With advice from some of the helpful folks here, I had a modest success
cleaning up and then using one of my Dad's old block planes. The
experience has left me more curious about planes in general.
I did some brief rooting around in his garage after a visit last night
and found a couple of things. The first was a Stanley #78 Rabbet Plane.
It appears to be in really good condition. I saw a video recently that
described some uses for that sort of plane that I probably wouldn't have
thought of on my own; cleaning up and fine-tweaking rabbets cut with
power tools, for instance.
I also found a "Groove Plane" (with several blades and attachments), but
have so far left that one behind. It looks like that would be for
cutting rabbets from scratch, which I don't imagine I will be doing. But
I was surprised about the Rabbet Plane, so maybe some of you can suggest
a use for this one as well. (My "woodworking", such as it is, consists
of modest skills applied to an occasional project).
I also found a Stanley #3, or most of one, anyway. It's missing the
lever cap. I did a quick Ebay search, and so far it looks like the lever
caps go for almost as much as the complete tool. I have a feeling that
it's in my Dad's garage somewhere. I may look around again when I get
more time. Any suggestions as to where else I might find a replacement?
I was thinking about keeping an eye out for a really damaged plane to
cannibalize for parts. Any other helpful suggestions about this style of
plane would be appreciated as well.
There's a brisk business on eBay for spare parts for Stanley planes,
and apparently random, rusted collections of parts can fetch
surprising amounts...or get no bids and nothing at all. As you've
noted, a lever cap might cost you as much as a complete beater #3, and
buying a reasonable complete plane might be the easiest and fastest
way to get to work.
When you say "groove plane" do you mean a tongue and groove plane?
What brand/model and what sort of attachments? A dedicated tongue and
groove plane is another very useful tool to have on hand. Having one
that is sitting on the shelf and ready to go is particularly useful
when you are only running a few feet of grooves, or if you have to go
back and remake a piece if there's a snafu. It's frequently faster
than changing bits over on a router.
You've probably already seen Roy Underhill's The Woodwright's Shop on
PBS. He's the guy that only uses hand tools and human power and
frequently sports bandages and/or a little blood here and there on his
hands. ;) There are complete episodes viewable online on the PBS web
site and if you're interested in getting started in working with hand
tools and planes, those episodes are a great place to start.
I think I'll have a more detailed look around my Dad's garage first. A
flurry of large expenses have left me in a frugal state of mind,
especially as regards "hobby" acquisitions.
I've got to look at it more closely. At first glance it appeared to be
designed to make a narrow rabbet at the edge of a piece of wood (I
noticed a side fence, I think). Figuring I would probably choose a
router for a job like that, I left it behind.
There seemed to be a handful of different blades that came with it, plus
some other attachments. I remember now that I called it a "groove plane"
only because that's what it said on the embossed old-style Dymo label
that was on the ammunition box my Dad kept the tool in. I'm pretty sure
it was also a Stanley.
I have since done a little poking around online. I watched a video about
"Tongue and Groove" planes, but I doubt that's what it is, as I don't
remember any "split" blades. I also saw some combination planes online,
which look somewhat like what I remember. But that side "fence", if
indeed that's what it was, looked fixed.
This has definitely piqued my interest, even if just to find out what it
Thanks. I've been thinking of setting up a giant stone flywheel in my
garage, but it might dent the car.
Greg, it's time you and the little missus came to an understanding.
You won't lay your woodworking tools on her car if she keeps it in the
driveway where it belongs. Besides, the gar^H^H^HSHOP is no place to
keep an automobile. It'd get dusty or dented.
If you have any problems, just tell her I said so. OK?
[I can hear it now..."Bbbut, C-less said I could..."]
Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.
-- Robert J. Sawyer
In all seriousness, parking a car in the garage has actually enhanced my
ability to use the garage for shop projects. Most of the garages I have
seen are full to the rafters with junk. When I pull the car out, ours is
essentially empty, leaving lots of room to work.
Having lots of room is a start. Having lots of room with a workbench of
some sort is markedly better. I assume you have that. What about tools,
power and light? Hoosierpopi (sp), and others, gave me a big push a
year and a half ago and I still haven't recovered. LOL. Have fun!
I wouldn't call it "lots" of room. It's a small house with a one-car
garage. But I did say "essentially" empty. I have a basic home-brew
workbench at the back of the garage, made from 4x4s, 2x10s and a
Most of the work I do around the house is well, "around the house",
rather than woodworking. But I learned long ago that I simply don't have
the patience or energy to have every task delayed and interrupted when I
need to find a tool or part. My tools and materials are well organized.
