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:
I have one, and love it.
Setting is fiddly but it holds a set better than most of my Stanleys.
Speaking of which.....am I the only one who can't keep a 4 set?
I have several. I manage all of them the same; the only one that holds a set
belonged to my great grandfather.
Ancestors helping me? Maybe because he never abused it and the others were
bought rough and cheap?
Sent from my iPhone
I posted the note below on Saturday and asked a couple of questions. There was a
bit of tongue-in-cheek but the one about the holes in the sides, as shown in
this pic, was genuine: https://www.flickr.com/photos/77280442@N...
There is one on each side and they are placed in exactly the same relative
location. If you pass a rod thru it will hit the frog so nothing passed between
them. They are not tapped. If they were to hold a fence you would expect two
holes on the same side. Any ideas on a purpose such holes might serve?
I sharpened the iron today and gave the plane a try. Works well enough that it
now has a home under my bench w/ my K7. The tote is very comfortable to hold and
calipers tell me it is about 1/32 of an inch thinner than the K7 and 1/16
shorter front to back. The original totes on these planes were wood, metal or
hard rubber. Since the front knob on mine is also wood I assume it is original.
At first I had thot I would have to “fix” the clunky square nut that holds the
tote in place, but it is functional and the steampunk look has kinda grown on