Shaw’s Patent rehab

July 2014

I bought this plane back in July 2014 from Patrick Leach. It is a Sargent no. 14C Jack plane. This is Sargent’s equivalent of a Stanley no. 5. It is known as a Shaw’s Patent, after it’s inventor who was assigned the patent for this plane’s adjustable frog on the 3rd of July 1906. If you want to know more you can go here and read Patrick Leach’s so called “Blood and Gore”.

From what I can deduct they were only made between 1910 and 1918. What is confusing though, is that I also found a type study on these planes that dates the different appearances of the trademark on the lever cap. According to that, this plane is a type 4, and is dated as 1919-1942. So maybe that means that the main casting dates back to 1910-1918 and the levercap from a bit later, not sure.

In the picture below it is the plane at the top. It was taken prior to it’s trans-Atlantic journey. The plane actually traveled in two different shipments. I received the frog, blade, chip breaker, tote, knob and levercap in October 2014. The main casting only arrived in February of this year.



Unfortunately, I did not take a picture after bead blasting, but my usual sequence of steps are well documented in previous posts on this topic. Simply click “Rehabilitation of old tools” category on my website’s side bar for a selection of posts on the topic.


The picture below illustrate the frog’s mating surface on the main casting. It runs parallel to the sole of the plane, which is helpful in that the set of the blade does not change when the frog is shifted forwards or backwards. My only gripe with Sargent planes is that the machining on the two planes I have is pretty poor compared to Stanleys. You might actually notice it in the picture below.


Here I am busy flattening the frog’s mating surface and again the poor quality machining is quite obvious. To be fair, I must also say that the levercap appears to be similar to much earlier Stanley models in the quality (in other words quite elegant) of machining. The frog was plated with cadmium as a rust prevention treatment and aesthetic enhancer.


The horn of the tote needed repair as well. It is the tote on the left in the second picture.


I did this rehab at the same time as that of the Stanley no. 8 pictured with the Shaw’s Patent below.



I sharpened the blade with a fairly aggressive camber as this will become my aggressive Jack plane used in tandem with a shop made scrub plane. You will notice that the levercap also received the cadmium plating.


The plane’s first job turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. It worked really well, but it was the amount of work that caused the trauma. You can read more about that here.


I have to say that this is a very good plane after a bit of tuning. The design of the adjustable frog gives it a bit of an edge over similar Stanleys. However, everything has it’s pros and cons.

Roubo sharpening bench – part 5


This particular instalment should actually be entitled “The weekend of the plane”.  That was literally the only tool I used all weekend, if we disregard the workbench as a clamping device. I feel as if I’ve been hit by a barrage of no. 8 Jointers.

In the pictures below you can see the setup I used to limit movement of these massive 90 mm x 200 mm x 3200 mm beams in order to do the damage (to myself mostly). Two blocks of wood fixed by holdfasts stop the lateral movement during diagonal work with the scrub plane. Two small blocks of wood screwed to the bottom of the beam hooks over the one end of the bench to stop the beam moving forward during conventional longitudinal planing.


Here you can see how I started off with my shop made scrub plane.


That was followed by this shop made Jack plane and then a Jointer plane.


For the second beam I flattened, I used this Shaw’s Patent (Sargent) for the Jack plane phase. It has a fairly aggressive camber on the blade and worked very well. I recently finished it’s rehab, so this was it’s first job. My tool model also had a ball of a time posing with it. Watch this space for a post on the rehab process.


All three of these boards had some degree of twist in them. You can probably imagine the blood, sweat and tears it took to create three flat and untwisted reference surfaces. By Saturday evening I managed to achieve that.


The next morning I started with the edges. You can see how my bench dealt with this enormous hunk of wood.


A picture of the barrage of planes that tortured me all weekend.



By lunch time on Sunday the wife joined me after her run to help feed the beams to the electric planer. That was a mission in itself, but we managed to get it done in about 30 minutes. The tool model then took the opportunity to do her impression of Puff Daddy.



It was the first time in many years that I chose to rest on a Sunday afternoon, rather than work in the shop. It is not me at all, but planing boards of this size by hand is not child’s play.




Now there are only 5 more edges to do by hand as these beams will not fit through my electrical planer. It only goes to 150 mm in height!! Can anyone remind me why I need a bench like this?

Stanley no. 8 Jointer (ca 1899-1902) rehab


I bought this Stanley no. 8 from Patrick Leach way back in September 2014. I usually get him to hold on to tools I buy until we have enough merchandise to justify a fixed price shipment. The plane therefore only set foot on Namibian wood (so to speak) by end of October 2014.

It seems to be a so called Type 8, made between 1899-1902. Patrick thought it was a Type 7 as he had it down as ca 1896. He is the expert, but as far as I can tell from my research, it is a Type 8 for having a B casting mark at the bottom of the frog. The Type 7 is supposed to have a S casting mark according to my reading.


Anyway, that is all quite boring and of purely academic interest, although I must admit I find it riveting. Yes I know … loser!

