Transitional Planes

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.

Stanley 26

The Stanley 26 in pieces

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.

Stanley 26

"Parts is Parts"

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.

Stanley 26

Takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

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!



How long will my trade show display last?

How long will my trade show display last?

I am asked this question every time Ferguson Design sells a booth. It is a good question and addresses the quality and longevity of our products. My answer varies depending on; whether it is custom or portable, how it is constructed, who sets it up/breaks it down, and how it is shipped.

There is another important aspect to this question. For the client who is trying to maximize the impact and effectiveness of their trade show program the question should be, “how long will my booth feel fresh and continue to attract new and existing customers?” My answer to this question also varies depending on; particular market, potential selling audience, and frequency of exhibiting.

A few of my clients have booths that are over 10 years old. This may be a testament to the quality of the fabrication or maybe the maintenance of these booths but they look and feel outdated. In most cases they are heavy, take several crates to ship, and require excessive labor to set-up. These clients would be better off getting a new display that could potentially pay for itself in the savings associated with storage, shipping, drayage and labor. And, this would spark interest from potential new clients at the show.

So, what is the answer? How often should you buy a new booth? For the average exhibitor who exhibits at 3-4 shows a year, I recommend a new booth every 4 years. By then the WOW factor is gone and the newness has worn off. I also recommend updating your booth for every show. Give them something new to look at such as graphics, messaging, promotions, product highlights and even giveaways.

Mike Ferguson


The Benefits of Having Your Exhibit House Handle Your Trade Show Shipments


It’s probably safe to say that in this economy everyone is trying, in every aspect of their business, to save money.  This in turn can lead to some creative thinking in the sense of where to cut back and when it’s worth that extra dollar to spend.  One area to consider is shipping.   Sure saving a few bucks is possible if you want to handle shipping your trade show booth yourself.  However, if spending the same or perhaps a little more can buy you the expertise of your exhibit house, why wouldn’t you?  With an exhibit house you have the piece of mind that knowing someone is tracking your freight until it’s unloaded at your trade show destination. Do you really want to spend your weekend or a busy meeting packed workday figuring out where your booth is, if not in the right location?  I’m guessing no, not really…it’s not worth the hassle, that’s where an extra dollar(possibly) spent is well worth it by using your exhibit house.

Augusta Smith