Who am I? My name is Mike. I live in Toronto, Canada. I cook, I renovate, I build, I read. I’m a rhykenologist, which means I collect woodworking planes. And other woodworking tools – and I restore them. I also collect cookbooks, but there doesn’t seem to be a good word for that. Maybe I’m a culinarian?



I like model trains, although that’s more of a winter hobby. Only N scale, and mostly trains from Germany and Switzerland. I read mostly historical mystery and some thrillers… and lots of non-fiction from travel books to design, woodworking, crafts.

This blog focuses mostly on things that are made by hand, travel, maybe some reviews, recipes.


12 thoughts on “About

  1. michaellangford2012 says:

    We definitely have a common interest in planes. I’ve been restoring and using woodworking tools for about thirty years, really like old coffin smoothers. Have you ever run across a sort of rabbet plane called an Up-to-Date? It’s a cast aluminum body with an L-shaped cutter, actually very useful for adjusting door hinge mortices. I’m trying to find one for a friend. thanks, M

  2. Mike D says:


    Great topics and a fascinating read. I actually found you through a post you made on another site regarding a deck you built. I would love to have an offline email chat about that experience.

    (also) Mike.

  3. Gary Roberts says:

    Great blog! Instead of sleeping, I spent a good hour or more reading through your posts. To be sure, I’ve added a link on my browser to keep up to date on your words.

  4. Steve Casey says:

    I am sitting here looking at a Stanley 65(?) I just bought. The plane body has no foundry marks. The pin for the eccentric lever is integral to the body. It has the 1/8″ high front knob boss(pre 1910). It came with a hooded bottom lever, fine cross hatching lever cap(looks like from an 1886-1900 Stanley #9 1/2). It also has the thicker knurled knob rear adjusting screw which was introduced in 1930.
    It IS a low angle.
    So, I figure neither the lever cap or the adjusting screw are original to this plane. It is definitely a 65 body because I have it next to one of my other 65s and it is identical except for thicker casting on the sides.
    Any idea what this plane really is?
    Steve Casey

    • spqr says:

      Hi Steve,
      Do you have a pic you can post? As often the case, I suspect over the years the plane had parts modified. It could
      however be a really early No.65, as they had the same lever cap as the 9 1/2. The weird thing may be the pin for the eccentric lever, but if it is integral, it could also signify an early model.

  5. Susan Shaw says:

    Hi Mike, I recently acquired an old Stanley block plane. I think it might be a #18. However, it doesn’t look exactly like the two you shared in a blog. Can I email you a pic for your opinion on what model/age plane I have?

    Thanks for your awesome blogs 🙂


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