A few weeks ago I was wandering thru an antique shop when I spied a very shapely
plane. The tag said Stanley but no Stanley I had ever seen had shapes like this.
The whole edge was a series of graceful curves. On top of that it had a very
different blade adjustment system involving a lever and a worm gear. For the
small asking price, it had to come home w/ me.
A few minutes of googling took me to Peter McBride’s great site on Chaplin’s
Patent Planes — http://www.peterm
The plane I bought clearly has some issues:
There are a couple of holes that don’t seem to belong. The reason for the one in
the sole if fairly obvious but the one in either side of the cheeks baffles me.
The screw for the rear tote is clearly aftermarket.
The blade is a replacement by Stanley. Since it is a Rule & Level marked blade
it must have occurred some time ago. And since the patent on the plane is c.
1872, a Rule & Level dated replacement is reasonable enough. However, the
Stanley blade is slotted and the Chaplin requires a solid blade as the cap needs
to bear on the solid. At first I thot the metal infill for the slot was by
soldering but a careful look shows it was simply peened in place. Very
For those for whom pictures are better than words, go here: