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Words On Wood

ECE wood planes

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I just bought a ECE (E.C Enmerich) wood plane at an auction for 2 dollars. The plane did not come with the iron or any other parts just the wood plane its self. New to the hand plane market need help finding the parts for it. Have looked all over the interweb with no luck on what model it may be for sure. It is 24" long 3"wide. 

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17 minutes ago, Words On Wood said:

I just bought a ECE (E.C Enmerich) wood plane at an auction for 2 dollars. The plane did not come with the iron or any other parts just the wood plane its self. New to the hand plane market need help finding the parts for it. Have looked all over the interweb with no luck on what model it may be for sure. It is 24" long 3"wide. 

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/planes/blades/60009-lee-valley-blades-for-wooden-planes

https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/ecejackandsmoothplanereplacementiron.aspx

The above are links to 2 good companies that sell replacement parts for wooden plans. Below is the link to a plane that I suspect is what you have. It should give you some additional information about the hand plane.

https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/ecejointerplane.aspx

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The plane picture in @Chestnut's link uses a bar to retain the wedge, but the one you picture appears to use the wedge-shaped grooves in the sides of the plane for that purpose. My guess is that plane body is an older model. The bar type would be easier to produce, so probably is a newer, cheaper design.  The complete plane seems to use a standard Stanley type blade + chip breaker, so the groove in the bottom is probably clearance for the chip breaker retaining screw. You might just purchase an appropriate blade and chip breaker, and make the wedge yourself. It isn't difficult, just tedious.

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Depending on the exact width, a blade & chip breaker set from Hock Tools (good stuff!) will cost you $85 to $90.  Considering the retail cost of such a plane at near $200, I think you made out OK.

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I've an older ECE smoother, and it's well worth the purchase that you made, and the blade upgrade.

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I have several of these. Excellent planes. You can buy a replacement iron at https://www.fine-tools.com/. These planes are still made and about the only affordable new wooden planes on the market.

While they take a "Stanley style" blade, the steel is much thicker (~3/16 inch) and taper to fairly narrow as you get farther from the business end. There is a reason for this which I can explain if you wish. You will need to make a wedge to hold the blade in place. To get an idea what it should look like, take a look at any coffin plane at an antique store.

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I took a look at some catalog photos and, sure enough, ECE has cheapened up and gone to cross dowels versus the traditional wedge mortise (not right, but my brain is not finding the right word at the moment). This makes me wonder if they have also moved away from tapered blades. That would be a real loss if they have, but tapered blades are harder to make and we are all so eager to get tools cheaper these days. With this plane you really want a tapered blade, with the cross dowel it doesn't matter so much, even a tapered blade will wiggle loose after a while because there is less bearing surface to exert friction on it. A source for tapered blades is: https://redrosereproductions.com/tapered-bench-plane-irons/

It will cost you around $80 if they have one that fits. I suspect the taper is ground on these, old pre-20th century blades would have been forged that way. An alternative is eBay. Search for "tapered plane blade" or "tapered plane iron" and you will find a lot of choices from 100+ years ago. many of these come from discarded planes, mostly in England where they still value these things. Here they just go to the dump.

I threatened to explain why you want a tapered blade, nobody asked, so I will do the brain download anyway. If you compare the blade to the wedge that holds it you will see that the tapers are in opposition to each other. When you push on the plane, if the blade shifts at all it won't shift much before it gets locked in place due to the opposing tapers. Contrast that to the Krenov style plane with a flat blade and cross-dowel. There is nothing to increase the pressure if the blade slips; it just goes on slipping. This makes these planes disagreeable to adjust. You have to drive in the wedge a lot harder which puts more stress on the plane. And with the wedge driven in so hard, it's harder to finesse the blade in place to take that paper thin shaving we all crave. No disrespect for Mr. Krenov. He brought back the craft from the dead (with a little help from others) and there were good reasons to design a plane that budding woodworkers could make with little skill and still get satisfactory results.

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