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Thread: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

  1. #36
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    I'd pass on the low angle block plane. Get a Stanley 9 1/2 Block plane, and keep it sharp.

    Why so many people want a low angle plane is beyond me, unless they spend a lot of time planing White Pine end grain.
    Low angle planes tear up grain much more easily than standard angle planes, and are hard on the hand.
    Next I'd get a Stanley #4 Bench plane.

    Both models, from the '50's-'60's, in good shape will be a joy to use, and can be found fairly inexpensively.
    Yes Lie Nelson makes very nice planes, but you don't need them any more than you need a Porsche to go to the grocery store.
    Nice to see that Lefty agrees with me-and the advice to keep it sharp applies to any plane you own.I would still advocate a Stanley 90 as well.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    That's why I don't own a car
    Last edited by emma55; 09-11-2011 at 04:19 PM.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Aren't low angle planes Better on end grain ?

  4. #39
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    The only plane I use is a Record 60 1/2,essentially the same as a Stanley.
    It fits my hand better than the 9 1/2 and it doesn't tear if I sharpen it at a steep angle in keep the mouth tight.
    You can't steepen the angle and get any effect with a "regular" plane.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by emma55 View Post
    Aren't low angle planes Better on end grain ?
    Correct, and in building plywood boats, you are dealing with a lot of that.
    Steve Martinsen

  6. #41
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Unless I am doing some fine woodwork I almost exclusively use a makita electric hand planer and a low angle block plane I found at a yard sale. the low angle plane is best for what I am doing because I do a lot of beveling on the end grain of white oak.

    I bought a cheaper knock off version of the makita electric hand planer and it worked just as good, seemed to be the same thing. I think it might of been a grizzly. I did throw away the original blades though and replaced them with the makita blades.

    I think If I was just beginning my life's work I would start with these two.
    Fish and ships or is that chips

  7. #42
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    I'd pass on the low angle block plane. Get a Stanley 9 1/2 Block plane, and keep it sharp.

    Why so many people want a low angle plane is beyond me, unless they spend a lot of time planing White Pine end grain.
    Low angle planes tear up grain much more easily than standard angle planes, and are hard on the hand.
    Next I'd get a Stanley #4 Bench plane.

    Both models, from the '50's-'60's, in good shape will be a joy to use, and can be found fairly inexpensively.
    Yes Lie Nelson makes very nice planes, but you don't need them any more than you need a Porsche to go to the grocery store.
    A pair, as you recommend Mrleft8, on EBay with just a few minutes left on the auction and presently at $36:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-Old-Sta...item1e66b6abb3
    Steve Martinsen

  8. #43
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    The only plane I use is a Record 60 1/2,essentially the same as a Stanley.
    It fits my hand better than the 9 1/2 and it doesn't tear if I sharpen it at a steep angle in keep the mouth tight.
    You can't steepen the angle and get any effect with a "regular" plane.
    R
    Because the iron (Blade) on a block plane is set bevel up, you can indeed change the angle to pretty much whatever you want. For squirrely grain, like Curly Maple, or Rowed (Ribbon stripe) Mahogany the steeper the better.
    A properly sharpened #4 plane is actually easier to plane end grain with (IMHOP) because of the greater mass in the plane body, and the fact that you are using both hands, putting your entire body weight and mass behind the tool. A block plane, being lighter, smaller, and one handed is great for those places where a bench plane can't go, but nothing beats a good sharp #4 for results on end grain where there's plenty of room.
    Last edited by Mrleft8; 09-12-2011 at 10:29 AM.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    My favorite little Stanley (from the fifties) block plane dove off the boat last week and broke the adjusting shaft. So, I started using a lowangle that has been kicking around for years. It has an adjustable throat but the depth adjustment is by means of a horizontal wheel. I can never remember which way to turn the adjuster. In dispair I went to a flea market and got two planes for $5. Between them I made a nice servicable plane suitable for getting epoxy on but able to do a good job fitting veneer on the boat. I have a Lie Nielsen block but the throat is so tight it is impossible to take a heavy cut. Additionally, in order to adjust the depth of cut one has to back off the holder, diddle the adjuster and retighten the holder. IMHO, Stanley had it right with the adjuster just like on a bench plane.
    Dave

