Thread: Stanley #29 Transitional Plane
10th June 2022, 02:07 PM #31
So yeah, a clean front on the mouth & a polished chip-breaker are two small but useful things to attend to when fettling an old plane....
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13th June 2022, 08:23 PM #32
Titan blade on Ebay
THIS has just come on fleabay today; starting bid of $15 and located in Bundamba.
Looks like someone has used it in a woody judging by the hammer dings on the end and the extended/filed out slot. Neither of these will affect itís performance but I wouldnít pay more than $30 for it. Titans often have a bit of a hollow on their backs and therefore really benefit from using the ruler trick when honing, or being sharpened with a 5-15 degree back bevel and used on really cranky grain. Stanley HSS tipped blades donít have this flaw.Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.
13th June 2022, 08:39 PM #33
Thanks Chief. I've bought a PMV11 blade but I'll keep an eye on the auction and if I can get it for $30 or less, I will. Cheers, Mike.
17th June 2022, 10:21 AM #34
I have often wondered when these planes were phased out. The last catalogue I found them in was 1941, but not your model. The next catalogue, 1949, no longer listed them
These are a few extracts from earlier catalogues. The No.29 was the larger of the two Fore planes listed in each case.
From the 1900 catalogue:
Stanley Tools 1900 transitional planes.jpg
From the 1912 catalogue:
StanleyTools1912 transitional plane.jpg
From the 1914 catalogue:
Stanley Tools Catalogue No 34 1914 transitional planes.jpg
In particular this last catalogue mentioned although the blades were interchangeable, the cap irons were not interchangeable between wood and metal planes
Stanley Tools Catalogue No 34 1914 bencch plane irons.jpg
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
17th June 2022, 11:07 AM #35
Thanks for the information, Paul. I didn't realise these transitional planes were still made in the late 40's.
The patent date on my blade (assuming that it's the original) says "PAT APL 19.92". I assume that's 1892 but it of course does not indicate when my specific plane was actually made. I was thinking late 1890's but that's just an uneducated guess on my part.
I'm almost done with the restoration of the plane....
The sole has been re-flattened, and re-finished in diluted (w/min turps) BLO and a couple coats of paste wax.
The repair on the tote has been filled in with CA medium black, sanded to 400grit, and dunked in diluted BLO. I'll give it and the front knob a few coats of hard shellac.
The frog, cast iron frame, and lever cap have been de-rusted, sanded back to bare metal where possible, and sprayed with gloss black epoxy enamel.
The brass pieces have been polished and sprayed with a clear coating to prevent them from tarnishing. All the heads of the screws/bolts have been polished with a wire wheel. The PMV11 blade has arrived and is just awaiting the Hock cap-iron.
The original cap-iron (along with the blade and cap-iron of my badger plane) is currently de-rusting in some vinegar just in case the Hock cap-iron is not compatible.
Hopefully, my next update will be to share a few wispy shavings !!!
17th June 2022, 01:36 PM #36
That plane is coming up a treat. I looked a little more closely at the 1941 catalogue and realised the smaller No.28 fore plane is listed. It looks as though they rationalised the line up.
Stanley Tools Catalogue No 34 1941. No.28 transitional plane.jpg
An interesting reason for choosing a "Bailey" wood plane is suggested in the blurb. I had heard there are workshops with concrete floors .
The patent dates are really only suitable for determining the earliest date of tools, in your case, the plane. I wouldn't mind a dollar for every time I have seen an Ebay seller maintain the handsaw they have for sale was made in 1887 because they have read it off the medallion. It is only the patent date for the Glover pattern style of saw screw on the medallion and is nothing to do with the manufacturing date of the saw.
We can safely narrrow your No.29 down to 1892 to 1941 at the very latest (actually earlier than that as only the No.28 was listed in 1941)!
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
17th June 2022, 04:05 PM #37
There's probably aficionados out there who could probably narrow it down even further from the font or branding on the plane.
I saw one of those steel planes online recently and I thought it was a homemade-jobbie or repair 'coz I wasn't aware Stanley made such a version.
17th June 2022, 05:00 PM #38
According to Hans Brunner, the Stanley 29 was offered from 1869 - 1917
So it is well over 100 years old already
Tom.... some old things are lovely
Warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them ........................D.H. Lawrence
17th June 2022, 05:18 PM #39
18th June 2022, 07:31 PM #40
Ok........I'm very surprised and am now a believer and a full convert!!
The restoration is complete. I finished the wooden parts with a few coats of hard shellac except for the sole which is just coated in BLO/turps and Liberon Paste Wax. I ended up re-using the original cap-iron with the Veritas PMV11 blade. The Hock CI was not compatible. It took a while to clean up the original CI and get rid of the pitting at the business end. I used the sides of my 80grit VicMarc CBN wheel to hog out most of the material and then used a set of Atoma diamond plates to refine the mating surface. In contrast, I did very little to the PMV11 blade. All I did was free-hand a secondary bevel (approx 35deg) on my Shapton 16000 and polished the back using the ruler trick.
