Greg Ricketts

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  • Woodworking Interests
    Restoring antique hand tools and joinery.

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  1. Like most hand planes, except modern makers, the pre-WWII planes were generally good tools. Post WWII, quality gave way to price, as with most things, and most hand tools became cheap imitations of once great tools. I am unaware of any stamped steel frog Craftsman planes, but would like to see any that have been found. I have restored Craftsman planes from the original type 1 Craftsman of 1928, made by Sargent, to 1951 versions featuring the new synthetic material, phenolic plastic. All work well when properly tuned. The type 1 is a top of the line Sargent brass badge plane wearing Craftsman logos. Craftsman planes are generally undervalued and can be a bargain price for a quality plane, if you have some idea of what to look for. Get familiar with the type 1 and type 2 Craftsman trademarks, then find planes wearing those marks. You will have an outstanding and beautiful tool that can run with any maker. The type 1 Craftsman below easily produces shavings 0.001 or less in thickness.
  2. It has been a LONG time since anyone has provided links here. Here are a few of my favorite sources on antique hand planes: https://www.timetestedtools.net/ Don Wilwol's site on anything Sargent, and many others. https://www.plane-dealer.com/ Mark Nickel collector of all Size 1 and 2 planes. Very skilled restorer and great writer about the collecting experience. https://woodandshop.com/ Joshua Farnsworth runs a wood working school. Here you will find extremely helpful information on Stanley planes including an automated type study identifier and a cutting iron trademark data table. Joshua's site also hosts many wood working guides, videos, interviews. Lots to see and do. http://www.vaughanandbushnellplanes.com/ Best information on Vaughn & Bushnell planes. Outstanding planes in looks and performance. https://aplanelife.us/ My own site focused on Fulton planes. I restore all types of planes as a hobby and occasionally present a few for sale. If you like antique hand planes that look as good or better than new, check out my style of highly restored antique planes.
  3. I prefer putting vintage quality planes back in service. Can be inexpensive and produce great results. Otherwise, invest in real woodworking enthusiasts and buy a Lie-Nielsen plane. If that is simply out of the budget, the next best investment would be Veritas of Canada. Asia does not care about your hobby and doesn’t need your business.