This little plane is identical to the #100, with its squirrel tail handle, but differs in that its sole is convex both toe to heel (12" radius) and side to side (7/8" radius). The plane was advertised as being useful for model and pattern makers.
This plane, as well as the #100 and #101, has a small, circular depression, in which to place your index finger during use, at the toe. It also has a hole drilled in its handle so that it can be hung on a nail.
Stanley actively solicited ideas from tradesman, and
others, for tools that
they could make. This plane is an example of one such plane,
and in an early
Stanley advertisement for the plane, they specifically
mention this fact:
modelmaker's convex plane fills
Like many other
Same style of plane as the #100 and #100 1/2. However, this plane has no rear handle like the two previous. The plane was designed for household use, and lighter work. It was originally sold in toy tool chests, but gained such popularity that it was soon advertised as a craftsman's tool.
The earliest model of the plane has the top of its cutter rounded in a slight arc from side to side. The later model has the top of its cutter finished in an angular fashion, like those of the common bench planes. Many of these planes have been modified by users to do custom tasks, with the most common modification being its conversion to a bull nose function, similar to the #101 1/2.
This plane is japanned over its entire main casting, except for the sole. The lever cap is also japanned, but starting around 1941 it was painted red. The last models of the plane are painted grey and have a red lever cap, and very much resemble the Millers Falls' version of the plane.
Many manufacturers made knock-offs of this plane, with Sargent&Co. having cranked out a load of them under their model number 104, which is usually found cast into the tool right behind the cutter. Another company even made an aluminum version of this tool, probably trying to cash-in on Stanley's incrediblely successful aluminum plane products. Er, on second thought, probably not.
This is a very scarce plane, which was never offered in any of Stanley's tool catalogs, but was offered in the catalogs of the major tool dealers in the United States and England. In fact, it's in England where most of these little guys are found.
The plane is nothing but a bull nose version of the #101, with one very important difference - there is a small finger rest cast into the bridging member of the casting that spans the width of the plane, forward of the cutter, giving the plane the appearance of Fudgy the Whale sticking his tongue out, when viewed from the side. This is very important to remember, if you are a collector, since the scum of the human gene pool will grind the front of the #101 off, and try to pass it off as an original example. Would have been a nice try, except that the plane doesn't measure up to the length of a true #101 1/2.
This is a cheap (both price and construction) block plane, with no adjustment mechanism. A featureless cutter sits over a raised, inclined projection of the bottom casting. A rod spans the side of the plane, under which a lever cap is secured. The lever cap has a large metal wheel on its underside, which, when turned, puts downward pressure on the cutter, directly below it. The casting that receives this wheel, underneath the lever cap, is sometimes broken. If it is, don't worry, this is a common and cheap enough tool that you can find another. But, I think they are junk, so why not trash it or give it to your dog as a chew toy, instead?
There is no front knob, but there is a nice circular depression in which you can place your index finger during use. The plane is japanned over the entire main casting, except for the sole. Later examples of the tool can be found with a grey paint on the lever caps.
The first model of the plane has a solid lever cap, whereas the later model has an opening in the area where it engages the rod. Who cares? They're both junk.
This is the same plane as the #102, but it has a cheesy lever adjustment mechanism. This mechanism is held captive in the raised projection mentioned in the #102 description. The lever grips grooves machined into the underside of the cutter. Like the #102, a circular depression is cast into the toe of the plane to provide a finger rest. The iron is pitched at 20 degrees.
The first model of this plane, illustrated here, is a bit different - it has a turned, wooden (fruitwood) front knob that screws onto a thread boss of the main casting. The knob is often replaced, missing, or split. It has "103" cast into the plane, not embossed (raised numbers), at the heel. The iron has the company name stamped in an arch at the heel of the iron, and directly below that is the 1876 patent date. This model of the plane is rather scarce and is collectible, but it's still a piece of junk when compared to the better block planes, equipped with all the bells and whistles.
