22 March 2010

Stanley 13-050 Combination Plane

I was hunting for the Record 043 plough plane based on the description of the Cornish Workshop "The #043 is one of those planes that everyone who tries it loves immediately".  But after seeing the #043 come and go through my ceiling on ebay UK,  I finally got a bottom price hit on my parallel track: a Stanley 13-050 Combination Plane.
For the Stanley 13-050 the description is "A modern abomination ... , but apparently can work rather well.", but no complaints, compared to a plough plane, it has more blades and can do more.

 As I expected, the Stanley 13-050, being a last generation model combination plane, has nearly everything covered and is well thought over.
  • The handle of the plane is in plastic (that's the abomination part of the plane): lighter and warmer than metal, more resilient than wood and allows for a better price on ebay
  • Symmetrical: the depth gauge and the fence can be placed on both sides and the spur is also on both sides
  • The spurs are just depth adjustable knives, in my case rounded (for safety?)
  • Depth gauge and fence are held with two rods,  increasing the stability of the setup. 
  • The extra beading fence (I first thought it was a faulty depth gauge,  as it can't pass the skate, being too large) allows to make a clean beading on a tongue side of a tongue and groove
  • ... 
To make it more complete, a picture of beaded tongue and groove joints used in a front door.  In this case the door was made with a standard router.

Fitting plough cutters under 6 mm seemed impossible,  but after (reading the manual and) removing the sliding section the smallest plough cutters ( 1/8", 4mm and 3/16") can be set on a single skate.
I have also found my next challenge: clamping, as I need to clamp a workpiece with 2 full length surfaces standing free to accept the skates and the fence.

Receiving my 13-050 I was surprised to see it was made of cast iron.  Most probably I had seen pictures of the 12-050 model sold on some second hand list,  and that model looked like made of plate iron,  but maybe it is the combination of square lines and a fully finished surface.  I tried to confirm this by checking on internet,  but no luck yet the internet seems empty regarding that model.  If confirmed, you can't call that model a boat anchor as it must be much lighter.
What I did find, was an example of a Stanley 13-030 plough plane on ebay that looks as if  the body and the fence of the plane is made with extruded light metal profiles.

I also found a different model packaged in the same 13-050 box with a light brown handle on the cover.  This was an unused model, looking like it was produced a few months ago,  with a dark brown handle, still in plastic but with a more natural touch.