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Thread: Stanley plane?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    New Jersey

    Question Stanley plane?

    Let start by saying I know absolutely nothing about planes, other than whenever I try to use one I get nothing but a surface filled with gouges.
    My neighbor just gave me a Stanley plane, it's about 14 inches long, says "No 5" on the back, "Bailey" on the front & "Made in the USA" in the middle.
    Can anyone (1)tell me anything about this plane
    (2) recommend a good source for instruction on how to use a plane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    El Paso, TX

    Just for fun . . .

    and for starters. Introduce yourself to Patrick's Blood and Gore web site. Its general info and very entertaining . Then you'll have some vocabulary for the flood of info you're ABOUT to get here ! You're looking down a very slippery slope at this very moment ! Embrace the horror !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    Go to and click on "pattrick's blood and gore".
    You'll be amazed.
    In order to tune the thing up so that it's pulling whisper thin shavings instead of ripped chunks, try They have a link on tuning / restoring your hand planes, and also have good links on using them.
    I started with a block plane and had a frustrating experience. It wasn't until i picked up a rusty number 4 that needed to be completely taken apart, cleaned up, sharpened, and put back together, that i learned how to fine tune the tool, making it a pleasure to use and a regular workhorse in my shop.
    The number 5 is commonly called a "Jack" plane, and is one of the most useful and versatile planes you can use. My jack plane touches most of the projects that go through my shop. I'm no hand tool purist. I use a combination of machinery and hand tools, each to it's advantage. It's simply not possible to produce an equal surface than what a hand plane can achieve. They're also efficient and quick at a variety of tasks.
    Have fun with it.
    Paul Hubbman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cedar Park, TX
    Generally, there are three areas of concern when you are getting gouging of a surface with a handplane.

    1) Sharpness of the blade. A dull blade will skip and gouge and cause all sorts of havoc. Handtools rely more on sharpness than do your tailed tools.

    2) Cutting depth. You need to adjust for a fairly thin shaving or the laws of physics will deny you any shaving at all.

    3) Trying to cut against the grain. You want to look at the grain on the edge adjacent to the one being worked and plain into the rising grain. Going the other direction catches the ends of the wood fibers and pulls them up, causing tearout. Some of this can be remedied with a very sharp blade and a very very thin shaving, but planing with the grain is always a better option. This means you need to pay attention to grain direction when you glue up panels or you can get into a very sticky wicket.

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  5. #5
    I cannot say anymore then what has already been said about the plane itself. You have some great resources and advice listed here.

    What I can and should say is this. Don't try and take on too much too early. If you can get ahold of some basswood, try handplaning that. Its a hardwood, but softer then pine, holds details quite well, and can make some nice projects, but the stuff is an actual dream to handplane. As Fine Woodworking recently said, "It will make you look like a hand tool enthusiast even if you have not picked up a plane in years."

    It would be a great wood to try your tuned up hand plane on.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Independence Ky
    Thanks for the thread Dennis, I get so aggrivated with my planes that I dont even reach for them. Time to knock off the dust and try again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    One thing that nobody's mentioned here: Make sure your blade is sharp, and most importantly, installed correctly. The bevel on the blade goes DOWN in a bench plane. Many many plane novices have made the mistake of installing the blade upside down, then having just the problem(s) you're complaining about.

    There are dozens of treatises out there on using planes. Garrett Hack has published a very good one. Do a search on Amazon for it, or if you're lucky, your local public library may even have a copy.

    Once you've got one tuned up, and know how to use it, a hand plane is a very useful and versatile tool. I use one (or usually more than one) one nearly every project.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    I will add one more resource, nothing against this group AT ALL! But the best hand tool forum I have found is over at Woodnet. There are some expert Neanders over there. If this group gets stumped you find the answer there.

    I will just say then when you get it, it's amazing what you can do with your hand planes. I use mine all the time and would just as soon give up woodworking as give up my planes. They are they important to me!

    The revelation for me was when I bought one from a fellow over at Woodnet. He had tuned it, sharpened it and was ready to go when I got it. I WAS AMAZED!!

    Once I saw how a plane was supposed to work, it was the turning point. I started working on getting mine sharp and I mean really sharp. Like shave the hair on you arm sharp, it made all the difference in the world. Then I went on to flattening the soles and the rest of the tuning and tweaking. But if you blade is not sharp, your never going to have happy with a plane.

    What I didn't realize was what sharp really meant!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Buffalo, NY
    I had to stop reading Pattricks Blood & Gore because I was getting too interested in collecting them. Once you start looking on ebay you find you need every Stanley plane type 11 that was made with a patent date of 1910. I love my hand planes and have them very sharp.

    But my best planes are the two No. 4's I have that were passed to me, one by my father, the other by my father in-law. Amazingly, they are the same plane, and I have no idea who makes it. Who would have thought my grandfather and my father in-law would have the same plane? They are every bit as heavy as my old Stanley No.4, look similar, but have no markings on them at all. My father also gave me a wonderful old Stanley No.120 block plane that was my great grandfather's. When you are using tools that your parents, grandparents and in my case, my great grandfather used, it sure is special.
    Last edited by Craig Arndt; 02-18-2008 at 02:04 AM.
    No Al, I invented the internet.

  10. #10
    You got that right Craig. I am fortunate in that I have a whole slew of tools from my Grandfathers. One was his Canedy Otto 1909 Drill Press. When he gave it to me, I was like what am I going to do with this cast iron anchor, and even tossed it out in the weeds? After he died though, I dug it out, restored it to working order. I guess I did that just because it was his and I know he would love having me get it to working order again. Either way that drill press was what gave me the old iron love bug!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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