This is the first in a series (interrupted though it is) of cheaper bench planes, which were aimed at manual training and home handymen. This, and the #105, have steel bottoms, while the others in the series have wooden bottom. The steel bottom design is much thinner than the cast Bailey bottoms. Thus, they are lighter in weight than the corresponding sizes of the Baileys. One of the later catalog references to them states that the planes are practically unbreakable and that they are particularly useful for outdoor and rough work.
The bottoms are a composite construction. There is a U-shaped main portion, which corresponds to the main casting of a cast iron Bailey, onto which are rivetted a piece forward of the mouth, to carry the knob, and piece behind the mouth, to carry the 'frog' and the tote. The piece behind the mouth has four projections aranged in a square. The two projections nearest the mouth are shorter than those farthest from the mouth. Both are 'bevelled' so that they can receive the backside of the iron. These projections are cast iron and are not adjustable; if any of them are cracks or broken, you're pretty much S.O.L. trying to fix them unless you're good at welding. Between the projections and running to the heel of the plane is a hump on the rivetted piece. Rosewood is used for the tote and knob, and the tote on this plane is unique in that it has a concave bottom to fit over the aforementioned hump.
The unmistakable lever cap has a Liberty Bell, with the number "76", cast into it. The reason why, is left as an exercise for the reader. The planes are often referred to as "Liberty Bells" by the tool collecting boys. Again, the reason why is left as an exercise for the reader.
The lever cap is of the common cheaper style, where it's activated by a thumb screw and sits under a rod, peened into the cheeks of the plane. The lever cap screw is cast with heavy knurling about it. The screw is sometimes japanned and sometimes nickel plated (it's more often japanned), with the lever cap entirely japanned.
The cutter is adjustable for depth by means of a two-pronged lever held captive between the projections that the iron rests upon. On the business end of the lever is a pin-like projection, which engages a depression in the bottom of the cap screw. Thus, this plane's cap screw is different from that of the Bailey design, so you should check that it's proper. The screw is much smaller than the Bailey's, and has a noticeable depression on the slotted side. There is no lateral adjustment mechanism.
Check that the cap iron is original. Since the tool has its own cheaper mechanism for adjusting the set, it also has its own cap iron, which isn't slotted like it is for the Bailey patent planes.
The planes are very rugged, and there is little that can go wrong with them, from a design standpoint. However, most of them suffered harsh treatment, and show it, usually with cracked totes and pitted soles. Check the adjustment lever, and its linkages, for breakage.
Same as the #104, except that it is a jack size plane.
This was a very popular block plane. It is like the #102, except it's longer. But, it's still a cheap piece of junk when compared to Stanley's other block planes. There is no adjustment mechanism provided on the plane, and proper irons have backsides that are without any notches; i.e. they are featureless and flat.
The first and second model, pictured here, of the plane are vary scarce and collectible. These two models have a fancy, floral cast lever cap, which sort of resembles a shoe-buckle. A small lever cap wheel (four-pronged and cast of brass on the first model, knurled and cast of iron on the later models) activates the lever cap. The lever cap is held captive by the rod, which screws into the left check of the plane. Since the cap is so delicate, it is often found broken either where it pivots on the rod or back where the tightening wheel threads into it.
By the early 1880's, the plane took on a more conventional appearance, losing its Victorian look. Because the of the lever cap's fragility it was no longer held captive to the plane, and lost its intricate design save for a six or five pointed star cast into it until the early 1890's. The lever cap from then on was featureless, making a dull plane even duller. Sometimes, the later lever cap is so badly damaged that the tightening wheel can no longer place sufficient pressure on the iron to keep it set. Thus, it's possible to find these planes with crude repairs and ingenious means to hold the iron in place, with one of the most common being the removal of the lever cap altogether in favor of a simple wooden wedge that's driven under the cross rod. Seems kinda retro, recalling the days of old when wooden wedges held irons in place, but it actually works.
