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How Many Handplanes to Build a Guitar?

Houses tell a lot about the people who built them and the people who live in them.

Jane Valentine Barker, Historic Homes of Boulder County, 1979

What's wrong with this photo? Can anyone find fault with what is on my workbench?

Now that we are more or less settled into our new place, I had to inspect all my hand tools to see if any were damaged in the move from California. The only one to suffer some dings was my grandfather's Stanley No. 5 plane, then I discovered another problem. I think I own too many hand planes!

Starting left to right:

1. Transitional jointer, blade is marked Fulton. I purchased this in Flagstaff, Arizona about 1990.
2. Stanley No. 7 jointer, Sweetheart era, I haven't typed it out yet. Purchased from Sydnas Sloot around 2003.
3. Stanley No. 7 jointer, purchased new from Garrett Wade in 1996.
4. Stanley No. 36, Transitional jack plane, purchased from Sydnas Sloot in 2009.
5. Stanley No. 5 jack plane, type 5, this plane belonged to my grandfather, I have no idea when he acquired it, I assume 1909, before he married my grandmother.
6. Stanley No. 5, corrugated jack, type 11, purchased 2010 from Jim Bode Tools.
7. Stanley No. 5, jack plane, type 11, purchased from Syndas Sloot about 2004. (You think I like No, 5's?)
8. Stanley No. 5 1/4, junior jack, haven't typed it out yet, probably post WWII, purchased at Cascade Antiques, Redding, California 2006.
9. Stanley No. 35 transitional smoother, purchased at Fort Collins Flea Market, Colorado, 2006. It bears the stamp of an owner, A. Valentine, I like to think he was associated with Valentine Hardware that once operated in Boulder, CO.
10. Stanley No. 35, transitional smoother, purchased from Syndas Sloot, 2009 just so I could get the handle to replace the broken one on Valentine's plane.
11. Coffin smoothing plane, modified to carry a handle. I posted photos of this plane on an early post.
12. Stanley No. 4 smoother, Type 11. Purchased at Fort Collins Flea Market, 1997 on my way to visit friends in Cheyenne.
13. Stanley No. 4 smoother, Type 11. I purchased most of this plane from Sydnas Sloot, I swapped out the knob, blade adjustment wheel and few other parts from a plane that had a cracked body.
14. Stanley No. 3, Type 11. Got this from Sydnas Sloot, not sure of the year.
15. Stanley No. 3, haven't typed it out, probably from the 1920', bought this from Akbar's Tool Hut in 1999.
16. Stanley No. 40, scrub plane, I can't remember if I purchased this from Sydnas Sloot or Jon Zimmers around 1999, 2000.
17. Stanley No. 40, scrub plane, no blade, no blade cap. Got this at Cascades Antiques in Redding, 2008.
18. Stanley No. 192, rabbet plane, belonged to my grandfather.
19. Stanley No. 9 1/2. Can't remember where I got this one.
20. Stanley No. 9 1/2, block plane. Purchased at McGuckin's Hardware, Boulder, Colorado, 1996.
21. Stanley No. 60 1/2, block plane, purchased at McGuckin's in 1999, I remember that it was on sale for $20!
22. Stanley No. 60 1/2, block plane. Got this at an antique store alongside the road that takes you to Shasta Dam in northern California, 2008.
23-24. The two little thumb planes I made in California, they appear in an earlier posting. One is ebony, rosewood shaft and manzanita burl for the knob, the other is Pacific Dogwood, ebony shaft, walnut knob.

Do I own enough hand planes? What do you think?! Oh, you can see my new bench room in the photo.


  1. wilson, the only "wrong" thing that I see in the picture is that the planes are all setting on their soles, rather than on their sides. my old wood shop teacher had our guts for garters if he caught us resting a plane on its sole. Yes, I think he was over-emphatic. But no, I still rest a plane on its side.

    'tis hot as hades here and we're thinking, wistfully, of faraway mountainous places....

  2. Thunderstorms here today, Dave, nice and cool. It is a wonderful change from the central California heat. I too rest my planes on there sides, but for the photo I decided to rest them on their souls. Honestly, I think I have a problem about collecting planes!



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