I have a new-ish Stanley #5. Yep, plastic tote, plastic front knob, plastic depth adjuster. No adjuster on the frog, just loosen the screws and slide it around. The blade vibrates like a tuning fork, and it doesn’t even begin to hold an adjustment. But it looks like a plane.
So I decided to upgrade. Seriously. $14.50 on ebay. With shipping.
I don’t know the vintage on this plane, but it’s certainly not a “collectable” vintage. The knob and tote are painted black over wood, and I believe that is the original finish. I removed some of the finish from the knob, and it’s certainly not rosewood hiding under there. But it has a metal blade adjuster and a frog adjuster. I think it will make a fine upgrade, especially after some clean up, a fresh Ron Hock blade and perhaps a little hot rodding.
I pulled most of it apart, which took perhaps 45 seconds. The last thing I disassembled with an eye toward improving was an Ironhead Sportster. That took longer.
So, what do we have? A lot of dirt and rust. But at this point all the parts are accounted for and nothing seem broken. The lateral adjuster is tight. The wood is solid — if nothing else I can refinish that.
The blade might need to be resharpened…
But I have a replacement Hock iron already, so I’m good there.
I checked the sole with a straightedge and it needs a little flattening, but it’s straighter then the new #5 was out of the box. If anyone is just starting out and wants the late model #5 I’ll make you a, uhm, a Sweethart deal.
Next steps are to clean up the parts, re-assemble it and lap in the sole and sides. Then I’ll pull it apart for detailing and try to avoid getting carried away.