By David W. Babcock
This section will describe The Sandusky Tool Company (STC) Catalog No. 25, its contents and changes from the 1877 Catalog. This catalog along with several new product offerings, represented the last best effort to save STC. In this catalog, there are detailed descriptions of the new products as well as a complete description of their wood body planes and plane irons and plane irons.
Here are the new products that were introduced in Catalog No. 25:
- “Sandusky” Semi-Steel Bench Plane
- Semi-Steel Block Plane
- “Sandusky” Adjustable Wood Bench Plane
- Aluminum Top Bench Plane
Sandusky Semi-Steel Bench Plane
Wilbert G. Schwer (Secretary of STC) applied for the Patent of this plane on Oct. 14, 1925. Patent Number 1,696,584 was granted on Dec. 28, 1928. At the time the Patent was granted, STC had been purchased by American Fork & Hoe Co. (now known as True Temper). The name was changed to The Sandusky Tool Corp. with George W. Schwer as President and the patent was assigned to the new Corporation.
Given Schwer’s position with the company and the fact that he applied for the patent; it is my assumption that he wrote the description of this plane for the catalog. The following is taken directly from Catalog 25, page 5:
“Sandusky” Semi-Steel Bench Planes
These planes are the simplest and most mechanically perfect metal planes on the market. They have considerably fewer parts than any other plane, and at the same time have every adjustment feature possessed by other types.
Having considerably fewer parts than the ordinary iron plane, the “Sandusky” Semi-Steel Plane is lighter in weight, and is consequently less fatiguing when used for long periods at a time. Furthermore, the parts eliminated by this improved adjusting mechanism are the very parts which are most easily broken in the ordinary iron plane. With reasonably good care, the “Sandusky” Plane will last indefinitely.
The “Sandusky” Semi-Steel Plane is equipped with our famous heavy plane iron or cutter, identical in quality with those we have used in all our planes, both wood and metal, for nearly sixty years. The cutter will, therefore, take and retain a much finer cutting edge than a thin cutter, and will wear indefinitely. It cannot possibly spring or chatter when used against hard woods.
The cap is so constructed as to make the cutter a double iron, and the distance of the cap from the cutting edge is automatically adjusted by regulating the depth of he cut in the manner described below.
The retaining nut, located above the cutter, when turned tightly to the right, holds the cutter so rigidly that the plane may be used the hardest woods for hours at a time without disturbing the adjustment or he depth of the cut in the slightest degree.
The cut of the iron is regulated by merely loosening the retaining nut by turning it one complete revolution to the left, and then raising or lowering the iron or cutter to the desired position by turning the adjusting nut one way or the other. When the correct depth is obtained, the cutter may be squared up with the bottom of the plane by moving the side adjusting lever to one side or the other, and then locked firmly into position by turning the retaining nut to the right.
The body of the “Sandusky” Plane is made of fine-textured semi-steel, brightly polished on the sides and bottom, and with the upper portion painted with dark blue enamel. The handles and knobs are made of carefully-selected hardwood, stained and varnished to blend attractively with the rest of the plane.
Models and Sizes
The Semi-Steel Plane was available in three sizes and with a smooth bottom or corrugated bottom. The smooth bottom planes were given a “S” suffix and the corrugated planes given a “SC” suffix in the Model designations.
Smoothing Plane Model 3, 9” long with 2” double irn
Jack Plane Model 13, 14” long with 2” double iron
Fore Plane Model 19, 18’ long with 2 ¼” double iron
Semi-Steel Block Plane
This was the only metallic block plane cataloged by STC. It is 6 1/2” long, 1 5/8” wide iron, nickel plated cap and smooth bottom.
Sandusky Adjustable Wood Bench Plane
This plane has a wood body similar to the wood bench planes by STC from the beginning. The same blade adjusting mechanism as found on the Semi-Steel Bench planes was added to produce a fully adjustable wood body tool.
Models and Sizes
These planes all utilized a 2 ¼” double iron, a Jack handle and was available in three sizes.
Smoothing Plane Model 5 1/2W, 10 5/8” long
Jack Plane Model 13W, 16” long
Fore Plane Model 19W, 22” long
Aluminum Top Bench Plane
This was the lightest plane made by STC. The wood body is seasoned White Beech and the blades are the same as were used in all the wood body planes. The aluminum top provided the bed for the blade and wood wedge.
