New plane checkout

Greetings, I just added #4 and #5 Stanley planes to my tool collection. I'm doing the usual tuning stuff with glass plate and sandpaper. Come time to put things back together, I discover that the front edges of the levers aren't square to the sides. On both planes, the levers grip cattywumpus across the top curve of the cap irons. Is this a defect or a feature? Yes, I DAGS, but nothing useful turned up. I've put a request in at my library for Sam Allen's "Plane Basics."
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australopithecus scobis reared up on his hind legs and spake:

Take a look at the leading edges of the lever caps. Does it look as though they've been re-ground to take the chunks that somebody put in them using them as as scredrivers? My guess is that's what happened and they didn't re-grind them square. The scredriver rash is a common problem on lever caps and whoever sold them to you, may have been trying to cover up the misuse.
Dave in Fairfax
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Ah, Brand Spanking New. The leading edges of the cap irons look like they were ground by a beaver, but the lever caps are fresh and chromey. Except for the big pits on the undersurfaces. Did I mention the 1/16 " pit in the base of the #5, or the 1/32" peak on the aft of the #4 base? Am I feeling less than thrilled with my purchases? No, but I'm really, really disappointed in Stanley UK. I got the 900-series items to avoid the weaknesses I'd expect to find in the "handyman" versions. "Get the best hand tools you can afford," went the advice. Well, I did. Grumble.
Well. So are these things supposed to be square? I can grind them easily enough, but I don't want to do that by mistake.
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 18:49:53 -0600, australopithecus scobis

they are.
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australopithecus scobis wrote:

I guess maybe I'm missing something here. I thought we were talking about older US Stanleys, it sounds like some new parts, some old parts. The pits are the pits, but nothing you can't live with. My gut call it straighten the edge, carefully, and make some curlies. Did these come from a flea mkt or something along that line. If they came that way from Stanley, send them back, get your money back, and buy a type 16 or so. Any old Stanley is usable if it isn't cracked or pitted to far. I've got a pile of them, ask Rik, they're all good users. If you want to take this off-line feel free to write me.
Dave in Fairfax
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 18:49:53 -0600, australopithecus scobis

You certainly didn't ask here for advice. Recent production Stanley stuff isn't worth taking out of the box, and few people hereabouts would say different.
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I'm new here. Haven't wielded a plane since 1975, and somehow expected the woodworking world to have stood still for me. What's a biscuit? ;)
Looking at inflation from the 70s to now, I understand that spending $200-300 for a LN plane, or similar, is perfectly reasonable. If I had some bread I'd have a ham sandwich if I had some ham.
On with the grinder, and see you around.
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 20:10:23 -0600, Australopithecus scobis

you can make that thing into a decent working tool- it's just a lot of work. you will learn a lot in the process, which is a good thing. one thing you are likely to learn is that 75 to 100 year old planes are really cool....     Bridger
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