DID YOU KNOW…

Stanley Tools made over 180 different models of handplanes in its heyday – many of which sold in the tens of millions. Many of them are common and found in most workshops across the world, while some are very rare indeed. If you need to find out some quick information about the collector value, manufacturing dates, sizes and features, then check out the “Stats Sheets” section for basic info on the entire range of Stanley handplanes.


Chester Toolworks – Hand Plane Adjustment Hammers


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Chester Toolworks make a range of attractive and functional hammers designed specifically to help adjust and set the irons in woodworking planes. While primarily intended for those preferring all-wood or Japanese style planes rather than Stanleys or other iron makers, these hammers not only look great but they have a nice heft to them as well.

Now some of us might make do with whatever small hammer or convenient tool that may be lying around on our bench for adjusting our planes, but it's good to know that there is a much better alternative. Japanese plane hammers have been around for quite a while now and do the job well, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a choice. With the help of Chester Toolworks, it's now much easier to get a high quality, nicely crafted and equally beautiful tool at an affordable price.

At the "heart" of the hammers is a nicely turned and very well balanced double-faced brass head. One face features a hardwood insert made from lignum-vitae, which is perfect for knocking the heels or tops of the planes that need adjustment without causing damage to your plane surfaces. At the other end of the hammer is a harder brass face which is equally good for tapping out and adjusting the iron laterally. Because the weight of the hammers is finely balanced it doesn't require too much effort to set a plane blade correctly. The handles for the hammers are made from ash or bubinga.

The company also makes a range of marking knives and awls - all lavishly done in the same woods - along with bowsaws made from nicely figured maple. While I've not had the opportunity to test these other tools out I have no doubt that they would be made with the same care and quality as the hammers. They sure look just as wonderful anyway!

To check out the Chester Toolworks site, click here.

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