07 December 2014

Stanley mileage

December,  time to post a number of unpublished posts and eliminate the others.  #1 from January.
After I had questioned the unused,  pristine state of Zyliss vises in a post,  I thought it would be fair to also look at second hand Stanley planes.
Here the opinions diverge,  according to some second hand planes are often usable as such,  where others consider those planes only usable after a drastic overhaul.
For the planes I bought, the soles were definitely more flat than the old ironing irons I have. Looking at the plane irons I find them mostly long,  with much, maybe even all, sharpening length left.  Only the shortish #10 blades, starting with maybe 1" of usable blade, show worn blades.
So,  to make it scientific I did an ebay search and looked at the first 5 #10 planes. I did found 1 worn blade.  The four others give the impression that one or more ownerships are good for an average of maybe 1/2" of wear.

The end of life blade,  the blade is the small shadow at the bottom.  Seeing the iron poorly aligned I checked to see if there are different iron widths.  No just one width,  the #10 is similar to a #5 and the #10½ to a #4.

I once nearly bought a second hand wooden plane with iron sole and HSS blade, made for harder stuff like plastic. Upon searching I found a saved picture of it.  The blade was completely used and buying a new iron would have more than doubled the price. On the other hand maybe there were still years of use when using it on softer stuff like plywood and welding the blade back to length with an extension.  And maybe not on aesthetics,  but technically it is close to an infill plane.  Anyway this is mileage although most of it could come from abusive grinding.