Hand Tools Archive

comparing 4 1/2s *PIC*
Response To:
Re: maybe this will help ()

David Weaver
I don't know who made this marples, but it looks a lot like a record, which in turns looks a lot like an early 1900s stanley.

Flanked on both sides by two stanley 4s.

The biggest difference between these three (which compares to your thoughts on feel) is that the 4 1/2 uses the tall handle used on jack and bigger planes. It doesn't look like much, but 1/4th inch of handle height is huge and probably accommodates 1/4th of the population.

I believe the one on the right is type 19 or something (but I'm not going out to look at type studies) and the one on the left is not too many types below. I like the later stanley smoothers better than the earlier ones - the adjuster wheel and frog design are more practical.

I've had something like 10 4 1/2s and never keep more than one at a time in most cases. This one that I Just flattened yesterday had a lot of wear, but it's super smooth adjusting without resorting to the absurdly slow LN adjuster. It's on the high end for weight of stanley copies - less than an ounce away from a round 5 pounds. Any time I use a heavy 4 1/2, it makes for an obligatory feeling to increase shaving thickness to get something done with the weight rather than just pushing the weight around.

All three of these are nice users. I don't intend to sell the marples plane. It'll probably happen in a year or two, anyway, as I'll get bored with it, but the blue stanley is here forever.

sorry about the turned picture. The resizer feels the orientation is better that way and if I rotate it and save it in windows photo app, it'll go above 100k and not load. It's good enough to see what's needed.

I've never made a wooden plane for someone without knowing what size their hand is - it's essential.

AS for big hands on 4s, pinkie off the side and index finger forward and a four should still accommodate. If that outside pinkie should ever meet an object on the bench mid work, though, swearing will ensue.

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