Chris Schwarz's Blog

A New Bookmark: Hardware City Tools for Totes

When you buy vintage Stanley planes in the wild, one of the most common problems is the tote – and sometimes the knob – are trashed.

My first No. 5 had a crude replacement tote that was so poorly rasped that it looked like it was furry. I’d always intended to make a replacement but never got around to it.

Then I found Bill Rittner, who makes gorgeous Stanley and Veritas totes at a reasonable price. Now Rittner has launched a web site where he sells his totes and his version of a Moxon double-screw vise. The site is hardwarecitytools.com. Go there and bookmark it.

In the coming months, Rittner will start offering user-grade vintage tools for sale as well as tools that he has restored – he specializes in restoring saws.

As I’ve written here before, Rittner’s totes are excellent. He has really mastered the shape and feel of the old Stanley planes and they are beautifully finished. I bought a cherry set for my Veritas bevel-up jack plane and Rittner’s totes made a huge difference in how the tool feels.

— Christopher Schwarz

“Handplane Essentials” is Back in Stock
After being backordered for weeks, “Handplane Essentials” is back in stock at Shop Woodworking. In addition to the nice hardbound edition, the store also offers a digital version for instant download.

4 thoughts on “A New Bookmark: Hardware City Tools for Totes

  1. rainesjc@msn.com

    I have recently purchased a Bailey stanley No.8 jointer plane which was made in the 1902-1907 period. It is shaping up to be a dandy. I had to add a top piece to the tote which turned out nicely. I have found one of the bolt holes for the attachment of the frog to have stripped threads which prevents me from securely holding the frog in place. I am considering taking the plane to a machine shop to have the hole drilled and tapped to a larger size. In your experience is this effective and do you have any advice on size of bolt to use?

  2. bmurphy1207

    In trying to acquire more skills as a wood worker, I have found myself, as many have before me, going old school with tools. Buying, researching and using hand tools have become a focal point in my wood working career. The current focus of acquisitions is hand planes and here lies the question. Do I look for and try to buy an old bedrock style hand plane, fix it up and maybe replace the iron and chipper with a heavier stock one or do I seek out a new bedrock influenced style hand planes, i.e. Lie-Nielson, Wood River, or Veritas? My heart is leaning to the old, but all said and done will my wallet know the difference between the two?

    1. Dunk

      All of my planes are old type 19 Stanley’s and I use the original plane irons nd plane caps. You can get a pretty good plane on ebay ( which is where I got my #6 )or yard sales. If you true them up and clean up all the moving parts and sharpen the correctly they will work as well as any plane on the market. Keep em sharp and pay attention to how the foot is adjusted to the throat will enhance your experience and reduce the chatter everyone complains about.

  3. J. Pierce

    I have Bill’s work on my Millers Falls 22C (which frankly didn’t deserve the attention) and I love them to death. Added his blog to my RSS feeder a while back, too. It’s been interesting.

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