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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are at an estate sale. No idea how much they want, sale hasn't started yet. There are no pictures of other tools at the sale, so I think it's a bit odd to see these.

I'm not a plane user, so I have no idea if any of these are any good or special. I want to learn more about the different types, get a decent assortment, and start using them.

Can anyone tell from the picture if any of these are worth going to look at?

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They look like carpenter's tools rather than cabinetmaker's tools--for rough work with softer woods to plane them for fit rather than surface finish. Medium size for a guy who only wants to carry one to a jobsite for general purpose use. The casting and cutter of the one with the black handle look heavier than the brown handle.
 

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The old block planes were 100% carpenter tools. Very few furniture makers used them. I don't like the old block planes.

The bench plane on the left had a weird casting and a plastic handle. That is a $5 plane IMO.

Thre right one does not have a lateral adjustment lever. This could mean it is broken, or it could be a cheap design.

Any one of these will take a good amount of work and skill to make usable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. I'm not opposed to having some for carpentry use, but I'm going to skip it. If it was close, I'd go take a look, but it's a drive and I see nothing else of interest at the estate sale.

I have about 7 planes now. As I said, I don't know much about planes and what the differences are. Mine go from short to one about 18 or 24 inches long. Some were passed down to me, others I got at estate sales for a few bucks each. All are in much better shape than the ones above. Any suggestions on a good book or site to learn about the different styles and what to use them for? At some point I will want to go through them get them into top shape.
 

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"The Stanley Plane" by Alvin Sellens is a good place to start. The block planes in the bucket have the blade set at a higher angle (20 degrees I think), while a variety of planes for precision work on hard end grain have a lower angle (12 degrees I think).
 

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These are at an estate sale. No idea how much they want, sale hasn't started yet. There are no pictures of other tools at the sale, so I think it's a bit odd to see these.

I'm not a plane user, so I have no idea if any of these are any good or special. I want to learn more about the different types, get a decent assortment, and start using them.

Can anyone tell from the picture if any of these are worth going to look at?

View attachment 442765
Hard to tell from the pic, but they both look like #5 1/2 planes. I am not completely familiar with the history of the numbering system, but a #5 1/2 would be considered a decent size as a multi-purpose plane.The same model was made by Stanley, Bailey, Clifton and others. Countless others have been made by knockoff companies, so garbage, some outstanding.
 

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Not really true, BC. A good block plane is part of every furniture maker's arsenal. :)
I am taking things as hear-say, but my source was Garret Hack.
Block planes are common and useful now, but prior to Lie Nielsen times, the block plane was mainly popular with carpenters. The vintage Stanley's are not great for furniture.
 
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mike44
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These are at an estate sale. No idea how much they want, sale hasn't started yet. There are no pictures of other tools at the sale, so I think it's a bit odd to see these.

I'm not a plane user, so I have no idea if any of these are any good or special. I want to learn more about the different types, get a decent assortment, and start using them.

Can anyone tell from the picture if any of these are worth going to look at?

View attachment 442765
Both larger planes appear to be scraper planes.The block planes are run of the mill. I would pass on them.
mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"The Stanley Plane" by Alvin Sellens is a good place to start. The block planes in the bucket have the blade set at a higher angle (20 degrees I think), while a variety of planes for precision work on hard end grain have a lower angle (12 degrees I think).
I've developed a process with books, probably because of the expense of them for my son in high school and college.

We have a great library. It is a part of a system of about 100 libraries. I can look for an item on their website and order it. If my library doesn't carry it (or if they do but someone else has checked it out), it gets transferred to my library within a few days. Sometimes I just make notes from the book from the library and that's it. If I think it is something I will look back at enough, I generally look for a used copy to purchase.

If I can't get a copy from my library (as is the case with the book @JohnGi mentioned, my library system didn't have it), I'll see if it is available to read online. In the case of this book, I was able to read it at no charge at Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine. After looking at it, I decided to purchase a copy, depending on the price.

If you think prices are crazy on used woodworking tools, you haven't looked for books! The book @JohnGi mentioned is listed by various sellers from $55 - $179.50 for a used hardcover version. One seller was asking $502.88 for new copy!