The front knob is often replaced on the earliest models, since it is friction fit inside a raised boss in the bottom casting. Many guys solved the problem of the knob falling out by drilling a hole through the main casting and then securing the knob with a screw. The first model of the plane is the rarest of all types, and has a distinct boat-shape to it. It's a nice looking plane, albeit very fragile - the aforementioned breakage to the lever cap is most common, followed by cracks in the cheeks and about the mouth.
The problem of the front knob falling out of the plane was solved by screwing it directly onto a raised thread boss cast into the main casting. Planes with this feature have rosewood knobs until after WWII, at which time they became stained hardwood.
Because the plane has no adjustment features, other than your setting the iron by hand, the iron's backside is flat. Any holes or grooves in the backside mean it's a replacement. The iron can often be found mushroomed at the top due to its being set by a hammer in a manner like wooden planes are set.
Be sure to check where the lever cap's tightening screw threads into the lever cap for any sign of crack in the tapped boss. Also, check the lever cap about the area where it rests under the rod (that spans the side of the plane) for any signs of cracks; on the later models this part of the lever cap is somewhat fragile due to the void cast in the lever cap.
In the humble (hah!) opinion of the author, this is one of the finest tools ever to have been unleashed on the public from New Britain, Connecticut. For the longest time, the plane labored in relative obscurity among a cult of those adroit in the fine points of scraping. It used to be that these things sat unloved at tool events and auctions, and one almost ducked for cover when asking $75 for one. However, a popular scratch n' sniff magazine prominently featured the plane on the cover of an issue, and the prices of the things have never been the same. Everybody wants one, and once you use one, you'll see why. Hey, my life isn't complete without one, and I gotta have one - press here to order.
The tool is nothing but the #12 configured like a #4 smoothing plane. It has the typical rosewood knob and tote like those found on the Bailey bench planes, and it is gripped and pushed just like the bench planes are. Optional cutters could be purchased to turn the plane into a toothing plane; the toothing cutters were available in 22, 28, and 32 teeth per inch. These same cutters also fit the #12.
The earliest model has a bead at the bottom of its front knob. The blades on these first models have the top edge beveled at both corners, probably to spare the workman's hand/knuckles/fingers should his grip ever slip and slam into the blade (this same blade can also be found on the earlier #12's). These blades are not common at all, and they were probably soon dropped in favor of ones with a straight edge along both short dimensions (across the width) of the blade for the reason that some folks like to have both ends of the blade with a burr to be at the ready when one edge goes dull.
The earliest models do not have the number cast into them. They also have the patent date (8/31/58) stamped into the brass adjusting nut closest to the tote. The astute reader will note that the patent date on the nut is nearly some 30 years earlier than the supposed year this plane was introduced. Since the patents expired by the time this plane was offered in the catalog, it seems odd that Stanley would put this nut on the #112. Perhaps they were doing it to intimidate would be copiers, ignorant of patent law, as a warning, but it's more likely that they were just using up old stock since the same nut can be found on the #12's produced during this time. It may be possible that Stanley produced the plane prior to 1885, perhaps 10 years earlier (catalogs and production dates were many times out of synchronization) while the patent was still applicable.
Look at the spewage for the #12 for things that can be damaged on this plane. In addition, check the area of casting, from the sole, where the handle rests. There is a rather fragile extension to the main casting here, which sometimes can be found broken. Never buy one with a high knob of the style found on the bench planes - they only came with the low knob (although some models have a taller than usual low knob that's unique to this plane).
Strangely, many of the earlier planes (say up to WWI) have an unusually thin coat of japanning, making it common for the planes to be found with their finish peeling or blistering. Maybe someone in the #112 department was taking home bottles of japanning to paint the town black?
You would think that the two other Stanley circular planes would have satisfied Stanley, but no, they had to come up with another design. This one probably arose from the need to compete with Leonard Bailey's better Victor design, the #20, where the adjustment of the front and rear portion of the sole occurred in unison via a single adjusting knob.
