Monday, 6 January 2014

Up, Up and Away...I Hope...

Am I imagining things, or are the prices of planes going up?

I have been pondering this possibility for a while now. I think the online dealers' prices have been slowly creeping up over the past couple of months and while the typical eBay junk is still the same,  the eBay dealers' prices are also climbing a bit. I thought maybe it was my imagination, but after having a gander at Leach's preverbal tool list this morning, I'm starting to waver between possible and probable.

Here's a few examples that have caused me to firm up my opinion a bit...
ST12 #2 smoothing plane; a cleaned ca. 1900 example, with a 1930's iron, a no-harm bruise at toe, lever cap is a #3 ground narrower to fit the plane, it's a solid worker in all regards, and priced for someone who doesn't wish to pay the MSRP of a pristine example; top right: - $175.00
I also came across one of these on eBay this morning that was a tad rough around the edges, but over-all not a bad type 7 that an eBay dealer was selling for $295.00.

I have two of these, both bought from dealers and both graded on the cusp of excellent-workers and good-collectors. One I paid $45.00 for and the other, $125.00, both within the last 5 years.
ST68 #7 jointer; a type 11, with all original parts, made ca. WWI, no damage, nicely cleaned, 90% japanning, all it needs is honing; bottom: - $185.00
I bought a type 7 three years ago from a dealer for $175 and its condition is so good, I thought it was still under warranty.

As an aside, Patrick had one listing that really firmed up my decision to never buy a No.1...
ST51 #1 smoothing plane, damage, offered for parts; the nose section snapped off, it has a good "STANLEY" embossed lever cap, sweetheart logo iron and cap iron, and frog; top of tote is gone; the front section can be ground clean to make it a chisel plane, or you can grab parts off it for your plane; top left: - $345.00
A couple of years ago another dealer had a box for a No.1 listed for $1400.00 - just the box. Now Patrick has the back half of one listed for $345.00. I get the rarity of this plane is what drives the price, but still...sheesh. The only reason it is rare is that no woodworker worth his salt wanted one of these silly little things when they were new.

By the way, if you aren't getting them already, you can sign up to receive Patrick's SuperTool monthly lists by emailing him at

So is it possible that plane prices are creeping up? I'm still not sure because that isn't supposed to happen. There has been an unbelievable number of vintage planes that have been dumped on the market over the past few years, mainly coming from collectors who are liquidating, or from their heirs who want nothing to do with a bunch of old tools. When supply outstrips demand, prices fall, so how can inflationary prices exist in the market? If it is

This probably isn't the time to mention this, but I am still looking for a good type 7 No. 6 Stanley, and if anyone knows a screw from another plane that will work to holding a Stanley No.386 fence to a plane, I would appreciate you letting me know. Finding replacement thumb screws for this fence is a real bugger.

I had to stop working on the mount for my Stanley No. 50 because I want to tie it into the mount for my No.51 that is going to run up beside it. Here is where it stands today with the template for a layout for its mates...

It really was a difficult plane to design a mount for, which ended up with more dips and dives than I expected. The entire thing is made from a glue-up of walnut with all the grains running vertical.

Here is the plane head-on. With all its bits and bobs, it is 3" wide, but because the widest part of the actual plane body is the tote that is slightly thicker than ¾", there is a lot of empty space around it, making the mount look like a 1950's era continental kit...

Because I have a lot of resawing to do for this project, I decided it was time to make the Frame-Saw I bought blades for about 4-years ago, so that will be what I will be posting about next. Because I do not have my lathe up and running, I'm currently rounding off parts of some ⁵⁄₈" square brass stock by hand so I can thread them. I should have photos and my usual verbal diarrhea about them up within the week.




  1. I've always found Patrick's pricing to be on the high side compared to most old tool dealers.

    Jim B

  2. I think you're right. I also think these guys (Leach and Jim Bode) are really selling to collectors not user .. cuz you make more money that way. But its a bummer if you're a user and not a collector.

  3. Hi Mitchell,
    I'll get a roll of toilet papaer and await your next post.

  4. Hi Mitchell

    I sell user-grade stuff, but you might be interested in siigning up to Tool List:



  5. Mitchell

    Ironically the guy who could answer your question about the screw is Patrick Leach.


  6. Taking MB's advice, I contacted Patrick about my broken screws and, to quote him, he said, "You're SOL, like many of us. That screw is only used on that tool."

    I guess it is time to get out the drill and taps.