Plane Tune-up 2 repost
First published June 2, 2010:
I finally received the plane I won on eBay. The seller mailed it quickly after the auction ended, but due to the Memorial Day weekend I didn’t get it until over a week later. The “unboxing” went well, although the box itself was a bit ruffled. The corner was broken out and I could see the end of the plane. The only padding was a paper bag. Fortunately, the plane was okay.
I was able to quickly determine that it’s a Type 11, my first choice in Stanley plane types. The three patent dates mean Type 11 or 12; the low knob and small adjuster nut indicate a Type 11. A quick look showed no serious defects, no cracks, no missing parts.
Given the amount of crud on the plane, it was obvious it hadn’t been cleaned in quite a while. It had been used, however, as the handle, knob, and blade adjustment nut were clean. Whoever owned it before didn’t care much about appearances! The blade was still pretty long, so it hadn’t been sharpened a bunch. Good news.
Taking the lever cap off was easy. If the lever cap is difficult to get off, it means either something is frozen up or it was put on too tight. Too tight often means someone tightened the lever cap with the screw instead of the lever (not a good thing). The frog attach screws also came out easily. Things were still looking good.
Wow! Lots of crud around and under the frog; apparently, it hadn’t been removed in quite a while. Not a problem; actually a good sign. Why good? Many people tend to overtighten screws and/or use the wrong size screwdriver, which can mess up screw heads. These are in great shape.
Next, the blade. If it’s too rusted on the non-beveled side, it won’t be useable without lots of work.
Both blade and chipbreaker look pretty good. I see no major pitting on the blade near the edge, although it’s a little hard to see until it’s cleaned up some more. The other end of the blade is bent, but I should be able to fix that. The chipbreaker looks great. From what I understand, the black on the underside is from the heat-treating process. Usually, it’s not this clean and consistent. Another good sign.
Here’s a photo of all the parts. Everything looks great and I think this plane will clean up very nicely to make a great user.
I was amazed at how much crud came out of the plane, so I included it in the photo. As for the rest of the parts, I’ll discuss how I clean them up in future posts. When the plane is complete, I’ll be selling it on eBay. My current #5 has been with me for a long time and I don’t need another one.
Update: I never sold the plane. This plane now lives in my home shop. My older #5 lives in my toolbox, which travels back and forth to school where I teach.