Burst my hand plane bubble.

This is a chance for all you proper Neanders to tell me I got ripped of and/or what an utter piece of crap I just bought. :)
My first eBay plane (second plane in all) arrived today.
It's a blue Stanley with a cheesy looking two-piece depth adjuster fork thingie. Nickel hardware, black laquered knob and tote. The paint is 99.99% perfect, and everything was in excellent condition. There was a slight hint of rust on the cheeks and sole, and some paint on the bottom. The irons both had the original lacquer. Someone had boogered up the bevel angle in an aborted attempt to sharpen the iron. Other than that, this thing might as well have been brand spanking new.
There are no markings to indicate what number it is. It's 14" long, so I take it to be a #5. Is that right?
Oh, um, I paid $25 for it in total, including shipping.
I spent the day lapping the sole and the cheeks, and sharpening up the iron, then I closed the mouth way down. I stopped shy of getting it completely flat because I ran out of patience after six hours of sanding the damn thing. There are still minute hollows in the heel and toe area where it looks like the tote/knob screws have pulled the casting up. Other than that, it's slicker than a baby's ass.
My other plane is a current #4, which has been tuned to the same degree. I was proud of my thin shavings. I used to show off how I could occasionally get really fine, almost translucent stuff out of walnut with the thing. Now I'm going around showing everyone how the thinnest shavings from the #4 are about five to ten times thicker than the brown cotton that my new old plane can shoot out all day long.
Comments? Did I get ripped, or should I just be happy? I have a very, very low budget, and these blue planes don't seem to sell for much. They're obviously inferior to the planes everybody collects, but I couldn't be any happier with how this thing is shaving my wood. I'm inclined to keep an eye out for more of these to try to round out the minimum collection I need in order to be able to plane more effectively (surfacing semi-rough lumber with nothing but a modern #4 until now has really seriously sucked!), and then start replacing them with primo planes as time and finance allow. Is that a bad plan?
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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primo, dude! Tom >Subject: Burst my hand plane bubble. >From: Silvan snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net

Someday, it'll all be over....
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Tom wrote:

I take it I shouldn't throw the thing away then? :)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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I bought a much older No. 5 off of Ebay for $10 + $10 in shipping. So far I've got many many hours of flattening ahead of me, I broke the handle screw off in attempting to remove the rear handle so I need to extract that screw, the blade was so badly pitted on the rear side I almost pitched it. The sharpening shop thinks they can save it, but I suspect they will have to cut it off, or flip the blade front to back.
It is not in the condition my old stanley handyman is in, but I hope to keep tuning. I do not know of the 60's irons are as good as the 20's irons, but I suspect someday I will buy a couple of Hock Iron's and try those.
If you are happy, then you did well. I'm watching for a decent #7 on Ebay for the same application, but I am checking some antique shops around here, never know if you might get lucky.
Alan
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A Womack wrote:

I tell ya what... I'm *happy* with this thing. I went back to my modern, English #4 today and fooled around with it for a good bit. I still don't really understand *why* there's so much difference.
I want to get my hands on an old #4 and see if it's the plane or the application, because I just can't believe two planes tuned the same with the same skill level could perform so completely differently. Maybe I'm using the #4 wrong, but as far as I can tell with a day of playing with the 1962ish #5, the new plane is a shiney paper weight, and not much more.
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Sounds like you've already gotten your $25 back in showing it off so I'd say it was a good deal for you. I'm not a plane collector (although I think I have about 75-100 of them...), but I hear the blue ones aren't as good as some others. You already know that though. It seems to me the key to a plane is how well it works and how long it works that way before you have to screw with it some more. Sounds like yours is working mighty fine. Nice grab!
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Larry C in Auburn, WA

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Larry C in Auburn, WA wrote:

Well, there is that indeed. :) Also the pleasant innocence of a child when I let my son have at it. "Wow, Daddy, this one works a *lot* better!"
I'm not a plane collector (although I think I

Good grief... :)

that though.
Yeah, I've confirmed it. Early '60s, pretty much the worst Stanleys ever made in America. Most people don't even talk about them at any length. Probably only has collector value to someone who wants one of *everything*.
It seems to me the key to a

Nice grab!
Mighty fine indeed. I was happy to be able to use one of these things, but now that I've used one that actually *works*, I can see that I won't even have to sweat anymore. I was working my butt off, and never really came up with a good, totally clean surface. I thought it was just me, but it was my plane.
I can probably do better still, but at least I've got something I can do good work with until that day.
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