  10. #45
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    You can adjust the "mouth" of your Lie-Neilson block plane very carefully with a small flat double cut mill file.... Well.... To be more specific, you can make the mouth larger with a file. If you go too far, you'll need to braze a gob of bronze or brass back on to the leading edge, and then go at it with a file again. Take a pass with the file, check with the blade in place. Take a pass with the file, check with the blade in place. Make sure that you retain the angle of the throat, and keep the mouth square.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    A useful site for Stanley scroungers:

    Hock

  12. #47
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lew Barrett View Post
    A useful site for Stanley scroungers:

    Hock
    I use Ron Hock's irons. Not exclusively, but they're very good.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    If you haven't found a low angle block plane... consider the Lee Valley adjustable mouth LABP.... its a bit heavier than the Lie Nielson and is a superb tool.... built several boats with it and consider it a "must have" tool.


    I have an extra iron and keep it sharp so I can switch blades when I need to.


    RodB

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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Here's 6 pages on the selection, care and feeding of block planes...not exactly hi-tec tools You don't have to be as meticulous....simply sharpen and flatten what you have and it'll probably work as well as any of them.

    http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/b...lockPlane1.asp


  15. #50
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    I use Ron Hock's irons. Not exclusively, but they're very good.
    One of the percs that attend Lee and Leigh tools is the Hock-like quality of the iron they come with. A Stanley with such a blade would be close enough to equal to satisfy most of us.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    I'd say a standard or low angle block plane _ I have a vintage 60 1/2

    For the Others two, I'd get a Jack Plane - Preferably a Stanley Bedrock 605 (Flat side) and a bedrock 607 (possibly 608)

    I really like the quality and improvements of the Stanley Bedrocks - These are the ones that Lie-Nileson and WoodRiver emulate. They are pricier on the used plane market than the Bailey's but still cheaper than WoodRiver and LN.
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    This is going to sound a little strange to a lot of you, but if I had to have just one plane I'd pick a Fillister.
    I've had one similar to this since the late '60s. It will cut rabbets with and across the grain, do bullnose work with the blade in the forward position,
    raise panels and do a reasonably good job doubling as a smooth or jack plane. Mine was made by Record. It's the one I always take when I have to work away from
    the shop.


  18. #53
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    "it would be used on plywood quite a bit" said the op. Lee valley, lie neilsen planes with hock blades for plywood. A moving fillister? A contractor grade number 5 and a block plane from the home depot is my advice. Sawmillcreek.com and woodnet.net always have regulars selling clean planes reasonably.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    The only plane to buy from home depot is the "trim plane" or whatever the tiny plane they sell for <$10 is. Blade holds a remarkably decent edge FOR THE PRICE and it fits in the palm to trim things. And it's <$10.

    For the original question, in rough order, a Stanley #9 1/2 or a #220 ( 9 1/2 is a finer quality tool, the 220's are CHEAP these days). A #60 or #60 1/2 (one's japaned finish, ones not) are additions or substitutes to the before. A #4 or #5 Stanley. A #7 or a #8 jointer (nice to have, not as necessary). A rabbet plane. Maybe a compass plane.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    #4Ĺ Bailey - the must have bench plane
    #60Ĺa - the do-it all block plane
    An eight of nine inch wooden "Coffin" with the mouth on good order and a well set iron - does the job of the 4Ĺ away from a bench.
    #6 Bailey
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Cool to see this thread popping back up. I ended up with a minor plane obsession which ebay was more than happy to encourage. I purchased, sharpened, and attempted to rehab several old planes- all Stanleys: 110, 220, 60 1/2, 4, 5, 6. Some notes on my experience (though the truth is, I haven't used any of them for boat building, but they've gotten a fair bit of use around the house, building and installing cabinets, etc.). I sharpened using a sort of scary sharp method with a guide as I thought I had the best chance of mastering this the fastest. I sure didn't master it. I did manage to get a pretty sharp blade that was serviceable. It's amazing how I continued to have difficulty achieving a perfectly square iron, even using the guide. Ebay sellers, especially those who aren't really familiar with woodworking, may grossly misjudge the condition of a plane. I don't think this is a case of misrepresentation to mislead, but just not knowing what you have. Someone who walks into their dead grandfather's shop may or may not know what a plane is even for. Or they may think of it as a decoration- a collector's item, not a real, working tool (by the way, there are a lot of collector's out there). Those chips in the iron seem a lot bigger when you are trying to sand them away. I found that of all the planes I purchased, the 60 1/2 was indeed my favorite. Some of this was from ease of use. Some was the elegance of the design (it truly is beautiful). Some of it, if I may use the parlance those of us who collect, carry, and use firearms often employ, was simply the way it fell to my hand. That lever cap nestles right into the curve of your palm and makes the tool feel like an extension of oneself. Finally, I used the new cost of a fine plane as my ultimate guide for expenditure, and was able to purchase seven or so Stanleys for the cost of one Lie-Nielson, including shipping (which is a big factor). Doing it over, I would completely forgo the 110s and 220s. They are clunky and graceless compared to the 60 1/2. Though a 220 might be nice to keep around for house tasks where you didn't want to dull the blade of your finer blocks. I also found the larger bench planes quite nice and tried and tried to score a #7, but they are in high demand. One of the things I like about these vintage tools, especially ones that are in serviceable but not real collectible condition, is that I found I felt about them the same as I would a guitar after it's already received a few dings- no longer in "as new" condition, you can simply get down to the business of using it instead or worrying about using it (though you ought not drop it on say, a tile floor while truing up some cabinets- that is a sickening sound and sensation- don't ask me how I know).

