Warning: DO NOT image search the namesake of this blog post.
For a while now, I’ve been rehabilitating a Type 15 Stanley No. 5 smooth bottom bench plane. After a couple of hours of work, it’s as pretty as I’m going to make it.
Other than my Veritas scrub plane, there are officially no modern bench planes in my tool chest anymore. I really like the lighter weight of the antique planes (as compared to their modern counterparts). If one of the modern makers made new versions of these lighter planes to the precision specs they do for their Bedrock copies, I would be all over it.
This No. 5 is intended to be a worker and, suffice to say, it’s a bit of a harlequin. The sole and frog are original. As is the cap iron. The blade, however, is salvaged from my Type 17 Stanley No. 4 smoothing plane (which now has a Veritas replacement blade and is my main smoothing plane).
The lever cap (seen above) is scrounged from another Stanley No. 4 (a Type 10, I think). The lever cap that goes with this Type 15 exists, I just haven’t cleaned it up yet. It has a chip at one corner so I’m in no rush to expend that much elbow grease.
The knob and tote are replacements as well. I source wooden replacement parts for planes from Greg Droz. He does a great job and his prices are very reasonable. They both fit first try without any fettling.
The sole of the plane is in very good shape and didn’t take long to de-rust or flatten. This is a jack plane so I didn’t obsessed too much. In fact, I only took it to 80 grit (which, admittedly, had worn to probably 120 grit by the end) on the granite slab. There is a very slight hollow around the mouth that can be seen below. If the spirit ever moves me, I may dress the sole a bit more. Maybe to 220 grit and perfectly square on the shooting side.
But I now have no place in my tool chest for my well-loved WoodRiver bench planes (No. 4, No. 4 1/2 and No. 5 1/2). They have served me well but I’d be happy to part with the No. 4 for $100 and the No. 4 1/2 and No. 5 1/2 for $125 each. UPDATE: ALL THREE PLANES SOLD.
If interested, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I can send pictures. They are all in used but otherwise perfect condition.
This is the first of a few sets of extra tools that I plan to sell off. I am not a tool collector, per se. But I do have some extra tools, which are pretty much only good for cluttering the shop and procrastinating when it’s time to sharpen.
I had the scrap wood and parts to make a wooden fore plane a few years ago so I did as I needed something for when I work with rougher lumber. I was blown away at how much I liked the lightness of the wooden plane. I also have an older No 4 Stanley (between the two wars) and a Lie Nielsen. Again, I prefer the lighter Stanley over the heavier Lie Nielsen. I’m a bit surprised as well that a modern manufacturer hasn’t tried to make a plane as light if not lighter than those 100 year old Stanleys. I think there is an unexploited market opportunity there.