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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents: anyone know of a web site that would have information about the Stanley #55 Multi Plane -- a "Wonderful Contraption"?

I read the information on Patrick Leaches' Superior Works about #55, but was looking for additional infor5maztion. See:
The Superior Works - Patrick's Blood & Gore: Planes #55 - #57

I came across one about 30+ years ago with the cutters in the wood boxes. Would like to know if there is/was a way of dating when made and if Stanley always stamped a number on the blades.

The only missing cutter is the #17, a 5/8" straight. Would like to find a replacement #17.
 

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I thought a clearer picture might better illustrate the complexity of this instrument of just plane torture: It was clearly a one tool does it all sort of thing, but I cannot imagine that it stayed in adjustment for long.
 

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Get @Nickp attention on this one...
 

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When I was restoring one for a friend I also did not find much on dating. You might check ebay for cutters but only saw them in full sets or banks...one row of many cutters. There was some date ranges available based on casting design...floral, etc...you probably found the same...

As far as staying in alignment I found it stayed quite well even through red oak long and cross grain. Cutters need to be very sharp and depth of cutter is critical, especially the profile cutters...tend to push away from wood.

...but...boohoo...gave it back after playing with it for a while. I loved it and hope to eventually get one again. I had a lot of fun restoring it.
 

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When I was restoring one for a friend I also did not find much on dating. You might check ebay for cutters but only saw them in full sets or banks...one row of many cutters. There was some date ranges available based on casting design...floral, etc...you probably found the same...

As far as staying in alignment I found it stayed quite well even through red oak long and cross grain. Cutters need to be very sharp and depth of cutter is critical, especially the profile cutters...tend to push away from wood.

...but...boohoo...gave it back after playing with it for a while. I loved it and hope to eventually get one again. I had a lot of fun restoring it.
no handy researh information...
I tried to post what I have but it won't attach...
 

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I see them come up on eBay with some regularity including sometimes just a mismatched set of only cutters and a good percentage of the time I think they picked them up at yard or estate sales and know very little about them. You might convince one of those sellers to sell you just the one you want

You might also be able to get one made. I would query Lee Valley tools about that and they might make you one or be able to refer you to someone. The late Leonard Lee, the founder, spent a great deal of time collecting and examining old planes in particular to see how the original designs could be improved on and their Veritas line is the result. They do have the knowledge and expertise to do it if they choose. Of course in the end it all comes down to "at what price".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Colleagues: thanks for the information. Need to spend sometime reading it.

Others have said good luck on dating it, and I am beginning to believe that.

Interesting contraption and it will work if you have the set up patience. At one time, I watched one in use in on-line video and the user knew his onions about using the #55.

After 30+ years of living in a cardboard box in the shop, I need to build a wood box for it. Do not think it was used much, screws are not buggered up, no crack/chips on the metal work, no rust, etc.

Stick: check your PM.

Again, thanks for all the information.
 
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