  22. #57
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    I'd pass on the low angle block plane. Get a Stanley 9 1/2 Block plane, and keep it sharp.

    Why so many people want a low angle plane is beyond me, unless they spend a lot of time planing White Pine end grain.
    Low angle planes tear up grain much more easily than standard angle planes, and are hard on the hand.
    Just a quick answer on this- you can set the cut angle on a blade very easily. 2 blades will get you one that works for end grain and one that works for general purpose- you just need to put a different bevel on the blades. Really, you can do the same with the 9 1/2, but you can't get quite the range of angles... not that you'd need much really. And not that many people actually do set up different blades... it's much more fun to buy more than one plane. And they are cheap.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes



    Whatever you do, if you're gonna spend the time necessary to bring an oldie back to life, then make sure you buy a good one. Like a #9 1/2, a #18 or #19, a #60 1/2 or a #65. You will benefit from an adjustable mouth, you'll benefit from a low-angle plane to pare end grain, you'll benefit from more than one block plane so you don't have to adjust from coarse to fine cuts, and you may benefit from the larger, wider block planes like the #19 and the #65. None are expensive compared to a new plane of equivalent quality.

    But don't get it backwards. You don't really need a standard-angle block plane. You buy one or more old standard-angle Stanleys, however, because they are dirt cheap compared to the low-angle planes, and having another block around shortens the intervals between sharpenings. I'd steer clear of Sargents and other off makes. If you've never seen a block plane you can't make work well, I have a couple I can send you.



    A #60 1/2, a #65, a L/N, and a #18. All pare oak end grain nicely. The standard-angle #18 on the far right is merely harder to push and won't stay sharp as long doing it.



    In turn the #9 1/2, the #18 and the #19 come into their own on long grain. Easily equalling with stock blades anything the $150 L/N's can do:



    Look for older Stanleys that have black japanning instead of blue or brown paint. And if you can find a Sweetheart-era plane with some iron left and without any chips or cracks in the mouth or sole, then you have a slightly better chance of getting one that will tune to perfection:

    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 01-30-2012 at 09:24 PM.

  24. #59

    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Bob, I have to say that with your advice, I have assembled a number of older Stanley planes that I have sharpened carefully and learned how to adjust, and they work very well... I will admit to not being a pro with planes as some here are, but for a relatively low investment, I have what I need at present. One of my favourites is a corrugated sole number 4 with the rosewood totes, and the other is an old 220 from at least 60 years ago. I use them a fair bit.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    And if you're buying any plane on-line, insist on a photo of the sole and download Irfanview (free software) so you can crop and enhance photos.

    Sellers are generally estate-sale pickers and don't know much. Here's a plane where the seller can probably see the mouth has cracks, chips and lots of wear and tear, but is content not to say anything and let you discover the flaws the hard way:



    In turn however, here's another where the seller claims the mouth is cracked, yet I can't find anything wrong in the first photo enhancement, and the plane has had very little use to boot. Is the seller is looking at the mouth plate thinking the sole is cracked?



