Like I need another project. My to-do list is already grown out of all sense of proportion to my available time, but…. I just couldn’t pass this up.
My daughter and I like to go to our local flea market that is held every other week in the summer months. We usually have a poke around and come away without much, but it is fun, and I enjoy having something that just the two of us do together.
This weekend, as we were poking around, I found a guy selling some old tools laid out on the ground on blue tarps. Most were the usual rusty chisels that had been sharpened down to a nub, but a jack plane with a Bed Rock lever cap caught my eye.
A little further looking through his offers led me to a wooden box with some other goodies inside. I reached in and pulled out what I thought was going to be a No. 5 ¼, when I discovered that it was in fact a No. 10 Carriage Maker’s Rabbet Plane. This plane is also often referred to as a Jack Rabbet Plane. I have wanted one of these for years, but they command a hefty premium on eBay, and so I’ve never bought one. Jackpot!
Looking into the box once more I saw a Bed Rock 606C. I couldn’t believe it. In all the years I’ve been rust hunting, I’ve never found a Bed Rock, and here I was finding two and a Rabbet plane. Luck day.
To top it all off, the No. 10 has some remnants of orange paint on the sides of the frog. I have written much about this in the past and you may remember that these are my favorite “Type” of plane. The orange frog is a dead giveaway that the plane is a Type 15 manufactured in 1931-1932. So finding a No. 10, and finding it in the Type that I would most desire if given the choice, was luck indeed.
The Bed Rock 605 probably dates to about 1900-1912, though I need to do a closer examination to determine more accurately. I haven’t taken the planes apart yet. It has a small chip out of the casting near the toe, but it certainly won’t affect its use.
Of all the planes I’ve ever bought, this one might just have the best rosewood knob and tote that I’ve ever seen.
The 606C was the dirtiest of the three, but I think it will clean nicely. I believe that this one dates between 1912-1922, but as I said, I need to do some further research when I take them apart.
The tote on this one is in good shape, but there appears to be a crack in the knob that I’ll have to address.
I’ve seen plenty of good planes for sale that I have walked away from. I have so many that more wouldn’t really serve any useful point. In fact, earlier the same day at another vendor, I passed on a No. 4 Type 14 that still had the remnants of the decal on the tote. Yes, I could buy it, clean it, and flip it for sale, but If I keep buying planes, I’ll never get any woodworking done. However, I really wanted the No. 10, and as the guy offered to give me a package deal, I was able to by all three planes for way less that then No. 10 was worth alone. His asking price was so low, I didn’t even haggle.
So now, I’m left with the question of what to do with them.
The No. 10 will get restored and go into my collection. As I said, I have long wanted one.
As to the 605, I have three completely restored Stanley No. 5’s and another that a friend gave me that I haven’t restored yet. I could restore this plane, and then sell one of my other number 5’s, or I could give the 605 a quick clean and sell it. I don’t really think I’ll need four Jack Planes. I don’t really “need” the three I currently have. I’ve heard the hype, but I wonder if the 605 is really that much better than a 5?
As to the 606C, the same applies. I have a Stanley No. 6 and I love it. Great plane. Not sure I need two of them. I wonder if this Bed Rock is truly better than my No. 6?
For now, I have put them under my bench and there they will sit for some time while I ponder and work on other things. I’ve currently got too many other projects in the works to start on another restoration.
– Jonathan White