Surprisingly, there are also copies of this book available that are what I consider a bootleg version. These are copies that come from outside the U.S. They are scanned from a genuine copy and then printed, so they are only as good as the copy that was scanned. They might have blurry, missing or areas with black spots. I doubt I would ever buy one of these no matter what book it was. I assume they violate copywrite rules, which is why they are "printed" and come from outside the U.S.

A few minutes of searching on 5 or so book sites and I found a used hardcover copy described as in "fair" condition for only $10.63 with tax and shipping. I ordered it. The next best price was $55. I would say the condition of the books I have purchased has been better than what the sellers have described. I have only had one problem, and the seller refunded my money with no questions asked.
 

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I find a lot of the comments here to border on snobbery. Cheap casting. Wrong bed angle. Carpenter not woodworker. Plastic handle. Nobody remembers the cliche “it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools”? Clean it, sharpen it, tune as best you can … and put it to work. Use your skill to overcome the economy of the tool.
 

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I find a lot of the comments here to border on snobbery. Cheap casting. Wrong bed angle. Carpenter not woodworker. Plastic handle. Nobody remembers the cliche “it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools”? Clean it, sharpen it, tune as best you can … and put it to work. Use your skill to overcome the economy of the tool.
Oh hell yes, I'm a tool snob.
There are so many great tools around today that nobody should have to suffer with a bad one.
With vintage planes, the price difference often isn't large between a bad tool and a great user either, so it pays to be patient.
 

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I find a lot of the comments here to border on snobbery. Cheap casting. Wrong bed angle. Carpenter not woodworker. Plastic handle. Nobody remembers the cliche “it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools”? Clean it, sharpen it, tune as best you can … and put it to work. Use your skill to overcome the economy of the tool.
I disagree with most that entirely. Who doesn’t want to use quality tools? It’s not snobbery, it’s knowing a good tool will do better and make the work better, too. A person who maybe doesn’t have the funds/priorities/permission to obtain them may have a tinge of jealousy?

The fastest path to frustration and discouragement is a newbie trying to develop skills using cheap tools. Period!
 

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Post #10 is erroneous,those larger planes are most definitely not scraper planes.They may be jack planes and they may be better than anybody thinks.I wouldn't rate the block planes as they don't have lateral adjusters as the better ones do,but those jack planes could be turned into very useful tools in about an hour each.Removing the rust and repainting would be a longer project but wouldn't make them cut any better as tools.Some people view having pretty tools as a very important part of their hobby.
 

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Oh hell yes, I'm a tool snob.
I like that. Nothing wrong with that attitude.

But it’s like people who are heavily invested in Festool, or Snap-On … danged expensive tools, and there are lesser tools that will perform just as well.

None of us have touched the tools in the bucket, and we have one picture to go buy. Could be … more than one of those planes could be good enough to clean & tune, and use for a loaner, or pass on to a young person as a starter gift.
 

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I like that. Nothing wrong with that attitude.

But it’s like people who are heavily invested in Festool, or Snap-On … danged expensive tools, and there are lesser tools that will perform just as well.

None of us have touched the tools in the bucket, and we have one picture to go buy. Could be … more than one of those planes could be good enough to clean & tune, and use for a loaner, or pass on to a young person as a starter gift.
I've got a modestly large hand plane collection with all grades of tool represented. There are very few that are unusable. The history is important to me as well as the functionality. When I pick up a tool to use though, I'm going to reach for the one that is the best for the job though. Sometimes that is actually a cheap, lightweight plane and sometimes it is a lie Nielsen.

But I'm a total snob with my purchases. I only buy things that fit into a specific niche, and I dont need any tools that are second best to something I already own.
 

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mike44
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Post #10 is erroneous,those larger planes are most definitely not scraper planes.They may be jack planes and they may be better than anybody thinks.I wouldn't rate the block planes as they don't have lateral adjusters as the better ones do,but those jack planes could be turned into very useful tools in about an hour each.Removing the rust and repainting would be a longer project but wouldn't make them cut any better as tools.Some people view having pretty tools as a very important part of their hobby.
The two larger planes appear to have the irons vertical. Scraper planes are like that. I have a Jack plane that is old, and other planes some I have made. 35/40 ° I think is the angle of the bed on my Stanley #5.
 
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