Thursday, February 23, 2012

The plane that started it all - Sandusky Tool Company, #47 Edge Bead

For the purpose of historical accuracy, we should probably document the descent from the very beginning.

The Best of Times
At the beginning of 2012, I bought a home. With my Queen. Made in 1914. We thought it was renovated.

The Worst of Times
We were wrong. I could describe in gory detail the initial estimates we were quoted for various projects; as a visible IT nerd, I gain a 3.4x modifier on all contractor quotes. Let me just say the shed I call a home office was quickly filled with power tools of every shape and size.

In the beginning, I measured my manliness according to how the lights dimmed on my street, and if the whine of the tool biting into the wood was sufficient to loosen fillings. I once routed a stack of twelve  3/4 ply boards for a set of box jointed boxes (original, I know). It gave me a nervous tic for three days. I also ripped 3 full size panels of the same ply on my portable Bosch table saw. That tic is still present, along with a Titanium plate on vertebrae C6 & C7.

I was a happy, simple Man.

The Hook...
On a business trip to Virginia, I stopped by my sisters new home. She's running late getting from the daycare with Little Man. I stop in at a nearby antique store, with no intention of doing anything other than wandering for a while. Maybe find a cool old sign for the office or her place...

I'm heading back to the front of the store after a text from Little Sis. I see a coal bucket, with a bunch of auger bits and other tools sticking forth. I see two beautiful rosewood handles on a clean Stanley bench plane - 'tote & knob' I later learn- and I see The Plane. Now I know a lot of you are thinking I found one of those sexy plows encapsulated in an argon bubble etched F.D.R. But you can be disappointed now - it was a simple, basic molding plane, an edge bead in particular.

When I picked it up I didn't know what it was, or what it did, or who made it. I just knew it was from the most fantastic cut of wood I'd seen, golden with bright flecks throughout. I initially thought it was oak (shows you how little I knew). 5 dollars? Done.

Into the bag, into the car, into the suitcase, and once home - into a box in the shed, forgotten for weeks. After a long day, I decided I wanted to make a little sawdust, and remembered the two hand planes. I took them out of the box.

 ...Gets Set.
The Stanley was hopelessly dull, and it would be weeks before I learned about sharpening... but the molding plane was still razor sharp, and with the help of a couple YouTube videos, i clamped a 2inch square post of oak into my Jawhorse (stop laughing, damn you all) and had at it. A pile of sawdust, curse words and some tappy-tap-tap later, and I had a nice bead running about 2 feet in the oak...

That was 57 Sandusky planes ago. Watch that first step...

Too much talkie talkie
I figure you didn't come to the Internet for words, so if you've made it this far, you've earned a couple of Gratuitous Beech Shots:
A later (based on makers stamp) and very common S.T.C. #47 Edge Bead, of the 3/8ths variety.

More on this bead and others, in disgustingly boring detail, forthcoming.
Well thanks for stopping by, and if you made it this far I thank you doubly. In the future I plan to add details about the less popular planes and tools made by the Sandusky Tool Company, along with any info I can find about their history. I know its out there, and that others have tread here before me - I hope to centralize some of this information and keep it fresh for new Galoots to discover.

God forbid, I might actually make something and show you that too, but the shock would probably be more than my Queen could bear. Let me know if you have any specific yearnings or questions about Sandusky Tool Co, and stay tuned!

From your rookie galoot,
Chris

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