Stanley 55 plane dating
I cut a pattern of thin stock to take the wobble out of the tote.These are techniques and as I applied them I found my attention drawn to the machining marks on the surface of my scroll saw. The truth I learned, is that “wow sharp” is not quite optimal for wood working.Would it be easier to use if the surface was slick and waxed? I ‘m still amazed by how much a little work to true and dress a tool can improve the way it works and compound your possibilities. I learned that sharp for wood working lies way past dry shaving hair on your arm – it’s out there where you move slowly, carefully….Could I more accurately cut along the line if there was less friction from the table? Truth Number 2: Knife-sharp won’t do it All the googalizing to set up the plane led to sharpening the iron and I quickly discovered there are as many ways to sharpen a plane iron as there are people who claim to be experts on it. The truth here lies in what we consider sharp and that a sharp tool makes the whole difference in how we use it and what we consider limitations. partly to preserve the edge and partly because it’s downright dangerous if you get sloppy.
The Stanley No.4 I found for 40 dollars was old and battered with scars on the loose wooden handles and a fine patina on the exposed metal. I am sharing my experience because it was a process that left me facing in a different direction than expected, seeing my tools, my time, and my labors from a different perspective.I learned techniques, but I also learned what I can only describe as truths.I find truths to be the landmarks that guide our choices and ultimately our satisfaction. Truth Number 1: Tools ready to be sold are not always ready to be used and there is a huge difference between the two Watching video after video of “how to set up your plane,” I learned about using sandpaper on a flat surface to true the sole, how to adjust the frog and lever cap, and how to position the chip breaker.I’ve always taken pride in my ability to put an edge on a knife. Few things bring a smile like the look on a friends face when I pass them my knife to use. I think of it as scary sharp, and it completely changes how you use edged tools and the things you value most in your tool box.Truth Number 3: Hand tool time warp I’m a product of the machine age, I respect them as leverage to multiply our efficiencies.
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Machines are good and while I have deep respect for hand tools and the craftsmen who master them, I won’t hide my preference for a thickness planer over a bench plane for thinning stock.