This plane has the typical thin steel sole attached to the main casting by dovetailed keys (the earliest design) or screws (later design to solve the problem of the sole breaking free). A large, mushroom-shaped knob, located on the front of the plane, adjusts the flexible sole by raising a screw that is attached to the forward pivoting arm. This arm is connected to a gear, located on the left of the main casting, which, in turn, drives another gear that is connected to the rear arm. Thus, both portions of the sole are adjusted simultanously. Later models have graduations machined into the gears to help set the plane to a particular curvature.
The earliest models of the plane have a japanned lever cap with a fancy nickel plated screw. The lever cap sits into two slots on either side of it. Depth adjustment of the cutter is done by a side wheel (on the right) that activates a clever sliding section that's machined into the bed. The front knob is also decoratively cast and nickel plated; it's embossed "STANLEY RULE AND LEVEL CO." in a circular fashion, with "PATENTED SEPTEMBER 25, 1877" inside the previous embossing, followed by a Greek key pattern inside the patent date. Both the front and rear arms are straight. There is no lateral adjustment mechansim.
Later planes have the typical Bailey style adjustments. The plane's main casting was redesigned to accomodate the full features of the bench plane design - the brass depth adjustment screw, the lateral adjustment lever, and the slotted lever cap. The rear arm of the plane is curved, whereas the front arm is straight, just like the earlier models.
There is a scarce later variant of this plane, where it has the full Bailey patented features as well as a highly decorative nickel plated front knob. This knob has a four-lobed decoration cast into it, and was often used on the planes that Stanley made under contract for hardware firms such as Keen Kutter.
Check the linkages on the sole for any signs of stress tears. Also check the area where the sole is dovetailed to the main casting for any cracks. Make sure the grip for the rear hand (behind the cutter) is present and secured tightly - many of these planes have had their grip screws stripped off or are missing the grip altogether.
Also check the slots in the main casting where the old style lever cap engages the main casting - this area is prone to chipping and cracking. For working purposes, make sure the sole adjusting screw isn't stripped (adjust the sole through its entire range) and that the cutter depth adjustment wheel moves the plate up and down freely (remove the iron to inspect it). Check under the front knob for any signs of repair to it, where it fits onto the threaded rod that raises/lowers the front arm. While inspecting this area, check the main casting itself, right behind the adjuster, since some of the planes break here and are welded back together.
Adjust the iron up and down with it in the plane. The cap irons are unique to this plane, and they can be found with cap irons taken from a standard #3. The slot in the cap iron is located higher up on the compass planes than it is on the bench planes. If a #3 cap iron is used on this plane, it's impossible to get a satisfactory set on the iron.
I don't really like this plane for the reason that its sole can go out of set during use. The same knob that's used to adjust the sole is also used to grip during planing. So, it's easy to change the adjustment of the sole. Stanley recognized this problem, and provided the later planes with a set screw that tightens the knob after the sole has been set. This screw sits just forward of the knob and is received by the main casting, which is split so that it can pinch the knob. The earliest models do not have this screw. Despite my dislike of the plane, others didn't - it's probably (in my experience) the most numerous of the four compass planes that Stanley sold, the #13, #20, #20 1/2, and #113.
I love this plane, not because it's a good one to use, but because of its description in the catalogs - it was advertised as being "boy proof."
The plane was designed for use in manual training and rough work. It has a pressed steel bottom, and has only three separate parts to it - the cap, the bottom, and the cutter. All screws are captive to the plane.
There are two circular cutouts, one on each side of the plane, that are a cheap substitute for the Hand-y grip, which is found on the better block planes.
The plane is finished with a thin black paint, which often is found peeling. The embossing at the toe, both "STANLEY" and "No. 118", of the plane can sometimes be found with orange or red paint to highlight it. The exterior is machined, and the screws are nickel plated. Later examples will have the identifying marks stamped into the left side of the plane. The later models will also have a gray colored finished to the lever cap.