    But no...a greater enhancement reveals what may be a tiny crack at the mouth corner at the left of the photo. But unlike the first plane, that's not enough to affect useage. This one is well worth buying.



    And keep in mind what makes a plane work well isn't so much how sharp the iron is, but how flat the sole is in the spots where it needs to be dead flat:



    Buy one so badly out of flat you can't correct it without widening the mouth, and you won't have one that'll equal the performance of a spendy L/N or L/V. And be sure to use index fluid on the sole and abrasive paper on a known-flat surface like a ground machine table or heavy glass. If you think you can do the job with straightedges and feeler gages, you are probably mistaken.



    The Sargent above wasn't salvageable. By the time the sunken mouth corner to the right of the photo was lapped flat, all the adjustment was used up in the mouth plate.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 01-30-2012 at 10:13 PM.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    IF I only had one plane, it would be a LABP. My personal one is: http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,41182,48942
    I like the heft of this model over most others ... a very nice tool I've used for many years.

    I have several Stanley planes that I have refurbished and they are nice (will sell the majority of em sooner or later), but my next plane will be the Lee Valley Low Angle Smoother which I had the chance to demo last year. This plane is kinda a larger version of my Lee Valley Low Angle Block Plane. They sell three different blades (varying angles.... standard blade 25 degrees ) that allows you to tackle just about any smoothing job on most any wood. This is a great plane for boat work because its not all that heavy (3.5 lbs) and its quite versatile.
    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,41182,52515

    I'm also interested in the Low angle bevel up Jack Plane, but I already have a nice Stanley #5.

    Several of my Stanley's were sent to tablesawtom to be reground ... with the bottoms to a flatness of .001 and perfectly square to the sides... he does a bang up job for a reasonable price and his flatness exceeds the production Lie Nielsons. He usually has some nice planes for sale that he has reground.... and the prices are very reasonable... for reground planes in overall very good condition. He also sells totes and knobs for these older planes out of different woods. tom@tablesawtom.com

    Note: if needed... you can flatten the bottom of planes yourself via a piece of glass and some varying grits of wet dry sandpaper... and the function of the plane will be fine.. I just think the regrinding is much better and flatter than I can do by hand and I'm not interested in spending all that time getting one flat.

    Heres some old Stanleys that have been reground and I refurbished them. They did not look near this good when I started... and the regrinding of the bottom and sides makes a very nice difference. These are much less than a Lie Nielson etc. Regrinding is $45 for a Stanley #4. Note: most of the shiny wood was finished with Daly's Profin brushed on with a foam brush, 3 coats 24 hours apart. The plane bodies can be repainted to very closely resemble the original japanning, but of course much tougher with paint. I found the paint and recommended technique to use on the internet... works great if applied properly.

    WWII # 4 1/2 Bailey





    Bedrock 605





    607 Bedrock



    Bailey #3







    RodB
    Last edited by RodB; 01-31-2012 at 01:04 AM.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan4.htm

    While enough Bailey-pattern #3's (handiest), #4's and #5's (cheapest) were made that picking up a good restoration candidate for 25 bucks isn't uncommon, don't forget the transitionals like this #36 Razee Smoother for your other needs:



    Lighter than a cast-iron Bailey, yet with all the easy-adjustment features, they are really sweet to use and will grow on you. Collectors tend to turn their noses up at these, and they are under valued. Further, if you are a woodworker with the typical tools and skills, these are more easily rehabbed to perfection than the Bailey planes:

    http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/b...oodPlanes1.asp

  28. #63
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Some opinions from a non-expert FWIIW:

    An electric plane lacks precision but it takes off material fast and without effort. The problem with most if not all of them these days is, they need tuning up before they will work as well as they can. The blade should be level or maybe just a hair proud of the rear sole and the front foot should be precisely parallel to the rear sole with the depth adjustment set to zero. Donít buy an electric plane if you canít remove these parts completely and do whatever is needed to fix them.

    Cheap hand planes can also be fixed within limits but if the blade is useless it can be hard and expensive to replace.

