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Planes

This page is pretty long but you can select a plane category using the following jump table.

 Smoothing Planes

Block Planes 

Rabbet & Filletster Planes

Specialty Planes

 Combination Planes

Scraper Planes 

 Transitional Planes

Shop Made Planes 

Smoothing Planes

Hand PlaneRefurbished Stanley (Bailey) bench planes -- From front to back (left side) #1, #2, #3, #4, #4 1/2, #5, and #5 1/4, and from front to back (right side) #3C, #4C, #4 1/2C, #5C, #5 1/2C, #6C, #7C, and #8C. Models #1 through #4 1/2 are called smoothing planes, #5 1/4, #5, and #5 1/2 are called jack planes, #6 is called a fore plane, and #7 and #8 are called jointer planes. The models with a "C" following the number have corrugated soles to reduce friction. The #4 1/2 and the #5 1/2 are wider, longer, and heavier than a #4 and #5 respectively. The #5 1/4 is a little shorter and more narrow than a #5, and was designed for manual training in schools. It is often called a junior jack plane. I have installed replacement cutter irons in several, including Lie Nielsen, Ron Hock, and Japanese laminated steel plane irons. All have rosewood totes and knobs.

Most of my Bailey planes are type 9 to type 13, not collectable, but good users. The notable exception is my Stanley #1, a type 2 made between 1869 and 1872. The chip breaker carries the Leonard Bailey patent date of December 24, 1867, the lever cap is solid, and the depth adjustment nut is solid brass with a right hand thread, unlike the left hand thread common to most Bailey planes. If you have never seen one, you would be surprised at just how small this plane really is.

The Stanley #386 jointer gauge can be clamped to a jack, fore, or jointer plane to provide a fence for accurate planing to a predetermined angle, usually 90 degrees. It is shown here attached to a #6 fore plane. The knob is rosewood and two holes are provided to attach a wooden face to the fence.

Two Fulton bench planes -- a #4C and a #7C. Fulton was a Sears brand name and their bench planes were made by Sargent. They were outfitted with fairly thick laminated irons. I have replaced the original Fulton beech totes with Stanley rosewood totes which fit my large hands much better.

A Norris A5 infill smoothing plane -- my favorite, a Christmas gift from my wife. I had admired the plane at an antique tool shop in New Hampshire, but did not buy it. Imagine the look on my face when I opened the box that Christmas morning. This plane has an original Norris plane iron, which adds to its value, but I have installed a replacement iron made by Ron Hock for everyday use. This iron is just slightly thicker, a full 3/16", and provides a mouth opening better suited for finish planing. The Norris plane uses a combination depth and lateral adjustment mechanism. Solid, quite heavy, a classic English plane from another era.

One of the rarest planes in my collection is this jointer plane made by the Davis Tool and Level Company. Leonard L. Davis was best known for making levels and inclinometers, but also made three models of bench planes, a smoother, a jack, and a jointer. He used a rather unusual blade pitch and lateral adjustment mechanism for which he received US Patent Number 167,311 in 1875. His levels and inclinometers commonly featured ornate castings and gold pin-striping. My plane also shows some well aged gold pin-stripe around the abutment which holds the cutter elevation and lateral adjustment cross bar. I found this plane in a thrift store, a very unlikely location for such a rare tool.

European style wooden body planes have a "horn" in the front for the left hand to grasp. Here is a German made ECE Primus smoother with a Hornbeam body and Lignum Vitae sole.

Block Planes

Standard pitch Stanley block planes -- the cutter irons are bedded at approximately 20 degrees with the bevel up, and the plane has a depth adjustment wheel and lateral adjustment lever. The plane at the bottom is a #9 1/4 (6" fixed mouth), the one in the middle is a #9 1/2 (6" adjustable mouth), and the one at the top of the photo is a #18 (7" adjustable mouth) with a knuckle joint lever cap.

Low angle block planes -- the cutter irons are bedded at 12 degrees and the depth of cut is controlled by the knob at the rear. The plane on the left is a #60 1/2 (6" adjustable mouth) and the other two are #65's (7" adjustable mouth). The #65 at the bottom of the photo is an old one, a type 2, while the other with the knuckle joint lever cap is more recent. If I could have only two block planes, one standard angle and one low angle, I would choose the #18 and the #65 with knuckle joint lever caps.

