Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods #22: Stanley #72 Chamfer Plane... Completely Restored

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Blog entry by Dan posted 02-10-2012 06:25 PM 10759 reads 3 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Adding a new sole to wood bottom plane. Stanley #23 restored w new sole Part 22 of Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods series Part 23: Stanley #34 completely restored. The longest jointer that Stanley made. »

The Stanley #72 Chamfer plane was on my list of Stanley specialty planes that I wanted to own. I like this plane from both a collector and a user view point. What I mean by that is its fun to use and its also fun to look at on the shelf.

This is the kind of plane in which I normally wouldn’t restore to a like new condition. Had this one been in good condition and had nice patina I would have just sharpened the iron and left the rest alone. However this #72 did not have nice patina and it was in very poor condition. There was hardly any japanning left, it was rusted and the tote and knob had weathered to a grey like color and you couldn’t even tell they were rosewood. I paid a premium price for this plane so I figured I would bring it back to looking like a premium plane.

Here are the before pictures of the plane..

I first took apart and soaked all the metal parts in EvapoRust for a few hours. After that I sanded down the area to be painted, hit it with a wire wheel and cleaned surface to be painted. After the paint dried I polished up the unpainted metal using wet/dry sandpaper. I stopped at 800 grit. I had to do some pretty heavy sanding to the tote and knob in order to get rid of the layer of weathered wood. I finished the wood with Bullseye Shellac Clear.

Here is the plane after…



My first thoughts on using this plane-

I have only had the chance so far to test the plane out on a few boards. In order to give it a real review I will have to have more time with it. On my first test piece things did not go well. The front end of the plane is adjustable, you loosen the star shaped knob on the back and you can lift or lower the front. The position of the front end determines the depth of the chamfer. On my first trial run with the plane I had the depth set to deep and I didn’t really get a nice looking chamfer. I basically just hogged off the edge of the board. I re adjusted the front end and tried again on a new piece. Adjusting the front made a huge difference, I got a much nicer chamfer on my 2nd attempt. For the third board I adjusted the front yet again and planed an even smaller chamfer. I tried taking photos of these boards but I was using light color wood and due to the lights in my shop and camera quality I couldn’t quite capture the chamfer the way I wanted. I will have to use a darker wood and try and get pictures to post in a later update.

After figuring out the depth adjustment I ran into another problem. I was having a hard time both starting and ending the chamfer. Starting the chamfer from the end of the board was tough so I found it best to start the cut an inch or so from the edge, once chamfer is established I found it easiest to just turn plane around and plane off that first inch from the other direction. The other issue was finishing the cut at the other end of the board. Of coarse if your doing a stopped chamfer this would not be a problem but if your going all the way to the end I found you have to make sure to keep good pressure on the back of the plane. On the first and 2nd test pieces I was not keeping enough down pressure on the back so when I reached the end the cutter would dig down making a deeper cut at the end. Both of these are just minor user issues that will just take me some time to master.

Is this a handy user plane to have?

I think this plane is great for times where you need to cut long straight perfect chamfers. For smaller projects I will probably stick with my block plane but if I want to bevel the edge of a table or cut chamfers on casework I will reach for the #72. I will have to spend some time with it in order to give it a real review but thats just my early thoughts.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

38 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3884 days

#1 posted 02-10-2012 06:31 PM

Great job Dan, it turned out real nice. Hopefully you will master it soon. Thanks for posting.

View SamuelP's profile


793 posts in 3932 days

#2 posted 02-10-2012 06:40 PM

Great Restore once again Dan, Thank you.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View Big_Eddy's profile


57 posts in 4168 days

#3 posted 02-10-2012 06:49 PM

Your turning into quite a master at this looks awesome Hope it works as well.

-- If i'd a knowed you coulda goed I'd a seen you gotta went

View Don W's profile

Don W

20245 posts in 3853 days

#4 posted 02-10-2012 06:55 PM

I’m a bit envious Dan. Great restore. I’ve always thought the 72 would be a fun plane to own.

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

View Brandon's profile


4382 posts in 4237 days

#5 posted 02-10-2012 06:57 PM

Great post, Dan. That’s quite an awesome plane. Is the blade interchangeable with other Stanleys?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Brit's profile


8457 posts in 4128 days

#6 posted 02-10-2012 07:11 PM

That’s a beauty Dan and a nice plane to have. I have a wooden chamfer plane waiting for restoration when I’ve got time so we’ll have to compare chamfers once I get it done. :-)

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3979 days

#7 posted 02-10-2012 07:19 PM


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

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4166 days

#8 posted 02-10-2012 07:25 PM

Brandon, good question, the iron that I got with the plane looks to me like its the original iron. Its unique to all the other Stanley irons I have seen. I can use other irons in the plane though. As long as the iron fits and has the slot for the lever cap screw it would work in this plane.

Brit, I made my own wood chamfer plane a while back. The one I made actually works really well, I have used it a lot. It just lacks a depth adjustment.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17571 posts in 3904 days

#9 posted 02-10-2012 07:55 PM

Dan, Love the Write-Up, Thanks! Felt like I was stepping through each of your first runs right with you, great description of your new experiences with this unique tool.

Any reason, on stopped chamfers, you wouldn’t chisel the end point first, then use the #72 to get down to that finished point across the lenth of the work? Thought I read that somewhere, don’t recall though. And I wonder because you suggested ‘stopped chamfers aren’t a problem.’ Funny, cause I would have expecting running length wouldn’t be a problem but stopped would.

Again, Congrats and Nice Job!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3761 days

#10 posted 02-10-2012 07:59 PM

HOw did you do the japanning? Looks like you did a great job on it.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4283 days

#11 posted 02-10-2012 09:20 PM

Great Looking restore.
I think once you have one, you will use it more !

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

View AnthonyReed's profile


10184 posts in 3726 days

#12 posted 02-10-2012 11:01 PM

Nice. Thank you for the write up Dan, they are always a good read.

-- ~Tony

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4090 days

#13 posted 02-11-2012 01:24 AM

really super nice restore

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4166 days

#14 posted 02-11-2012 02:31 PM

JGM- I painted it with Dupli-Color® Engine Enamel DUPDE1635 Ford Semi Gloss Black

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4401 days

#15 posted 02-11-2012 04:38 PM

great restoring and blog Dan
your woody doesn´t look too bad either :-)
thanks for sharing

take care

showing 1 through 15 of 38 comments

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