Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods #16: Stanley Bailey #2 Restored

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Blog entry by Dan posted 06-24-2011 05:13 PM 9161 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Discovering the history and wonders of an old plane/tool Part 16 of Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods series Part 17: A welded Stanley #4 restored to a great user »

I hadn’t planed on buying the #2 sized plane because of the price and the fact that its small size is not much use for me. Well a few weeks back this #2 plane was up for sale on Ebay and it caught my eye. The plane was in rough shape and the price was lower then what I see a lot of Stanley #2’s sell for. My love for collecting these things got the better of me and I placed my bid. I won the auction for what I feel was a decent price.

To restore or not to restore that is the question….

Collector value comes into question with this plane but the truth of the matter is I don’t ever plan on selling this plane so the actual collector value really means very little to me.

This plane was defiantly a heavy user plane for someone. The plane had a decent amount of rust, there were paint drops on the handles and the iron had seen a lot of grindings. The back tote was broken at the bottom and a piece was missing and the round part of the sole behind the tote was broken off. The plane was probably dropped a few times. So all in all the plane was not all that pretty and it needed some attn before it could be placed on my shelf next to my others. I debated on how far I was going to go on the cleaning/restoration of this plane and I decided to just start working on it and see where it took me.

I took the plane apart and soaked the metal parts in EvapoRust. As they were soaking I cleaned up the handle and knob. I didn’t get extreme here, I just scrapped the paint off with a razor blade and then gave them a light sanding. After that a few coats of lacquer and called em good.

After the metal parts soaked for a few hours I pulled them out and gave them a light polishing. The sole was begging me to repaint it but I decided not to. I just cleaned it as best as I could and waxed it to prevent further rust.

The sides were cleaned and lightly polished. I flattened the face of the frog and polished it a little as well. I didn’t get extreme when cleaning the brass but I gave it a good cleaning/polish. I flattened the sole and I cleaned the blade with a wire wheel and then ground a new bevel on it. After flattening the back and honing a micro bevel it now cuts fine shavings.

After using this plane I realized what I had all ready expected and that is this plane is much to small for me to use. However its the perfect size for my boys to use once they are ready to start learning. I plan on hopefully teaching all 3 of my boys how to use a hand plane using this #2.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

13 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4332 days

#1 posted 06-24-2011 05:19 PM

Nice Job! Since you said the plane is broken. Shouldn’t that lower the value enough to make the restoration Acceptable.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4940 days

#2 posted 06-24-2011 05:24 PM

nice score. as I started reading I too starting thinking this would be a perfect plane for younger kids to start learning with as it would be easier and more comfortable for them to hold and use. good thinkin!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5389 days

#3 posted 06-24-2011 05:25 PM

Nice to see him returned to use. The boys will treasure the plane. I’m really glad you did not repaint the body. I prefer them with original japanning even if a fair amount is missing.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4172 days

#4 posted 06-24-2011 05:30 PM

Daddy Z – the fact that its broken did lower the value because I paid less for this one then I have seen most other #2’s sell for. I am sure my cleaning and tuning has probably increased the value but again its not really an issue because it wont be sold by me. I did skip on repainting it but who knows maybe I will do that in the future.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4443 days

#5 posted 06-24-2011 05:31 PM

Dan, what method do you use to flatten the frog?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4172 days

#6 posted 06-24-2011 05:33 PM

Wayne- I have repainted enough of my planes to realize how much I hate doing it. To get a perfect paint job there is so much prep work involved and with the time it takes I am thinking my repainting days are behind me for the most part.

However if I notice the rust coming back on this plane I will probably paint it. It was not too badly rusted so I should be ok.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5389 days

#7 posted 06-24-2011 05:39 PM

For rust, I use a coat of schallac over the areas that would be japanned and then I wax it. I’ve not had any rust issues. Also, you can easily remove the schallac if needed.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3931 days

#8 posted 06-24-2011 05:43 PM

Nice looking plane and restoration, Dan.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Don W's profile

Don W

20247 posts in 3859 days

#9 posted 06-24-2011 05:46 PM

Very nice Dan. I’ve been watching but like you, don’t want to pay what I’ve been seeing. I’ll be patient. #4 1/2 are going pretty high as well. Hope the cycle dips soon. I’m dying to try a 4 1/2. That is one fine shaving in the last 2 photos.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4172 days

#10 posted 06-24-2011 07:39 PM

Mochoa – To flatten the frog I usually remove the Y york and then flatten with sandpaper on a piece of glass, tile or mdf. To get the very top around the lever adjustment I have just started using small sanding sticks made from scrap hardboard. If the frog is way off I will sometimes use a mill file.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3946 days

#11 posted 06-26-2011 05:57 PM

Beautiful job, make that thing sing the same song it sang to previous generations.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View hhhopks's profile


663 posts in 3669 days

#12 posted 01-22-2012 04:25 PM

I always have trouble tuning my planes to take full thin shavings.
Very impressive.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Sparks8286's profile


72 posts in 2781 days

#13 posted 03-14-2015 05:20 AM

It’s a beautiful plane and I’m sure your boys will enjoy working with it. I understand this thread is 3 years old now, but I do want to leave my comment.

The main body, or casting, is a second generation design. It looks like it has grooves in it which would date it between 1888-1902, however your lever cap has ‘STANLEY’ cast into it. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Stanley had started casting their name in the lever cap at that point. Again, it’s not a big deal, but if you ever do get concerned about the value it’s something to look into. It’s easily taken care of, obviously ( along with the pitted chip breaker). There aren’t many #2’s to be found for sale lately.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

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