The Stanley No. 239 Special Dado Plane was covered by Christian Bodmer's March 30, 1915 Patent No. 1,134,072. It was assigned The No. 239 First Model to the Stanley Rule and Level Co. The patent drawing illustrated the plane exactly as it was offered in the 1915 Stanley No. 34 Catalogue.
(Webmaster's note: This article was scanned from the Winter 1997 edition of ToolTalk)
|The Ideal Tool
Stanley described the No. 139 as being an ideal tool for blind wire grooving and therefore of special interest to electricians. Blind wiring was a term used to describe the practice of installing electrical wires in a pair of narrow grooves cut in a surface-applied wood molding covered with a thin wood cap. In the teens and early twenties, blind wiring was a popular method for installing electric wiring and lighting in existing homes that were originally illuminated by gas lights.
The 239 and how it worked
The 1915 Catalogue listed the No. 239 Special Dado Plane in the same group with the No. 39 series of Iron Dado Planes.
The 239 1/2 and how it worked
A Description of the 239 1/2
The End of the 239 1/2
The No. 239 1/2 was dropped from the line in 1923. Existing stock was probably sold by the time the fence was added to the No. 239.
The 239 Addition
In 1925, a fence was added to the No. 239.
In 1926 and later, the No. 239 was offered in 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch or 1/4 inch widths. In 1929, the option of a 5/32 inch width was added and the 1/4 inch width was discontinued.
Experimental Models of the 239
An experimental model of the No. 239 is illustrated in figure 385 on page 243 of Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America, Volume II by Roger K. Smith.
Another interesting experimental variation of the No. 239 is illustrated in the opposite photo and in the March 1995 issue of The Gristmill Magazine published by the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association. This variation plowed a 1/16 inch wide groove and had a small skew cutter mounted in an L-shaped bed at the top of the plane to provide a 90 degree trim function.
-John Wells has been a member of PAST for many years. He and his wife, Janet sell tools under the name Grizzly Antiques (see back page ad). John and PAST member, Jack Schoellhamer have recently written a major two-part article for The Gristmill on "Bailey's Excelsior Block Plane ". The articles appear in the June and September 1996 issues.
-For further information on PAST member Roger K. Smith's book, Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America. contact:
Roger K. Smith. Box 177. Athol, MA 01331