Stanley's cute little #1 hand plane- What was it for, and why's it so rare?

Stanley's cute little #1 hand plane- What was it for, and why's it so rare?


Wood River #1 bench plane: (Affiliate link)

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  1. john a. gorman on May 14, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    The #1 is just so pretty. I found mine in a lot of ~6 planes I bought on eBay 20 years ago. All good planes. But the #1 was hiding in the pictures. I was so nervous bidding on the set, praying no one else would notice it. I won the set for about $100.
    I haven’t been brave enough to use it. So it sits in a display cabinet.

  2. Michael Bledsoe on May 14, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    It’s basically a block plane that looks like a bench plane

  3. DMCwoodworx on May 14, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    I’ve read that they were made for travelling salesmen, as samples.

  4. Ross Hollinger on May 14, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Interesting theories – cute little plane. Speaking of planes does anyone know what happened to The Plane Collector (Keith Bradfield)? Gone from YouTube and ebay overnight.

  5. Robert Martin on May 14, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks James!! Really appreciate your videos!!

  6. Roger Hodges on May 14, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Patrick’s Blood and Gore site is the bible of accurate information about Stanley planes.

  7. txag007 on May 14, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve read read the theory that the no. 1 was made as a tool sample for the larger versions. This little guy is easier to ship around than a bunch of no. 7s! I don’t know how much weight I put into that theory.

  8. 738polarbear on May 14, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    Tend to lean in another direction ha ha ha .

  9. Les Wellard on May 14, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    Been watching you for a long time now, and usually get a laugh or a small chuckle, but your lean – one leg shorter crack made me laugh quite loud, and the missus asked was I alright………. great video James

  10. Dwayne Mattson on May 14, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    How many ended up in the World War 2 scrap metal drive?

  11. Dylan Headrick on May 14, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    I love the juxtaposition of the number 7 onto the number 1. There seems to be a bit of a size difference

  12. Stephen Richie on May 14, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    I love hand planes. Hardly ever use one. I was about 4 years old when a visiting carpenter, planing the edge of a door for our landlord, handed me a fresh shaving to play with. Magic.

  13. John Strong on May 14, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    are Stanley no1 planes actually that rare?
    my old school had a few, probably 6 or 7 at least
    and that was only 7 years ago
    some where in bad condition but some where really good
    might have a to go visit them

  14. Trick Adee on May 14, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    My grandad passed 46 years ago and he was a master carpenter he left all his tools to my father he’s now 95 years young 3 years ago he left all my grandad tools to me and there is 7 number 1 stanly plains in mint condition

  15. Steve Tobias on May 14, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    I would like to get one of these to teach my son how to use a plane

  16. BOFH402 on May 14, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    saw a few on Ebay for 900 to 1200 dollars. i will have to get one from a long lost relative.

  17. Peter Compton on May 14, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Yes, I would like to have one on my shelf. ‘To Look At’

  18. Jeremiah on May 14, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    Great video.

  19. hannibal smith on May 14, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I just bought a no 2 and I cant stop I need to have the number 1 now to complete my collection

  20. Joe Basement Woodworking & DIY on May 14, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    man those are some Beauties you got there!.look at that Stanley 98!😮 that’s sad if they did scrap a bunch of them I would love to have ONE..ONE of these days. 😉

  21. Bill Wessels on May 14, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Stanley #1 and #2 serve the same purpose as a block plane and indeed are usually held the same way as a block plane with fingers along the plane rather than through the grip as on the larger plane. I have read that the HO Studley #1 was one of the few that was observed to be well used or worn. He made pianos and othe musical instruments. Try it in place of your block plane and for certain purposes it might well earn a place in your tool box. I have a Lie nielsen $225.00. Much more reasonable than an original.

  22. incredible on May 14, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Message me for Stanley planes. #1

  23. Ross Andersen on May 14, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Leonard Lee, the founder of Lee Valley Tools once said that the No.1 were made mostly for schools as mentioned in the video. He said that the schools rounded up all of the No. 1s to donate to war effort.

  24. Vincent Aurelius on May 14, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Great video. Would love to see you do a vid on Stanley’s 212 scraper plane.

  25. Uno Genstone on May 14, 2022 at 7:51 pm


  26. Anthony E. Idealistic Woodworks on May 14, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Looks like you need to revamp your hand plane shelf speaking of which, it is beginning to sag in a few places. Or you could reduce weight can carefully package up those extras and send them to me 😛

  27. SuppressiveFire77 on May 14, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    I found a Stanley no 1 SW for $20 😂

  28. Garry R on May 14, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    just evidence that stanely was in favour of child labour.

  29. Woodturning UK on May 14, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    Did u ever get a genuine no 1 ?

  30. Dave Steingass on May 14, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    I always assumed the no. 1 was favored by Piano Makers, since the Studley Toolbox had a special place for it and no other plane

  31. Joe Leonetti on May 14, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    My dad mentioned at one point he wanted a No 1 plane. That’s when looked into getting him one. Yikes. Instead, I got him the much more affordable Lie Nielsen No 1.

  32. Briar Fox on May 14, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    I use a no1 instead of a block plane. Love it.

  33. Jason Noble on May 14, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    I would think the lack of child labor laws of the 19th century would explain the production of the no 1 and 2 hand planes. Just a thought. Great video, keep it up

  34. Michael Andersen on May 14, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    One very sought after Stanley plane is the 91/2. most bamboo flyrod builders want these to make their strips to glue together to make a bamboo rod.

