Tool Gloats


More neato tools. In the back is a big old jointer plane. A #8C. It has grooves on the bottom (hence the 'C' for 'corrugated'.) The grooves are supposed to cut down on friction or the vacuum created between the tool and smooth wood. If anything this thing NEEDS friction. Once you get it going down a board the momentum wants to carry into the next room. The thing needs brakes!

It's a type 11. That means it has three patent date cast into the body behind the frog. Indicating it was made between 1910 and 1918, give or take. My #5C jack plane is also a type 11. (That is a major gloat by the way~ gloat, gloat, gloat.) Type 11's tend to be preferred by users like me by about 5 to 1. The reason; all the improvements are present in this model and all the quality is there. When this plane was built it was intended for use by professionals, not hobbyists, so it was built to exacting standards.

My Bedrock #603 is a type 5 with a type 4 lever cap. Bedrocks are typed differently and this makes my smoother about the same age as my other bench planes. Now it took me years to commit this minutiae to my over-taxed and alcohol fogged brain. I illustrate it to show how obsessed tool collectors can get like so many other impassioned hobbyists. It really not as bad as it sounds, though. And hey, it could be a type 4 Blue Octopus Beanie Baby valued at $5000.

Below the #8C is a #40 scrub plane. It has a narrow curved blade designed to eat up a lot of wood. It takes rough thick boards and turns em into rough thin boards. Then the #8C comes along to make it smooth, and more importantly, make it flat. That length of the big planes keeps the plane out of slight hollows and only cuts the high parts until you can't help but have a flat surface.

The silvery thing with two knobs is a router. A #71. Yes a router that you don't plug in. It holds a blade a specified depth and lets you relieve an area below a surface. Like a hinge mortise.

Below and two the left is a #20 compass plane. The sole is flexible and adjustable. You can plane stuff with a large inside or outside radius. I'm looking for an excuse to make a round ta bel so I can try this out.

The other guy is a scraper plane. It's a Sargent #42 and the Stanley equivalent is the #12. When a wood is highly figured (like the wallpaper on this web site) sometime the best plane in the world won't do the trick. A thin piece of metal with a turned up burr can be used to prep a surface without resorting to evil sandpaper. The metal gets hot and strains your thumbs after awhile. A scraper plane holds the scraper for you. Genius.