Stanley 101 Planes, Redesigned!

The Stanley 101 planes are actually a cool little size and there are a lot of things that can be done to make a fine little plane out of them. I have been messing around with them on and off for a number of years.

First is an infill I made over 20 years ago. It is a high angle stuffed with mesquite. Then we have the one and only 101 chisel plane ever made










Above is a rabbit plane. Nice thick blade, tight mouth. Works a treat.

And below is the real 101 infill. This is stuffed with purpleheart.  Handmade lever cap stuffed with mother of pearl, thick blade for a tight mouth and custom design all around. 



One day just for fun I decided if it would be possible to make a modern pressed steel 101 into an actual functioning plane. The way Stanley makes them, they don't really work at all. More a paperweight or sculpture of a tool and not really a tool at all. Sine the blade rests at a fairly low angle you can't close up the gaping maw of a throat with a thicker blade. The first thing was filling the mouth, I used steel. This was hard soldered in and final fitted. The lever cap supplied was the right size, it was merely paper thin and offered little support and even less mass to absorb vibration. I just sweated on a thicker brass plate and made an open faced sandwich out of it. The grip and working geometry of the plane is also pitiful. The blade has to retract from the rear so my handle is removable. I used cherry for my infill stuffing. These pictures were taken some time ago. Cherry ages naturally (with sunlight) to one of the most beautiful colors of any wood. My lovely wife loves this plane for fitting perfectly into a palm and working effortlessly to cut very thin shavings.

yours, Scott