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Hand Planes Dedicated to the galoot's favorite tool - the hand plane.

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Old 08-03-2009, 03:56 AM
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Default Old Planes: Worth It?

are these old planes worth anything? I live very close, so I thought I would ask. Also if someone wanted them, I would help them get them.
antique wooden block wood plane

Last edited by NedYoung; 08-03-2009 at 04:38 PM. Reason: It'll be easier to find the good info in this thread.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Craigslist finding

They're not really worth anything. These are common smoothers probably from the later part of the 19th century. Nothing special and from the pictures they're in rough shape. Common on Ebay all the time back when I used to be active on there. Firewood. I had many when I was buying and selling antique tools up until a few years ago, and they would sit on the table all day at $10, and no one was interested.

They would make a good project, if you had the time, to restore back into service, but the mouth would be too wide for anything other than rough work. And there are many planes much better suited for fine shavings. Some put a radius on the iron and used these as scrub planes, like a poor man's Stanley #40.

The big problem with old coffin smoothers is the wear on their sole in front of the mouth, it can't press down on the surface, leading to tear out. And because of the shape of the throat, if you run the sole over a jointer to flatten it, the mouth opens wider the more you take off. Mike Dunbar wrote a really good book on restoring and using old toolsrestoring and using old tools which I think might have had instructions for an insert to repair the plane's sole and tighten the mouth. But even so, these planes often can't compare to a good metal plane for planning figured wood. The best being a infill smoother, such as Norris used to make.

I still have well over a hundred planes, mostly a variety of pre-WW2 Stanley, but also plenty of wooden planes. What drives the prices for the wooden planes are (1) conditional, of course (2) the maker, especially from the 18th century (3) type of plane (4) the profile, for moulding planes a complex profile is worth more than a hollow or round or bead plane (5) the profile's width, especially like an extra wide crown moulding plane (6) the materials used, for example the same maker of plow planes might have a basic model on beach with boxwood arms, or all boxwood, or then rosewood, and at the peak were a few made in ebony with ivory arms and trim.

Trivia, I was on Ebay nearly from the beginning, buying a Stanley #1 plumb bob with the reel on my computer from work, before I even owned a computer at home. Later, my user id was "OLDTOOLS" which obviously today would be impossible to get. In fact I also spent a few years on the OLDTOOLS listserv through the mid 1990's, discussing everything about collecting and using handtools. I stopped buying and selling on Ebay at least 5 years ago, and my ex-wife was using my id, selling Longaberger baskets. I should've made her create her own id, but she wanted to use it because it had a high rating. So she kept the id when she $$$ cashed out divorcing me nearly 3 years ago, and now the seller OLDTOOLS on ebay no longer has anything to do with selling OLDTOOLS.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Craigslist finding

Wow. Wdwrkr, I learned a lot before breakfast today. Thanks!

How about we change the thread title to something that will help people find it. I'm thinking "Old Planes: Worth It?" or something like that.

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Craigslist finding

Quote:
Originally Posted by NedYoung View Post

Wow. Wdwrkr, I learned a lot before breakfast today. Thanks!
I agree, very informative post. Thanks Wdwrkr.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Craigslist finding

Quote:
Originally Posted by NedYoung View Post
Wow. Wdwrkr, I learned a lot before breakfast today. Thanks!

How about we change the thread title to something that will help people find it. I'm thinking "Old Planes: Worth It?" or something like that.

Ned
Sounds good to me. I figured they was worthless, but then I had to ask.
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