Stanley No. 45 Combination Plane
1884 Catalog Image of Stanley No. 45 Combination Plane (Type 1)
Stanley No. 45 Type 2 Combination Plane
1886 Catalog Image of Stanley No. 45 Combination Plane (Type 2)
Stanley No. 45 Type 4 Combination Plane
1892 Catalog Image of Stanley No. 45 Combination Plane (Type 3-4)
1897 Catalog Image of Stanley no. 45 Combination Plane (Type 7B)
Features1: Adjustable fence and depth stop, slitter and spurs, 18 to 23
interchangeable cutters, depending on vintage.
Manufactured1: 1883 to 1962
Patents1: Justus Traut's 3/11/1884 (basic patent) F.A. Rappleye's
10/24/1882 (slitting cutter) -Traut's 2/19/1884 (plane bit gauge) Traut's 2/23/1886
(hollows & rounds) Traut & E.A. Schade's 1/22/1895 (mechanical cutter
adjustment) Traut's 7/9/1901 (cam rest)
Dimensions1: 10-1/2 inches long; 11-1/2 inches long in 1897 and later.
Cutters: 23 provided (as few as 18 with earlier types). Cutters
were provided in one fitted wooden box with lid. Later sets were supplied in two fitted
Construction1: Cast iron, rosewood handles and fence
Finish1: Japanning from 1883-1889; nickel plated in 1890 and later.
User Info1: Plow, dado, rabbet,
fillister, match and sash work and
heading of all types. A fantastic plane to use and one that every serious woodworker
should own. Sharpen the beading and sash cutters on the flat surface only to maintain
profile of cutter. Read the instruction manual and practice using this plane until you
master the functions, and start out on softwood before going to hardwood. Mastering the
No. 45 is the stepping stone to proficiency with the No. 55.
Average Price1: $150 to $350
Plane Only1: $25 to $75 (without cutters)
Type 2-31 $200 to $400 (1886 to 1889)
Type 11: $250 to $500 (1883 to 1885)
Standard cutter set (18-23)...... $75 to $125 (boxed)
Special cutter set (23) .............$400 to $800 (boxed)
#5 nosing tool .......................... $50 to $125
# 6 hollow & round ..................$75 to $150
# 8 hollow & round .................. $75 to $150
#10 hollow & round ................. $75 to $150
#12 hollow & round ................. $75 to $150
Complete set of hollows, rounds
and nosing tool ......................$600 to $800
(Prices for hollows and rounds include cutters)
Special Notes on Stanley's No. 451
Stanley applied at least twenty improvements and design
changes to the No. 45, their best selling combination plane. The No. 45 is the predecessor
to one of the most ingenious planes ever designed, the No. 55 Universal Plane. Several
English firms have manufactured a 45 style plane since Stanley discontinued production of
it, but no modern version even comes close to the quality of Stanley's original. Stanley
45 planes are in big demand by woodworkers today, and in this author's opinion, they are
undervalued considering that reproduction models cost about twice the current price of a
vintage, good user quality Stanley No 45. Woodworkers generally prefer the No 45 models
manufactured after 1915 as they have all of the patent improvements. With regard to value,
having a complete plane with all its parts is a most important consideration along with
vintage and condition. See the list of parts in the Type Study. According to Stanley No.
45 collector and authority, Dave Heckel, the Types 7, II, 12, 15 and 16 are very common.
Types 3, 4, 8, 9, 14 and 17 fairly common, Types 1,2,5,10,13 and 20 are scarce and Types
6, 7a, 18, 19 and 19a are very scarce. (Look forward to a new publication on the No. 45
plane by Dave sometime in the near future.)
Stanley offered many optional items for the No. 45. These
included a special set of 23 cutters including beads and reeds, etc., and a series of
eight hollow and round bottoms with corresponding cutters, patented in 1884. Prices quoted
for these items include the cutters. Stanley added a nosing tool in 1888. The extra
bottoms were japanned from 1884 to 1889 and nickel plated from 1890 to 1942. Stanley
further improved the basic plane by adding a cam stop in 1901. The first type had a
thumbscrew for attaching it to the rods and had a tendency to break. Later versions had a
stronger solid piece of iron attached with a slotted screw. Other patent improvements are
listed in the No 45 Type Study.
Stanley gradually increased the number of cutters supplied with this plane.
1883 to 1896 .......................... 18 cutters
1896 to 1909 .......................... 20 cutters
1910 to 1920 .......................... 21 cutters
1921........................................ 22 cutters
1922 and later ....................... 23 cutters
Types I to 4 did not have a notch in the top of the cutters. A
mechanical screw regulated the cutter adjustment wheel provision beginning in 1896 and
later. Other parts originally supplied were an integral, and a screw regulating depth stop
provided on the front right hand side of the main frame. A slitter and a rear depth stop
were provided on the right rear side of the main frame. These are often missing. Two depth
stops were provided for the auxiliary sliding section. One is short, the other, sometimes
called the heading gauge, is longer. On later models this is of two-piece construction.
Sometimes one or both of these stops are missing. Finally two sets of arms, long and
short. Stanley included an instruction booklet as well. These are usually missing and can
sell by themselves for $20 to $40. Any of these smaller parts sell for $15 to $30 each.
A complete No 45 includes two sets of arms (long and
short), heading stop, cam rest, depth stop, and instruction book; please see the Type
Study for complete parts list. Earlier types have a japanned finish. An issue of Stanley's
"Tool Talks" published in the 1930's, titled "It's a Big Job Assembling and
Packing the No 45 Plane," reported that approximately 1,800 separate casting,
machining and assembly operations were required to made each No 45 and that a total of 100
parts were used.
Regarding packaging, Stanley sold the earlier types in a
pasteboard box. In the 1890's they used a chestnut box and around the 'teens, used a tin
box with a sliding lid. During the 1920's, the pasteboard box was used again. In the
1930's, Stanley used a hinged tin box and in the 40's it was back to pasteboard for the
third time. Also a softwood hinged box painted yellow box is known during the 1940s, then
after that, it was back to the pasteboard (4th time) until 1962 when the company
discontinued manufacture of the No 45. Please see the Type Study for more information on
Stanley's combination planes.
Final Note: Stanley made the Type 1,A45 (aluminum) plane from the same mold as their
standard production, iron frame No 45, and the Type I, A45 castings read "No
45." Subsequent models will have the 'A' prefix. Manufactured c. 1915 to 1921 the
aluminum model 45s are worth considerably more than the cast iron. See the listing for the
A45 at the end of this section.
1. Walter, John . "Antique & Collectable Stanley Tools, Guide to
Identity and Value", 2nd Edition, 1996
2. The Stanley Catalog Collection, 1855 to 1898, The Astragal Press, Mendham, New Jersey
3. Wood, Jack P. "Early 20th Century Stanley Tools, Price Guide". Contains
reprints of the 1909 and 1926 Stanley Works Tool Catalogs.
4. Smith, Roger K., Reprint of Stanley Catalog No 120 originally issued in 1923,
"Carpenters' and Mechanics Tools", The Stanley Rule and & Level Plant, The
Stanley Works, New Britain, Conn., U.S.A.
5. Lee, Leonard, "The Complete Guide to Sharpening", Taunton Press, Inc.,1995