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No.5 Jack Plane


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Stanleys are quite collectable, so a Stanley in really good nick will probably cost you more than one of the less well known equivalents. I have a 30's Record and a similar vinatge Sargent, which are both excellent tools, and cost me next to nothing (one inherited, one from a charity shop).

The corrgugated sole planes are supposed to have less surface area in contact with the wood, and hence, less drag. They are supposed to be nice for slightly sticky woods, but not worth paying more for. If the price is right, they are certainly every bit as good as the flat soled planes, and they are easier to level, since you have less material to remove.

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Like Setch says, corrugated, flat, whatever..

Stanley Bedrocks are great but go for a king's ransom, but Stanley Baileys are plentiful; the older the better, really, and anything older than the early to mid fifties goes downhill fast, quality-wise. Pre-world wars is best. Records are also excellent tools, and stayed good through the 1960's/1970's, and if you're in the UK, they're easy to find.

There are a lot of smaller manufacturers that made great tools, like Miller Falls, Union, etc. Google 'Stanley Blood & Gore' and sign up for Patrick Leach's mailing list (old tools, refurbed, ready to use) for some fair prices on good user tools.

My personal 'stash' is a broken #5 (going to try and have it welded, nosedived and broke), circa 1918, a mid-50's Record 5 1/2, a Union Tool Co. #6, a pair of Record #4's and a Record #7 which will need some major fixing upping when I find the time. Then there's the Steve Knight wooden jointer (excellent, excellent tool), a new UK-made block plane (Adjustable mouth...it's OK, but the iron is lousy) and a UK-made corrugated sole #4 (Again, lousy iron, ok tool after a lot of tuning). The older tools are by far the better ones, and you simply can't beat the mojo. I wouldn't say no to a new Lie-Nielsen, but I've spent about as much for all my metal planes combined as I would've spent on a single new #5 1/2 from Lie Nielsen.

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I'd go for it if I lived in the states. I'm sure with just a bit of TLC it could be a good workhorse. The crack in the handle shouldn't be hard to fix. Better hurry up before someone takes it for the BIN.

The only thing I see thats funky is the rust on the blade. I assume that is the top of the blade. If the plade is pitted on the flat side it will need to be replaced. I seem to remember most planes used to cost a fortune a few years back I think the hype has gone out of the market big time. If you dont want to loose it BIN and stop asking questions. Replacements blades are available . As long as the body isnt cracked its a winner and the body looks in fine shape.


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