Stanley by numbers Fundamentals, Hints, Tips and Tricks
About Stanley by numbers
This is not an Australian type study and not your definitive oeuvre on everything Stanley. There are more detailed publications available. If you keep collecting Stanley tools you will inevitably find them. If you want the information from this site in a handy reference book with current prices I suggest you purchase my Stanley Planes guide here - it will save you a lot of time and money. The Stanley Plane Guide is available in book form or as an eBook for your iPhone or mobile device as a handy reference to carry with you to the next tool sale
I never thought vintage tools were a good investment but if you buy them at the right price they will keep and/or increase their value. I know of many collectors who have built their collections over 20 or more years and never paid top dollar for a single plane. Itís still possible but it takes time. Stanley planes, even the rarest of the rare, might still pop up at flea markets, garage sales, swap meets, General auctions or on a dusty shelf in a neglected corner of an antique shop. And of course, there is eBay! Still the number one source of bargain buying for dealers and collectors alike. The more time you invest, the better the result. Prepare to get stung every now and then but more often than not the risk is well worth taking. I bought some of the best and rarest tools on a hunch.... a fuzzy picture or a wrong description. Alas, I also bought some of my worst tools that way!
SHOP AROUND BEFORE YOU BUY - window shopping pays .... there is a lot of money invested in some of the new super tool sites and the bulk of it is not from tool dealing. I do not recommend any of them. Visit their sites for a quote or a laugh, then half the price and shop around. If you cannot find a tool for less you should not be collecting..... . After 20 years of buying and selling tools for a living I can guarantee that every tool you see on those tools sites I can find for 50%-75% less. If I can do it so can you. Take your time - tool prices have come down a lot over the last 20 years and it's not over yet......
Condition, condition, condition... learn how to recognise a good Stanley plane and don't be tempted to spend good money for a bad plane - even if it is rare. "You'll never find another like it..." Of course you do! Where there is one there is a better one just around the corner!
Terms used: I use "offered" for the approximate years of manufacture. Unless somebody unearths the complete Stanley shop floor production reports for the last 150 years we simply can't be sure. We can, however, check the Stanley tool catalogues, many of which are available as reprints. Unless Stanley sat on a lot of excess stock it's fair to assume that the manufacturing time ran parallel with the catalogue listing time. I use English terms for some plane parts i.e. a handle is not a tote down under. If in doubt I let the "Dictionary of Woodworking Tools" by R.A. Salaman be the higher authority
Stanley 45 Parts List htm
Stanley 55 Parts List htm
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