I recently purchased a used Stanley 9 1/4 block plane at a flea market. I am noticing that the depth adjustment knob interferes with the lateral adjust lever when it is above about halfway up its threads. This creates a "dead zone" in the depth adjustment where I can't achieve a certain depth adjusting the lever or stepping the blade forward a notch.

enter image description here

I'm guessing the problem is one of the following:

  • Lateral adjustment lever is bent
  • Depth adjust knob is wrong part (Mine measures 1.007" diameter)

Can anyone familiar with the 9 1/4 (or the similar 9 1/2) block plane help me figure out what's wrong? I don't want to start trying to bend the lever until I can confirm it is the issue.

Note that this is different from this question because the possible depth travel seems correct, I just can't use half the depth adjustment range because of interference with the lateral adjust lever.

UPDATE: Just for fun, here are some shavings it's taking now.


  • 1
    The back of the plane took a hit and the lever bent. Just bend it back upwards with your fingers. It's safest to do this by removing it from the plane so you can apply the bend exactly where you want it (at the back curve) and not have it bend further towards the front, but just a fraction's clearance is needed here so a few gentle tugs could be all this needs :-)
    – Graphus
    Aug 20, 2018 at 12:46
  • Glad the fix worked as planned. Now that the full range of depth adjustment is possible have you had a chance to give the plane a proper test and confirm everything else is in order? These are simple enough that there's usually little to go wrong with them, but you do occasionally see even vintage ones where the bed wasn't ground quite right (although I suspect this is more common in UK-made ones than those made in Connecticut!)
    – Graphus
    Aug 21, 2018 at 14:51
  • It seems to be working fairly well now. I flattened the sole on some 80 grit sandpaper on plate glass because it was slightly convex and sharpened the blade up. I still have some tuning to do but it I'm satisfied with how it works for the price. I wish it had an adjustable mouth but the adjustable mouth ones on offer from this seller seemed to be in worse condition. I'm probably going to keep tuning it but I think the only issues I've seen with it so far are just because the mouth is inherently wide. Aug 22, 2018 at 14:45
  • I added a picture of the shavings it's making -- they are just off of some pine 2x2 that I had sitting around. Aug 22, 2018 at 14:56
  • Good shavings, they're nice and thin and hold together well so your sharpening skills seem well up to scratch. I have a 9 1/2 (in fact virtually every woodworker I know has one, or a direct copy) and the adjustable mouth is a feature that I wouldn't want to be without myself, but TBH not all users need it at all which is why there's still such a strong following for the earlier knuckle-cap Stanleys with fixed mouths.
    – Graphus
    Aug 22, 2018 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


Maybe a plane expert can give you original dimensions, but it looks clear to me this is from the bend that lever would get the first time it fell off the bench to land on that end.

The depth adjustment knob looks right based on how it engages the blade depth lever. Even if it wasn't original I'd keep it as I can't imagine a different size working better.

I'll bet they changed the design in following years for exactly this vulnerability to the inevitable occasional fall off the bench (onto hopefully a wood floor :).

  • I took the lever off the plane, put most of it in a soft jawed vise, with only the curved part sticking up. I bent the curve back with very firm finger pressure a little bit at a time and eventually it gave enough clearance to adjust the plane to take fine shavings. Thank you and @Graphus for the sanity check! Aug 20, 2018 at 18:30
  • Exactly how I would have approached it @ScottHilbert :)
    – scanny
    Aug 20, 2018 at 23:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.