Here are some Stanley fixed mouth block planes -- from front to back -- #220, #110, and a #130.

The Stanley #130 block plane is an 8" fixed mouth plane with two cutter seats which allows the plane to be used for standard or bullnose planing operations.

Currently manufactured Stanley block planes are made in England. The #12-060 at the bottom of the photo is a low angle 6" plane similar to the #60 1/2, while the #12-920 at the top of the photo is similar to the #9 1/2.

Sargent block planes -- clockwise from left to right -- a 6" #306 and a 7" #307 (adjustable mouth planes similar to Stanley #9 1/2), a #217 (fixed mouth similar to Stanley #220), a #607 (7" low angle adjustable mouth, similar to Stanley #65), and a #5306 (6 1/2" adjustable mouth similar to Stanley #18). The Sargent knuckle joint lever cap is a more simple design than Stanley's but works well. Sargent planes are of good quality, the casting is a bit thicker than the equivalent Stanley, and the mouth adjustment is easier to use.

The Ohio Tool Co. O220 block plane uses an interesting lateral adjustment. The entire depth adjustment mechanism swivels from side to side to line up the cutter iron with the mouth of the plane. The iron has a series of round holes to fit over the depth adjustment slide.

Another useful block plane is the Stanley #140 rabbet and block plane. The blade is set to a skew angle and provides excellent cross-grain planing on hardwoods. With the steel side plate removed the plane can be used as a rabbet plane.

A Stanley #62 low angle block plane is about the size of a jack plane with a thick cutter iron bedded at 12 degrees and with an adjustable mouth much like its smaller cousins. I was recently given another Stanley #62. This is what it looked like before I restored it and this is the same plane after cleaning. I lapped the bottom of both planes to provide a perfectly flat sole.

Rabbet and Filletster Planes

The Stanley #10 carriage maker's rabbet plane is sometimes called a jack rabbet plane because the size is similar to a jack. The smaller Stanley #10 1/2 is about the size of a #4 smoothing plane.

Three Stanley #78 duplex rabbet and filletster planes -- 1 1/2" cutter, depth stop, adjustable fence, and two cutter seats. The two planes in the foreground are fairly old, while the #78 at the rear is more recent and features a cutter iron depth adjustment lever. The trade mark of the #78 has changed over the years, but the basic design has changed very little. Stanley #78 planes are very common but are often found missing the fence and depth stop.

A less expensive rabbet plane was the Stanley #191 rabbet plane -- 1 1/4" cutter, came with a depth stop but did not have a fence.

This Ohio Tool wooden body rabbet plane has a 1" iron set on the skew and the traditional and graceful throat opening carved in one side of the beech wood body.

The Stanley #289 rabbet and filletster plane looks a little like the common #78, but has a wider cutter iron which is set at a skew angle. The spurs which score the wood ahead of the cutter are inclined. These planes are quite collectable and are often fairly expensive.

The wooden body equivalent of the metal rabbet and filletster was the moving filletster plane, so called because it had a movable fence. Here is an old Ohio Tool moving filletster which I found with missing boxing and without a nicker iron. I restored the boxing, trued the bottom, shaped and sharpened the cutter, and made a nicker to fit the plane.

The iron on the Stanley #278 rabbet and filletster plane is set at a low angle and with the bevel up. The pressed steel lever which protrudes to the rear regulates the iron's depth setting. The sides have been machined flat so that the plane can also be used on its side. There are nickers on both sides and the nose can be removed and the plane used as a chisel plane.

The nickel plated Stanley #90, #92, #93 cabinet maker's rabbet plane has a cutter iron which is bedded at 20 degrees with the bevel up and an adjustable front section which can be set for a very tight mouth. This plane was made in four sizes including the Stanley #90 bull nose rabbet plane. The #93 and the #90 uses a 1" wide cutter iron, the #92's iron is 3/4" wide.

The #80 steel cased rabbet plane (and the similar #90) was the only infill plane ever made by Stanley. It wasn't popular and was only manufactured for 11 years -- 1877 through 1888. Consequently it is fairly collectable and is sought after by Stanley antique tool collectors. The skew mounted cutter iron is held by a thick cap secured by a brass wing nut at the rear of the body, and the iron is removed by dropping it down through the mouth of the plane.

