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Thread: Stanley 71 vs Stanley 71&1/2 Advantages and Disadvantages?

  1. #1
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    Stanley 71 vs Stanley 71&1/2 Advantages and Disadvantages?

    Hi All,

    I have a Stanley 71, but visited with a very good hand tool wood worker maybe a year or more ago as I watched him work. He was cutting a dado with a Stanley 71&1/2. It had a fence of some kind I think, maybe a clamped on board as I don't remember for sure, and when I first saw him, the dado was about 1/4 inch deep. He would make a pass down the length of the board, removing a fine curl, and then lower the blade a little bit and make another pass. In that way the dado was being formed.

    I asked him about the 71&1/2, as I had never seen one in the flesh before. He said that he liked the fully flat bottom for use on narrow stock more than the 71, and said he thought it was easier to use for such.

    I was thinking about that, and decided to ask about it, for you that use one. For what it's worth I have a 71, but have yet to use it. (Too tied up with remodeling after our move to the current house, and still don't have a shop or warm place to work yet anyway.)

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two different router planes, in your experience? Do you prefer one over the other, or just prefer one over the other for certain tasks? Do you use both? Which blades do you use most, and do you use the fence, etc.?

    Let us know your thoughts on the two router planes.

    Thanks in advance, and regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 01-25-2022 at 9:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Have never had the #71....but, am quite happy with the 71-1/2 in the shop..
    The Sellers Box, 2 done.JPG
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Under certain conditions, the closed mouth router will catch the shavings at the edge of a cavity and cause a dent. The open mouth version will lose support on narrow stock at the far end and drop, unless you add the foot thing, I suppose, but I don't have it. I use a Millers Falls no. 77, a close mouth router.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    If you visit Patrick Leach's website, the 71 started as a closed throat, then became an open throat with a plug, and then when Stanley realized they made a mistake introduced the 71-1/2. I have a 72-1/2 and have never felt at a disadvantage, but depending on how you work that may be different.
    Always put the crappy side against the wall

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Truth is you need both. If you just use one to clean up tenons either will do. If you use on edges or for inlay tasks you need both. It is also good to have the different sizes and different blades. Uses include inlay, stringing, tenons, halving, stopped dado, dados, hinge butts, marking and dovetails. Other things you can think up. I have and use three sizes and many blades.
    Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I like a closed throat. I had a #71, but replaced it with a LV Large Router plane. You can orient the cutter in four directions, allowing you to emulate closed and open mouth operation.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    You can always add a sub-base on a 71. With that said, I agree that having multiple router planes is very handy.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  8. #8
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    You can also turn a cutter in four directions on the Stanleys.....and even use a cutter as a bullnose plane...just set the cutter on the outside of the post by turning the collar 180 degrees so the bolt is facing the other direction....That's why the later cutters Stanley made have that groove milled all the way around...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Funny this came up, I have a veritas large router plane coming tomorrow. I am now grappling with keeping or selling my 71 & 1/2

  10. #10
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    My 2 cents, keep it. It's very handy to be able to have two setup and ready for different functions.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    My 2 cents, keep it. It's very handy to be able to have two setup and ready for different functions.
    More tools yay! I guess I will need to build more storage then.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Clausen View Post
    Funny this came up, I have a veritas large router plane coming tomorrow. I am now grappling with keeping or selling my 71 & 1/2
    My thought on this is always based on what would happen with the money.

    Is there a current need for the money?

    Yes? That makes the decision easy.

    No, then keep the tool until the money has a use. The tool will likely sell for more in years to come.

    In my case it is more enjoyable to give a tool to one of the members of my friends or family.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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