Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods #11: Stanley #48 Tongue & Groove plane restoration complete w lots of pics. SWEET!

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Blog entry by Dan posted 03-18-2011 06:07 PM 16656 reads 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Stanley #103 Block/Pocket Plane restored and upgraded! w pics Part 11 of Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods series Part 12: Stanley Bailey #4 Restored w/ new premium blade & chip breaker »

This is the first specialty use plane that I have restored back to user condition. It was a long process but it was worth it as this is a very sweet plane to use. On my very first attempt I was able to cut an almost perfect tongue & groove within 5 minuets. It is a very well designed plane and is a great addition to my collection.

I got this plane off Ebay for around 30 dollars. It was in pretty rough shape from a cosmetic point of view but its all cast solid so there is not much you can do to damage or break the plane. The entire body of the plane is nickel plated and I spent a while cleaning and polishing it. After many hours of detail cleaning and polishing I still was not happy with the appearance of plane. There were a lot of small chips in the nickel coating and I decided I wanted to somehow refinish the plane. I spent a little time looking into the process of nickel plating and how to do it as I toyed with the idea of doing this myself. I also looked into metallic nickel colored spray paint as my 2nd choice. I gave it a lot of thought and finally decided to go with the spray paint. For the paint I used a spray can of Rust Oleum Metallic Satin Nickel. This spray paint went on really nice and covered very well. I applied a total of about 5 thin coats. I was very happy with the finish and it looked a lot better then I had expected it to.

I let the plane sit for about a week before I did anything else. I don’t know if there is a set cure time for the paint but better safe then sorry. I spent some time cleaning and waxing the spring loaded fence pin. I wanted to make sure the fence would work real smooth when put back together. It was a little tricky getting the fence reattached but I got it on.

I spent a lot of time with the blades as well as they were in bad shape. I flattened the backs and grinned new bevels on them. The blades were a little small for my honing jig so I basically did most of it free hand.

Once complete I tested the plane out on a couple scraps of pine. The pictures show my very first attempt and as you can see I was able to cut an almost perfect tongue and groove on my very first try. This plane is that easy to use. Its a very sweet user and now I just have to find more uses for T&G joints.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

17 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


18138 posts in 4287 days

#1 posted 03-18-2011 06:30 PM


-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4476 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 07:13 PM

Wow, very nice restore. I’ve never even seen the tongue and groove planes. Very cool

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 4090 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 07:15 PM

What a nice Plane and well done work :)

have just today got one from Ln.

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View Julian's profile


1667 posts in 3971 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 07:19 PM

Awesome looking plane, Nice restore job. I saw a similar plane on the “WoodWright Shop” PBS show.

-- Julian

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4161 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 07:23 PM

Eric – I had not seen any either or knew really what they were until I got this one. It just looked interesting to me and I figured it would be fun to restore and use.

Napoleon- LN’s T&G plane is almost identical to this one. The only big difference I saw was that the LN has a single blade rather then two separate cutters. The LN one looks really slick and I am sure you will enjoy using it.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4873 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 07:24 PM

Looks Like a lot of fun! Super job!

-- Dennis Zongker

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4278 days

#7 posted 03-18-2011 08:26 PM

Another plane rescued. GOOD job. Looks like the blades are from a #45 ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4161 days

#8 posted 03-18-2011 08:37 PM

Canadianchips – Correct you are. They are not the original blades. They were with it when I bought it but yes the notch at the top shows they are likely from a 45. They are the same size though and appear to work just fine in the plane. I think the 48 has another size blade you can use too but I don’t think its common.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5068 days

#9 posted 03-18-2011 08:49 PM

Gadzooks…is that the same plane? Great Save. Was real nickel plating to spendy?

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4161 days

#10 posted 03-18-2011 09:18 PM

Ratchet – I never got far enough into the research to know the what the expenses would be for the nickel plating. I just read how the process was done. It just seemed a bit more complicated then what I wanted to get into at this point. I was not concerned about an exact match to the original finish either since this is just a plane I am using in my shop. Still I wanted a fresh new look and I am very happy with the painting results. For a 6 dollar can of spray paint that was the smartest and best option for me.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 4090 days

#11 posted 03-19-2011 10:58 AM

Dan you are right that the Ln has a single blade. Except from that they look a little diffenrent in design they are almost the same plane :) and

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4396 days

#12 posted 03-19-2011 02:54 PM

Dan now I have had this blog infront of me since you posted and still can´t come up with
a good comment other than I think you made a very good refurb on it :-)

and your t & G is near dam perfect as I can see and it is a genial little plane to have in the toolbox
I did see Roy use it in one of his Vidio´s he do like it too even though he have a matched set too

take care

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 3973 days

#13 posted 03-19-2011 03:39 PM

I saw that plane on “Woodwright’s Shop”. From your photos, the tongue and groove look little fat, I’m guessing you had a 3/4” board and the plane is tuned for a 1 inch board… Is it adjustable laterally to narrow the groove?

I was hoping you had found an inexpensive way to do nickel plating at home. We could use that.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4169 days

#14 posted 03-19-2011 04:12 PM

Now all you need is a floor to do. (ducking and grinning)

Lovely job on a neat tool!

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4121 days

#15 posted 03-20-2011 07:48 AM

Impressive Dan. Your posting these refurb’s faster than I can read them.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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