The Record #311 "three in one" plane can be used as a chisel plane with the nose removed, as a bull nose plane with the short nose installed, or as a shoulder plane as shown at the bottom of the photo. I also have a couple of Stanley #75 bull nose rabbet planes.

English shoulder planes were often infill planes, or as our British friends are fond of saying, "stuffed" with an appropriate hardwood, such as the mahogany in this rhino horn handle infill plane made by T.J. Gardner of Bristol.

The Stanley #79 side rabbet plane was designed to shave the side of a rabbet or open up a dado. The #79 at the top of the photo is a type 1, while the one at the bottom is more recent. These planes have two cutters and can be used in either direction. The more elegant Stanley #98 and #99 side rabbet planes perform the same function. Type 2 and later models have a depth stop on the back of the plane.

Specialty Planes

Scrub planes are used to remove a lot of stock before using a smoothing plane. I have two metal Stanley #40 scrub planes. The plane in the background is an old one with a beech tote and knob, while the plane in the foreground is more recent and has a rosewood tote and knob. The Stanley #40 scrub plane uses a thick 1 1/4" iron. I like to work with two scrub planes, one with a highly convex iron to start, and finish the scrub process using one with a more shallow profile.

I also have two wooden scrub planes. The shop made beech scrub plane in the foreground uses a Stanley #40 1/2 iron which is 1 1/2" wide. The European style plane at the rear is a German made ECE beech scrub plane with an 1 1/4" iron. I found this in an antique shop for $8 -- it had never been used and the iron had never been honed.

The Stanley #97 cabinet makers edge plane is used to work a rabbet up to a corner. It was often used by piano makers for interior corner planing and is sometimes called a piano makers plane.

The Stanley #72 chamfer plane is used to cut a chamfer (45 degree bevel) on the edge of a piece of wood. The front portion of the plane holds the blade which is adjusted like any other plane to take a fine shaving. In use, the plane rests on one side of the V-shaped bottom and the other side of the V-shaped bottom is vertical. Successive passes are made until the vertical side comes in contact with the board and cutting stops because both sides of the bottom are in contact with the wood. The width of the chamfer is controlled by raising or lowering the front of the plane which holds the cutter iron.

One of the most useful specialty planes made by Stanley is the #95 edge trimming block plane. This is an old one, a type 1, but the blade is in very good shape. Hard to find but worth looking for.

The Stanley #100 and #100 1/2 are used for model making and other detailed work. The plane is very small and has a squirrel tail handle which fits in the palm of the user's hand. The #100 on the left has a flat bottom while the #100 1/2 shown on the right has a bottom which is curved in both directions.

Used to cut cross grain grooves, the Stanley #39 dado plane uses a skewed cutter iron and nickers on each side to score the grain. It does not have a fence and a wooden batten is clamped to the board to guide the plane. A depth stop limits the depth of cut. It came in various widths, shown are a 3/4" (upright), and a 1/2" and 3/8" plane.

When cutting a groove with the grain, a plane is called a plow (or plough) plane. Here is an antique adjustable fence plow plane with typical and traditional features. The body of the plane, the fence, the wedge, and the threaded arms are made of beech. The nuts on the threaded rods which fix the fence in relation to the body are made of boxwood, as is the bottom face on the fence. The brass thumbscrew on the top of the plane raises and lowers a steel depth stop which surrounds the tapered cutting iron, one of 8 which typically came with the plane.

The nickel plated Stanley #48 is a tongue and groove match plane. With the fence in the position shown, both cutters are exposed and the plane cuts a tongue. When the fence is rotated on the center pivot pin, only one of the cutters is exposed and the plane cuts the matching groove.

Another tongue and groove match plane is the Stanley #148. One side holds a single cutter iron to cut the groove and the other side a double cutter iron to cut the tongue.

Here is an interesting wooden body tongue and groove match plane made by H. Chapin. One side looks much like a plow plane with a steel skate and tapered quarter inch cutter iron to cut the groove. When the plane is turned end for end a double cutter iron cuts the tongue.

