I’ve recently fell in love with most every hand plane, while I respect the Japanese hand plan, or “Kana” I find them too finicky for my daily use in the shop. I love the new breed of hand planes, Lie Nielsen or Lee Valley’s wonderful Veritas planes, I really do enjoy getting an old plane and bringing it back to life.
Recently I bought a Stanley #4 1/2 smoother, this is a short, but wide plane, and as the name suggests, it is used for smoothing, some of the last and finest cuts you make with a plane.
I bought the plane used from a friend, Rich, in the US for $50, good price, thanks Rich, the shipping was $55 to Japan, IIRC. The plane is in decent shape, with only a few minor problems.
First and foremost the sole was not flat, you can see in the pic below……
The other problem is that the tote, or handle at the back is cracked…..
In the end it came up great, nice flat sole, repaired tote and a sharp blade.
The blade is one thing that I will change, I have a new blade on order that is manufactured in Canada with a matching chip breaker, these are made by IBC this will cost another $85. Total I’ll have $190 into this plane, but I think it will preform as well as a new Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen #4 1/2 smoother, which cost $325 plus another $50 for shipping.