Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods #17: A welded Stanley #4 restored to a great user

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Blog entry by Dan posted 08-03-2011 06:47 PM 9619 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Stanley Bailey #2 Restored Part 17 of Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods series Part 18: Keen Kutter KK5 Restored.. New Redwood Tote & Look at blade thickness »

Whether you are a collector or a user of planes I think its safe to say that no one is interested in a common bench plane that has been welded back together. I was never interested in a welded plane either until I got this Stanley #4 type 9 that had been welded back together on both sides.

A couple weeks ago I picked up this #4 Stanley plane and my original plan was to use it as a parts plane. After looking it over I changed my mind and decided to fix it up as a user even though it had been welded.

Someone liked this plane enough to spend the time to weld it so they didn’t want to just throw this plane away. It might sound strange but I am sure who ever welded this plane would be happy to know his broken welded plane has been fixed up and will continue to live on.

When cleaning it up I discovered the plane had been welded with brass. I actually think it looks pretty neat with the brass weld. I sanded and polished the sides and refinished the knob and tote. The rest of the plane was just cleaned. I lapped the sole, sharpened the blade and the welded plane is taking fine shavings just like my planes that are not welded. I really like this one. It has a story and I am happy that I didn’t split it up for parts. Its earned a special spot in my shop…

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

9 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

20152 posts in 3777 days

#1 posted 08-03-2011 07:05 PM

Nice job Dan. I agree, a properly fixed plane gives it character. I always think there is a story behind that break/fix. The funny thing is, these types of planes don’t go as cheap as you’d expect some times.

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

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4090 days

#2 posted 08-03-2011 07:14 PM

Don, I know the #10 Stanley plane is notorious for breaking. I often see those on ebay that have been welded and they do still sell for a lot. A lot has to do with how well of a job was done with the welding. Who ever welded this one did a good job and got it all lined up good. When I lapped the sole there was a section near the weld that was off by a bit but I was able to even it out by lapping.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3978 days

#3 posted 08-05-2011 04:33 AM

That plane turned out nice. I always wonder what story’s my used tools would have to tell. Were they a prized possession, a long awaited purchase, a gift, or simply an extra tool that never did anything but collect dust.

You can tell someone thought this plane was worth the effort or expense of having it repaired.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View ajosephg's profile


1898 posts in 4771 days

#4 posted 08-05-2011 04:44 AM

I am curious as to why so many planes have broken in this area. It doesn’t seem that there would be a lot of stress there, but maybe I’m missing something. Any explanations/theories?

-- Joe

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 4672 days

#5 posted 08-05-2011 04:54 AM

Brass? No it has been brazed. Brazing is one of the few ways cast iron can be welded. It did end being a nice user. Good job

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View steviep's profile


233 posts in 3856 days

#6 posted 08-19-2011 04:26 AM

Funny, i got a 4 1/2C from ebay and I should have known (it was to cheap) that something wasn’t right. Like yours it was welded on one side and just behind the mouth. I thought the same thing and then I used it. [email protected]! It is my goto smoother now.

-- StevieP ~ Micheal Tompkins - you were not here on earth long but left a giant mark on us. RIP Brother

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3903 days

#7 posted 08-19-2011 04:33 AM

I’m guilty of passing on the braised planes. Your comments make me want to reconsider. It’s a nice looking plane and I’m positive its earlier owner would be proud.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dwain's profile


623 posts in 5069 days

#8 posted 11-30-2011 11:38 PM

As to Joe’s question on why planes always crack there, I believe that the location of the mouth is the cause. Cracks often start near the mouth, and if one is present, one accidental meeting with a concrete floor is all that is necessary to break it in two. Just my two cents.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View hhhopks's profile


663 posts in 3587 days

#9 posted 01-22-2012 04:06 PM

A well repaired plane should be good as the ones that hasn’t gone through the accidents.
In some ways, all these old tools had gone through tough times.

Indeed, this plane has character.

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

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