  35. Rob Mods. on May 14, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    I have a Stanley no 1. I’ve used it since I was a child and I believe it belonged to my grandfather. I have larger than average hands but I still use it regularly in guitar repair. I don’t find it hard to adjust at all. I wrap my whole hand around it and find it perfectly comfortable and well weighted in use. Yes I use it one-handed, but I often hold the knob with my left thumb and one or two finger tips to guide it. I really can’t imagine this was designed for children. Perhaps a toddler’s hands would be small enough, but there’s no way an 8 or 9 year old’s hand would fit around the handle. Until recently I honestly had no idea of its value! Thanks for the video.

  36. Todd R on May 14, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    They were for Santa’s elves Stumpy! Duh!

  37. Matt Thayer on May 14, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    I want that millers falls! I go to a wooden boat building school in rhode island and I am the guy that is weird with all the millers falls hand planes.

  38. Steve Skouson on May 14, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    My boss went to an estate sale, and purchased a LOT of planes.
    (And, 2 truck plus LONG trailer, full of other tools.)

    He ended up with 97? planes. One of them was a Lie Nielson #1.
    He also got that exact same workbench you have. Yes, I AM going
    to try to get the #1.

    I’m saying to the boss, that he now has the 5th largest air force, in
    the world. Another guy suggested that we name the display case,
    Timber International Airport. (The company I work at, Timber

    I ended up getting a 5.5 Bedrock, in "good" condition, and one
    more, just to replace the broken frog. (Fred Flintstone would
    be proud. Don’t know about Wilma.) Yabba Dabba Do!


  39. Hill Walker on May 14, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    Now that I am old I am not trying to get valuables – just looking for the right (family) person to transfer them to. Already having a Wood River 5, I am damn tempted to buy that little No 1. Glad the price is high to dissuade me.

  40. Moises Ferreira on May 14, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    Belas ferramentas.

  41. Nurse Doug on May 14, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    I too have a Wood River #1 plane. I find when I pick it up my grip just naturally falls exactly as you show. I find it quite delightful to use – in appropriate situations!

  42. Ted Hopp on May 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    I read that the Stanley No. 1 was preferred by old woodworkers with arthritic fingers who couldn’t grip a block plane any more. It certainly looks easier to hold, since (unlike a block plane) you don’t have to have a strong grip to push it through wood.

  43. steersman1803 on May 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Patrick Leach of blood n gore fame makes bedrock no1’s for US$695. Stanley never made bedrock no1 considering the tooling too painful to make.

  44. Mark Harris on May 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    In 1899 the age for compulsory education in the UK was 12 years old, they left on their 13th birthday. In most states in America it was a similar age but because of the geographical size of the country it was a lot harder to enforce. Also in both countries there was a frequent mixture of school and work as well, school days were for as long as they could pay a teacher for and the same teacher often taught in more than one school. In 1900 the U.K. spent a massive £800,000 on education which equated to about 2/- (2 shilling [10p] to you younger folk) per child a year. Then if you think of the changes in diet etc in the western world, and the size of the average 13 year old at that time, far fewer fatter kids than today. I think it’s a reasonable argument that it was for children to learn on during the early days of their seven year apprenticeship rather than at school.

  45. Robert Lacroix on May 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    I think you can find a lot of these planes at the North Pole. Santa’s workers I’ve been told have very small hands.

  46. Lane Cobb on May 14, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    I have a Stanley #1 that I found in the food pantry of a job where I was working about 30 years ago. When I inquired about purchasing it the homeowner said “Oh, that old thing…take it.” (It took about 1/2 second to not argue the point and I’m probably going to hell for that). Anyway, I tuned it up and still use it to this day, partly for the guilty pleasure of doing so and partly because it works so well. My hands are large and they envelop it just as they do many of my block planes. Maybe one day I’ll drop it on the concrete floor and regret using it but I have a negative mindset about tools being used as display items/trophies.

    I find planes are quite personal and my arsenal of them is quite mongrel. I have both old and new wooden, metal, foreign and US made from many different makers. For example, one favorite is a #4 1/2C Union with a chunk knocked off the corner up by the front knob (probably from being dropped on concrete 🤦‍♂️). My only criteria is, do they work well, which usually translates into their being high quality from the get go.

    My brain resides in my hands and at the age of 73 am still at it in the shop. I often marvel at the level of personal and emotional attachment I feel towards my collection of tools many of which I’ve had since childhood.

  47. Headknocker on May 14, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    I have a Bedrock 602 & haven’t yet found a use for it, Great Grandpa must have used it for something & being it’s worth $500 it will be on display in my case forever.. The #4 Stanley IMO is the handiest plane ever devised & my largest is a Bailey #6.

  48. Adam Chesis on May 14, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    I have a beautiful number 2, its tuned and I use it from time to time works amazing I can barely hold it not sure how a number 1 would be

  49. gchampi2 on May 14, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    My understanding was that the #1 was intended for use on inlays & marquetry, or other fine detail work. Jobs where you would be bringing down a high piece of inlaid detail down to match a previously flattened surface, where a larger plane would be more likely to lift or damage the inlay, or gouge the ground.

  50. Robert f Sautters on May 14, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    The Wood River No. 1is a great ,very usable plane for medium-sized hands!!