Old plane spares UK?

Rumaging in the garage/workshop/store/air-pistol range last night I found I have two no 4's, one is a modernish "made in england" stanley, the other a century old bailey (ok its a stanley too), the old'un owes me nothing and with the blade/iron from my later no 5 "made in england" stanley is a user. Now what I want is to re-blade it, needs an iron too, any suggestions on suppliers? I have wondered about buying a 10 pound (15 dollar) new cheapie for the parts, but it just don't seem right some how....
Niel.
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On Fri, 01 Oct 2004 10:29:11 +0100, "njf>badger<"

"Samurai" laminated irons from Axminster. Best I've found for smoothers. They have both common widths.
For a bigger plane, Clifton's thick & chunky Victor irons, again from Axminster. You'll likely need to file the mouth to fit these.
If you want a Hock (which I wouldn't recommend) then the easiest UK source is Dieter Schmid in Germany. Easy web ordering by CC and they ship to the uK quite happily, without the extra import duties we sometimes catch from the USA / Canada.
Clifton also do a good two-piece cap iron.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Why not a Hock blade? I'd like to read your critique as a learner is why I ask... Or is it about the money and hassle, buying one from Germany?
Alex
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Why buy a Hock ?
Because they do a wide range of blades for old Stanley patterns that you can't get anywhere else.
Because the metallurgy is reputedly good.
Why not buy a Hock ?
Because their production quality is shameful. _Every_ Hock iron I've bought in the last couple of years (most supplied through Dieter Scmid in Germany) has not been in a condition fit for sale. They looked like people had been planing nails with them. Now I can easily sharpen an iron, but I really object to paying good money for a "new" iron that requires major re-shaping before I can think about using it. These needed to visit the 250 grit stone, which is what I use for resurrecting garage-sale tools.
Because they don't even try to send them out sharp. Their own packaging (which is a rather good instruction on how to sharpen them) mentions that they'll need honing before use and they try to present this as some sort of virtue. For beginners, this is not what you want to hear - honing is tricky, let's give tools to people in a state were they can do something useful with them straightaway. At least then they've used it in the way it ought to be used. LV manage to do this. Don't patronise me and say that it's deliberate because everyone likes to hone differently -- anyone that bothered can re-hone an already sharp iron perfectly well.
Because they're ugly. Big rectangular things, with protruding corners at the top edge. Nearly all plane irons taper upwards or have rounded tops, because that saves your knuckles. Stanley learned that a century ago.
Their #112 and #12 scraper iron is far too thin and it doesn't even fit older #112s without filing. This is an iron that will damage a surface by chattering, not what you want on a scraper plane (the #112 is the greatest finishing tool ever - buy yourself a brand shiny new LV or LN and use their excellent irons)
I don't _like_ Hock. I keep buying them because they're my only real option for refurbs on obscure blocks. They're not a product I have any great respect for though, or any brand loyalty to. They're made cheap, not made well.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Ahhh... now that is what I wanted to [read], something "real" in experience. everything else I've read is either hype or salesmanship. Even Joel who owns http://www.antiquetools.com/ ("the museum") hyped Hock to me on the 'phone, he knows the same as you do. They cost too much I think. LV is now making their own A2 blades in limited designs (3), but a little cheaper, with the top bevels, and I bet nicer. Now they need to come up with replacement cap irons that are thick. If I had the necassary equipment I would buy my own A2 stock and cut them myself!
I think you should forward your feelings to Ron Hock in an email.
Thanks for the reply,
Alex
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Thanks Andy, I've decided to go with the irons from the 5 and buy a Clifton two-piece cap, and probably a Victor iron to fit into the 5, the old 4 probably also needs the Y adjusting lever replacing as one sides end is missing, but it works as it is. I did buy a cheapie (6 quid!) and after a bit of tuning it'll do for roughing (the irons slot is far too wide and off centre for starters) when the boys are "helping", no way are they touching my tuned fine work planes. Going to try advancing from scarysharp to the next plane ;-) as I have 3200 diamond polishing compound at work and polishing machines with 18" plates that we use for glass components, I'll post the result when I've found time to do it! Niel, at home.
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wrote:

How about opening it right up and using it as a scrub plane ?
I've a couple of ash logs sitting outside, which tomorrow I'm going to split with a froe and then prepare as stock entirely by hand. Because I have a scrubber (a recycled #4) I know I can do this, and do it in a very short time. It's a time and cost effective way of making boards. OK, so I'm doing medieval repro work at the minute and this sort of tapered-thickness timber is useful to me, but 50 board feet of timber "for free" is a good enough offer that it's worth thinking about. It's like green woodturning - once you change the supply chain so that you can start making use of any passing log, then it changes your whole process and the type of work you choose to make.

I've never seen the point in that sort of finish on a plane. You need to have glass-hard steel to even make a difference in the edge at those levels, and that's not going to hold up on a plane iron. For carving tools, maybe, but not for planes.
I take my plane irons to the 8,000 grit waterstone, because it's _wider_ than my 10,000 grit stone and a bit harder, both of which make it easier and thus quicker to use. There's no point in going any further - I do for some tools, but not for planes and certainly not for planes built around Stanley pattern irons.
The best plane iron I have is one of Steve Knight's Japanese irons. Now that is hard enough to make a really top-end final polish worth the effort, but that's just as much because I don't use that plane all that often - it doesn't meet nasty timber and it only comes out for the very final smoothing.
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