Plane and Drill Questions

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
35,072
Location
ABQ NM
A friend of mine found this Stanley #4 while cleaning out her departed dad's garage. She says it was purchased in England in the late '50s, as that where her parents were back then. She couldn't find any patent numbers cast into it, but it says Made in Sheffield, England. She asked if I knew anything about it, and I told her I didn't, but I likely knew someone who would. I'm pretty sure it's never been tuned, but it looks to be in pretty good shape, and it's in the original box. Her dad was not a woodworker, but he did a few handyman projects around the house. (He was a nuclear physicist.) I'd bet he bought it for one project, used it, then put it away in the box. Any ideas as to the market value or desirability for collectors/Neander woodworkers?

Jane's Plane 1 1024.jpg Jane's Plane 2 1024.jpg

She also found this old cordless drill, but knows nothing about it. Any thoughts?

Jane's Drill 800.jpg
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
7,607
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
The #4 looks pretty standard, I would guess post WW II, but ain't sure, might have been in box from before, it's not war era with the brass bits anyway. You can likely get a more accurate dating by following the chart here:
http://www.hyperkitten.com/tools/stanley_bench_plane/dating_flowchart.php#Types 1-20

With the box it's worth a bit more (especially if the box is in good shape which is hard to tell). I'd estimate $35-50 depending, the corrosion likely pushes it near the lower end of that.

The drill is your usual eggbeater style likely either a Millers Falls or a clone. Looks pretty clean, check the handle to see if it's the hollow type and (best case) has bits in it. Without bits these go for between $25 and 50 for the single speed units like that, I've gotten them cheaper when really dirty. Check the chuck to make sure the springs aren't broken, that drops $5-10 off of the value as they're hard to find good replacements for.

Nothing super exciting I can see (but might be missing something), should be decent users though. Prices were local estimates and can vary quite a bit regionally, although the whole internet sales thing has stabilized them a bit.
 

Jim DeLaney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,750
Location
Austintown, Ohio
I'll agree with Ryan's valuation on the plane. #4s are probably the most common ones you'll find at yard sales, swap meets, etc. The English manufacture doesn't add much, if anything, to the value, and the overall condition (from what I can see) detracts a bit from the value while the box adds a few dollars.

I think Ryan over-valued the egg beater drill. Around here, they go for $10.00 or less. (I have three of them, and I've only paid about $5.00 for any of them.)
 

Leo Voisine

Member
Messages
5,246
Location
East Freeetown, Massachusetts
When I got my Stanley planes I found a website to help date them. Things like the shape of the tote and handle and the casting characteristics is the evidence of dating.

If he bought it new, and he likely did, in the 50's - then it is likely made in the 50's, which was a good time for Stanley tools. I found mine to be late 20's to early 30's I use them regularly.

I like the cordless drill. It also doesn't really look all that old. Mine is a bit older, and I use it regularly as well.
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
7,607
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
I think Ryan over-valued the egg beater drill. Around here, they go for $10.00 or less. (I have three of them, and I've only paid about $5.00 for any of them.)

Yeah I've seen fairly wide local price variations and also depending on type and quality. Your price is closer to what I'd be willing to pay, but I'm kind of a bottom feeder on this sort of thing so was being a bit generous.
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
35,072
Location
ABQ NM
Thanks guys. The tools are in Tucson, so I've not seen them in person. I'll pass on your information to my friend. I halfway suspect I'm going to end up with both tools...she said she'd rather see them go to someone who'd appreciate them as opposed to giving them to some random stranger. Although I likely have better #4s in my collection, I'd clean this one up and make it usable. Plus, I think her dad would approve of me having them...he and I got along very well. (I've been friends with her and her family for decades.)
 

Roger Tulk

Member
Messages
3,011
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
I use all my Stanly planes, and agree with the pricing that Ryan suggests. Wear on the knob and tote suggest to me that it was used more than a few times, but it appears to be in good nick. A little cleaning and honing and it will be as new. A lot of people who bought planes never honed them, and were at a loss when the iron became so dull that it wouldn't slice cheese without tearing.
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
35,072
Location
ABQ NM
...Wear on the knob and tote suggest to me that it was used more than a few times, but it appears to be in good nick. A little cleaning and honing and it will be as new. A lot of people who bought planes never honed them, and were at a loss when the iron became so dull that it wouldn't slice cheese without tearing.

I sort of suspect what looks like wear on the knob and tote is just peeling varnish from being stored in an unheated garage for decades. And I also suspect if any honing was ever done to the iron, it was not done to any usable standard. And I'll bet it'll tear cheese as it is now, lol. But I agree that a little cleaning and proper honing (and maybe flattening the sole) should make it into a great user. Thanks to Ken Werner, I have a pretty good feel for how to do that stuff, and I also know what a well-tuned and honed plane feels like to use. :thumb:
 

Jim DeLaney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,750
Location
Austintown, Ohio
I sort of suspect what looks like wear on the knob and tote is just peeling varnish from being stored in an unheated garage for decades.

That's what it looked like to me, too. Also the knob & tote appear to be a stained birch or beech, making the plane post-war - likely the 50s, as you've already said.

...a little cleaning and proper honing (and maybe flattening the sole) should make it into a great user...

Cleaning, yeah, but sharpen and use the plane before you start messing with sole flattening. Many - perhaps even most - old planes work very well without the flattening. Remember, our ancestors didn't mess much with sole flattening, and they turned out some amazing work.
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
35,072
Location
ABQ NM
...Cleaning, yeah, but sharpen and use the plane before you start messing with sole flattening. Many - perhaps even most - old planes work very well without the flattening. Remember, our ancestors didn't mess much with sole flattening, and they turned out some amazing work.

Ah, good points. I'll follow your advice if it ends up in my shop. You've forgotten more about hand planes than I'll ever know. :thumb:
 
Top