Stanley #113 circular plane -- The circular plane, also called a compass or radius plane, has a flexible sole which can be made to plane convex or concave surfaces. The plane at the rear is a type 1 with ornate knobs and a side wheel which controls the depth of cut with with a slanted slot in a rectangular plate and a hole at the bottom to capture the cap iron screw's head. This plane was made between 1877 and 1880. The plane in the foreground is also quite old but is a later type with a more traditional depth adjustment mechanism and lever cap.

Another Stanley circular plane, and one that is favored by many users, is the Stanley Victor #20. The frog and lever cap are much the same as later models of the #113, but the mechanism to create curvature of the sole is more robust.

A router plane is used to remove material from the bottom of a dado or groove. The plane on the left with an open throat and separate depth stop is a Stanley #71, while the one on the right with a closed throat is a Stanley #71 1/2. Cutters are interchangeable. The Stanley #271 is used for the same purpose on small or detailed work such as intarsia or preparing an item for inlay.

The Stanley #11 belt maker's plane was used to chamfer the ends of a leather belt so they could be glued together in a scarf joint to form a continuous belt of uniform thickness. These belts were used to drive equipment that were connected to a water or steam driven line shaft.

Combination Planes

Originally designed as a beading plane, the Stanley #50 was light in weight and was often used for plow or dado work. It is often just called a light combination plane. It, like the #45, came with a beading gauge which was attached to the sliding skate and used as a fence when beading matched boards. The one shown above is an early model with an iron handle. Later models were equipped with a rosewood handle and an adjustment screw at the rear of the sliding skate to assist in securely clamping the cutters.

The Stanley #45 Universal Plane could be used as a plow, dado, beading, rabbet, sash, or matching plane depending on the cutters installed. The plane came with 20 standard cutters, and others could be ordered.. There are a number of adjustments to the fence, arms, depth guides, and spurs to configure the plane for the task intended.

The Stanley #46 combination plane looks similar to an early model #45 with its decorative floral casting. The cutters were set on the skew and were consequently trapezoidal in cross section. This plane is often found missing all but one cutter, but this plane has a complete set.

Advertised as a "Planing Mill Within Itself" The Stanley #55 Universal Plane was one of the more elaborate hand tools ever made. It featured three skates which were individually adjustable for depth. It came with 52 cutters in four boxes, two rosewood guides, outboard handles, long and short rods, and a number of accessories.

Scrapers and Scraper Planes

This strange looking device is a Stanley #70 box scraper designed to remove labels, either pasted to a box or stenciled on the wood. The cutter was similar to a plane and because the head would swivel on the yoke it could be pushed or, as shown in the photo, pulled toward the operator.

Some Stanley #80 scraper planes. The scraper blade inclines toward the front convex edge of the plane and is pushed away from the operator. The blade can be bowed somewhat with the center thumbscrew to take a slightly more aggressive cut. The one in the foreground with the concave back edge is fairly old. The nickel plated Stanley #81 cabinet scraper with its rosewood bottom is often used to scrape veneer. The scraper blade is more narrow and taller than those used with the #80. I have replaced some of the blades on my scrapers with irons made by Ron Hock.

Two of the better scrapers made by Stanley are the #12 scraper plane and the #112 scraper plane. The #112 is basically a #12 in a plane body with a rosewood tote and knob. These, too, are pushed away from the operator, and the hook turned on the scraper blade faces forward.

Some handled scrapers -- the scraper with the beaded handle was made by E.C. Atkins, while the one at the rear was made by Goodell-Pratt. Two Stanley #82 scrapers -- the one in the foreground is an older type 1, while the one with maroon handles is a type 2. And a couple of adjustable swivel head scrapers -- the one at the top of the photo is a Starrett #194. The one at the bottom with a four edge scraper blade was made by E.C. Stearns & Co.

The Stanley #83 cabinet scraper was used to hold a scraper blade with two thumbscrews. The angle of the scraper blade was controlled by moving the wooden roller up or down in the holder.

Here is a rams horn scraper blade holder with a rosewood backing plate, a rosewood sole, and a brass retaining bar. There is no makers mark but I believe that it was commercially made because of the cast brass retaining bar which I have also seen on other rams horn scrapers. The scraper blade which came with this antique tool was ground down from a Stanley blade.

