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Craftsman Planes???

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What is the general option on vintage Craftsman planes?  Are they worth buying? I have found a couple NOS or barely used ones for a good price but have not read much about them as far as their quality.

Jeremy

  

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Craftsman is a Stanley badged for job site work or handyman ownership. They will work, but they may come with stamped steel frogs and other budget conscious downgrades. I also don’t care for the feel of them. 

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I have a Craftsman no. 4 and no. 7. The 4 is pretty lightweight and is a bugger to keep set how I want it. Blades really thin. It gets the job done when the blade is sharp, but not the funnest plane to use. The 7 seems to be the same plane pretty much, just bigger. I have better luck using it for whatever reason. 

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Most vintage hand planes, require a lot more work and tuning than the newer hand planes.  However there are good hand planes of every brand, but you'll be hard pressed to find them. However saying that, the real "Stanley" planes are easier to tune, and can be retrofitted with better blades should you need a better blade. The Stanley planes have a heavier weight, giving them a better chance of doing what you ask of them. There is one caveat. Even Stanley planes can be tough to get functioning properly. You have to be prepared to do all that makes a plane workable.  Flattening the sole, super care of the frog, Have a very good sharpening system, and with patience you can get a top notch hand tool.   But it does require attention to detail, patience, and a lot of practice. I have no  newer planes, all mine are Stanley and Miller Falls, I even use a few wooden planes, but those are for specific functions.

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I run an old 5C and I love it. I scalloped cambered the blade heavily and use it for heavy removal. I don't have any other Craftsman planes but that works for what I use it for.

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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.

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On 4/17/2019 at 4:27 PM, woodbutcher said:

The 7 seems to be the same plane pretty much, just bigger. I have better luck using it for whatever reason. 

That's because of the extra mass of the larger #7. It has more weight behind it, so it cuts a little easier.

Just my .02.

Take care

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