If you’ve ever wondered about the history of stanley hand planes, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be covering the history of the company, as well as the design of the lever cap and frog. Also, you’ll find out how modern planes don’t rust.
History of stanley hand planes
The history of Stanley hand planes isn’t all that straight forward. Although some of the earliest planes are dated back to the Civil War, it’s not as simple as stumbling upon a random Stanley wood plank and calling it a day. There are twenty types of planes, and many have subtle differences. Using a proper research tool can help you find the right model for your needs.
One of the most famous planes produced by Stanley is the #7 jointer. However, this iconic tool has seen better days. Originally manufactured in metal, this was a Stanley staple. By the late 1940s, a number of Stanley models were offered in aluminum.
Other notable planes produced by the company included the Miller’s Patent Plow Planes. These seven planes were a blast to use, but they weren’t the sexiest of tools.
The #3 smoothing plane, on the other hand, is a bit more complex. It has a built-in oiler and tilting handles. This plane is 9 inches long and weighs three and a half pounds.
Lever cap and frog designs
Stanley bench planes are known for their bright orange paint. But did you know that some Stanley bench planes were actually made with a Bailey design?
Bailey was making planes in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1860s, but had a short-lived career. In 1869, Stanley acquired the patent rights for Bailey’s design. That might have been why Leonard Bailey became pissed off at Stanley.
It was Bailey’s idea to include a banjo spring on the back side of the lever cap. The spring is inserted in a recess in the back of the lever cap and secured by a single rivet.
This banjo spring, however, is not adjustable. Some people believe that a buttress slot cut into the cap iron is the best way to adjust the fork position. However, in this case, Stanley instructions state that you should tighten the lever cap screw if the iron won’t hold when the cam is in place.
In the early 1900s, SW lever caps were no longer blued or stamped with the SW logo. Instead, they are now embossed with “STANLEY”.
Although Stanley never made the exact same planes as Bailey, their lever caps and frog designs were almost the same. Besides, the SW lever caps had a symmetrical key hole, while Bailey’s design had a kidney-shaped hole.
Chips in the bottom casting
If you’re considering purchasing a Stanley hand plane, you might want to take a closer look at its bottom casting. Chips in the bottom casting can diminish its value. Whether you find a few chips or a whole mess, it’s important to know what to look for so you can determine if a replacement is necessary.
The bottom casting is usually found at the toe or heel of the plane. This is the area that most often suffers from chips. However, you should always check the entire plane to ensure it’s free from defects. It’s also a good idea to inspect any other potential problems, such as scratches and cracks in the wood.
Although the bottom casting is not the only feature on a Stanley hand plane, it is a common point of failure. You should consider replacing the plane if you find any of the above defects. Typically, they are minor and not worth repairing.
During the early twentieth century, Stanley was on a roll. They were able to afford to make mass-produced, affordable planes for the masses. While they may have failed to keep up with the competition, they remained the go-to company for metal bench planes.
Modern hand planes won’t rust
Keeping your Stanley hand plane clean and free of rust is vital for preserving the beauty of your tool. The good news is, it’s not difficult. But, it can take some time and work.
You can protect your Stanley plane from rust by using a brass brush wheel to get the rust off the fasteners. Another alternative is to use a water-based rust inhibitor spray. This prevents rust from forming for at least a year.
If you’re planning to keep your plane in a tool bag, it’s a good idea to wrap it in a piece of wood. The wood will also help protect the plane from other tools. Alternatively, you can place it on a shelf. Lastly, keep it out of direct contact with other tools.
For larger projects, you can purchase a WoodRiver hand plane. It has a sturdy, beautifully-crafted handle and a blade made of high-quality steel.
In addition, you can use your orbit sander to get rid of any rust. Just make sure to apply even pressure while you sand.