We’re received the much-anticipated new planes from Stanley Works and are beginning to set them up for a review in a future issue of the magazine. In the meantime, here are some of the details on the tools that will help clear up some of the misinformation and confusion on the Internet.
The Stanley No. 4 Bench Plane
The No. 4 smoothing plane (model #12-136) is the most radical design departure for Stanley, so let’s start there. Instead of having a movable frog, the bed and base are cast as one piece. This reduces the opportunity for chatter.
To open and close the mouth of the tool, you move a plate in front of the mouth just like in a block plane. It has been erroneously reported that this is a bevel-up tool. It is not. It is a traditional bevel-down tool.
Other interesting details: The 2″-wide A2 iron is .128″ thick and wedded to a chipbreaker that looks a lot like the Lie-Nielsen Improved Chipbreaker design.