Grandpa's Little Farm in Tacoma, Washington

Grandpa's Little Farm

Reconditioned and Custom Hand Made
Woodworking Tools
in Tacoma, Washington


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PLANES

Planes are one of those special tools at Grandpa's Little Farm. We will not only feature quality reconditioned planes, mostly Stanley, but offer new Rider planes as well.

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RECONDITIONED PLANES: Like we said, these will be primarily Stanley-Bailey planes. The most common plane to be posted will be the No. 5 Jack plane. Even though other sizes will be posted when good ones show up, No. 5 Jacks are the best plane for the woodworker to begin with.

Why reconditioned planes in the first place? Many folks simply want an older tool. These old campaigners, like our other user tools, will be completely torn down and gone over. They will function as good as, if not better than they did the day they were manufactured.

THIS IS ONE OF OUR RECONDITIONED NO. 5 PLANES. NOTE THE HOCK IRON.  WE RECEIVED RON HOCK'S BLESSING TO USE OUR OWN G.L.F. CHIP IRON.  THE TOTE AND KNOB ARE MADRONA WOOD.THIS IS ONE OF OUR RECONDITIONED NO. 5 PLANES. NOTE THE HOCK IRON.  WE RECEIVED RON HOCK'S BLESSING TO USE OUR OWN G.L.F. CHIP IRON.  THE TOTE AND KNOB ARE MADRONA WOOD.
THIS IS ONE OF OUR RECONDITIONED NO. 5 PLANES. NOTE THE HOCK IRON. WE RECEIVED RON HOCK'S BLESSING TO USE OUR OWN G.L.F. CHIP IRON. THE TOTE AND KNOB ARE MADRONA WOOD.

BRIGHT WORK: At Grandpa's Little Farm we like to stick to a “one day radius' when sourcing wood. This caused a problem when coming up with a replacement for the traditional rosewood on totes and knobs. Then we found Madrona! Madrona finishes much lighter than rosewood, but the grain is stunning. When we were researching it, we found the burl had been used for pipes at one time. It tends to check badly, so is not a good choice for large projects, but lends well to small carved and turned items. It's relatively abundant in this area and turned out to be the perfect choice. For finishing, we prefer a thin, one-pound cut shellac applied in many light coats. We take our time with this process because we don't like finish with wax, as it melts when handled.

THIS IS A KNOB/TOTE SET BEING FINISHED FOR A RECONDITIONED PLANE.  EACH SET IS MADE FROM THE SAME PIECE OF WOOD IN ORDER TO MATCH GRAIN. THEY ARE MADE INDIVIDUALLY.  THE TOTE IS CARVED BY HAND.  THE FINISH IS MULTI-LAYERED SHELLAC.
THIS IS A KNOB/TOTE SET BEING FINISHED FOR A RECONDITIONED PLANE. EACH SET IS MADE FROM THE SAME PIECE OF WOOD IN ORDER TO MATCH GRAIN. THEY ARE MADE INDIVIDUALLY. THE TOTE IS CARVED BY HAND. THE FINISH IS MULTI-LAYERED SHELLAC.

JAPANNING: Japanning was an effort to protect metal, specifically iron and steel surfaces, essentially it was a form of baked enamel that started off as a way to finish wooden ware. Today it has been replaced with epoxy resins. At Grandpa's Little Farm we use ceramic based engine enamel.

SURFACING: We begin surfacing on the sole of the plane. Once this has been flattened and buffed, we square the outer skirts to the sole. There is some machine work done here, but a lot of hand work goes into each plane as well.

BITS AND PIECES: We already talked about the irons. A lot of other parts are replaced as well. We do this partly for bling, but mostly to raise the quality of the tool. We also are able to replace the connector rods for the knob and tote. This may never be seen again, but they are often badly rusted. Presently we still recycle the brass nuts, but plans are in the works to start producing these sometime in the future.

SO, WHAT TO YOU GET? We are just not able to compete with the new Rider planes we now offer. Our reconditioned planes are cheaper than high end commercial names out there today, and we do everything we can to see they are a joy to use and look great in your toolbox. These planes will be offered and priced individually. This has to be done due to the specific wear each tool has gone through and upgrades we have done to it.

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NEW PLANES: We came across Rider planes when we were searching for new planes to offer with our Starter Sets. At first, we were leery. We know they were made in India. Several companies from there have developed poor reputations which caused us concerns, but we ordered a couple examples to test out. We were not disappointed!

We have been told that Rider planes are made by a father and son team who actually apprenticed in England, then brought their plane-makings skills back to India. The planes are hefty, well balanced and a joy to use. Brightwork is well finished and comfortable to grip for long periods.

