Stanley #55 plane

If the Stanley #55 plane was such a good universal workhorse, why are they not sold today? Or, are similar planes made today?
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Phisherman wrote:

Stanley have dropped a large proportion of its plane range because the market has changed , with the advent of routers , portable beltsanders and power planers many of the older planes became uneconomical to produce as people moved away from them
I have been after a side fillister for years now but they havent been in production for decades , replacement blades for plough planes are unavailable as are the screwdriver tips for pump screwdrivers
Its just the changing nature of the trade unfortunatly
There are still companies out thier that are making similar products to order , clifton being one of them but they are extremley expensive although the quality is excellent.
How often on a building site do you see a joiner use hand screwdrivers , planes , braces , drills you dont
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wrote: ...

screwdriver? Lee Valley still sell the drivers, bits, and a converter to use standard hex bits with them: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=54192&cat=1,43411,43417&ap=1
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&amp;amp;amp;#39;lektric dan wrote:

Yes , i am based in the UK so its uneconomical to purchase small items from the USA by the time they slap on vat , import fees , handling and postage a small 3 dollar item ends up around $50 .
Same with replacement parts for handplanes what you pay a few dollars for in the states in the uk its just as cheap to buy a new plane
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On Sat, 16 Jan 2010 15:26:58 +0000, "steve robinson"

That's interesting. I have been following hand tool prices, including plough blades,via ebay (US) for the last couple of months or so. I'd gladly pay the 10 pounds or so for a mixed maker set of plough blades if I didn't have to pay shipping. Some nice dovetail saws there have gone for as little as 4-6 pounds in December. Ebay (US) seems to have a lot of very nice planes and chisels at very good prices from the UK. The killer is shipping to the US, some 25 pounds or about $40 for a lot of these items.
Regards, Roy
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On Sat, 16 Jan 2010 14:19:36 +0000, "steve robinson"

There's still a few quality manufacturers around. I gave myself a Veritas plow plane and the optional five blade package for Christmas. It works really well and is a relief from the noise and dust created by a router. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pW678&cat=1,41182
I believe Lee Valley also has the screwdriver tips for the Yankee type pump screwdrivers.
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snipped-for-privacy@teksavvy.com wrote:

unfortunately i am in the UK
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wrote:

You can still get for Spiralux drivers if you hunt, and Rolson (yes, I know) are still making the whole screwdriver. For some tasks, I still prefer a long pump screwdriver to the weight of a cordless.
Mine uses long Bosch bits with a hex end, re-ground with the half-dog end to fit.
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On 1/16/2010 7:33 AM snipped-for-privacy@teksavvy.com spake thus:

Hell, Stanley still makes those. I bought one at my local (Ace) hardware store not long ago.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

They are only available in the USA not UKor the rest of europe
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wrote:

Just as well. http://www.garrettwade.com/product.asp?pn=08C03.01&bhcd2=1263824948
R
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wrote:

If they're on a building site, they're carpenters rather than joiners.
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If they're not joiners, wouldn't they be loners? Or if they didn't mind people borrowing their tools, loaners?
R
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On 1/16/2010 8:00 AM, Phisherman wrote:

Well in the opinion of at least one guy who ought to know, the #55 was not a "good universal workhorse", but a piece of crap:
http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan8.htm#num55
I'm a Stanley plane fanatic (and I *use* them; they don't just sit on the shelf) but the #55 isn't one I've been tempted to acquire, mainly because I trust Patrick's opinion enough to not be tempted.
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On Sat, 16 Jan 2010 17:07:39 -0600, Steve Turner

Thanks for the link. Interesting read, and saw a few tools I had not seen before. The router made many obsolete.
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I have a couple, and found them to be useful for some things, but there are limitations inherent in the design. Having no mouth means that tear out is a bigger problem. They are cumbersome tools and a bit unwieldly for most work. The biggest problem is that the tool tries to be everything, which is impossible in woodworking. One of the nice things about up a dedicated molding plane is that it is already set up to use when you pick it up.
That being said, you can replicate a helluva lot of period molding with the 55, and you learn a lot about the importance of planing order.
I don't know of any plane that is complicated as a 55 being made today, but I suppose there's some boutique plane maker making a $6000 version.
R
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snipped-for-privacy@noone.com says...

But their Rube Goldberg appearance makes them very attracive to collectors.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Its down to the user , once you have gotten used to its features and handling its a cracking piece of kit , ideal for restoration works when you need to match an existing mould
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They are, just not by Stanley. There are any number around cheap S/H, Record made them until recently and Clifton are now making them (although at some incredible price).
The trouble is, that like other metal bodied interchangeable iron planes, the mouth is poor - there isn't one! So chip formation is poor, compared to an old one-pattern wooden moulder. They also appeared on the market at a time when previous fashions for extensive moulding work were receding, and routers (fixed bench machines at least) were appearing for production joinery.
I've got a couple: #55 and a Record 050 and I never use them. About the only thing I might use them for would be to match custom mouldings (making a cutter to match) and I do that with a Stanley #66 scratch stock instead (cuts very slowly, but leaves a better finish).
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