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Stanley Plastic Plane Handles

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MikeG.

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Help me out with this please chaps.

I have recently acquired a Stanley no. 5 which has a (broken) red plastic handle, but an oak(?) knob. Which is likely to have been original to the plane? I suspect the plastic handle has been transferred from elsewhere, as the other plastic handled Stanley I have/ had (it's now got an oak handle), used black plastic.

IMG_5415.jpg


IMG_5416.jpg


IMG_5417.jpg



And here's the knob. What's it likely to be made of?
IMG_5418.jpg
 

Trevanion

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That's Beech, they used it quite a bit on hand planes stained a darker colour to imitate something fancier. I had a Stanley plane off my father that had a plastic knob and a beech tote which was apparently original since he bought it new from a local shop back in the 70s, If I remember rightly the plastic wasn't a solid opaque like the black ones you've got but fairly similar to that red one.
 

MikeG.

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The thing is, I know the black plastic to be authentically Stanley, as I bought the plane new in the 70s (it's a number 4 Handyman). I don't know anything of the origin of this number 5.

They've done a good job making that beech look like oak.
 

Bod

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I would go along with the idea that both knob and handle were factory fit items. Right at the change over point from wooden to plastic handles, if you had a first sold date, then that would be a major dating point.
Agree with beech as the wood, when it's dark like that it's difficult to tell, but Stanley only used beech in th UK.

Bod.
 

MikeG.

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I would go along with the idea that both knob and handle were factory fit items. ........
Interesting. That hadn't occurred to me. I guess this this were the case they'd have been using up stock of the wooden knobs before going over to plastic ones.
 

Droogs

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probably beech with a finish on it The plastic handles were introduced around '67. Stanley did change the plastic at the start of the 70's as the original plastic was designed to withstand extreme cold temperatures without cracking but was found to be not needed in Europe and so a cheaper plastic was used thereafter. Paul Sellers has written a bit on it, can't remember exactly when tho'
 
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MikeG.

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That being the case it's conceivable that this red plastic is the freeze-resistant plastic from '67 to early '70s, and the black plastic is the stuff that superseded it. A late 60s date for the plane would fit pretty well with it being purchased new by my late FIL.
 

Pete Maddex

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I have had Records with one rosewood knob/ tote probably when the rosewood stock was running down.

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AJB Temple

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My very first plane was a Stanley 4 given to me by by father. I still have the plane, box and price tag on it. It was bought by him in 1967 and given to me eventually when I was about 8 or 10 I guess. The knob is beech, with varnish that has crackled. The only way you can tell it is beech is by taking it off and looking at the bottom. The rear handle is plastic, though for many years, ignoramus that I am, I thought it was wood. It is cracked now and I glued it years ago. As it was my dad's plane I originally, I have retained it in that condition. Have to say....it's not a great plane!
 

Bod

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#AJB Temple As you have a dated UK stanley, it would be very helpful if you could put up some detailed photos of the plane to help create a time-line of manufacture.
When did changes happen, both good and bad changes. USA stanleys are very well covered, but UK ones are hardly recorded.

Bod.
 

Jackbequick

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Over here I have seen a couple of Stanley Jack planes with translucent red and solid black plastic and aluminum totes. I have I don't know 30 or 40 jack and a few bench plans stashed hither and thither and I may have a couple of those totes....I'll check if ever I can get to my tool chests again.

As my cabinet-maker father got into his late 80's he didn't seem so concerned on the totes and after his business was deliberately burned down to get hold of the site he had to pay out, uninsured, all the furniture owners who had some quite expensive furniture in for repairs. He owned a very early house in Victoria, it was the only house in Williamstown road when it was all dairy farms there. He bought it at auction for his mother during leave in WW11. She used it as a boarding house and was much loved. Interesting people,mostly tradesmen stayed there for years...so aslo did Neville Shute during the making of 'On the Beach'.

When Dad came to visit us in Sydney he stayed many months longer than planned. When he returned home, which was to be maintained by a relative in a nearby street he found the house ratted, all the old 19th C doors and windows gone....and his tools also. They left the shellac and some stain and some bits of timber. His neighbours maintained "we see nothing", an impossibility. Early Australian furniture was all gone.

I made the place livable and looked after him but he died 3 months later at 92. He left about $10,000 and 13 shares...a sad ending to perhaps the best wood-craftsman this country ever had, certainly at 13 years old he was the best, way ahead of professional tradesman as was proven in competitions....I suppose you'd call him a genius or a prodigy, his work is faultless and beautifully designed. I kept his planes...only two were left (black plastic totes) which he bought after returning and an old coffin plane which he either had stashed somewhere and was missed, or he bought when he returned and found the shell of his home. It's a good plane. Just a little reminiscence inspired by the tote story. It also causes me to recall that in France I have a wood plane at least a metre long.
 

Owd Jockey

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Hi Mike, I have a Type 17 (1942-45) made in England No. 5 Stanley Bailey, the Tote could possibly be Beech, but the Knob certainly is'nt. As this plane was built during the WW11 it could have been made out of anything. It has the characteristic hardened rubber depth adjuster nut. I also have a Type 19 (1948 -61) made in England No 4. Which is definately not Beech but looks like Oak.

My Type 17 (1942-45) made in England No. 5 - I intend "japanning" the bed at a later date, but liked the temporary Gold Hammerite finish
P1040831.JPG


With nearly all of my Vintage planes, either the Tote or the Knob has some residual damage. At the moment I am currently restoring 3 vintage Stanley Bailey Planes all from the very early 20th Century and possibly very late 19th century. I must add that the restoration is not to pristine or concours standard, simply to a working level, as I beleive these are tools and should be used as such.

