That’s the first number 4 I ever bought. Recently, while planing some syp for my marking gauge project I broke the tote. I wasn’t pushing hard or taking a deep cut. It just broke. I’ve had a few weeks to think about it. At first I was frustrated. The seller had really seen me coming. They had taken a modern stanley, you can tell by the blue paint, and added a sweat heart iron and a low knob off of something and grafted them together to sell me what I thought was a vintage plane. Don’t ask what I paid, it was too much. I’ve grown a little wiser and now I know what to look for. That said, I learned how to sharpen, setup and plane with my Franken plane. It served its purpose. It also made me realize that I preferred low knobs over tall knobs. When it broke it galvanized my nerve. I decided to hunt up a new number 4 type 11 with the vee logo. I went to Jim Bode tools and had a perfect one on the way for 95 dollars. Cheap. When I started with hand tools I was about to buy a caninet saw for 2500 dollars. I can tell you I have all the hand tools I need and I’m not at 1000 after 4 or 5 years. With that said I was recently presented with a compromise. I found a number 3 type 11 that was mint to me. It was on ebay so I was nervous l, but the pictures were great. It only had one flaw. So I gambled and spent the 30 dollars. I was the only bidder. The flaw was too much for others, I guess. To me it made me like the plane even more.
On May 16, 1920 the owner had stamped or punched his name in the side. When I bid on it I thought I’d lap it out, but I’ve decided to keep it. The plane is emaculate and looks hardly used. No one wanted it and I’m glad to have it and use it for the rest of my life and care for it so it sees another 100 years. Like I said it’s all a matter of perspective. I wrote this post to let others like me, starting the hand tool journey, know to be patient with themselves. You will get screwed on ebay. Live with it. Find the positives in broken totes and ruined work. It’s all part of the journey. And if you find an old tool no one wants, take it home and love it and make it yours.
Here she is with her new family.
Thanks for reading.