Models and Sizes
Model 3A, 7” to 8” long with 1 3/4’ to 2” iron
Model 5 ½, 9” long, 2’ iron and Jack handle
Model 13A, 15” long, 2” to 2 ¼’ iron and Jack handle
Model 19A, 20’ long, 2 3/8” iron and Jack handle
Model 25A (five sizes lengths)
22’ and 24” length, 2 3/8” iron and Jack handle
26”, 28” and 30” length, 2 5/8” iron and Jack handle
Sandusky Wood Planes
At the time of its publication, STC Catalog 25 was one of if not the last tool manufacturer’s catalogs to carry wood planes. These products were a major portion of STC’s production. Like the Semi-Steel Plane, a full page of the catalog was given to describing and promoting these products and is given here exactly as it appears on page 30 of Catalog 25:
“Sandusky” Wood Planes
Wood Planes have always been preferred by expert woodworkers for work requiring extreme accuracy, such as pattern, cabinet and furniture making, etc. Furthermore, a wood plane can be used on green timber or extremely hard wood with considerably less friction, and consequently with less effort, than any other type of plane known, and this feature appeals to workmen using planes for long periods at a time. The well-known durability of wood planes, and the fact that they are lower-priced than any other kinds of planes, are likewise very important factors from the standpoint of the purchaser.
Our line of wood planes is the largest and most complete made by any concern in the world. We manufacture wood planes for every conceivable purpose for which a plane could be used, and in addition to the very complete line illustrated and described in the catalog, we are prepared to make special planes for special purposes in any quantities.
Our wood planes are made from carefully-selected, air-seasoned, Ohio Second-Growth White Beech, the finest plane timber known, both from the standpoint of durability and appearance, and infinitely superior to the relatively soft European White Beech from which foreign-made planes are manufactured. The planes are sawed out radially from the tough-textured sapwood of the logs, which results in the annual rings beings parallel with the bases of the planes. This prevents warping, and insures the planes’ wearing evenly instead of on an angle, which is the case with planes made from plank.
The workmanship in all of our wood lanes is unexcelled, and they are fully warranted in every respect.
All “Sandusky” Planes are equipped with our famous, thick, wedge-shaped plane irons or cutters, which are recognized as the finest obtainable.
“Sandusky” Wood Planes have been known as the finest on the market for sixty years, and have won high awards at innumerable expositions, including the gold Medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.
Model and Sizes
Very little changed in the product line of Wood Bench Planes, here is an overview of that line.
Width of Irons 1 ½” to 2 1/4”
Model 1 Single Iron
Model 3 Double Iron
Model 4 Double Iron Carriage Smoothing Plane 1 ½” iron
Model 5 Double Iron, Solid Handle
Model 5 ½ Double Iron, Jack Handle
Width of Irons 2”, 2 1/8” and 2 ½”
Model 10 Single Iron
Model 11 Single Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 12 Single Iron, Razee Handle
Model 13 Double Iron
Model 14 Double Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 15 Double Iron, Razee Handle
Width of Irons 2 3/8” to 2 1/2”
Model 16 Single Iron
Model 17 Single Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 18 Single Iron, Razee Handle
Model 19 Double Iron
Model 20 Double Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 21 Double Iron, Razee Handle
Length 24” to 30”
Width of Iron 2 ½”
Model 22 Single Iron
Model 23 Single Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 24 Single Iron, Razee Handle
Model 25 Double Iron
Model 26 Double Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 27 Double Iron, Razee Handle
Selected Applewood Bench Planes
Model 28 Smoothing Plane, Double Iron
Model 29 Smoothing Plane, Double Iron, Solid Handle
Model 30 Jack Plane, Double Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 31 Fore Plane, Double Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 32 Jointer Plane, Double Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 33 Smoothing Plane, Single Iron
Model 34 Jack Plane, Single Iron, Bolted Handle
Model 35 Fore Plane, Single Iron, Bolted Handle
There are 30 pages of specialty planes in catalog No. 25; hollows & rounds, molding, plow, panel, etc. It is suggested that this catalog be referred to for specifics on these planes
Finally, the Morris Patented Metallic Plane had been dropped from production by the time this catalog was published and does not appear in this catalog.
The Sandusky Tool Company, Catalog No. 25, September 1, 1925
As reprinted by The Astragal Press, Mendham, New Jersey
Directory of American Tool and Machinery Patents (datamp.org)