A Chisel Plane can accomplish tasks impossible for normal planes. Because it lacks support in front of the blade, a Chisel Plane does not function like a typical plane but rather more like a paring chisel with very precise depth control. It makes a wonderful clean up tool, excellent at removing dry glue, flush-trimming plugs or joints, smoothing rabbets, and reaching into right-angle corners.
Our Chisel Plane is a very handy half-sized version of the original Stanley No. 97. Bronze body and cap, Cherry knob, Stainless Steel blade adjuster with hefty 3/16" blade.
View our YouTube video "Chisel Plane: Setup and Use" here:
A Chisel Plane is not meant to function as an ordinary plane because it has no support ahead of the blade. However, as a clean-up tool, with the blade set flush with the sole, this plane excels at removing glue, trimming plugs and dovetails flush and also for working into hard-to-get-at corners, rabbets, etc. Pressure on the rear knob will keep the body flat on the workpiece.
In many cases, the Small Chisel Plane will best be used with two hands, one pressing on the back half, and the other guiding the front. The extra heavy 3/16" blade should be kept very sharp, and extra care should be taken to avoid getting your fingers near the sharp edge.
The blade comes with a 25° bevel bedded in the tool at 12°, making the included cutting angle 37°.
The blade comes ready to use, but honing a secondary bevel of 5° or 10° will increase performance, help achieve a razor edge quickly, and improve edge life in hardwoods. You can find sharpening instructions in a printable PDF format here: Sharpening Instructions PDF
For more information on advanced sharpening we recommend David Charlesworth’s video Plane Sharpening, available in both DVD and streaming formats.
Blade adjustment is simple, direct and positive. Hold the tool in one hand with your thumb on the cap. Loosen the cap iron thumbscrew all the way, then tighten slightly until there is a little resistance. Adjust depth of cut with the stainless steel nut. When you are done, snug the cap thumbscrew. Do not overtighten.
We use Manganese Bronze for the body. Castings are fully stress-relieved, a process that removes inherent stresses and ensures that the tool will remain flat and true. The cap is also Manganese Bronze. Cherry knob, other parts are Brass and Stainless Steel.
The blade is A2 Tool Steel hardened to Rockwell 60-62, cryogenically treated and double tempered. Our heat-treating technique ensures that the blade will take and hold a very fine edge for a long time. After heat treating, the blade is fully surface ground on the top, back, and cutting edge, giving a smooth, flat surface that will take a mirror finish very quickly.
The Bronze bodies are lapped to a tolerance of less than .001". Depending on how much you use your tool, an occasional light sanding with 400 or finer wet/dry paper on a flat surface will keep the sole in as-new condition. A light oiling on the threaded rod and adjuster nut will keep them moving freely. We recommend Jojoba Oil, a plant based oil product that is non-toxic, odor-free and easy to use. Also, in our shop, we use a fine abrasive handblock to remove any light surface oxide from tool bodies and blades. Jojoba Oil and abrasive handblocks are available from us.
Many people like the patina that Bronze gets with age and use, but if you wish to keep the finish bright, a little brass polish is in order.
Materials and workmanship are guaranteed for the life of your tool. Call for repairs or replacement parts. We are available for advice if you ever have a problem using your tool.
Bronze and brass alloys contain lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.