20th-Century Stanley #45 Combination Plane
Appraised Value: $400
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (-1:38:33)
GUEST: Well, I think it was passed on from my husband's father to him. They were both woodworkers, and my husband still likes to tinker. And I think it came down from his grandfather to his dad. And so they've always kept it in good shape. I don't know why. I don't think they ever used it. I guess because it was old and they wanted to have something really nice that was passed down to them to treasure.
APPRAISER: It's certainly wonderful when we do find tools that have been treasured. This is the condition every collector dreams about. This was made by Stanley Tools, well-known company today. They're also probably the very most collectible of all American tool manufacturers, and they were certainly the most successful American toolmakers. And Stanley really had two landmark designs, one of which was the Stanley bench plane that everybody thinks of as a Stanley plane. In the 19th century, there were more than a hundred different competing designs for a metal bench plane, and from all that, Stanley emerged as the winner with what they call the "Bailey Design Plane." And that plane went on to conquer the world market. The second really landmark design was the combination plane. And this is a Stanley 45 combination plane. And this went on to become one of the very most successful designs. This plane was manufactured until 1962. These blades, each of which had a different purpose, allowed the plane to replace a whole kit of molding planes. As a result of that, it changed the whole industry. The wooden plane industry in this country and in Britain to a lesser extent, were decimated by this design. This particular plane was made sometime in the 1940s or early 1950s. This is actually a pre-war box because Stanley used up boxes. They'd have thousands of boxes made and they'd use them till they were out of them, but the plane has a hardwood front knob here that was only used after the war, and the handle's rosewood. It's complete. It's in fantastic condition. Has the original instruction sheet with it. I would sell this particular plane at about $400.
APPRAISER: And I would have no trouble selling it. There are actually planes made today, a reproduction made in England that's not nearly as good that sells for twice as much.
APPRAISER: Treasure it, and I hope that your descendants will do so as well.
GUEST: Yeah, my husband has already left them a note: "You don't sell this."
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.