Sunday, March 11, 2018

eBay and ECEPlanes

eBay can still work but the noise to signal ratio is high and I think getting higher. That said the other day I found a hidden prince among the frogs. A little back story.

ECE traditional planes are one of the true bargains in the wood working world. For either ECE Smoother or Jack Highland Woodworking asks $110 USD. With either you get a plane with a good iron and cap iron that is usable right out of the box. Used Stanley's approach that price point and they will many times need work to put 'em to work.

Some time ago ECE went from the traditional "eared" escapement to a crosspin type escapement. I have both types and in truth both work well but from an aesthetic point I like the eared escapement.

Cut to the chase: While looking on eBay for Marple chisels and fillister planes I came across a "eared" ECE Smoothing plane that appeared NOS with the iron still in the wapper and in a box for about half the price of a new plane from Highland. It arrived the other day and it was NOS, every once in a while eBay works.

After sharpening the iron and on a small hunk of pine:

The differences between the ECE Smoother and the Jack are small. The Jack is a couple of silly mm's longer, so little unless they are side by side you would not notice and the Smoother's iron is bedded at 50 degrees vs. the Jack iron at 45 degrees. With a second iron the Jack could fill both functions.

Both planes side by side showing the difference between the "new" escapement and the old traditional "eared" one:




  1. You're gonna have to build an addition on your garage. Nice plane though.

  2. Andy,

    Ain't that the truth. I keep trying to simplify but when one goes out, two come in. I guess I just have tool round heels. I keep telling MsBubba I'm going to retire in a couple of years and I need to buy everything now so I don't need to after retirement....She usually gives me the skank eye but that is my story and I'm sticking to it.


  3. Careful. After you have been retired 12 year that excuse doesn’t work. You have to transition to an excuse like “if I don’t buy this tool we’ll have to hire the work out”.

    Take some tools and put them in a box and tell mrs. Bubba they are getting sold on eBay. With luck she’ll forget before they come back out of the box.

    1. Larry,

      I like the way you think. The box might work.


  4. Hi Ken,
    nice find. Meanwhile I'm doing most of my work with wooden planes and the ECE jack (240mm) is my working horse.
    Personally I find my bargains more often on flea markets than on eBay. I had the luck to find a NOS Ulmia (similar to the ECE) last summer.
    Take care that your box won't be sold if it will be unwatched for a while ;-).


  5. LOL Ken, I could write a book about different excuses that work when buying tools...well works despite the shank eye...:-) And you may need a warm garage to sleep in, but heh!
    That box trick would not had worked for Heather, she was active on Ebay :-)
    Been a while I bought there, shipping to Canada got ridiculous. Like Stefan, I found most of my treasures at fleas markets, dealers and supplement by KIJIJI. Retirement life is good, give it a try...

  6. Stefan,

    The ECE Jack is great, I used it a couple of weeks ago to shape some Maple legs. The good news for me is MsBubba only comes into the shop to put "stuff" she doesn't know what to do with on the work area of my main bench. Making it my problem :-).


  7. Bob,

    Retirement isn't too far into the future, just over a year and counting down way too fast....Where did January go, hell it is already March, what happened to February.

    I'm finding UK eBay more productive than the US one in spite of the cost difference in shipping. Of course it could be because of my interest in Marple chisels and wood stock plow and fillister planes. I keep telling myself I can only use one at a time but damn they sure are pretty.

    ken putting the monkey suit on in a couple and for the 9th day in a row with 3 more to go before a day off. Just over a year to go.