The cutter is pitched at 12 degrees, and is adjustable by an end screw. There is no adjustable mouth on this plane. This plane is also a piece of junk when compared to the other low angle block planes, but some might find it useful to strip paint.
Like the #110, but with an adjuster like that found on the #103. It's a piece of junk. Use it as a clay pigeon, or something like that, but only if it isn't the earliest model, which is a very scarce tool.
The first model, pictured here, is characterized by a 5-point star embossed on the lever cap, and is one of Stanley's scarcest block planes. It also has a turned applewood knob that slips into a cast socket. The next model used a similar knob, but it's threaded onto a cast boss, and the lever cap has the common 6-point star. The later models have a smooth lever cap, and are interchangable with the cheezier #110. In what must have been an attempt to make crap shine, Stanley eventually provided a rosewood knob on this thing and finally settled upon a stained hardwood knob near the end of the plane's life.
The adjustment mechanism on the first model is identical to that used on the Liberty Bell planes. The earliest #120 iron has a slot cut in it, much like that found on the bench planes, through which a slotted screw passes. The bottom of the screw engages the adjustment mechanism, whereas the top is fastened with a nut. As the iron is used, the nut and screw are moved 'up' the slot in order to take advantage of the adjusters range. The cutter has the patent date of "Pat. April 18. 1876" stamped into it.
Soon after the debut of this plane, the adjustment mechanism was changed probably because it proved to be too complex for such a cheap plane. The back of the iron used on the later models has a series of grooves milled in it to engage a simpler adusting lever. This lever is pinned to two raised bosses on the main casting, and they should be checked for cracks, if you're considering buying this cheap tool.
This plane has the same lever cap and adjusting mechanism as that found on the #104 and #105 (see the #135 for its larger brother exposed). It is a wood bottom version of this style of cheap plane. It has no tote, but, instead, has a raised portion of the casting to fit into the palm. Sometimes, this portion is broken, and the rest of the casting, which is screwed to the wooden body, can sometimes crack so you should examine it carefully.
The iron rests upon two vertical and triangular (almost fin-like in appearance) projections of the main casting. Between these two projections is housed the linkages that permit the iron to be adjusted. The lowermost part of the adjusting mechanism is grooved to receive the tab that's secured to the cap iron. Check this grooved portion of the adjusting mechanism to make sure that it isn't broken - it can sometimes be found snapped rendering the adjuster useless.
Since the plane is fairly short, and the casting crowds the area where the adjusting mechanism is, the two-pronged lever that's common to the larger planes of the series is replaced with a lever that has a finger loop. The lever is cast iron and it, too, can snap or crack, so check it out before buying.
The sole and the knob are beech, as is all the wood on the rest of this series. Most of these planes, and their larger brothers, are found in dogmeat condition and have very little appeal to collectors/users, but antique shops don't realize this since most of them are priced way more than they are worth as firewood.
The lever caps for these wooden Liberty Bells are not interchangable with their two metallic brothers; the wooden models use longer lever caps than the metallic ones use. Also, you can't snarf parts from a Bailey style bench plane, be it wooden or metallic, as all the parts, save for the iron, are unique to this series of plane.
Longer plane than the #122, but with a tote. It also has the pronged adjustment lever since there is room enough for it.
Like the #127, only longer.
This is the cheaper model of the two block planes that have two cutter seats, where the cutter can be turned end for end to make the plane either work regular or bull nose. On the regular end of the plane is a turned wooden knob (hardwood, on earlier models, and rosewood on the later models), which threads directly upon a threaded boss that arises from the main casting. Check that the knob proper isn't stripped. The plane does not have the common "Hand-y" feature found on most of Stanley's block planes.
