Thursday, 27 January 2011

What to do with this seventy-two...

I bought this Stanley No.72 Chamfer Plane about a year and a half ago for, I think, $225. Its a nice plane, one I have used many times, but it is the one plane in my collection that bugs me to no end.

My likes:
  • The blade seems to hold an edge forever, even though 100% of its wear is limited to the half inch in the middle.
  • It is comfortable to use as the tote is the same one used on the No. 3, a size that seems to be just perfect for my hands.
  • It also does an excellent job at producing a very true and even chamfer, for miles, if need be.
  • The wood has a beautifully patina.
  • I think it is one of Stanley's better designed tools, an excellent example of design following function.

My dislikes:
  • Registering it properly at the beginning of the stroke is next to impossible (On a power planer, the problem is always at the end of the board and its called "snipe". What do you call the same issue at the beginning of a board when using a hand plane).
  • It lacks a blade adjuster, something I truly hate in any plane (now there is a statement you don't want to hear from someone who collects wood molding planes).
  • It sells for a ridiculous price.

So all that said, what bugs me to no end with it?

Its condition.

The japanning on the main casting is just...well...sad.

The V-Sole has some lumps and craters that came with the plane from the factory, I believe.

The japanning on the adjustable sole is almost none-existent.

The blade cap isn't too bad, but it has its issues.

Its a "B" casting.

I paid another $225 for the beading attachment, but I'm still looking for the bullnose.

The question is, what do I do with it?

I sent my Miller Falls eggbeater off to Wiktor Kuc, over at three months ago. Mr. Kuc broke his wrist just after that, and that put him out of commission for a while, so the return of it is understandably delayed. One of my requests when I set it to him, though, was he not make it look like a brand new drill. That look is impressive, but not the look I like in a vintage tool and remember, to me, looks are half the battle.

So how do you deal with missing japanning without having it come back looking like a repainted plane?

I found a guy who restores planes on eBay and I really like what he does with these old planes, but the problem I have is that they do not look like old planes any more. I emailed him with my thoughts, and Steve assures me he is well equipped and experienced to deal with it within my requested limitations.

If the plane can be redone without looking like a remake, I then have to be concerned about the value of the tool. Will refurbishing it increase its value, or decrease it?

Oh, what do you do with an old seventy-two (sorry, I like that rhyme).