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Chapin Tools


Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Stanley 386 "Cheater" Fence 1 of 2  

My New Year's resolution is to finish some little projects that I started but never finished.

Last November I bought a Stanley 386 cheater fence for jointing because it has screw holes in it for the mounting of a wooden addition to the metal fence.

I selected a piece of scrap Sepele wood and put it with the 386 fence and that is as far as I got. So, I grabbed some time this afternoon and made the wooden face for the fence.

I have several planes with cheater fences on them. I prefer a wooden long jointer to joint boards and then make one pass with a jack plane with a cheater fence on it to make sure that the edge is exactly 90 degrees to the faces. If you are a beginner, I recommend mounting a jointing fence on a dedicated plane and using it to check the accuracy of your jointing.

Most beginners plane a wind on the edge of a board with the plane tilted too far right at the start end and a little too far left on the far end. One or two passes with a plane with a cheater fence will correct the error. Consider a cheater fence the equivalent of training wheels on a bike. Once you get the feel of a perfect 90 degrees after using a fence, you will be able to do freehand jointing. You can also set a fence to different common angles for octagons and hexagons as well as any other angle you need for a project.


This is the Stanley 386 jointing fence after I had cleaned it and lubricated all the thumbscrew threads on it. I then sprayed it with Boeshield T-9 to prevent rust in the future.

The Sepele wooden fence that I made is ready to mount in this photo. The screws have to have large heads but very short in length because the wood is only 3/8ths of an inch in thickness.

This is the other side of the Sepele fence, the one that will ride against boards I will be truing with it. I inlayed a 10 mm. mother-of-Pearl dot in it to spruce it up a bit.

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Stanley Planes

Block Planes


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