It sure is cute – but is it useful?
Few tools spark the affection of so many as the Stanley No. 1 size bench plane. Regardless of one’s interest, the small plane has a way of catching everyone’s eye. Set one on a table at a tool show and nearly everyone who walks by will stop to look it over and check the price. When conversation starts, two comments are always heard. First, “What a cute little plane.” And second, “How did they ever use such a small thing?” I am intrigued by this question and have been collecting uses for this tiny bench plane for years. My list of documented uses now numbers eight and continues to grow slowly. I’ll share some of these uses with you, but first some background.
The first metal No. 1 was most likely made by Leonard Bailey in Boston by 1865 (or slightly earlier). From looking at existing examples and catalogs, it seems clear that the No.