Standard Rule Co. No. 3 Plane c. 1883-1888 Only, Cute!

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  • Item Category: Tools
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Feb 20, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

I’m listing a lot of rare and nice tools so please check my other auctions.

Here’s a very hard-to-find plane made by the Standard Rule Co. of Unionville Connecticut and offered for just
five short years, from 1883 to 1888. Although these planes are wonderful to look at and handle, and have a notable
“deluxe” quality about them, they were not commercially successful. Today, examples are very scarce to rare. Offered
at auction is the rare No. 3 size, with a 1-3/4” blade. At only eight inches long, this cute little plane is an inch shorter than
a Stanley No. 3, which, along with its oversized knurled brass lever cap and adjustment nuts gives it a stubby proportion
that makes it not only uniquely distinctive, but undeniably cute.

The design of this plane, including a unique blade saddle, depth adjustment, and “rocking” lateral adjustment, were
patented by Solon and Arthur Rust on October 30, 1883. The plane offered here is complete and in very good condition.
The heavily tapered blade is long and clean, and although many of the Standard Rule metallic planes are found with L.&I.J.
White blades (or others, such as D.R. Barton), this blade is stamped with the company’s massive three-line mark,
STANDARD RULE CO./ PATENTED OCT. 30, 1883/UNIONVILLE, CONN. As is usual, the stamp is very faint, and
only traces are visible, but enough to identify the mark. The steel in the blade was not rolled to a completely smooth
surface and was left with some unusual striations, like on a handmade sword, but otherwise it is very clean with only minor
patination and age spotting.

As on most Standard Rule metallic smooth planes found, the front knob is rosewood and the rear handle is beech,
stained a dark brown to help match the rosewood knob. Why the company chose to do this is a mystery. It may have been
a matter of economy, or it may have been that beech is less prone to splitting than rosewood and the company felt it was
offering a superior product. The stain on the handle is well worn, but far more stain remains on this handle than on any other
Standard Rule plane I have observed, and the appearance is very nice. The rosewood front knob has a chip out of the base
and other scuffs and dings, but it retains much of the original finish and the quality of the rosewood is beautiful. The handle
has survived without the almost universal crack and even the long narrow tip is intact.

The lever cap and blade saddle are of a design that is unique to Standard Rule planes. The cap in this plane retains
nearly half of the original black Japan varnish, and the plane body and blade saddle retain a great deal of the original Japan
in nice, glossy condition.

The body is in excellent condition with very light age spotting evenly distributed, and there are no owner’s stamps,
chips, cracks, or other such defects.

To call this a "hard plane to find" would be an understatement. It may be some time before you see another one
offered for sale. I really hate to let it go, but with our second child now in college, our battle cry is “Tools for Tuition.”
It’s time another collector had a chance to enjoy this one of the most unique patented bench planes ever designed.
Please see all the photos I've provided to help communicate the condition of the plane.

For more information on Standard Rule Co. planes, see Roger Smith"s seminal reference books, "Patented Transitional
and Metallic Planes in America," volumes 1 & 2; and Lars Larson's and Clarence Blanchard's "Patented American Planes
for Wood, Leather, and the Allied Trades," volume 2. All historical information presented in this auction has either
been gleaned from these reference books or is the result of my own observations and conjecture.

No reserve, so this tool will sell!

International bidders – I will gladly accept your bids and ship to your country as long as you are willing to pay the full ...