was broken and shows signs of having been attempted to repair with an unsound weld.  Very difficult to successfully weld cast iron.  Guessing it failed during the weld clean up.

It was my friend Denis who made the replacement cap out of a single chunk of copper.
Besides being obviously thick, there are two small differences which will impact how it work.

First the nose where the chip curls up is rounded but very thick, the other is the lack of a small raised curve lip on the inside which is meant to curl the shaving outward.  I have not tried it yet, but these two small differences I am guessing will cause the shavings to jam in the throat.
Mind you that type of plane has already a tendency to jam easily, your hands position will help or worsen the situation.

See the small up ridge on the RHS of the Stanley cap (blue).
It is designed to turn the shaving, so they exit up and away toward the other side

Broken original cap.  Shows signs of a previous weld repair that did not take.
Interestingly, this one shows no signs of ever having that small up turned ridge on one side

You can really see that upturned lip on this Sargent No 79 cap (clone of Stanley No 78)

I am going to try to glue it back together.. Seen a new fangled UV cured glue that is suppose to be very strong.  Will see.  The product I want to try is called Bondic, or as they called it, its not a glue :-) 
This product was invented by a Canadian dentist.  There is a lot of pressure exerted on this location, curious to see if Bondic is up to it??

Other than that look and work just as good as the original Stanley, Record and etc.
A definite keeper.  With a few spare parts, it will probably end up in one of my sons (now 3) tool kits.

Thanks a lot Denis, appreciated.

Bob, with something to blog for a change.
Been cleaning up and shredded lots of piles of paper lately.  Fall clean up :-)

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Stanley No 60-1/2 block plane

As I mentioned previously, most of Stanley regular Block Planes are derived from two models:
The No 9-1/2 in the regular 20 degrees bed and the No 60-1/2 in the Low Angle, 12 degrees bed.

Lets have a look at the No 60-1/2, which was introduced in 1902.  Made 1902-1982
I happened to have three (3) on hands.
An original Stanley No 60-1/2, late Type, made in England
a Lie-Nielsen No 60-1/2.  Made in good old Maine USA, and
a Record Marples No 060-1/2.  Made in England.

Incidentally they were acquired in reverse order.  The Record Marples was an early purchase at Lee Valley in Ottawa in the early 90s.  My very first real hand tool purchase :-)

So being all essentially a copy of the original Stanley model, they are all alike?
NO in features, NO in design and material.  Between these 3 samples they span perhaps 50 years.
The LN is a 2005 model, the Record Marples 1994 and the Stanley late 1950-60s at the earliest

From L-R
Stanley, Lie-Nielsen, Record Marples.
Yes the Record is wider.
The LN use a different lever cap design, made of brass not cast iron.
Notice that none has a lateral lever.  More on that later.

All sport an adjustable mouth aperture. Only the Record still has the original eccentric lever design, down turn at the end.  Both the LN and Stanley have the later up turn design.
Which one works better?  Strictly a matter of preferences IMHO

Same cutter adjuster mechanism (Traut patent), slightly different.
All have slop on the main shaft, Record is worse, LN best.
All have issues with rubbing on blade or hood cap, bed etc when adjusting blade.
The big knob on the Stanley is the easiest to adjust and has less issues with rubbing.
But it is also the easiest to knock off its setting accidentally with your hands, and also easier to bend the shaft :-(.

So yes, the design has some issues but nothing too serious.  It is a solid performer.
The No 60-1/2 was a prolific seller and they are a plenty out there.
On any given day, the one you will see on my bench the most are:  The LN, the Record Marples or the Sargent 5302 (20 degrees).  Depending on blade conditions :-)  That Stanley model shown is a new acquisition, has not been inducted into my regime yet.  You see it as found.

The original of this series is the No 60 introduced in 1898 and made until 1950.
The No 60-1/2 came later in 1902.  The difference? No 60 has nickel plated trim while the No 60-1/2 is japanned.  Other than that, same.
No 60 never had a lateral lever since the lower bed angle did not provided enough space to accommodate the mechanism.  The 60-1/2, probably because of its longer run, had one in its later modern incarnation.  It used a very different lever mechanism and thus fit in the space.

The Record 09-1/2 has the lateral lever and so does both the Stanley 9-1/2 and 60-1/2
but not the Record 060-1/2
LV catalog 1996-97

From Top to Bottom
Stanley No 9-1/4, Stanley No 60-1/2, Sargent No 5302, Stanley No 19.
In this line up only the No 60-1/2 is a LA (12).
You can see why it required a different blade adjuster mechanism.
And BTW, the vertical post patented by Leonard Bailey 1867, the horizontal slider, patented by Justin Traut 1897-1900, who also patented the throat lever adjust 1894 and the lever cap in 1897.  Not much Bailey DNAs and royalties left over from his No 9 block plane....  Even the side's figure changed from the Excelsior shape to the centered hump we know today. 

Record Marples never saw a use for the lateral lever (You guessed it Traut's patent 1888) in its models, neither did LN and others would be copy cat.

There was also a Model No 61 which is essentially a No 60 but without the adjustable throat feature.
It also always had a Rosewood front knob, never a metal one. The No 60 debuted with a Rosewood knob, but quickly switched to a metal one.  Ironically having a  shorter production run 1914-1935, albeit less ideal than the No 60-1/2, the No 61 command more $$$ because of its scarcity.