I recently found another rams horn scraper blade holder similar to the one in the previous paragraph. It also has no makers mark and has a similar brass retaining bar. This brass piece holds the scraper blade against a leather backing. I believe that both rams horn scrapers were made from apple wood.

While not as attractive as the rams horn scrapers, this brass sole scraper blade holder holds the blade more securely. It may be craftsman made and the scraper blade was made from an old Stanley scraper. It appears to be apple wood also.

One of my favorite glue line scrapers is this walnut utility scraper made by an unknown craftsman from another era.

And some card scrapers -- Here are a bunch of hand held scraper blades and a Veritas holder in the foreground. The wooden block holds a file to joint an edge before sharpening on a stone, and there are some burnishers used to turn an edge.

Transitional Wooden Base Planes

Transitional planes were, as the name implies, a transition between wooden body planes and the metal planes which were to follow. The 15" jack plane shown is a Stanley #26. Also some Fulton transitional wooden body planes which I picked up for $5 each. I replaced the bases with shop made laminated pecan, and made some totes and knobs from maple. The original beech bodies have found their way into a number of shop made planes and accessories.

This wooden base smoother is a Stanley #35. In order to keep the plane short, the tote has been lowered into a stepped down razee shaped body.

The Stanley #122 was a small smoothing plane similar in size to a #3 and without a tote. The lever cap had a bell emblem with the numerals "76" on it and the plane is often called a "Liberty Bell". The depth of cut adjustment consists of a small nib, much like a flat screwdriver point, bolted to the cutter iron and chip breaker. This fits into a finger loop operated lever on the frog. This old timer shows the wear that you might expect from a plane made in the 1890's, but is complete and actually works pretty well.

Shop Made Wooden Body Planes

Shop made wooden planes -- The irons used in these traditional style wooden body planes are Sheffield tapered cutting irons and matching cap irons with a threaded brass boss which I bought for $5 per pair from an antique tool dealer. These irons had been removed from old wooden body planes. My plane bodies are made from a 20 year old yellow birch timber I had been saving for just the right project. The planes are laminated and the soles were made from rosewood. The 9" coffin shaped tall smoother is a York pitch (50 degree bed), and the 24" razee shaped jointer is made to the same pitch and also with a tight mouth. The 15" jack plane is made with a common pitch (45 degree bed) and somewhat more open mouth. All totes have been made about 10% oversize to fit my hands. The 11" scrub plane uses an iron from a Stanley #40 1/2 iron scrub, and the body is made from the beech from a transitional plane body.

I made this wooden router plane from hard maple with Canalete (Cordia) wear strips on the bottom. The shape of this traditional wooden router plane is called an "Old Woman's Tooth".

Shop made bridle plow plane made of rosewood with a maple wedge and a steel skate and depth stop. The irons are traditional plow irons, where the upper portion of each is the same and sized to fit the wedge mortise, but the lower section is reduced to the width of the cutting edge. The back of the iron has a V-groove which is supported by a corresponding V shaped portion of the skate. The fence is a simple bridle fence which clamps to hardwood dowels. The depth stop surrounds the iron, and if necessary slides into a recess in the fence for grooves cut close to the edge of a work piece.

More shop made planes -- Two Krenov inspired smoothing planes made with birch & walnut bodies and rosewood soles. The 8" smoother uses a laminated iron, hard steel forge welded to softer iron and a traditional wedge. The 10" smoother uses a Japanese iron, but cuts on the push stroke. A shoulder plane was made from rosewood and hard maple. The front half of the sole is adjustable to allow the iron to be inserted and removed from the sole of the plane. A simple chisel plane uses an old block plane iron bevel down and bedded at 45 degrees. It was made from a cutoff left over from making one of the other planes.

Round over and chamfer planes -- Shown is a shop made beech chamfer plane which I use to remove the arris, or sharp edge formed where two surfaces meet. It has an adjustable depth stop controlled by the wedge in the front, but I generally have it set to take a very light cut. I use this plane frequently. I recently found this antique chamfer plane which is similar to mine. It is also beech and has a copper backing plate on the depth stop. The cutter appears to be a rabbet plane iron mounted on the skew, and I believe the plane was made by the original owner. I also have a couple of Radi-Planes with chamfer and rounding cutters and a set of Veritas cornering tools which cut chamfers in 4 different sizes.

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