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Stanley 97 Plane

13th September 2014

A special purpose edge or chisel plane from Stanley USA. Aimed at piano makers and cabinet makers for working into the corners and tight spaces where the use of other planes would be impractical or impossible.

The Stanley 97 plane was offered from 1905 – 1944, is 10 inches long and has a 2.1/4 inch adjustable cutter. Fitted with a rosewood rear knob, fixed as in the bench planes with a threaded bar and nut however the nut on the No.97 is nickle plated rather than plain brass.

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The sides are ground at right angles to the sole with U shaped cut-outs to allow better access to the cutter adjuster. This adjuster is the same as Stanley’s block planes with the one fitted to this plane marked ‘PAT.3 13 00’. Later models have cast quarter sphere shaped segments inside and below the cut-outs, possibly to add strength. This example does not, identifying it as an earlier casting model.

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Prone to chips on the leading edge where the casting is very thin, it is unusual to find one without any (many have been re-ground to remove chips so please be aware) and this one has a tiny chip to one corner.

An unusual but useful plane but so sought after by collectors today that few are in regular use.

Robert Leach