The first model of the plane has a star cast into the lever cap, and the side rails of its main casting are more arched over their lengths. The casting was soon redesigned so that each of the side rails have a noticeable flat length, with two curved portions meeting the flat length. The proper irons on these earlier models will have the plane's patent date stamped in it - "PAT'D JAN.30.82" with "REIS'D OCT.23.83" immediately below. Later models of the plane have the typical logos that are found on other planes/tools. Since the plane hasn't any adjustment mechanism, the backside of the iron is flat; never buy one of these planes with a grooves milled into it backside, if you're collecting.
There are two rods that span the sides of the plane, which engage the typical lever cap with the large wheel underneath. The plane looks like the #110, but with a bull nose end to it. Adjustment of the cutter is done manually. The cutter rests upon two triangular and fin-like projections that rise from the main casting. At the 'apex' of these projections is a semicircular shape where the iron makes contact. Check that these projections aren't cracked. The early planes will also have the patent date cast (incised) between the two projections; "PAT. OCT. 23. 83" in fine, barely legible characters.
Check the casting on the bull nose end of the plane for any cracks or signs of repair. Some guys would roll their own #97 by grinding off the bull nose end of the plane to lay the cutter bare in order for it to function like a chisel plane.
This is the same basic plane as the #130, except that it has the depth adjustment mechanism and same style of lever cap as found on the #60 series of block planes. It also has the Hand-Y feature, two on each side, milled for gripping; four Hand-Y grips are obviously better than just two. This is a fairly tough plane to find, especially free of damage.
A clever modification to the depth adjusting screw is the cool idea behind this tool. Imagine your basic depth adjusting screw, like that on the #118 (it's a few planes before this one's description), that can pivot down at its bottom so that the adjusting knob can be flipped from end-to-end relative to the plane's sole. If you can think of that, then you can see how that sort of adjuster can benefit this plane since it has two mouths. However, for this adjustment to be beneficial, it needs to engage the back of the cutter when the cutter is in either position. Thus, the sliding portion of the adjuster has two machined faces on it, both of which have a small nib to engage the cutter, and its these faces that slip into their corresponding pair of inclined bosses that arise from the main casting. A perfect solution for two-position adjustability, or so one would think, but there are problems with it.
The sliding portion of the adjuster is cast from iron, and is rather thin where it mates with the inclined bosses. It also can spin about the adjusting screw when it's not seated. The problem here, then, is that the sliding portion can be cocked just enough so that when you flip the adjuster, the edge of the sliding portion slams into the non-machined area of the bosses causing the sliding portion to crack and chip. This is a very common form a damage found on these planes.
Furthermore, because the bottom of the adjuster is a fulcrum point, the main casting can crack or chip where the adjuster pivots. The adjusting yoke (which itself is secured to the main casting with two screw, each driven from the side of the plane) also can crack about its pivotting point. This area of the plane needs very close inspection.
The plane does not have a lateral adjustment lever; the would have been an impossibility for Stanley to pull-off without making the plane too complex. The lever cap screw (the one that engages the lever cap to act as a fulcrum point) is repositioned in the main casting to the respective mouth position; i.e. there is only one lever cap screw on the plane. Were there two lever cap screws, the adjuster couldn't slide over a suitable range.
The plane has a rosewood knob that threads directly onto the main casting. The plane is japanned with its exterior machined. The adjuster, the sliding section, and the yoke are all nickel plated. The plane is embossed with its model number behind the knob. The first model of the plane has the patent dates embossed on the main casting (note that it also has a wider cutter). If you need a cutter for the plane, any common 1 5/8" wide block plane cutter, with machined grooves in the back, will work. As with the #130, check the casting about the bull nose mouth for any signs of cracks or repairs.
Like the #129, only longer.
If you look closely at the iron in the rightmost image, you'll notice a slot in the cap iron, below the cap iron's screw. In this slot is a little steel piece that engages the groove in the adjusting mechanism to raise and lower the iron. This little piece has a tongue milled on it and is held to the cap iron with a six-sided nut that's mounted on the opposite side of the cap iron.
