My latest finds

My latest finds: my new Stanley #2, a 604 Bedrock, a house painted 5 1/2 and a Type 11 Number 7

Well, as promised, here are pics of my latest finds. I'll start with the star of the group, my new Stanley #2. I purchased it at the MWTCA event in Dearborn, MI for $40. It was missing the lever cap but it just so happens that I had a #2 lever cap in my bag of spare parts. I sharpened the iron up and it cuts beautifully. It is sitting there next to my favorite 604 smoother, which I just purchased off eBay for $25. It has a big chunk out of the casting but this doesn't effect its use at all. So I scored a great plane at a fabulous price. I put a new Hock iron in there and I can cut hard maple shavings you can see through!

My two favorite smoothing planes

The Type 11 #7 jointer I purchased at the Midland Antique Show this past weekend. The tote and knob are perfect, the casting is solid and the iron has plenty of life left. The only apology is that most of the jappaning is gone. I'm planning to re-paint the plane to restore the proper look. I plane to make this into my best user jointer plane. Best of all, I paid the guy a grand total of $20 for it! I almost bought a Type 11 number 6 from the same guy, but the mouth on the plane was all chipped out. I probably should have bought it, but you can't get them all.

Number 5 1/2 and a Number 7... both should restore nicely!

The 5 1/2 I just purchased today. I found it over at the Lake Odessa Antique Mall in Lake Odessa, MI. I spent the first few minutes simply in awe of how much stuff they had! The mall was literally one half of a city block. Simply massive. I left some good stuff there too, including a Craftsman version of a Stanley 45. I encourage you to head that way if you get the chance.

At first, I believed that my new 5 1/2 is a Type 4, which makes it just about 130 years old. However, after receiving some information from the Galoots on the Old Tools List, I now believe it was made between 1898 and 1902. At some point, someone decided it was a good idea to paint the whole thing with a thick coat of gray house paint. Despite destroying the japanning, I'm actually grateful to this misguided soul because there isn't a spot of rust anywhere on the plane. The first order of business is to strip the paint and bring it back to user quality. I might sell this one, given that it is pretty old and I imagine quite collectible. Anybody have any idea? For this one, I gave $14.00.

The 5 1/2 and the 7, full body shot

As you can see, it has been a good couple of weeks for me. I'm getting ready to sell off some of my collection, a piece at a time, so keep checking back. Just like on my weekend tool-hunting trips, you'll never know what you might find.

If any of you ever come up to mid-Michigan and want to head out to do some rust hunting, get in touch with me at As always, here's hoping you get some time in your shop and time to shop for your latest treasures.



  1. Zach, congratulations on your finds. I have enjoyed your recent posts on Sawmill Creek and Wood Net. I live in Rockford, MI and keep a lookout for old tools in this area. I am always looking for new sources. You mentioned an antique mall in Lake Odessa and I may have to check it out. I have a cousin who lives there. I will keep watching for your blog posts. Tom

  2. Tom,

    Thanks for the congrats. I've been pretty lucky this year. Here's hoping next year is too! You should definitely check out the Lake Odessa mall. It has all kinds of really interesting stuff, not just tools. Better give yourself a couple hours to get through it.


  3. Nice Job...You surly breathed new life into it. I would have walked right by a plane in that condition.

  4. I have a few of my wife's grandfather's old hand planes. I attended the Marc Adam's School of Woodworking last week. I took a course from Michael C. Fortune. Learned how to sharpen those planes. Still like the look and feell of the "old used" plane compared to "restored" More of a conversation piece, but to each their own. Nice job!

  5. Keith and Kevin,

    Thanks for your kind words. Most of the time, I'm happy to leave my planes looking well-used. However, if I see one that has been abused, I feel compelled to make it right. Especially if the jappaning is rusted off, totes are broken, etc. It's the rare tool that I'll refinish. I love using my planes and I want to keep them in condition for my own use and for the next generation.

    Thanks again,


  6. Zach, my wife and I will be taking a drive though south-central Michigan on Thursday this week. Do you have any suggestions on places to find old tools? Antique shops, dealers, etc. Its my birthday and she is letting me indulge my interest in old tools. Thanks, Tom

  7. Great looking tool. Really enjoy your blog.
    Please check my blog out and look for new projects and posts weekly.