By James Price

I arrived home today from the Midwest Tool Collectors meeting in Springfield, Illinois with lots of tool treasures. I went up there on Wednesday and started room hopping, buying from dealers and collectors in their hotel rooms. At daylight on Thursday the tailgating in the parking lot started and there were thousands of old tools for sale there. On Friday dealers set up their offerings in the hotel trade center and the good, and expensive, tools came out. Out of everything I bought there is one tool that is my favorite. It is an original and near unused Stanley 85 scraper plane. It was the first tool I tuned up after I got home because 85s seem to be in collections and not used so for decades I simply looked at them. I found a good deal on one so today was the first time I had a chance to actually use one and I must say I am very pleased with its performance. I will be using it lots on burl and birdseye hardwoods.


A Stanley 85 eluded me for years. I was simply unwilling to pay the high prices they fetched on eBay and in old tool auctions. This one has 98% of its original japanning and appears to have been used but little.

The front knob and rear tote can be tilted both right and left or vertical. I like this feature.

I gave it a go on some tough walnut and it passed the test with perfection.

The frog can be moved forward and back to adjust the throat. The rear frog screw is used to adjust the angle of the scraper blade, but not lots.