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Default What are the reasons so few modern planes measure up to the old one?

"Frank Arthur" wrote in message
How many dollars a day do you earn compared to how much a Stanley worker
made when he produced #4 planes?

wrote in message

These purchase got me to wondering: Just what are the reasons these old
mass-produced planes are better than many of the new mass-produced
ones? Was it just because they were heavier? Because the were
flatter? The metal was difference? Because the just felt better?

First, crappy planes were made back when, just as they are made now, and for
the same reason - to meet the standard of a user who did not demand the
finest hand-finished and fettled hardware for the price that such commanded.
You'll have to look to find one of any age, because most were trashed. The
user of a crummy tool had two choices, fettle to a higher standard, or pitch
it. I've got a couple of old thin metal types on my shelves as hand-me
downs, but they have some hours in them, where I've worked the frog, the
bed, and removed manufacturing uglies like grinding burrs. One of jacks has
a Hock iron, which still makes it no match for my LV or LN planes, though
it's a good deal more useable than when I started. The smooth is just a
dust collector.

As to cost and quality, there are a couple of roads available there, as
well. Back when I worked in a stamping plant making parts for Fords, of
steel produced in the Ford steel mills - Henry liked vertical integration -
we were obliged to reject some rolled stock because the number of defects
was too high. That steel was resold to Cadillac division downtown, where
hand finishing was the norm, and each stamping was filed, bumped fitted and
sanded to a different standard at a higher price. No way you could do that
for a Ford, or even a Mercury, where the standards of material and
manufacture were higher than the Ford of similar body style. Imagine the
Lincoln plant was the same as Cadillac.

When you buy a used plane, chances are it's one of the fittest, or it would
not have survived.