Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods #23: Stanley #34 completely restored. The longest jointer that Stanley made.

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Blog entry by Dan posted 08-01-2012 07:36 PM 13394 reads 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Stanley #72 Chamfer Plane... Completely Restored Part 23 of Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods series Part 24: A collection of before/after photos of planes I have restored »

Its been a while since my last blog on plane restoration. Over the past year I have been trying to build up a collection of the Stanley wood bottom transitional planes. With each one that I have restored I get a little better at tuning them. Once you figure out how to get them all tuned and set right they are really fine working planes.

The #34 Jointer was one of the trans planes that was at the top of my want list. At 30” long it is the longest plane that Stanley ever produced. This plane is not really an easy one to find and I had been on the watch for one for a while. Thanks to a fellow LJ member I was finally able to get my hands on one.

Here is a before picture

The plane was in decent shape but it did have one big issue and that was the wooden body was cupped. If you look close at the photo you can see the cup. The only other issue was the top of the tote was missing but other then that everything was in good shape.

I started by taking it apart and I then ran the body through my power jointer to flatten the bottom. I set the jointer to take a very light cut and I just made a bunch of passes until I had taken the cup out. Once I had the bottom flat I then realized there was a big hump on the top. I figured it be best I run it through the planer, again taking really light cuts until I got the high spot out. I also squared up the edges/sides of the plane.

Here is the sole after it was jointed. Check out the grain.

Once I had the body square and flat I smoothed it out with a mix of hand planes and some sand paper. I finished the body with BLO and then put a top coat of clear Shellac on.

Once it was dry I put everything back together and discovered I had a new problem. Somehow (probably due to reducing the thickness of the body) the metal top did not line up right. With the frog adjusted as far forward as it would go it was not far enough to line up even with the iron bedding in the wood body. I decided the only solution to this issue was to plug all the existing mounting holes in the wood, move the metal frame up a little to where I could get the frog to line up and then re drill new mounting holes.

I just used a piece of scrap maple to cut the plugs. The metal top only had to be moved up a little so none of the plugs are visible when the plane is assembled.

I also re-painted the metal parts.

With the body done the next step was to repair the tote. To fix the tote I used a small block plane to flatten the break in the tote and then I glued on a piece of maple. I would have tried to match the beech better but I had a piece of maple that was the perfect size and thickness so thats what I used.

I glued the piece of maple on the tote and used nothing more then a couple pieces of masking tape to clamp it. The tape did a fine job as the glue joint is solid and held up through the shaping process.

Here are some pictures of the plane completed and in action (Note: the tote was not finished yet at the time of these pictures so I used a tote off one of my other planes)

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

14 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


11250 posts in 3502 days

#1 posted 08-01-2012 07:49 PM

That’s still probably one of my favorite restores I’ve seen so far. I really like that plane, and the grain is so amazing on it. Great work Dan.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Don W's profile

Don W

20152 posts in 3777 days

#2 posted 08-01-2012 07:57 PM

nice Dan. You’ve got that tuned well.

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

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3434 days

#3 posted 08-01-2012 08:22 PM

Beautiful piece of ribbon you made!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View AnthonyReed's profile


10180 posts in 3650 days

#4 posted 08-01-2012 08:35 PM

That is a beautiful job Dan. Congrats again on the #34!

-- ~Tony

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3864 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 09:18 PM

How do you match the finish on a tote repair? This has always mystified me.

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

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4197 days

#6 posted 08-01-2012 09:19 PM

Great work on the restoration. I like the two-tone tote.
The last pic really shows that you know how to tune.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Brad's profile


1147 posts in 3950 days

#7 posted 08-01-2012 10:19 PM

Talk about a money shot Dan. Your shavings are sweet. I like the way that you ran into a problem (not lining up) and came up with a solution. I appreciate you sharing it here because as you know, there always seems to be something squirrelly about each restoration. You also probably saved a vintage tool from the firewood pile to take its place once again in a working shop.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View JayT's profile


6430 posts in 3421 days

#8 posted 08-01-2012 10:33 PM

Dan, I will say it again, Great Job! That 34 came out both functional and beautiful. (The shavings aren’t bad either :-P)

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3808 days

#9 posted 08-01-2012 11:20 PM

Really looks nice Dan. Well done

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4014 days

#10 posted 08-01-2012 11:50 PM

Rockin Restore as usual.

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

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3903 days

#11 posted 08-01-2012 11:54 PM

Still my favorite restore to date. Simply awesome.

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

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 4322 days

#12 posted 08-02-2012 03:00 AM

Nice to see how to fix that tote. I have one on a #605 that is broken in the same way that I need to fix.

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4361 days

#13 posted 08-07-2012 07:53 PM

Another amazing restore Dan!

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

View Oakum's profile


4 posts in 2849 days

#14 posted 06-25-2015 11:59 PM

I know I’m really late in contributing to this thread, but I really like the old transitional planes… There’s nothing quite like riding a piece of hardwood, especially over a hardwood workpiece.

It’s also neat how the plane, with a little bit of innovation and creating a new sole or whole wooden body, can become another plane entirely, or even a brand new style of plane of your own design.

During my years of collecting and restoration though, I’ve noticed the inclination for transitional planes to sometimes bow from end to end. There was a trend of this occurring more often than not in the longer planes such as jointers. It seemed to me that the axis of the bow occurs many times under the hollowed-out section where the frog, or the wedge and blade was housed, being the least dense and supported section of the wood body.

Using the method I developed to bend various wood pieces for chair building, I took one of these bowed or warped plane bodies minus the metal hardware and soaked it for 3 or 4 days in a tub of water. Then I microwaved it (my micro can do 22 inches max) for 4 minutes on high, or until hot to the touch… and clamped it down to a flat surface with a small 1/8 inch shim just under the mouth opening or axis of the bow. The shim is a guesstimate of how much spring-back is likely to occur after the plane cools and is released from the clamps.

Sometimes this method requires more than one attempt to get the plane body to cool and dry flat; but the benefits are a return to the correct body and sole dimensions and holes lining up for reassembly.

-- Oakum Slocum

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