After putting it back together, it was "moment of truth" time and take a shaving.....
First I tried it on a scrap piece of unknown species of Australian hardwood. It's the same timber that I used for the leg vise and sliding deadman of my Shaker Workbench. It was sold to me as Blackbutt but I'm not convinced it is. I liken it's hardness to the average Tas Oak. In no time at all I was taking full-length shavings averaging 0.03mm thick. I managed to get it so thin that I couldn't measure it with my digital calipers because if I squeezed the jaws too hard, it would read zero. But it's not just about the thinness of the shavings. The user experience and the ease in which the plane glided over the workpiece is nothing I had experienced before. It was so easy and so controllable. With my metal planes, I kinda got used to maintaining the momentum through the cut. With the #29 I could vary the speed and force I was using.........mid-stroke!!
For the next test I tried a thin piece of bog-standard Tassie Oak. The #29 handled it with ease.....
....so I tried it on a bigger (35mm thick and 750mm long) piece of Tas Oak which had a bit of figure and gum veins. Again, the #29 passed with flying colours. Time to dial it up a notch.
Next I tried it on a well-seasoned and extremely hard and splintery IronBark. As you can see from the above photo the #29 didn't skip a beat and it left a silky smooth finish that almost looked polished. I was flabbergasted. Ironbark is one of those timbers that I'd given up hand planing if I wanted a "show" finish. I'm gonna have to reconsider that after these results.
For the ultimate test, I decided to try it on this......
......manky piece of Spotted Gum full of interlocked and reversing grain. It's not even a piece of timber that I would consider handplaning even if I just wanted to roughly dimension it. I certainly wasn't expecting the #29 to leave a glass-smooth finish. That would have just been unrealistic IMO. I just wanted to see how it would cope with such a challenge....
As I fully expected, a lot more effort was required but a not as much as I thought I would need. It was certainly easier than I could have expected with my metal-bodied planes.
Here's a close-up of the planed surface. TBH, I was pleasantly surprised that there weren't huge chunks torn out. Full-length shavings were never going to be the result given the nature of the piece and I consider it a success in my books.
Some may attribute my results to the PMV11 blade, and no doubt it played a huge part, but keep in mind that I've had heaps of experience with PMV11 and cryogenically treated A2 blades so I'm accustomed to their performance. It's hard to express the ease in which the #29 performed. Others may say that my results is just a case of confirmation bias, i.e. I subconsciously wanted the plane to do well because of all the work I had put into it. To them I say that is honestly not the case. In fact, prior to my testing, I was quite sceptical that a +100yr old plane could out-perform my modern Veritas and LN planes. But the results speak for themselves. This doesn't mean I'm going to get rid of my modern planes. They have their place and I still enjoy using them. What it does mean is I'm more open to these transitional planes. In fact I'll be scouring eBay for a #36 and probably a #26 or #27. I'd like a #37 (also called a Jenny Plane because they're smaller than a Jack Plane. Male donkeys are known as Jacks and the smaller females Jennys) but they're quite rare and priced accordingly.
19th June 2022, 09:38 AM #41
Good to hear you're such a happy chappy!
I guess the transitionals had to have something going for them (despite Patrick Leach's disdain & denigration); it would seem they sold plenty of them in Nth America if the numbers I saw at flea markets & junk shops when I was living over that way in the 70s & 80s is any guide.
I suspect a good part of the user-pleasure you are experiencing is due to the lack of friction thanks to the wooden sole, plus your hard work on fitting the cap-iron to perfection. Handling the hard woods you tested it out on with grace relies on the CI being well-fitted. In my experience, hard, short-fibred woods will soon find the minutest gaps. I use a bit of blue-gum as the acid test to see if I've got things right on a new plane, it beats visual inspection & even a feeler-gauge for finding any imperfections!
But Mike, you can never really take observer bias out of the equation, which is ok, when it's working for you, like a placebo, it's still doing you good.....
19th June 2022, 11:29 AM #42
Thanks Ian. I believe you are right. The lesser friction of the wooden sole is a huge reason why my experience was so positive. IMHO, calling these planes "transitional" is giving them a negative connotation. It's almost as if they're a beta version leading up to the final and better product. To me these planes have so much to offer: the lower friction sole, the same adjustability of the steel planes, easier to restore and re-flatten the sole, a lot lighter so they're less tiring to use, and so much cheaper on the secondhand market. I reckon they should be called "Goldilocks Planes" because they're just right.
It looks like what I thought was an optimistic offer on a #36 equivalent (Sargent 3412) has been accepted . It too has a 2 3/8" blade and I plan to set it up as a smoother. Hopefully I can interchange the whole blade assembly with the #29 if I ever needed the larger registration of the longer sole. I'll post an update of my restoration.
19th June 2022, 12:23 PM #43
19th June 2022, 12:44 PM #44
19th June 2022, 12:49 PM #45
It would seem none of the Jack planes come in 2 3/8" size blades. The widest is the #27 1/2 with a 2 1/4" blade and Veritas don't make a PMV11 that size. I may have to shorten a #28 or #29 down to get what I want.
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