Stanley Plane

My father found a in his garage and gave it to me, he wasn't sure where it came from but he knows its been laying around for at least 20 years.
The plane looks like this one:
http://i23.ebayimg.com/01/i/06/50/e4/42_2.JPG (also posted abpw)
Since I have no experience with hand planes, what is this plane for, and is it worth keeping/using?
TIA.
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Locutus wrote:

Home handyman's mainly inexpensive, sorta works, block plane. OK for knocking off edges and scraping paint.
charlie b
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It's a bottom of the line block plane, maybe a 110. Not totally useless, but it's the kind of plane that you wouldn't worry about it rolling around in the bottom of a toolbox or lending out to your brother in law.
--
For every complicated, difficult problem, there is a simple, easy
solution that does not work.
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I have one of those, I think I bought it for something under $15.00. Very cheap, not very good. It looks like a Stanley, or a Record 9 1/2 block plane. There are low angle block planes for about $30.00 USD that are better.
I did tune up my block plane (that looks like the link you gave) once, took about 12 hours, as I recall, to flatten out the bottom, Square up the mouth, and attempt to put a edge on the blade. The result was simply not worth the effort. The more expensive block plane, as in the link below, took less time to tune up, and took a good sharp edge and stayed sharp.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) note the screw feed for cutter depth, front brass adjustment for mouth opening, and better all around machining.
WIKI (What I Know Is): before motorized miter cutting tools, miters were cut with a hand back saw and a miter box. A 45 degree cut was close but never on the money. For framing carpentry, like door frames, since a block plane can be used to cut end grain, it was used to match the two ends of the 45 degree miters to form a tight 90 with no gaps. Back in the days when Bob V. worked with Norm on This Old House, the technique was demonstrated once. Trust me, a motorized miter saw is WAY better method of cutting miters.
(Soap box warning!! Soap Box Warning!!) The tool you have is one of those inexpensive tools that came out in the 1970s and 1980s that basically just made the users frustrated. It would not do the job that similar tools a generation before could do. Since this was before the Internet, and yes even before Woodsmith Magazine got rolling with a full head of steam. The person who bought one of these was on their own to some degree to figure out that it took a lot of effort in correcting manufacturing errors to get the tool to function correctly. That turned off a lot of would-be weekend wood workers.
During the Hyper-Inflation of the 1970s almost everything doubled or tripled in price. So too did the cost of good hand tools. But the manufactures came out with lines of tools that held the old prices, but were worth just what you paid for them or maybe even less. This ran from back saws, planes, and even wood chisels. Most of these junk tools have disappeared, since power hand tools have mostly replaced hand tools. Quality hand tools are still available, and it still takes a full day to tune up any new plane and sharpen the blade. And that will never change, at least I pray it won't.
So to answer your original un-asked question: If the plane your father gave you has someone's investment of a day or two to tuning it up once a long time ago, it may be worth the effort for you to do honor to that person by keeping it tuned up and a good sharp edge. If no one ever tuned it up, it is not worth much, except as a teaching tool for you to learn how to tune up a plane, sharpen a plane blade, and learn to adjust cutting depth by banging on the front or back with a small hammer.
(Excuse me, I need to get the soap box back to the store.)
Good luck with you tool.
Phil

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So, now that Phil-in-MI has made you believe that it is totally worthless, send it to me and I will have it making fine curlies in less than an hour.

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CW wrote:

OK - so that gets him a sharp iron (stamped steel), and, if the bottom's sort of flat, a flat sole. But that 1/4 inch plus throat's going to take some imaginative modification - one sided curlies are easier to create with a bit tighter throat. Then there's the combined sheet metal cap lever/chip breaker tucked under that rod through the blane body, with its tightening spur bolt thing. Turn it to lock the iron in place - but move the iron as you tighten it. Now you've got the cutting edge skewed - with a sharp corner ready to create a nice groove in your wood. Oh, and you might want to ease the top and bottom of the back edge of the stamped steel iron cause it's going to be pressing into the heal of your hand. If you have no problem setting the depth of cut on a japanese plane (or one of Steve Knights woodies), setting and adjusting the depth of cut on this plane should be no problem at all - only not as easy.
Or, you can put it on a book shelf or in a display cabinet and smile and think of your dad every time you see it - and pick up a useful block plane at the flea market or garage sale for under $20.
charlie b
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Not to highly skilled with planes, eh?

worthless,
hour.
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Phil-in-MI wrote:

But it would be a mistake to suppose a power miter saw is inherently more accurate than a good hand miter box.
--

FF


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Hmm-m, I guess I have to concede that point. Yes, as I think about it, you are correct.
Allow me to amend my statement: For a weekend woodworker, you will find a motorized miter saw (after you have adjusted the miter stops) will give you clean, fast, and very acceptable miter cuts with way less fuss needed in final fitting. Of course, the cost is lots more for the motorized saw, and then also you need electricity, plus there is the safety issue, and so on. But overall, for my choice, a power tool will give me a more time efficient way to cut acceptable miters without the need for a block plane (only sand paper). Note I said "more time efficient" which does not imply in any way superior or more accurate; it only implies that the learning curve for hand cut miters, which is a craft skill, takes a bit longer than learning to use a power tool.
Phil
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Hi, that plane makes an awesome paperweight.

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It would make a better user.

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Locutus wrote:

That's a "block plane". It is intended for smoothing the end grain of boards, the blade is set at a very shallow angle to facilitate slicing cross grain. It's small 'cause the ends of boards are not very large compared to the length of them. For with the grain work (planing the length of a board) "ordinary" planes work better 'cause they are longer, have a screw adjustment of blade depth, and have real handles that make them easier to hold. To cut crossgrain, the plane blade must be razor sharp. Any dullness and it just won't cut. Your's may need the cutting edge "renewed" on a bench grinder and then honed sharp with good fine stone. The edge has to be sharp enough to slice paper and shave the hair off your arm. Adjust of depth of cut is a little tedious, you loosen the knob and eyeball the plane blade and then tighten the knob to hold the setting. Start with the shallowest depth of cut. I have one of these, from Stanley, and it works, but it does need to be sharp and I do a lot of fiddling with the blade adjustment.
David Starr
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Thanks for the responses everyone, now that I know it is used for end grain, I will play around with it and see what happens.
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