Stanley Smoothing Plane - No. 2

stanley smoothing plane
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Stanley Plane No.2 Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Stanley

Plane Type: Smoothing

Model No: 2


The Stanley smoothing plane number 2 is one of the smallest of the standard bench planes being only beaten to the smallest plane title by the Stanley number 1 plane.

The Stanley 2 plane design remained almost identical through its manufacture period.

There have been slight alterations to the design and the materials used through the Stanley number 2's history which have been classed as improvements and refinements.

In terms of classifying these changes for historical classification, these refinements relate to which 'Type' the plane is e.g. the first design of the Stanley 2 plane is referred to as the 'Type 1' model.

stanley plane 2

The Stanley number 2 is made with an iron body, frog, lever cap, cap iron, cutter, lateral adjuster, rear wooden handle and front knob.

The body is constructed from grey cast iron with machined and ground sides and sole. The machining and grounding ensured the plane body was originally flat and true (or pretty flat and true). The top-side of the plane body is finished with the black finish which is synonymous with the Stanley plane range.

The central part of the plane is the cast iron frog on which the blade rests, the lateral lever pivots on and the depth adjuster operates.

The frog face is set at 45 degrees, therefore the blade is set at a 45 degree angle.

stanley smoothing plane frog

The plane's lateral blade adjusting lever is located just behind the top of the blade / at the top of the frog. This lever pivots side-to-side which in turn adjusts the cutter side-ways; this is useful for aligning the blade to ensure it is not skewed.

The plane's blade depth adjuster is a notch on the front face of the frog, just below the bottom of the lateral lever. This notch locates with a gap in the plane blade and is controlled by an adjusting wheel (usually brass) found at the rear of the frog.

The depth at which the blade is set is adjusted by turning the adjusting wheel, this in turn regulates the thickness of the shavings. Turning the adjusting wheel towards the frog raises the blade, and turning in the opposite direction towards the rear handle moves the blade downwards.

Note: ensure the lever cap is loosened before making adjustments to avoid damage.

stanley plane number 2

The number 2 plane is fitted with a 41mm (1 5/8 inch) wide steel cutter.

The plane blade is stiffened with the use of a cap iron. The cap iron helps reduce chatter and assists in curling the shavings to prevent splintering the work-piece, particularly when working against the grain.

The plane blade and cap iron are locked in position with the lever cap. This further reduces chattering. The lever cap has a plated finish which is usually a nickel plating.

These Stanley planes are fitted with a comfortably shaped handle and knob. The handles and knobs can be made from Rosewood.

The Stanley smoothing plane number 2 is in the region of 7 inch.

As with all the Stanley bench planes, the Stanley 2 has universal interchanging parts.

Plane Construction

stanley plane 2

Body and frog:
cast iron

Lever cap:
cast iron with a plated finish

Cap iron:
best quality steel

best quality steel

Depth adjuster wheel/nut:

Handle and knob :

Plane finish:

stanley plane 2

Stanley 2 Plane Markings

"No 2" - found on the top face at the very front of the plane.

"Stanley" - found on the lever cap face.

Manufactured Dates

<1882 - 1958>

Plane Also Known As

Stanley Smoothing Plane no. 2
Stanley Bench Plane no. 2
Stanley Wood-Work Plane no. 2
Stanley Hand Plane no. 2
Small Stanley Plane no. 2

Further Information

Further information on the Stanley plane number 2 can be found in the many Stanley tool catalogues produced from the 19th Century through to the current day. Additional information to this Stanley number 2 plane review can also be found in many different trade catalogues as well as reference books which are dedicated to discussing Stanley tools.

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