Hand planes

Someone said that all planes, even new ones need some (or a lot of) tuning. And it has also been said that planes may be at their worst when new out of the box. This being said, there is nothing at all wrong with an older or well used plane once you know how to get it running, as long as it is not cracked or severely rusted.

Old tools have become collectors items, and planes have a serious appeal to collectors, so somebody like me who is looking for quality older planes to put to use finds himself competing with collectors. A fellow who works at a used tool store in town told me that he has 100 planes in his collection at home, so I am not expecting to find any amazing deals on fine old planes in his store.

Bench Planes

I own one, and I am not sure where I got it. It was probably a swap meet long ago.

It is a Stanley, labelled "Stanley Handyman" and with "Made in USA" in front of the rear handle. Some nitwit painted much of the top of the plane yellow and the handles a funky orange brown. Overall length is about 9 and 1/2 inches.

I believe this is a Stanley H1204, and if that is true, it is probably a version of their #4 bench plane. The Handyman series was a lower priced series, and given that mine is in mediocre condition it isn't worth much (they sell for about $20 on Ebay in nicer condition). But, it is a useable plane, and could be a lot more usable with a little work. It is 9 3/4 by 2 7/16 in size, with a 2 inch wide cutting edge.

Block Planes

These little guys can be used with one hand, and perhaps the most useful one has a "low angle blade" and can be used to plane end grain.
Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's home page / tom@mmto.org