    My low angle block planes get the most use; they are both Stanleys and have been tuned up so there is little difference although the older one is better made. The newer one has a blade that chips easily which is a pain as it has to be sharpened at a higher angle than I would prefer so I canít use it on end grain.
    I still mourn my smoothing plane, only a Great Neck with icky plastic handles but I worked it over into a useful tool that would peel the entire length of a 16 foot plank with hardly any effort. I still have it but canít get it to work right since some muscle-bound buffoon got into my workshop and borrowed it to trim the top of a door that was binding "because it was the biggest" . . . I donít know what he did to it, if I did I would do it to him! I always lock the tool cabinet now itís too late . . . sob!

    Good advice on tuning a hand plane here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv1zo9CAxt4 but I don't think he does enough to get a really good finish on the sole; since it's flat it doesn't take much more time IMHO.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Heres an older Stanley Bedrock that has been tuned up, repainted and the wood refinished... You can have a lot of fun refurbishing old stanley planes.



    Old planes cleaned up can look fairly nice...






    R

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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by RodB View Post
    Heres an older Stanley Bedrock that has been tuned up, repainted and the wood refinished... You can have a lot of fun refurbishing old stanley planes.



    Old planes cleaned up can look fairly nice...






    R
    That's a nice old Bedrock, but shouldn't there be a patent date on the base behind the frog? I thought they all had at least one patent date there until after the mid 30's when it only said made in Made in America. The round side suggests one made before 1911, but the absence of a patent for 1895 kind of throws me off a little with regard to the appox date of manufacture.
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  31. #66
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    I've seen the patent dates in more than one location. The only thing I care about is that the plane has the bedrock frog and base with an adjustment screw... the rest does not matter. One of my favorite planes is a K5 ....the K models are exactly the same planes as the bedrocks... just made for the Simmons Tool company I believe... and they are usually less expensive than a model that says "Bedrock". They have a K5 on the body in front of the knob.

    The planes that have Bedrock on them are priced out of sight the last year or so... I ended up selling those planes as I was able to get quite a bit of money for them and replace them with K series planes.

    RodB

  32. #67

    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    That bedrock is beautiful Rod....

  33. #68
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Thanks...PMJ.... I had to paint it twice... its a balancing act to puddle the paint on the plane body and get just the right amount to mimic japanning... but it came out ok...

    Oh yea, I forgot .... heres a good source for decent vintage planes for usually reasonable prices...

    The sell and swap forum on the www,woodnet.net (woodworker forum)

    http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthr...at=&Board=UBB4

    Heres an example of a #7 Stanley that would clean up fine... and a $35 Stanley #3

    http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthr...lapsed&sb=5&o=

    Don't forget, there are some very good aftermarket plane irons (blades) that are really much better than the originals... such as Hock, or Lee Valley, etc.


    RodB
    Last edited by RodB; 01-31-2012 at 07:56 PM.

  34. #69
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    Quote Originally Posted by RodB View Post
    I've seen the patent dates in more than one location. The only thing I care about is that the plane has the bedrock frog and base with an adjustment screw... the rest does not matter. One of my favorite planes is a K5 ....the K models are exactly the same planes as the bedrocks... just made for the Simmons Tool company I believe... and they are usually less expensive than a model that says "Bedrock". They have a K5 on the body in front of the knob.

    The planes that have Bedrock on them are priced out of sight the last year or so... I ended up selling those planes as I was able to get quite a bit of money for them and replace them with K series planes.

    RodB
    I agree that these features are what makes the Bedrock so desirable. But typing to identify the type of plan is a little challenging due to the patent date issue. Your round sided plane means that it was made before 1911, and the 600 numbering system did not start until the type 3's 1900-1908. So far, so good, but all the beds had at least one patent date behind the frog until well after the flat tops were made (they stopped patent dates on the beds around 1933. Could it have been milled off at some point?
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    Dallas and points north
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    Default Re: If you were going to own just one (or a few) planes

    I agree that these features are what makes the Bedrock so desirable. But typing to identify the type of plan is a little challenging due to the patent date issue. Your round sided plane means that it was made before 1911, and the 600 numbering system did not start until the type 3's 1900-1908. So far, so good, but all the beds had at least one patent date behind the frog until well after the flat tops were made (they stopped patent dates on the beds around 1933. Could it have been milled off at some point?
    The plane is question was completely stripped of all Japanning and then painted... so I could have seen if there were any marks where a number had been ground off. Most likely there was more of a variation than the historical articles say...

    RodB

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