Some hang behind the bench for easy access, others are in steel shelving
on one side of the garage or in my three toolboxes (electrical, plumbing
I have three scrap wood areas: Short, Medium and Long. "Long" hangs from
the ceiling. Plywood leans against one wall. Every wall surface has
something leaning on it or hanging from it. I joke that you can tell
what model of car we have by looking at the outline of the garage
storage. But it's that car that "enforces" the empty space.
Power is pretty good. While no expert at any of these skills, I've
gotten to be pretty decent at electrical work. I have two dedicated
circuits and outlets distributed well enough not to need extension
cords. The lighting is decent as well, two 48" fluorescent fixtures with
two tubes in each. I may eventually put in a third.
I have a reasonable smattering of low-end hand-held power tools. I don't
have room for a table saw, but the mitre saw comes in handy. For
ripping, it's a circular saw and fence. For dadoes, a router. I have
exactly as many clamps as I needed for my most clamp-intensive project:
15. (that's the longer ones, my wife and daughter tease me about the
multitude of small quick-loks an spring clamps that seem to sprout
around my various household maintenance jobs)
If I were to do much real woodworking, I might get frustrated with my
setup. But for now it's an occasional hobby and I enjoy what little I do.
You might have more fun if you become a "malcontent".
With all due respect, there must be some project that would help take
you out of the comfort zone that you're in? Your wood supply sounds
very-nicely organized. Until you get unsatisfied, it's going to be
difficult for anyone to assist you! Don't let that keep you from
posting though. I feel confident the group can help you find something.
On Tue, 23 Aug 2011 09:49:57 -0400, Greg Guarino wrote:
I'm guessing it's a router plane. Does it look similar to this modern
If so, don't give up on it. For example, a lot of saw blades and some
dado sets don't leave a flat bottom. A router plane can fix that in a
They weren't used to cut rabbets, but dados. A saw was used to cut the
two edges and the router plane then cleaned out the middle. I did a
couple that way just to try the technique and it's a lot quicker than you
OTOH, you might really have a rabbet plane. Or a Stanley combination
In that case, all I can say is *You suck!*
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
It doesn't. I would have known what that one was for. Back in High
School we had to use one to make a blind dado (is that the right term?).
In fact, I think we had to make the entire dado by hand with a hand saw,
possibly a chisel, and a router plane to finish it off.
The possibility of being the envy of a total stranger on Rec.Woodworking
has me intrigued. I assume those planes were to cut a groove parallel to
the edge of a piece, like for a drawer bottom? I'll have to investigate
further to find out if I suck. It did come with a number of different
blades and attachments.
OK, you can relax now. It's a Stanley 248, to which the Blood & Gore Guy
gave quite a harsh "review" indeed. I'm not entirely sure why, yet.
I took it to a piece of scrap oak last night and was able to plow a
groove parallel to one of the edges, which seems to be its function. It
wasn't an entirely smooth operation, but then I didn't try to sharpen
the blade first either. The fence is adjustable as is the depth stop.
The biggest "problem" I had, apart from the less-than-sharp blade, was
that the tool effectively rests on a narrow edge, which means you have
to keep it plumb manually.
I'll give it another try sometime when it's not already 9pm. I could
imagine a use for such a plane, although finally getting a router table
could probably accomplish the same thing.
On Thu, 25 Aug 2011 11:27:24 -0400, Greg Guarino wrote:
Ah so - a weatherstripping plane. Talk about special purpose :-).
Patrick's never been known to hide his opinions, with which he is
plentifully supplied :-). He calls most of the transition planes "fit
only for firewood" but I kinda' lke them. Everyone to their own taste.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
True enough, but it's function seems to be making narrow grooves (there
are 5 blades of different widths) within maybe 1.5" of an edge. That
doesn't seem too exotic to me, at least before table saws and routers
were common. A table saw is still pretty "uncommon" in my shop.
The No. 3 is a very useful plane and PLENTY of them were manufactured; you
shouldn't have any trouble at all (if you keep your eyes peeled) in finding a
good lever cap for that plane, and you shouldn't have to pay anywhere near the
price of a full plane to get one. I personally wouldn't pay more than $10 for
one. Shipped. Example:
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
No wonder he charges so much for those parts. He used up almost a
whole can of copper spray paint on the group he's selling now.
Here's a sweet little low angle block (60-1/2) for $5.
Greg needs one! http://goo.gl/9qAGq
It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are
not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment.
-- Freeman Dyson
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