Plane sale-ing

(Apologies for the terrible pun! 🙂 )

I had a day off work today and got to spend a little bit of time with my wife while my mother-in-law looked after the kids.

After traipsing round town for a bit and mooching in a few shops we went to a Bric-a-brac shop which opened recently.

It sells everything “from a pin to an elephant” as my grandma used to say, including a selection of rusty old tools.

In amongst the dross were some quite nice handsaws and a few planes with some seemingly random pricing – an Acorn plane with a broken casting was £16 while a not too dissimilar one in much better condition was priced at £5.

They also had a Stanley No. 45 for £25 but it didn’t look complete (or at least there were no blades with it).

I came away with an Acorn No. 4 for £5 and a very greasy (yet still quite rusty!) Stanley Bailey No. 4 1/2 for £4.

They both looked square (by eye), complete and not too badly worn so I took a punt.

Having looked at eBay I think I paid a fair price for the Acorn, which is in fairly good shape:

albeit with a small crack to thetote

it took me a while to notice any other markings on it other than “Acorn” on the toe:

… and on the chip breaker:

Acorn chip breaker

… and “Sheffield” on the side:

Acorn Sheffield

… but after the wipe down I spotted the “No. 4” marking behind the front handle:

Acorn No. 4 marking

It looks like I did quite well with the Stanley compared to some eBay prices I’ve seen (but of course I may have missed a flaw!)

It has a few splatters of white paint:

Stanley Bailey chip breaker

The lever cap seems to have a kidney shaped hole in it as per which seems to indicate the plane (or at least the chip breaker) dates from the 1930s or later.


Stanley Bailey No. 4 1/2 hand plane before a spray of WD40 and a wipe with a paper towel


It’s amazing what a squirt of WD40 and a wipe down with a paper towel has done – I look forward to giving them both a proper clean at the weekend.

I’m not sure yet whether I’ll sell my Faithful No. 4 – a lot will depend on how they scrub up and perform.

Stanley Bailey No. 4 1/2 (L) and Acorn (R) after a quick wipe

I’ve found a number of very useful pages on the subject including:

This entry was posted in Bric-a-brac, Hand tools, Purchases, Restoration, Tools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Plane sale-ing

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