PERSONAL NOTE: Generally, when we test tools, we end up selling them as used. I kept the A 3 (No. 3 equivalent) however. It can be fettered to cut gossamer shavings but has plenty of heft to drive through rough surfaces and knots.

Castings on Rider planes are ductile iron and a bit thicker than traditional planes. This not only makes for a tool that is resistant to breakage, but the extra mass translates into better board finishing.

One notable difference on these planes is the set screw that replaces the cam lock found on both old and new lever caps. This is not only a simpler system, but it is much easier to secure the irons beneath it.

THIS IS THE RIDER A 5 JACK (NO. 5 EQUIVALENT) THIS IS ONE OF THE MODELS WE TESTED AND FOUND A JOY TO USE.  THE EXTRA MASS TRANSLATES INTO EASIER PLANING.  AS YOU CAN SEE, THE BRIGHTWORK IS WELL DONE, WHICH MAKES THIS A JOY TO HANDLE!
THIS IS THE RIDER A 5 JACK (NO. 5 EQUIVALENT) THIS IS ONE OF THE MODELS WE TESTED AND FOUND A JOY TO USE. THE EXTRA MASS TRANSLATES INTO EASIER PLANING. AS YOU CAN SEE, THE BRIGHTWORK IS WELL DONE, WHICH MAKES THIS A JOY TO HANDLE!

SPECIALTY PLANES:
The fascinating thing about any plane is that it is really nothing more than a modified chisel, held at an angle corresponding to a two-dimensional surface (AKA: planar surface) That said, the diversity of tasks they perform, and overall designs of the tools are amazing. Here are a few specialty planes that we offer:

Block planes: Also called “pocket planes”, these are really nothing more than very small and portable versions of bench planes. Where they don't do major surfacing or jointer work, they are excellent for quick precision finishing touches on a piece for final fitting. Many professional contractors and power tool users will carry a block plane for final touching up on jobs, both inside and out of the shop.

IF YOU ARE A “KNOCK AROUND” WOODWORKER AND ONLY WANT TO HAVE ONE PLANE, IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE A BLOCK PLANE.  AND IF YOU ONLY WANT ONE BLOCK PLANE, IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE A LOW ANGLE BLOCK PLANE.  THEY CAN DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING!
IF YOU ARE A “KNOCK AROUND” WOODWORKER AND ONLY WANT TO HAVE ONE PLANE, IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE A BLOCK PLANE. AND IF YOU ONLY WANT ONE BLOCK PLANE, IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE A LOW ANGLE BLOCK PLANE. THEY CAN DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING!

Rebate and shoulder planes: What we call 'rabbit planes', the British call 'rebate planes’. They are used to clean up the shoulder-tongue/floor of a tenon or rabbit. This can be done because the iron protrudes through and sits flush with the body of the plane.

A BULLNOSE SHOULDER PLANE CAN BE TRICKY TO USE AND ARE REALLY ONLY MEANT TO BE USED IN TIGHT SPACES.
A BULLNOSE SHOULDER PLANE CAN BE TRICKY TO USE AND ARE REALLY ONLY MEANT TO BE USED IN TIGHT SPACES.
THE RIDER A 10 REBATE PLANE IS ACTUALLY A RENDITION OF THE STANLEY NO. 10 COACHMAKER'S PLANE.  STANLEY NO. 10'S ARE GETTING HARD TO FIND.  THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY RABBIT PLANES BUILT ON A MODIFIED JACK PLANE BODY.  THEY MAY NOT BE THE FIRST PLANE YOU WOULD WANT TO PURCHASE, BUT THEY ARE UNIQUE.  THEIR EXTRA HEFT MAKE THEM HELPFUL FOR EXTENSIVE RABBIT CLEANING.
THE RIDER A 10 REBATE PLANE IS ACTUALLY A RENDITION OF THE STANLEY NO. 10 COACHMAKER'S PLANE. STANLEY NO. 10'S ARE GETTING HARD TO FIND. THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY RABBIT PLANES BUILT ON A MODIFIED JACK PLANE BODY. THEY MAY NOT BE THE FIRST PLANE YOU WOULD WANT TO PURCHASE, BUT THEY ARE UNIQUE. THEIR EXTRA HEFT MAKE THEM HELPFUL FOR EXTENSIVE RABBIT CLEANING.

Router Plane: These are sometimes called “hag's tooth” or “old woman's tooth” planes (although it might be better to let these names fade into history!) This plane cleans up and evens the bottom of dados and rabbits.

