Friday, August 17, 2007

Double Dealing

Of course it wasn't until yesterday that I realised that post should really have been called "Mess Observation". D'oh.

Anyway, the results are in - settle down class. Chapman Minor and A N Other tie in second place but Wenzloff Major is top of the form simply because he came up with some extra possible problems that I hadn't even considered yet. All right Wenzloff, settle down - is that gum you're chewing? Have you brought enough for the rest of the upper fourth? No? Put it away and I'll see you after class...

So Exhibit A - Frau Frankenplane

"I may have the body and frog of a blue and British Record 010, but I have the iron and lever cap of a Stanley plus the cap iron of a Record #3" as Elizabeth 1st might have said. Or maybe not. The sole is not just rusty, but pitted, which no-one seemed to view as a problem? (Alas, everyone says that until you come to try and sell them a plane with an area of pitted sole...) Amazingly it doesn't appear to have any cracks in the cheeks, because that's the one thing I remembered to check.

Now this is where I offer up a Valuable Lesson on the Duplicitous Ways of Tool Dealers.

Said seller did the classic honest-as-the-day-is-long manoeuvre - and assiduousy pointed out that the cap iron was incorrect. "I wouldn't want you to find out later and be annoyed" etc. Well of course if you're already in a befuddled state you act like a moron and don't say to yourself "so what else is wrong with it?" like you usually would. H'oh no, you come over all trusting and STOOPID. Sigh. So I sort of took in the Stanley lever cap (hard to miss) but bethought myself cunning on the issue of the cap iron 'cos I'm fairly sure I have one spare. Somewhere. If I can find it. So I was thinking I was maybe having one over on the seller a little bit, 'cos he didn't know that the fault he was pointing out I was in a position to easily rectify. On that basis perhaps I deserved to miss the repaired horn on the tote... I mean it's no biggie, but it does annoy me slightly that this saintly "wouldn't want you to find out later" character had stuck the price tag right over the repair.


Anyway, I vacillate madly between thinking it's not so bad and with a bit of work it'll clean up to a good user right over to feeling I should put myself out of my humiliation and just toss it in Falmouth Harbour at the earliest opportunity. Heigh ho. I won't do the latter of course; it seems to have the older style frog for a start, so it's worth the effort.

Exhibit B -The Visitor from The Colonies

Hands up, how many people not living in North America have seen a knuckle joint lever cap block plane? In the wild? Yeah, exactly. That's one of my excuses (see the price tag above as one of the others) - the excitement of a #19 Sweetheart example went to my head. I ignored the orange front knob (I don't even know if that's a Stanley thing at one time, so unschooled am I in a type of plane I never usually see), I ignored the leetle bit of rust, the couple of tiny chips out of the back of the mouth (would have taken a good educated guess to spot those, folks, so don't beat yourselves up about it), the worn plating on the lever cap was just a charming illustration of the craftsman's hands that had gone before me. I put all these things aside. The block plane was even slightly comforting to me after I took in more of the 010's delights.

Three days it took me for the penny to drop. Three days. It took Paul less than three hours to spot the missing lateral adjuster.



  1. Excuse me, Miss - do I get a team point??


    Paul Chapman

  2. If it makes you feel better (okay, I know it doesn't) I spotted none of the faults.

    But given the unbridled lust for all things 10-like on the bay, I'm sure you could - if your conscience permits - turn a handsome profit on the unlovely mongrel. Even one of those No3/10/10+1/2 lever caps went for the best part of a fiver recently!

    Let the spirit of the dedhorse guide you :)

  3. Was there an Upper fourth in your day? We had a lower Fourth, Fourth and then lower fifth. Will you be offering a regular spot the dog spot perhaps with housepoints or house colours as a reward. I never did get my school colours, they decided my sport wasn't good enough. Funny really cos the school teams rarely performed well except for the one I was in which was victorious at National Level with the auld bow 'n' arrers.

  4. On the pitting - it is often hard to tell how deep it is from photos. Anyway, my experience is that all that pitting involves is a lengthy afternoon of lapping.

    When I buy a real dud (and we all do), I make sure that I fettle it as much as possible - the work is a reminder of how silly I was and at the same time, I get to really learn about it - every now and then, you find that it is a beautiful thing (I have a Carter C1, which was Carter's #10 equivalent, which looked dreadful and had a broken this and a warped that, but after fettling - inccluding 3 hours flattening the sole - it turned into one of my best users). Even if it is still no good, you will know which pieces can be salvaged for spare parts.

  5. Mike, "my day"? Good grief, I wasn't at school with Mr Chips you know ;) Yeah, we had upper and lower everything - like a terrible rash of English villages; all the uppers, the lowers and the by-the-wolds, but no plain "fourth". As for points, for some reason we had "merits" instead. Possibly also "de-merits" but I was Good Girl and didn't get those (fully justified cries of "swot" ring through the corridors). As my only troubling of the team sheets was as second reserve for the under-12 netball team when a heavy bout of 'flu had swept the fit and sporty from the fixture, I couldn't comment on house colours. (naturally I wasn't required - in fact didn't even find out I was picked until after the match had been successfully lost). Ah, happy school days.

    Note to self; don't annoy Mike when he's in arrow range...

    Paul, one merit for being right - one de-merit for being cheeky and asking for a point ;)


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