Stanley Multi Plane - No. 45

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The Verdict

Stanley 45 Plane Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Stanley

Plane Type: Multi

Model No: 45

The Stanley 45 multi-plane is a tool capable of carrying out a multitude of tasks. The idea behind the invention of these multi-planes was to have one multi-purpose plane instead of having 10+ different planes.

The Stanley 45 ("forty-five") plane can perform the following jobs:

  • Plough / Plow
  • Dado
  • Bead
  • Centre bead
  • Rabbet and fillester
  • Slitting
  • Match planing
  • Sash planing

The plane is made of three main sections:

  • Body
  • Sliding Section
  • Fence

stanley 45 plane

The body is the central part of the plane to which everything is connected including the housing of the chosen plane blade. The body of the plane is fitted with a Rosewood rear handle and Rosewood front knob.

The sliding section which sits between the body and the fence, is used to support the wider plane blades in order to help prevent chatter.

The sliding section can be adjusted if required by sliding it along the arms and locking it in position with the thumb screws. This may require moving the fence first if the fence is positioned close to the sliding section.

The fence is used to guide the plane along at an equal distance from the edge of the piece of wood being planed.

stanley 45 plane

The fence can be adjusted by releasing the thumb screws and sliding the fence along the arms / rods until at the required distance, the thumb screws are then tightened to lock the fence in position.

The fence is held on two arms / rods which helps to keep the fence / plane stable when planing. Towards each end of the fence the eye holes are set with one on top of each other, this allows the fence to be positioned in a higher or lower position.

The Stanley 45 plane was also equipped with spurs for cross grain work and a depth stop to assist in setting the depth of cut.

The Stanley 45 can look a little complex and intimidating at first glance. A lot of the complexity is simply screws and wing nuts which are used to lock a piece in place.

The plane was originally coated in a nickel plated finish. This finish gave the plane a bright finish and helped protect the plane from rusting. This nickel plating is prone to coming off over years of use as such it is common to find Stanley 45 planes with some nickel plate loss.

stanley 45 plane

During the lifetime of the Stanley 45 it went through various stages of development which led to different Stanley 45 types being sold.

Most of the 45s sold were supplied with approximately 20-24 cutters with additional cutters available to purchase at extra cost.

These standard cutters consisted of a good range of plough and dado cutters: 1/8 7/8, a good range of beading cutters: 1/8 1/2, a fillister cutter, a slitting cutter, a sash cutter and a match cutter.

The additional Stanley 45 cutters available to buy:

  • Sash cutter - 1 1/2"

  • Fluting cutters - 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4"

  • Beading cutters - 5/8", 3/4"

  • Reeding cutters (2 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
  • Reeding cutters (3 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
  • Reeding cutters (4 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
  • Reeding cutters (5 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"

There were additional bases available to buy for the Stanley 45 to offer additional functionality. The extra bases available included:

  • Hollow and Round 1/2" (13mm) cutter - 3/4" (19mm) diameter cut
  • Hollow and Round 5/8" (16mm) cutter - 1" (25mm) diameter cut
  • Hollow and Round 3/4" (19mm) cutter 1 1/4" (32mm) diameter cut
  • Hollow and Round 1" (25mm) cutter 1 1/2" (38mm) diameter cut

  • Nosing 1 11/16" cutter 1 1/4" (32mm) diameter cut

Each hollow and round set comprised of one hollow, one round and two blades. The hollow and its cutter will form a round. A round and its cutter will form a hollow.

The 'nosing tool' base and cutter are intended for forming a complete half round e.g. shaping stair treads.

These bases are used by removing the sliding section and put the required base in its place.

The Stanley 45 plane is very similar to the Stanley 46 multi plane with the main difference being the Stanley 46 is equipped with a skewed mouth and a corresponding set of skewed blades.


Plane Construction

stanley plane 45

cast iron

Sliding Section:
cast iron

cast iron with a rosewood runner

best steel

Handle and knob:

Plane finish:
nickel plated


Plane Construction

stanley plane 45

cast iron

Sliding Section:
cast iron

cast iron with a rosewood runner

best steel

Handle and knob:

Plane finish:
nickel plated


Plane Parts List

stanley 45 plane

The Stanley 45 Plane Parts List:

1x main body/stock
1x sliding section
1x sliding section thumb screws
1x fence
2x short arms
2x long arms
2x arm screws
1x depth gauge
1x adjustable depth gauge
1x adjustable depth gauge nut
1x beading stop
1x slitting cutter stop
1x slitting cutter thumb screw
1x cam stop
1x cam stop screw
1x cutter clamp with wing nut
1x cutter fine adjustment wheel
1x cutter fine adjustment bolt
2x spurs
17-24 Cutters (depending on type)


Stanley 45 Boxes

The Stanley 45 was presented in a number of different boxes through its manufacturing life, here are some pictures of the boxes:

stanley 45 plane stanley 45 plane

stanley 45 plane stanley 45 plane

The Stanley 45 planes are also often found in user made fitted boxes.


Manufactured Dates

<1898 - 1958>


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