Stanley No.141 Plow Irons

20150807_192223[1]In my previous post I had bought a Stanley No.141 Plow, based on the Miller’s Patent pattern planes…sans irons. I spent some time poking around on Ebay a bit looking for a set of irons to no avail, unless you want to drop $300-500 on a set. Lie Nielsen is currently working on their plow plane which is based on the Miller’s Patent pattern, so once this is released to the masses I may pick up a set of LN replacement irons…but in the meantime I started thinking about how I could fabricate a set of irons, and decided to use the 1/4″ iron from my Stanley No.45 to experiment with. Irons from the Miller’s Patent Planes, unlike the No45, rely on a groove down the center of the iron to register them to the plane body. After some thought I came up with a plan to make said groove:20150807_192550[1]I picked up a couple of Dremel cut-off wheels and arbor and chucked it in the drill press, then clamped a batten across the table to guide the iron against…some experimentation required to get the depth correct. Ensure you feed the iron to the right of the wheel so it doesn’t turn into flying shrapnel and slowly push the iron into the wheel, letting the tool do the work. I had to make a couple of passes to get the width correct…the correct thickness wheel would solve that.20150807_195940[1]The final step was to cut the top 3/8″ off the iron to eliminate the notch for the No.45 adjuster, and shorten the iron enough to fit the No.141. Of course I will have to visit Ebay now to pick up another 1/4″ iron to keep my set complete now that I have forever modified this one. Here is the finished iron sharpened and ready to work:20150807_194927[1]And of course the resulting curlies…20150807_154853[1]


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Brent Parkin says:

    Amazing!! I bought some extra 45 cutters with this same idea in mind for my 141. But I was unsure how I was going to make the groove. I tried building a little jig that held a triangular file in it so that I could file the groove into the backs of the irons. But I managed to dull the file before it did anymore than lightly score the cutter I was trying first. So I put it on the back burner to re-think things. I’m going to try your method this morning.

    Did your 141 come with the bullnose piece as well or did it just have the normal nose on it when you found it? Mine came with the harder to find bullnose on it and no normal one. I’m planning to make a normal one if I can just figure out the thread pitch for tapping it. I really want to make mine usable. There is something about the Millers patent planes that make so much more appealing than the more simple looking 45’s and 46’s.

    Thanks for the great idea!!!

    Brent Parkin
    Regina, SK


    1. sswantee says:

      Hope it works out for you Brent. Let me know how you make out!


      1. brentparkin says:

        Well it worked fantastically!!! I had bought 6 cutters 1/4″-9/16″ on e-Bay from a guy in England for about $20 and they are all now grooved and fit into the plane nicely. I sharpened the blades and tried a couple and they work well. My only hang up is having the bullnose front end on the plane. It’s a little wonky to start a cut. I know I can create the missing nose, but it is threading it that will be the problem. Apparently it was threaded 9/32-28 and that just isn’t a modern day thread. I have found a few places that will make a tap for about $100. But that is way more than is practical for tapping one single hole. LOL.

        You had mentioned before about possibly buying Lie-Nielsen’s cutters when they finally release their plow plane. I think they are basing things on a 41 series plane which had thicker cutters than the 141. The 141 uses cutters the same thickness as the later combination planes so I’m not sure they will fit once they finally get their plane onto the market. But I bet it will be a fabulous plane when they get it done.

        Thanks again for the great idea. I will likely mention it on Lumber Jocks giving you credit for the idea if you are ok with that?




      2. sswantee says:

        Sure Brent…glad it worked for you!


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