In the picture below you can see it hanging with some other tools in Ashby MA USA. I bought it at a cheaper price (certainly not cheap for you American boys, who can probably buy it at a quarter of the price at a flea market) due to the fact that it has a hole drilled at the heal of the main casting. Tradesmen used to do this in order to hang the plane on the wall. Apparently this atrocious violation of the plane’s integrity renders it as worthless to a collector. I am so very happy that collectors hold this view as it meant that I was able to afford one of the best planes in my working collection.


Here are a few pictures after it arrived at my shop.


In my opinion the frog’s bedding area on the main casting is one of the two design elements of these planes that make them so good. It is parallel to the sole and relatively large compare to later offerings.


As per usual by now, I took the plane apart and divided the parts into two plastic bags. One for bead blasting only and the other for the aforementioned as well as cadmium plating. Once again I have to warn you that philistine practices such as radical restoration would induce an epileptic seizure in your average collector and significantly reduce the value of the plane to him/her once they regain consciousness postictally. I seem to be immune to this particular ailment.


Back from Kenny at the Prop Shop.


I usually treat the raw metal with rust converter first. I have no idea whether this is a good idea, but it seems to create a very nice grippy surface for the layers of paint to follow. That is followed by a layer of anti-rust paint (not pictured) that is orange in colour. Finally followed by three layers of what is called high gloss truck enamel paint.



As you can see from the date above, this project then went into hibernation for some time. The tote on the right is this plane’s. It received a Woodock treatment after these pictures were taken to make the repair less obvious.


Next came the key mating surfaces. I flattened these carefully with a range of different techniques. What I realise is that the machining on these planes are significantly superior to the later models I have reconditioned. That saying about things that used to be better back in the day rings true in this particular case. You can also appreciate what cadmium plating looks like as the frog received such treatment.


This next picture illustrate the second reason why these planes are so much better than later models. Just look at the large flat areas that supports the back of the blade. As you can see, I did some extra work to ensure that it is super flat.


One reconditioned granddad looking like the business at the ripe old age of 115.


Roubo sharpening bench – part 4


It has been quite some time since I’ve had the opportunity to play in the shop. It felt very good to get into that zone again to progress this project. In the pictures you can see how I used the actual parts to mark out where the mortises should go in the legs.


This picture shows one of the two batons (a Schwarzism) used to make the placement of the stretchers repeatable and in the exact same position relative to the apron.


Here I traced the tenons onto the legs and then used that to locate the mortises.


As so …


I used my shop made saw benches in order to have a comfortable hight at which to drill out the waste with two different bits and braces. The larger diameter centre bit (Marples) was used with a 12″ sweep Stanley no. 923 and the smaller diameter spiral bit (Irwin) with a 10″ sweep Stanley no. 923.



At this stage I moved on to start preparing the three massive chunks of wood that will become the top. Here you can see what they looked like before any TLC. They all had lots of nails imbedded all over the place


Then I flicked back to the mortises in the legs and took to it with a range of chisels.


After the above picture was taken I started the careful chopping until the aprons fitted as seen below.


Hopefully I’ll have more shop time this weekend to attack those gigantic boards for the top with a range of hand planes.


The Bad Axe experience


In this post I would like to highlight what it is like  to deal with Mark Harrell from Bad Axe. The short answer is that it is the best customer service I have ever encountered, but I am sure you want to know a smidgen more.

I first e-mailed Mark on the 13th of April 2015, with some questions regarding the process of getting a custom saw built. He replied the same day and explained the process. We then went into an e-mail discussion where I told him what I want to do with the saw and he advised me what would work best for that purpose.

I ended up ordering two saws. One for my cousin in Cape Town and one for me. I asked Mark to send both saws to Cape Town to save a bit on shipment cost. The picture below show the saws in the Bad Axe workshop before leaving on it’s journey to SA. It is a Roubo Beast Master (Filing: Hybrid-Cut , Pitch: 9 ppi, .0315-Gauge Plate , Back: Copper-Plated Steel , Species: Texas Honey Mesquite , Fasteners: Black-Oxided/Gun-Blued Steel Slotted-Nuts , Size: regular ) and a 12″ Hybrid Dovetail/Small Tenon Saw  (Filing: Hybrid-Cut , Pitch: 14 ppi , Gauge: .02 , Sawback: Copper-Plated Steel , Handle Type: Open Disston Pattern , Species: Wisconsin Black Walnut , Fasteners: Black-Oxided/Gun-Blued Steel Slotted-Nuts , Size: large)


Here they are after the arduous journey at my cousin’s practice in Cape Town on June the 16th. He is a Urologist, but promised that he would not use it in theatre. It might cause damage where it is not needed.

Sae by Jogy

… and finally in my shop in Windhoek. I picked mine up during a recent trip to SA.


My monster is absolutely sublime. It compares very well with my Disston no. 12’s. I need to cut some massive tenons in the next few weeks and will sure post on that experience, but for now I can only say that the whole experience of dealing with Mark Harrell and Bad Axe Tool Works has been a pleasure.

Thank you Mark, you are a legend!