Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Black Spot

Tsk. I seem to be putting folks off the #55 here. That's a terrible thing to do when you're a combination plane evangelist, preaching to the heathen. So I say unto you "Nay, 'tis not all Bad. It did dados amazingly well. Verily." 'Course I wasn't using the fence for that, was I? That helped...

It does confirm me in my observations though; beware the immaculate plane, usually New In Box. Often tricky to judge with combis, mind you, 'cos they tend to attract NIB status even if they work like a dream. But more ordinary tools like bench planes, really be on your toes. The one and only old bench plane still inna box I ever bought was, and indeed is, a Stanley #3. Not only does it have its box, but also its instruction leaflet and even the paper label that hung off the knob.

That plane is an utter stinker.

I must have spent hours trying to get it too behave, all to no avail. Been a long time since I even looked at it, but iirc the frog bedding is machined all wrong for one thing. I hope I've moved on in my plane fettling education since I last tackled it, but nothing will induce me to blow the dust off that orange lid and have another shot at the ruddy thing. It's just not worth the candle. Naturally I can't get rid of it either, 'cos I like to think I'm honest with potential customers and couldn't sell it with anything but dire warnings. And with dire warnings nothing will make it sell! Heck, I can't even give it away - not to anyone I like anyway!

So friends, if one day I should give you a NIB #3 Stanley GB plane, you'll know our friendship is entirely at an end. It's the neanderthal equivalent of tipping you The Black Spot...


  1. Ah--Treasure Island! Boy, I haven't read that since I was, well, a boy. Probably in tatters now, but it was an early edition complete with the color plates.

    Gonna have to look for it.

    Well, I reckon my #55 was nearly perfect. Got it from Jon Zimmers, who is all but a neighbor. Everything was so smooth. Well used, but in near fine shape.

    As to the NIB theory? Mine came in a user made box. Maybe indicative of it being well used and beloved.

    Take care, Mike
    awaiting the arrival of a NIB #3 Stanley GB plane...[g]

  2. Now I'm glad I only have a #45 and a missing #46 (it's around here somewhere, I'm sure).


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