My brother-in-law gave me the (fairly rare) Stanley A6 aluminum handplane as a present recently. Although it needs a little work to improve appearance, I simply wanted to check how it would perform after sharpening the iron (“blade”).
I was interested in sharpening this hand plane right away, as the iron had nice camber to it; this was a signal that the previous owner used it to quickly flatten edges and faces on lumber. My guess is that the camber is about a 6- to 8-inch radius.
What do you think? I still must sharpen a bit more, using my scary sharp setup – five PSA sheets of sandpaper on a large and very flat 1/4-inch plate glass.
I *needed* a longer hand plane, as the Stanley 4-1/2 was the longest I had. This one will do a great job at jointing lumber I will be using for small boxes.
The A6 is technically a foreplane, which falls between the A7/A8 jointer planes, and the #3 and #4 smoothers, and the jack plane, or #5.
As time permits, I might clean up some of the surfaces on the iron, the cap iron, the frog, and the plane body itself. I will probably not replace the broken tote (“handle”).
– Al Navas