Buying Good Tools Cheap

Funny – when I started writing this, I was thinking that in the summary I would say that my next hand plane will be a Lie Nielsen, but I think I have changed my own mind. After Stanley’s initial success with Leonard Bailey’s patents and the acceptance of metal bodied planes by America’s working craftsmen Stanley added new designs and innovative models to their line of metal bodied planes including many different rabbet planes, dado planes, compass planes and other specialty planes in addition to standard bench plane lines.

All I know is I sold the Type 2 on eBay for $175.00 while the Type 13 commonly goes for $40.00. With the economy the way it is today, if I had an old collectible Stanley plane, I’d sell it and buy a later version with a little bit more bells and whistles for a quarter of the price and fill up my truck with a tank of gas and take my wife out for dinner with the remainder of the money.

Both, as someone who uses hand tools and power tools, at home and at work on a daily basis. The frog is the part of the plane that attaches to the top side of the base and provides an angled seat for the iron (blade), as well as a mechanism to adjust the depth and lateral positioning of the iron. Until I had one I couldn’t understand the cost difference of the Lee Valley and Lie-Nielsen brands, but having one in your hand you can see and feel the difference in quality.

I still use a planer and router, but I find a jointer plane is actually more accurate. Craftsmen of 100 or so years ago made do just fine with the planes that were available. The correct way to the throat adjuster screw is NOT to do as shown but is to remove the tote and the hardware for it and use the correctly sharpened, precisely fitting screw-driver whose grip comes outside of the rear of the plane sole, giving a direct turning moment and not an offset.

You can get a starter set of quality older planes (I prefer the pre-war Stanley’s), the MK11, and a couple stones for what you pay for 1 high end plane. They are often worth twice what a standard Stanley plane would cost from the same era, if all other factors such as condition are equal. But if you are on the West Coast and want old tools, I wouldn’t recommend eBay one bit. The old Stanley 60 1/2 was one of the first planes I ever bought and I still have it under my bench now. You can buy vintage if you want, been there and done that, but I feel that you should buy the best that you can afford. Some prefer bevel up or bevel down but everyone finds the new planes a joy to use.

I cant offer a quantifiable reason for everyone to purchase these planes over the other choices, but I can tell you that the entire construction process takes place in the USA, which is important to me. Foundry is located in Lewiston, Maine. Feel free to tell me/us about your favorite planes no matter the brand for all the various tasks that come up. Thanks everyone.

Whether or not a beaten up 100 year old plane will perform remarkably after hours and hours of tlc, I believe the experience of taking the time to get it even somewhat functional is worth what you learn about the tool and how it operates. Whiteforge has a great collection of forged and antique tools with a vintage industrial age sense of style. I’ve had this problem with a few planes and ended up spot sanding the highs through repeated sighting against a straight edge. The weight of each plane follows its measurements, which is in turn followed by the years the plane was offered.