IT'S AMAZING HOW SUCH A SIMPLE CONCEPT CAN WORK SO AMAZINGLY WELL!  IT CLEANS THE BOTTOM OF DADO'S AND REPEATS DEPTH WITH PRECISION.
IT'S AMAZING HOW SUCH A SIMPLE CONCEPT CAN WORK SO AMAZINGLY WELL! IT CLEANS THE BOTTOM OF DADO'S AND REPEATS DEPTH WITH PRECISION.

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STARTER SETS AND SHORT SETS:
Planes are named after the job they do. A fore plane, for instance, comes before everything else. The terms smoother and jointer planes are self-explanatory, but what about a Jack plane? This is simple. A Jack plane is a “Jack of all trades” plane. With the right iron and settings, you can use one plane to clean up a rough board, surface it, then prepare the edges so that it can be glued (joined) to another board.

This whole concept has a special meaning to the modern woodworker who is just starting out. Rather than spending money on several planes, he or she can purchase one good one and several quality irons. Later, as your skills and personal preferences emerge, you can seek out the special planes you prefer. Meanwhile, the irons you initially bought for the Jack plane can be used in some of the new ones.

Originally, our idea was to offer an all-inclusive set, including a No. 5, reconditioned Jack plane. A visiting customer pointed out many people already have a Jack plane. We also soon realized that some folks prefer a new plane while others would like to start with a refurbished old campaigner. The answer is to offer two sets. If you already have a Jack plane, you can order the Short Set. If you are starting without a plane, you can order a Starter Set and specify which plane you prefer.

THIS IS WHAT YOU GET IN A STARTER SET.  THIS NOT ONLY INCLUDES A PLANE AND THE IRONS YOU NEED TO PREPARE A BOARD FROM START TO FINISH, BUT IT HAS ALL THE TOOLS (SCREWDRIVERS) YOU NEED TO FETTER THE PLANE, A SHARPENING JIG AND INSTRUCTIONS ON SETTING UP YOUR TOOL FOR THE INDIVIDUAL JOBS.
THIS IS WHAT YOU GET IN A STARTER SET. THIS NOT ONLY INCLUDES A PLANE AND THE IRONS YOU NEED TO PREPARE A BOARD FROM START TO FINISH, BUT IT HAS ALL THE TOOLS (SCREWDRIVERS) YOU NEED TO FETTER THE PLANE, A SHARPENING JIG AND INSTRUCTIONS ON SETTING UP YOUR TOOL FOR THE INDIVIDUAL JOBS.

So, what do you get in a Starter Set?
~Your choice of a new or reconditioned No. 5 Jack plane
~An Anant iron cambered to an 8-inch radius for “scrubbing” rough boards
~A Hock iron slightly cambered for surface finishing
~Another Hock iron honed straight for jointing edges
~A Grandpa's Little Farm chip breaker iron
~A “thumb” screwdriver to adjust the chip breaker
~A slotted screwdriver to adjust the frog
~A sharpening jig
~Instructions on how to reconfigure your plane
~A bottle of Choji oil to protect the surfaces of your tool

A Short Set includes all of the items above, except for the plane. This is meant for those who have already acquired a No. 5 Jack plane.

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HOCK IRONS:
No matter how well your plane has been prepared, it is only as good as the iron (blade) that is in it. This is why we replace all of the irons in the planes we recondition. If you have spent any time at all familiarizing yourself with woodworking tools, you should have heard of Hock Tools. Years ago, Ron Hock started his business in northern California adjacent to The College of the Redwoods. James Krenov was searching for a source of quality irons for his wooden tools and Ron was there to fill the gap. The rest is history. Ron Hock's background and training is in metallurgy. He shares a lot of his common sense knowhow in his book, The Perfect Edge. Ron is also very approachable. Often when you telephone Hock Tools, Ron will answer the phone himself. When I asked his blessing to use our chip breakers over his irons, he was more than helpful and gave me advice on how to set up production.

It's really an honor not only to use Hock irons in our reconditioned planes, but to offer them for sale.

WE WILL ONLY BE POSTING HOCK BENCH PLANE IRONS, BUT HOCK TOOLS OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE LINE OF BLADES AND KITS. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BUILDING YOUR OWN WOODEN PLAN, KNIFE OR SCRAPER.
WE WILL ONLY BE POSTING HOCK BENCH PLANE IRONS, BUT HOCK TOOLS OFFERS AN EXTENSIVE LINE OF BLADES AND KITS. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BUILDING YOUR OWN WOODEN PLAN, KNIFE OR SCRAPER.

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Last revised: April 30, 2019