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.