Note that the casting that carries the adjusting mechanism is different than that used on the #35; this casting is shorter in length and doesn't follow the razee (curved rearward area of the stock) section to carry the tote. Instead, the tote is simply screwed to the beech stock and has an additional screw at the toe of the tote.
This is a very useful plane, and is one of Stanley's better products (it would have been even better if they didn't supply it with the cheesy lever cap wheel like that found on the #110, et al, and if it had an adjustable mouth). The plane can be used to trim crossgrain rabbets, the cheeks of tenons, for cutting rabbets, general block plane work, etc. The plane's number is embossed on its heel.
The right side of the plane has a removable plate, and is secured in place by two slotted screws. With the plate on, the plane functions as a regular block plane. With the plate off, the plane becomes a rabbet plane (the cutter's right edge coincides with the rightmost edge of the sole). The earlier side plates have the patent date stamped into them. You can sometimes find a huge burr on either the front and/or rear edge of the side plate. This burr results from grinding the side plate attached to the main casting during manufacturing. You may want to file the thing off (but only if the plane is a user and not a collector) since you can draw blood from it if you're not careful.
Also on the right side of the plane, on its
sole (this would be the
left side of the plane when you flip it over and look at
it), can often be
high or low spot at the back of the mouth. This area results from movement in the main casting after it was machined, where the sole can twist over its length. The only portion of the plane that can possibly lend assistance in keeping the sole flat, the right cheek of the casting, isn't sufficient to keep the sole ahead of the iron and sole behind the iron co-planar. The twisting resulted either from a casting that wasn't allowed to season sufficiently prior to machining or from just sloppy machining by a New Britain Joe Timeclock what was nursing a hangover or something. When you note this 'problem', it's certainly one plane that can benefit from the lapping craze that has the free planing world firmly in its grip.
A flat lever adjustment mechanism, like that provided on the cheap #120 plane, is found on the first model of these planes, but it was soon replaced with the depth adjusting screw that's found on the #60 series of block planes. The lever adjuster just doesn't hold the cutter firmly in place like the knob adjuster does. The cutter is pitched at 20 degrees with its cutting edge ground to a slight skew, which makes it cut across the grain better. The cutters used on both models of the tool have a series of fine grooves pressed into the backside of the iron. These grooves engage a corresponding piece of the adjuster to grip the cutter firmly.
Like any of the block planes with the depth adjustment screw, be sure to check that the threads of the screw are not stripped. If the plane has a cast adjustment knob, like the one to the right in the photograph, check that it hasn't been snapped off and then brazed back onto the threaded rod.
Give the plane a good inspection on its left side in case there are any cracks or repairs. When the side plate is off the plane, the left side of the plane, just to the left of the mouth, is the only area that is keeping the plane's main casting in one piece.
The plane is often found missing its side plate - these plates all reside in the same realm as lost slitting cutters, cam rests, fences for #289, etc. If the side plate is present, don't jump for joy until after you've checked the screws that secure it to the plane. One or both of these screws are often missing or replaced. Missing screws should be rather obvious to notice, but replaced ones aren't. Original screws have a flat head, often with vertical (in relation to the shaft) knurling. They aren't brass, as many replacement ones are. The lever cap screw is also often replaced, for some strange reason. This screw is unique among the block planes, but you can snarf a replacement from a common #78.
A small, rosewood knob is threaded directly onto the main casting to act as a finger rest. This knob is often split or stripped. If so, the same rosewood knob from the common block planes, like the #110 or #120, can be used as a replacement.
The lever cap, fully nickel plated, is unique to this plane, so be cautious of replacements. A proper lever cap has a noticeable arch on its right side, so that it functions as part of the plane's side when the side plate is removed. The cutter is also unique to the plane; it has parallel sides, which become narrower about 1/3 back from the cutting edge, with the heel of the iron rounded. Make sure that a common block plane iron has not been substituted in the plane.
Copyright (c) 1998-2012 by Patrick A. Leach. All Rights Reserved. No part may be reproduced by any means without the express written permission of the author.