Yes, there is a No 62 (not related it is a bevel up 14 in jack) and the No 63 which is like a No 61 but in a 7 inch long version.  Why?? Why not!

Then of course we have the 7 inch body versions:
No 65 like a No 61 but 7 in, and
No 65-1/2 like a No 60-1/2 but 7 inch

What we have in essence is
No 9-1/2 (20) = No 60-1/2 (12) adjustable mouth
No 9-1/4 (20) = No 61 (12) fixed mouth

Stanley No 60-1/2 

The No 60-1/2 was made from 1902-1982
Body is 6 in long, 1-3/4  wide with a 1-1/2 in wide cutter
Became 1-3/8 in wide cutter starting in 1914 (1913 for No 60, was always 1-3/8 for No 61)
and cutter was 1-5/8 in wide for the 7 in model (No 63)
Weight  1-1/4 pound (the lightest of these 3)

I gave the body a quick scrub with WD 40.  Japanning is in good shape

Cutter stamped Made in England 

Cutter is 1-3/8 in wide, after 1914

Two steps shaft threads. 
Yes there is a bend in it

Another clue to its origin.
After 1926

The only damages to the bed casting.
Still slides in/out smooth

Now lets have a look at this Record Marples version of the same plane No 060-1/2 

It was produced 1982 to 2004
Body is 6-1/4 long, 2 in wide
cutter solid Tungsten steel is 1-5/8 in wide
Weight 1-1/2 pounds

Same number of pieces, but the adjuster mechanism is slightly different 

Blade is 1-5/8 in wide and will not fit the Stanley's 60-1/2

On the Left Stanley, on the Right Record-Marples

The machining of the slots in the back is the same

But like I said the mechanism is different and introduces more slop than the two other (Stanley and LN)

It is made of a turned and threaded steel shaft screwed in a brass knurled knob.
The slider is retained loosely on the shaft by a smaller dia. portion were the shaft meet the knob

There is only one raised nibs (two on the original Stanley)
but they cleaned up the raised nib by a small machining steps for surer engagement.

The two nibs on the Stanley are left as is 

That slop between the brass knob and the steel shaft is causing quite a noticeable slop.
Seen pushed back.

Seen pushed in forward.
Look at the letter N in England.

Pulled back.
You can see the bottom of the frog showing.

And pushed forward.
The blade is even or sticking out slightly. 

The slop in question is very noticeable view from the adjuster side.

Pulled out.

Pushed in.

So what does it means during operation?  Well if you don't account  for that and always adjusted the blade in,  never outward you are asking for problems.  When you have to back up the cutter always finish by tightening the screw knob back in to take up the slack.  If not the blade will pushed in when it encountered resistance.  And if you attempt to fix that by going Cro-Magnon on the cap lever tightening mechanism all you are going to do is create stress cracks eventually and in some design the cutter edge will slightly flex up at the mouth.  Neither scenario is good.

Look closely at your plane and learn to live with its idiosyncrasies, no big deal and it will be less frustrating :-)

The Cadillac version, Lie-Nielsen No 60-1/2

Truly a premium plane, you are paying for machining and lots of brass.

Body is cast in ductile iron (not breakable like grey cast iron) 6-1/4 long, 1-3/4 in wide
Cutter is 1-3/8 wide by 1/8 thick and come really flat.
Weight 1-1/2 pound
The lever cap used a different mechanism but made of cast brass instead of cast iron, it should not develop stress cracks like cast iron often does (Damn Cro-Magnons...)

It is my all around go to block planes... until it need sharpening :-)

Same number of pieces, except that the cutter adjuster shaft is screwed in tight.
Notice the large landing area for sitting the blade in (frog). 

Machining is up to par on everything.
Notice the single groove milled near the top of blade back.

Look at the size of the eccentric adjuster.  Thick piece of brass with a steel pin.
Should be bomb proof.

And the cutter adjustment mechanism?

The threaded shaft is fixed in the bed casting.
The threaded nut screw in and out on the fixed shaft.

The front of the screw nut has a raised portion which engage in the single slot 
cut into the top of the cutter. 

The only slop in this mechanism is caused by the slightly wider slot than the screw nut ridge.
It it were a tight fit, you could not adjust the screw nut.  The backlash from the threads is minimal, but as always, finish the adjustments going in (blade out).

Mouth close up nicely.
Yes, I'm overdue to show it some love :-)
All three planes had their mouths closing nicely on the blade. Indicating they have the correct eccentric lever. The ones for the 9-1/2 are slightly bigger and wont have the same range if you swapped them. 

All together now...

Top to Bottom
Best Lie-Nielsen
Better Record Marples
Good Stanley

Here is why.
Take a look at the landing area for the blade...
With the reduced amount of machining thru the years, the Stanley (and most copies) do not have a much wide landing area.  When you over torque the lever cap, the pressure felt at the tip of the lever cap is pushing down in an unsupported area, lifting the blade edge slightly.

Even with the quirk of the adjuster mechanism on the Record Marples, I give it the edge, slightly over the Stanley.   Now if you were to compare with an older Stanley No 60-1/2 before they reduced the machined surface area, the Stanley would won hands down.

Looking at an early No 60.
See the larger machined area?
How do you tell the No 60 from the No 60-1/2?
  The lever cap is plated, making it a No 60.
Pic from Patrick Blood and Gore

Bob, with a seemingly growing pile instead of going smaller...hummm.

Jean is away, hence my messy piles :-)
It's just Rudy and I roughing it tonite.