Restoring Hand Planes.. My methods

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Blog series by Dan updated 04-25-2013 03:46 PM 25 parts 371101 reads 328 comments total

Part 1: Intro and first step of cleaning & rust removal

12-29-2010 11:51 PM by Dan | 10 comments »

There are many good blogs, articles and web pages out there that give you all you need to know about restoring old hand planes. Most of what I learned I got from other peoples advice. Even though there are many resources out there for restoring planes I found myself learning new tips and tricks from each and every one of them. I decided to do a series of blogs on my methods for restoring planes. Most of what I discuss you may all ready know from reading other blogs and sites but hopefully I c...

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Part 2: Cleaning Brass and making it shine!

12-30-2010 08:36 PM by Dan | 19 comments »

Many old planes and tools featured brass elements such as screw caps, adjustment wheels ext ext. In most cases you cant even tell that its brass because of how dirty it is. Most all of the old Stanley planes have brass nuts on the knob and tote and a brass adjustment wheel. There are other makes that featured brass nuts and wheels as well. If there is one area of the cleaning/restoring process where you spend a little extra time and effort this is it. When polished and cleaned the brass el...

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Part 3: Re-painting the plane body

01-10-2011 07:57 PM by Dan | 5 comments »

Its been a little bit since I have added to this series but I have been very busy as of late. This blog will focus on re-painting the plane body and frog. This is one thing that I usually skip over when restoring planes. Most of the planes I have restored still had pretty decent japanning and showed only minor chipping and wear. That is fine with me, especially if I am going to be using them. However I have restored planes where the japanning was so damaged that I felt they needed a new pa...

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Part 4: Sanding and Polishing the body and metal parts

01-11-2011 09:43 PM by Dan | 12 comments »

In my first blog of this series I talked about removing the rust using Evapo-Rust. The following picture shows my Stanley #4 after it was soaked over night in Evapo-Rust and washed and scrubbed clean. I have polished and sanded the sides a number of different ways. I have done all by hand with folded up sand paper and sanding blocks, I have used my dremmel tool with different attachments and I have used my drill press with wire brush. I find all of these to be way to time consuming. I fin...

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Part 5: Tip on replacing Stanley Bailey plane parts

02-13-2011 05:49 PM by Dan | 10 comments »

This is just a quick blog with a tip for other guys like me who like restoring old planes. Sometimes you will run into a plane where you have a missing a small part such as a screw or bolt. You may also run into one where the part is stripped or damaged beyond repair. I see that there are a lot of people who sell these parts on ebay and sometimes the bidding price for the part is more then you paid for the plane. I recently won an auction on ebay for a Wards Master plane. My bid winning...

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Part 6: Stanley Bailey #6 complete restore w pics!

03-08-2011 05:49 PM by Dan | 29 comments »

After many weeks of hunting and bidding on Ebay I was finally able to win an auction for a Stanley #6 at a decent price. The #6 planes usually sell somewhere around the 50 dollar range and I got this one for 38 dollars. My goal is to someday have the whole set of Stanley bench planes #1 through #8. I am only 3 shy of my goal excluding the 4 1/2, 5 1/4 and 5 1/2. I still need 1, 2 and 8. I don’t see 1 or 2 ending up in my collection anytime soon but the hunt is on for the #8! Stay tuned!...

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Part 7: Stanley Bailey #3 complete restore w before & after pics. I am on a role!

03-09-2011 05:38 PM by Dan | 7 comments »

Just the other day I posted a blog on the completed restoration of my Stanley #6. Well last night I finished up my Stanley #3 and took some final after pictures for this blog. I have been working on this plane for months. As with a lot of my planes I got this one off of ebay. The plane was in rough shape as you can see in the photos. All the pieces were heavily rusted, the rear handle was broke at the top and the top of the frog was broken off. You can see in the before pictures that the l...

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Part 8: Complete restore of my Stanley #5 Jack Plane w finished pics

03-10-2011 08:47 PM by Dan | 6 comments »

Here is yet another one of my plane restorations. I don’t have a before picture of this plane because it is actually a mix of 3 different Stanley jack planes. I was restoring 3 of them at the same time and I mixed and matched the parts on them. I believe this one to be a type 11. The only thing to note about the restoration of this one thats different from the others I posted is that I did my first handle repair. The Rosewood handle on this plane was broke in two pieces when I got it...

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Part 9: Stanley Bailey # 7 complete restore w pics!

03-14-2011 08:11 PM by Dan | 14 comments »

Ahhhh the No. 7 my toughest and most challenging restoration yet. I won this big hunk of rusted metal off Ebay for 38.00. Thats a rather good deal when you look at what most No. 7 planes sell for on Ebay. This plane was in worse shape then any of other bench planes I had restored. It was covered in rust, had countless dings and scratches all over the sides and bottom and the front knob was an obvious home made replacement. On the bright side most all of the original japanning was rusted ri...

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Part 10: Stanley #103 Block/Pocket Plane restored and upgraded! w pics

03-17-2011 05:10 PM by Dan | 7 comments »

This small pocket sized plane is probably used more then any of the planes in my shop. The plane is what I suppose you could call a cheap plane. The blade depth adjustment is a pain in the ass and the plane chatters and chokes very quickly if your blade is not set just right. However once you get the hang of the blade adjustment and once you know the limits of this plane it is extremely handy for small jobs and touch ups. The planes size make it very easy and comfortable to hold or keep in yo...

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Part 11: Stanley #48 Tongue & Groove plane restoration complete w lots of pics. SWEET!

03-18-2011 06:07 PM by Dan | 17 comments »

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 c...