This is my Type 10 (1907 - 09) Made in the USA No. 7 Stanley Bailey Jointing Plane, an expensive acquisition, but in good condition, I have recently "japanned" the bed and Frog.

P1040832.JPG





This is my favourite plane, which I have yet to use its a Type 8 (1899 - 1902) Made in the USA Stanley Bailey No. 6 Jointing Plane. I have recently "japanned" the bed (but is not shown as well in this photo). The Tote is broken in a few places, but I am reluctant to replace as the name T. Thompson is finely embossed on the Tote. I will try to affect a repair. The wood, as with my other really old planes is probably Rosewood.

P1040833.JPG



P1040836.JPG


My final plane is a Type 11 (1910 - 18) Made in the USA Stanley Bailey No. 4, which I also recently "jappaned". I bought the plane with a missing Knob. This gave me the opportunity to use a small piece of Ivy (yes Ivy!) that I had pulled off an Alder that was felled a few years back following a storm. The ivy was quite thick and I had kept it for just such an occassion. Its not a hardwood, so its not going to be around for ever!.

P1040834.JPG



Of course you can make your handles out of anything you like. I do have a plastic handeled SB3 from the 1980's which still does do a job. As post of you will know there is an excellent site where you can download for free a plan with descriptions on replacing Stanley Bailey Plane handles




My final photo is of a newly made Silver Birch Tote for my No.5 plane alongside a repaired (although I still have to fill a small crack with black Milliput) Rosewood Tote which will go on my very old No.4 Bailey.
P1040835.JPG

Hope this is of some interest. Cheers Alan
 

Bod

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Hi Mike, I have a Type 17 (1942-45) made in England No. 5 Stanley Bailey, the Tote could possibly be Beech, but the Knob certainly is'nt. As this plane was built during the WW11 it could have been made out of anything. It has the characteristic hardened rubber depth adjuster nut. I also have a Type 19 (1948 -61) made in England No 4. Which is definately not Beech but looks like Oak.

My Type 17 (1942-45) made in England No. 5 - I intend "japanning" the bed at a later date, but liked the temporary Gold Hammerite finish
View attachment 91309

With nearly all of my Vintage planes, either the Tote or the Knob has some residual damage. At the moment I am currently restoring 3 vintage Stanley Bailey Planes all from the very early 20th Century and possibly very late 19th century. I must add that the restoration is not to pristine or concours standard, simply to a working level, as I beleive these are tools and should be used as such.

This is my Type 10 (1907 - 09) Made in the USA No. 7 Stanley Bailey Jointing Plane, an expensive acquisition, but in good condition, I have recently "japanned" the bed and Frog.

View attachment 91310




This is my favourite plane, which I have yet to use its a Type 8 (1899 - 1902) Made in the USA Stanley Bailey No. 6 Jointing Plane. I have recently "japanned" the bed (but is not shown as well in this photo). The Tote is broken in a few places, but I am reluctant to replace as the name T. Thompson is finely embossed on the Tote. I will try to affect a repair. The wood, as with my other really old planes is probably Rosewood.

View attachment 91311


View attachment 91312

My final plane is a Type 11 (1910 - 18) Made in the USA Stanley Bailey No. 4, which I also recently "jappaned". I bought the plane with a missing Knob. This gave me the opportunity to use a small piece of Ivy (yes Ivy!) that I had pulled off an Alder that was felled a few years back following a storm. The ivy was quite thick and I had kept it for just such an occassion. Its not a hardwood, so its not going to be around for ever!.

View attachment 91313


Of course you can make your handles out of anything you like. I do have a plastic handeled SB3 from the 1980's which still does do a job. As post of you will know there is an excellent site where you can download for free a plan with descriptions on replacing Stanley Bailey Plane handles




My final photo is of a newly made Silver Birch Tote for my No.5 plane alongside a repaired (although I still have to fill a small crack with black Milliput) Rosewood Tote which will go on my very old No.4 Bailey.
View attachment 91314
Hope this is of some interest. Cheers Alan
As far as I know, the English built Stanley planes don't follow the American Type studies.
The first English Stanley planes, were when Stanley brought out Chapman tools in the early 1930's. The first were copies(almost) of the American planes of the time, then as time progressed the two lines diverged with different changes.
There has been very little work done to attempt any form of "Type" studies on the changes to English, Canadian, or Australian made Stanley tools.
Add to this the huge amount of tools that were imported during the 2nd World War, and the interchangeability of parts, then it is difficult to know just when or where a particular tool was made.
Note the plane in "Sundays haul" topic, that is a Stanley body with a Marples blade, which fits and works well, but is not original to factory spec's.

Indeed, just to muddy the waters, Stanley UK very soon outsourced the castings to Qualcast, hence the faint "Q" frequently seen hidden away on most Stanley castings, and indeed later Record planes.
Hence I fear the similarities in the decline of plane quality, untill recently, when the surviving manufacturer's do seem to have upped their game slightly.

Bod
 

okeydokey

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Hi Bod
Just seen your remarks
I have a Stanley 41/2 made in England with the Q marks, the depth adjuster is bright metal/steel/plated? (not brass) and the nuts that hold the tote and handle (both seem beech) in place are also not brass possibly aluminium. Its a pretty heavy casting good to use.
Although its sort of immaterial any idea when Qualcast made these castings for Stanley? thanks
 

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