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Discussion Starter #1
Why does everyone hate thy so much?

I ended up with one the other week by accident. It looked like such an innocent collection of tools, I had no idea what was lurking inside. It's like an STD on my shop, I just want it to go away or to pretend it isn't there.

What should I do with it? Is there a doctor in the house?
 

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lol, good luck! I don't want it!


Put it on ebay with a buy it now price of $100 and say that it's rare... that seems to be what every one else is doing these days :laughing:
And if it doesn't sell, a good Rx would be to exorcise it from your shop with an oxy/acetylene torch.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There is an absolutely mint one #4 on Ebay right now for $11.XX and no one wants it. Not a soul.

Were they really that bad?
 

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My #5 is my grandpa's handyman plane. It is odd that it is lighter than my SW Stanley and Sargent #4s, but does a great job scrubbing the boards before I hit them with my #6.
 

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There is an absolutely mint one #4 on Ebay right now for $11.XX and no one wants it. Not a soul.

Were they really that bad?
I don't know, I've never met anyone who admitted using one:laughing::laughing::laughing:

I've never personally owned or even held one. I'm sure you could tune one up and use it with decent results.

However, if you can get a SB for just a few dollars more than a comparable Handyman why bother with it?

If someone gave one to me, I'd tune it and use it, but I don't think I'd willingly give money for one - unless like you - it was hiding in the bottom of a box I bought for something else.
 

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I was buying a bunch of planes from a guy. He tried to sell me a handyman. It's only $10 he said. I don't want it if you give it to me. He laughed. Here you can have it. Naaa, I don't want it. Some how it wound up in my box. I hate to even give it away.
 

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Maybe you could tune it for use as a scrub/fore plane? This way it won't matter when the frog goes all wonky on you.

The frogs in the Handyman planes suck. They don't mount securely to the casting and easily twist. I learned this lesson already; the first plane I bought from fleabay was a No 4 handyman. Go easy fellas, I didn't know any better!
You can feel the difference b/w a crappy handyman and a vintage SB just by picking them up, before you even attempt to put them to wood.
 

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So....what's so bad about them??
Built to be low cost. Lower quality materials, design and construction.

I happen to have purchased a group of planes in July 2012, which started my slippery slope into restoring. One of the planes was a Handyman. I initially was going to pass this one in the rusty condition, but I hate handling rusty equipment so I cleaned it up.

It was passed on to another forum member.

Stanley Handyman plane looking for a second life

The lower end lines of planes, Handyman, Defiance, Craftsman, etc. were manufacturer to be priced less than other lines of planes, like the Stanley-Bailey, Stanley-Bedrock, etc.

In order to reduce manufacturing costs, some cost saving decisions have to be made. Some are lower cost materials, some are elimination of features, some are just quality of manufacturing.

Since I do not have the Handyman plane, I cannot take more pictures, and at the time I took very few.

I expect these do not have a frog adjustment screw. A nice to have, but should not be needed often.

The blade will likely not have the tempered cutting edge steel insert found in the typical Stanley-Bailey blade. This means it will get dull quicker.

There may be more "slop" in the depth adjustment mechanism. These planes normally have a two piece stamped steel Y lever instead of the Stanley-Baliey cast iron single piece Y adjustment lever. The present day Stanley's now use the stamped steel Y adjustment lever which I do not like.

The lateral adjustment lever may have less movement. I just checked a Craftsman No. 3 which has 0.5in width of opening for the slot end of the lateral adjustment level. A Stanley-Bailey No. 3 I got at the same time has 0.75in width. Wider will allow more potential for adjustment if needed.

The overall casting may be lower quality, less machining of the surfaces. Sole may not be flat. Sides may not be 90 deg to the sole. The mouth opening may not be right angle to the sides.

If the mouth opening is off, and if the lateral adjustment lever has less movement, it may be a challenge to get the blade to be right angles to the side of the casting. Can be fixed by putting a skew on the blade, but more work.

There are cosmetic differences, like the inexpensive wood used for the knob and tote, the tote having no toe, steel screws instead of brass, etc. These do not affect performance.

I think the biggest issue is how well the plane will keep its tuning. I recall Don mentioning this as his biggest headache in some earlier thread.

I like to pick up a plane and be able to use it. I would be frustrated if I had to tweak some settings each time.

If you want a cheap hand plane to compare to a decent Stanley, I was recently given a Craftsman No. 3 which had a lever cap from a knuckle cap block plane force fit. If you want to fix this up for yourself I will be happy to send this to you.

Craftsman was a line of planes made by various manufacturers over time, Millers Fall, Sargent, etc.

Stanley made some even less expensive planes, like the Defiance series which had a fixed frog.

I got one without a blade in my "lot" of plane purchases.

 

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I would rather have a Handyman than a Groz. Any day. Any time. Any place.

Greg
 

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never had a groz, but now I need one just to see if they can really be that bad!
If you absolutely love the smell of cosmolene Groz's are for you. Nothing short of putting it in a blast furnace will remove the cosmolene. Oh sure they are purdy and may even be nicely made, but I do not aspire to smell like cosmolene everytime I use a tool. Well you say, just use a solvent to clean the planes and you won't have any problems. Oh, how wrong you would be. You see, they absolutely soak the plane, including the knobs and totes in that foul odiferous gunk. Good luck getting it out of the wood. Because of this, everytime you use it, you become cosmolene man.

No matter what its shortcomings, the Stanley Handyman planes do not smell like cosmolene. That is a big plus in my book.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds good! Still can't wait to see this one though!
It'll be a bit! I've got a bit too much on my plate till next May, but I feel better that they can have a purpose in my shop.

I'd like to do some layouts to see if I could actually cut the bottom back on the factory frog to get a lower angle rather than making a new one. That would be fun. I think I'd run into clearance problems with the rear tote though.

It would be cool to find a way to modify these things, or at least modify the frogs, to get some specialty planes in the hands of people (like myself) who have a hard time shelling out the cash to buy them on the open market.
 
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