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Lowering the tone

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Dickymint

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Hi,

I'm afraid I might lower the tone a little.

I would like to buy a block plane without spending mega bucks.

I have seen 2 that I would like some feed back on and also ask for suggestions and little guidance.

The 2 models are:

Stanley Semi adjustable id# 1-12-220 rrp £30.97 &

Irwin Record 6"-1 5/8" with adjustable mouth @ £34.98

The Stanley seemed better finished but the Record had an adjustable mouth.

I didn't have chance to check the soles for flatness or the edge for squareness. I don't mind spending 1/2 to 1 hour or so tuning it but equally don't want to buy a "complete pup".

Do you have any feed back for me or any other models to recommend?

-With tin hat firmly on his head-

Dicky Mint :)
 

MikeW

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Hi Dicky Mint,

Seems like you were able to personally to inspect them? Assuming that each would require about the same time to tune to your expectations, I would choose the Record with the adj. mouth.

Later you could also elect to fit either with a Hock replacement blade if you find the stock blade unsuitable--which I don't think you will, depending on what you do with the plane.

IF the sole needs flattening it doesn't take but a few minutes. Just make sure the one you purchase allows the blade to seat firmly else you'll definitely want to file away there too.
 

Alf

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How d'you feel about old tools? :-k You might not save much, if any, money, but it should start out a better tool to tune up than the brand new ones currently available. Just a thought.

Cheers, Alf
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Dicky wrote:
I would like to buy a block plane without spending mega bucks.
and Alf replied:
How d'you feel about old tools?
I agree. My best (small) block plane is a 90 year old Stanley #65 knuckle joint. I certainly paid less for this than 30 quid (or the Dollar equivalent) on eBay. And you have better believe me when I say that there is no contest which is the better plane! With an aftermarket Hock blade (which is a later upgrade - the original blade is still better than the current new crop), the #65 is as good as one would ever need a small block plane to be. For comparison, I have a bronze LN #102 (also low angle) and, as good as this plane is, it cannot hold a candle to the #65.

There are other great vintage block planes just waiting for you to clasp to your bosom. The Stanley #60-1/2, for example, is another classic block plane. There are versions of this made by several manufacturers, such as Craftsman, Miller's Falls, Union and Sargent. The three criteria you must specify are good condition, an adjustable mouth and a low cutting angle (later you can add a high angle blade to this).

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Alf

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Hence my follow up comment which wasn't quoted... :wink: Looking round the usual suspects, there are a couple of possiblities out there that would be just about the same cost as new. I know which I'd prefer... I've no idea what the Ebay situation is though.

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

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Just check the adjustible mouth over carefuly. My first such plane, a record was horribly wonky, I spent hours adjusting the bottom for flat, and then did a final adjust to the mouth plate, and the whole infeed alignment fell into a hole in the machining. Stanley seemed better on that point at the time.
 

Dickymint

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Thank you ALL for your responses so far I very much appreciate your feed back......

MikeW Posted:

Seems like you were able to personally to inspect them?
Hi Mike, well, yes, sort of by carefully removing them from their packages. Should I go down the new route, I'll have to do a full plane strip down and check for flatness on one of the "in store" B&Q work benches , if I can be that brazen! :D

Alf Posted:

How d'you feel about old tools?
Alf, I hadn't given them any consideration up until now. 'have done an Ebay search and the ones for sale an currently they seem to be "very old", 50 yrs +, should there be any "watch out for this" points? :?:

Derek Cohen (Perth, Oz)

I agree. My best (small) block plane is a 90 year old Stanley #65 knuckle joint.
There are other great vintage block planes just waiting for you to clasp to your bosom. The Stanley #60-1/2, for example, is another classic block plane. There are versions of this made by several manufacturers, such as Craftsman, Miller's Falls, Union and Sargent. The three criteria you must specify are good condition, an adjustable mouth and a low cutting angle (later you can add a high angle blade to this).

Regards from Perth

Derek
Hi Derek, thanks for the steer.

I think I'll have a root ( :wink: ) over ebay again. (yes I know what the Oz meaning of "root" is... I was in a retail shop at "Hillarys" looking at the wet suits when the young lady shop assistant asked "if she could help", no I replied "I'm just having a root". :shock: She looked at me really shocked and walked away. When our OZ resident friends heard me use the expression they fell about laughing... :oops:

PeterPan Posted:

Just check the adjustible mouth over carefuly. My first such plane, a record was horribly wonky, I spent hours adjusting the bottom for flat, and then did a final adjust to the mouth plate, and the whole infeed alignment fell into a hole in the machining. Stanley seemed better on that point at the time.
Hi PeterPan, I've not dismantled the record, I'm not sure how this part could be wonky as the adjustable plate seemed/looked to fit very precisely into the front part of the planes' sole.

Cheers All,
Dicky.
 

Dickymint

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Thanks for all your input chaps, I went out to B&Q to get some Ply and whilst having a tour of the tools section decided to look again at the planes first mentioned. There were 6 Record's on the shelf and un packing each one in turn, I didn't realise how much difference there could be in some of the basic function;-
On 4 of the 6 the minimum mouth width seemed to be 3mm 'ish
and as for the flatness of the soles you probably can guess.
But one of them seemed reasonably flat across the length of the bed, the sides were flat & square and the bed was only slightly concave across its width, so I'm now the proud owner of my first (!) block plane.
I will keep an eye out on E bay for an old gem at the right price.
Thanks once again chaps,
Happy fettling!
DickyMint
 
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