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- by Gary Rogowski
The Stanley ‘transitional’ planes, combining a wooden body with a cast iron frame, frog and standard adjustment mechanism, were made between 1870 and 1940. You see these things pretty commonly in antique shops and flea markets. According to those in the know, they are not particularly valuable in the collectors’ market (which is why you see so many of them, and so few #1′s). Still, a plane is a plane and a potential working tool, so I set out to find a restorable one for a friend who had expressed an interest.
I ended up buying this #26, a 15″ plane that dates (a far as I can make out) from 1898 or so. I got it off eBay for about $25 (inc. shipping), maybe not as cheap as could be but the same you would expect to pay in an antique shop.
The beech body was in very good shape, an exceptionally dense piece of timber that had none of the severe bottom scoring or end-checking often seen in these things. The metal parts were coated with light surface rust, but cleaned up nicely. Most of the remaining black ‘Japaning’ came off in cleaning, but that’s only important to collectors. The iron and chip breaker turned out to be a little later vintage, about 1910 (based on the imprinted logo), but were in good enough shape to polish and sharpen for normal use.
Once the metal parts were cleaned and the iron tuned up, I reassembled the plane and trued the bottom (it had just a slight twist in it, again attesting to the quality of the piece of beech). I took a couple of shavings with it, and these pictures of it, and passed it on to my friend who was pleased to get it. He plans to use it as a shooting plane, which would be a nice fit for it given the heft of the beech body.
Now I’m looking for one for myself!
Here is a kitchen we built for, what was an old school house (1860).
This above photo displays the strong, simple detailing we incorporated. We increased the width of the frames for the doors, drawer faces and side walls which leaves a slightly smaller panel in each of their centers.
There is no molding profile on the inside edges of any of the frames. The fact that every face (surface) on the cabinets are frame and panel is enough decoration by itself.
The ‘fireslate’ counter tops were left square on their outside edge. These are the counter tops we all had in our high school science labs.
The wall cabinets possess the same detail with the addition of hand-made support brackets (corbels) and the cabinet’s top edges are finished with two, staggered square trim pieces (to act as a crown).
The island’s counter top we made from rock-maple planks ( looks so much better than commercial butcher block). A refuse bag sits beneath this opening cut into the surface. We used over-sized legs (6″ X 6″) to support the counter’s cantilevered (over-hung) edge which creates an area to sit along one side of the island.