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Part 12: Stanley Bailey #4 Restored w/ new premium blade & chip breaker

03-22-2011 06:53 PM by Dan | 16 comments »

This #4 smoothing plane is the most fine tuned of all my planes. I also upgraded it by replacing the old blade and breaker with a premium quality Pinnacle IBC blade and chip breaker. Once I got this gem tuned and sharp the power sanders were tucked away on a shelf in my shop. I use this plane to finish smooth my projects and the new blade makes it a true joy to use on almost any type of wood. The restoration process for the plane is the same as I used in the other planes. You can check my pre...

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Part 13: Old woodworking square restored... A little break from the planes

04-05-2011 04:50 PM by Dan | 11 comments »

I have restored mostly just hand planes but I do sometimes find other old tools that I will restore. Somewhere along the road of searching for old planes I found this square and picked it up. Any old tool with Rosewood and brass is worth restoring IMO. I have no idea who made this as there are no markings other then some hand cut markings on the metal rule, maybe previous owners stamp idk? That really does not matter though, what matters is that another old tool has been rescued, given new...

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Part 14: Stanley Bailey #4 1/2 cleaned, tuned and upgraded to super user plane

05-16-2011 08:38 PM by Dan | 12 comments »

Just when I thought I had all of the bench planes that I would ever need I found the 4 1/2. When I first took an interest in hand planes I was a little amazed that there were so many different sizes. I didn’t understand the need for all the sizes and thats what had me most interested in getting them all. Over the past year I have been buying the different sized planes tuning each of them to go to work. After using each sized plane for a while I would start to see the differences and lea...

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Part 15: Discovering the history and wonders of an old plane/tool

05-17-2011 08:40 PM by Dan | 7 comments »

When I first took interest in restoring old planes and tools I didn’t pay much thought to the individual tools history. I just took a hunk of rusted metal and made it look new erasing the tools past in the process. I have no issues doing that as its my belief that you are only adding a new chapter in the tools history. On the other end I can also now understand leaving the tools history alone and getting a joy out of wondering what its story is. It wasn’t until I had restored a do...

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Part 16: Stanley Bailey #2 Restored

06-24-2011 05:13 PM by Dan | 13 comments »

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 que...

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Part 17: A welded Stanley #4 restored to a great user

08-03-2011 06:47 PM by Dan | 9 comments »

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 bee...

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Part 18: Keen Kutter KK5 Restored.. New Redwood Tote & Look at blade thickness

08-04-2011 07:10 PM by Dan | 9 comments »

This was a fun plane to restore and tune for several reasons. First of all when I got this plane I took it apart to clean and right away I could see that the iron and chip breaker were both much thicker and heavier then the traditional bench plane iron/breaker. It was as if someone had replaced the original iron and breaker with a new Hock Iron and breaker. This is the first and only antique plane that I have purchased that had a blade and breaker of this sort. Another fun but difficult task ...

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Part 19: An Extremely Rough Stanley #22 brought back to life...

10-17-2011 01:17 AM by Dan | 12 comments »

This was a rough one. Looking at it on the outside it looked pretty decent but once I took a peak on the inside I realized I was in for a challenge. There were times I didn’t think this one was going to see life again but that only made me work a little harder at saving it… The metal parts of this plane were badly rusted. Possibly the worst I have seen personally. However it had a couple good things going for it. One good this was it was complete. All the parts and pieces were ...

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Part 20: Tuning a Transitional wood plane... Adding inlay to close the throat

01-16-2012 09:41 PM by Dan | 9 comments »

I have come to really like the Transitional style wood planes both for their looks and their feel when using. I have about 10 different trans planes in my shop that I have cleaned and tuned up but they are not used often. The main reason they are not often used is because most of mine have soles that have been worn down to the point where the mouths have become much to wide thus making it very hard to take fine shavings. I learned of two general ways to fix this problem. You can either add...

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Part 21: Adding a new sole to wood bottom plane. Stanley #23 restored w new sole

01-18-2012 08:53 PM by Dan | 10 comments »

In my last blog I showed how I added an inlay piece to close up the throat of one of my transitional wood planes. Now I am going to show another method I learned and that is to add a whole new sole to the bottom of the existing worn sole. I will also show how I fixed a stripped out screw hole on the wood trans plane. Like the inlay I recently completed, this is the first time I have done this so it was a learning experience. However I found this method to be a bit easier then the inlay. Th...

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Part 22: Stanley #72 Chamfer Plane... Completely Restored

02-10-2012 06:25 PM by Dan | 38 comments »

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 an...

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Part 23: Stanley #34 completely restored. The longest jointer that Stanley made.

08-01-2012 07:36 PM by Dan | 14 comments »

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...

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Part 24: A collection of before/after photos of planes I have restored

08-09-2012 08:48 PM by Dan | 13 comments »

Rather then doing a separate blog on all of these I figured it would be easier to just post a blog of before and after shots of some of my plane restorations… Some of these have been completely restored and some just cleaned up and tuned. Stanley #40 1/2 Scrub Plane Stanley #10 Bench Rabbet Plane Stanley #113 Compass Plane Stanley #78 Rabbet Plane Wooden Skew Rabbet plane (Gift from fellow LJ Member) Stanley #45 Combination Plane Sarg...

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Part 25: Very rough horned wood plane given a new life.

04-25-2013 03:46 PM by Dan | 19 comments »

Why bother taking the time to restore this plane? It is not worth anything and you can find many just like it for dirt cheap that are probably in much better shape. I restored this plane because I knew there were only two options. Either I restore it or the plane ends up getting tossed because I doubt many would have even bothered spending the time that I spent on this thing… The plane looked like it was possibly re-soled once before. the sole that was on the plane was coming apar...

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