Handplanes #3: Fore play ...err... Fore plane that is.

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 08-23-2009 05:12 PM 7167 reads 6 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Cap Iron, and Lever Cap Positioning Part 3 of Handplanes series Part 4: You don't know Jack! »

While working on building my workbench, I ended up breaking the Y part that is responsible for blade advancement (in/out) in my Buck-Bros #5 Jack plane. This one was probably one of my very first woodworking tools that I still have today, and with it I learned much about hand planing from proper tuning, to usage.

As it happened, a day after It broke, I found a Stanley #6 fore plane on craigslist, and as luck had it – the guy was a few streets away from me. NICE. I figured I’m gonna go with a #6 that might be more suitable for jointing and planing surfaces flat than a #5 (although capable for the task ,is not as heavy and not as long), and since I also have a #4 for smoothing – I should be good to go.

I knew I would have to do some work fighting rust and restoring the plane as it was not being used and was purchased at an estate sale, but at $20 I was willing to take on that project (heck – the buck bros cost me twice that much for cheap material made plane).

here is what it looked like when I got it:

Rusty #6

Rusty #6

Rusty #6

After reading sIKEs’ review of the Evap-o-Rust for removing rust (no harmful chemicals, easy on the skin, safe, and effective) I stopped at a local autozone and picked up a small bottle for ~$10 (with taxes). I wish they came in bigger bottles, cause it was kind of a PITA to try and soak an entire body of a #6 plane in a container so that it’ll be all soaked inside. I couldn’t find a container big enough – so had to resort to using a trash bag, and try to have the liquid contact the plane on all sides). it did a really swell job:

Rust Free Parts

This is actually the 2nd attempt, as after the first attempt of soaking it with Evap-o-Rust and then washing with water/soap to clean them off, I noticed the parts developed flash-rust which I didn’t quite like. so I did it again, and this time- I didn’t dry the parts after the soap/water, but instead, sprayed them with WD-40, and then wiped them clean. worked great.

I also used a coffee filter to filter the dirty Evap-o-Rust back to it’s container. (this is after the 2nd run, so there’s less rust/left overs in the filter, as this is actually the 4th filter I ran through)

Rusty #6

After dealing with the rust, it was time to replace the tote handle.

I decided to use a piece of curly maple that Len (Dusty56) gave me when he visit me in June. this was just the right usage for that piece as I’ll be seeing that and admiring that maple every time I woodwork – Thanks Len!!!

so here is the blank I started with (after cutting it roughly on the bandsaw):

Blank Curly Maple

the ironic thing is that I’m planing the blank for the tote -with the plane that it’s going to be installed in – quite a nice cycle of life.

the nice thing about hand planes – is that unlike power tools – you can actually plane and mill small pieces such as this one quite safely and quietly.

next – was glueing the template from Lee-Valley (Thanks LV) on the blank:

putting the template on

followed by rough bandsawing the shape:

rough cut

After that, it was some shaping it with a rasp, and finishing it with wipe-on poly that I mixed:

Rusty #6

Back in business!

eventually I would replace the front knob as well when I can turn, but for not this is workable.

working with this #6 made me realize how junk the Buck-Bros was… it was made of light cheap materials. this one is hefty, and heavy, everything is well made, and when it rides the wood, it’s stable, and does the job on it’s own with minimal labor on my side. works like a dream…

Thanks for reading,

EDIT: per requests – here is a close up on the tote, I’ve had my shares of errors with it (chipped the top when drilling for the rod – which I glued in place, and fixed, then I milled the part too thick, and tried to fix by bandsawing down in thickness- throwing the center hole off center… I kinda fixed that one, but the hole looks off center, then in the 2nd to last coat of poly I didn’t wipe off after sanding with 600grit, so the next coat was ‘dirty’... maybe one day I’ll strip it and refinish…) but without further ado – here is the tote:

Tiger Maple Tote

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

27 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117693 posts in 4033 days

#1 posted 08-23-2009 05:16 PM

It came out great

View Bret's profile


166 posts in 3950 days

#2 posted 08-23-2009 05:19 PM

Gorgeous! And what a bargain.

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4192 days

#3 posted 08-23-2009 05:26 PM

Nice job on the plane.

You can get larger quantities of Evapo-Rust from Fastenal. I just ordered a five gallon container. It is much cheaper to buy in the bigger containers.

Evapo-Rust comes in 1 Qt, 1 Gallon, 2 Gallon, 5 gallon, and 55 Gallon drums.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3690 days

#4 posted 08-23-2009 05:28 PM

Wow, after reading this I may start hunting for cheap rusty gear on CL, since it seems relatively easy to restore.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3888 days

#5 posted 08-23-2009 05:35 PM

Nice job, Sharon.
Chronology of the restore in pictures was really interesting.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3690 days

#6 posted 08-23-2009 05:50 PM

Actually there’s both a #4 and a #7 available in my area (the #7 looks about as rough as the one you restored), but both are listed at $15… I may have some running to do today :)

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4277 days

#7 posted 08-23-2009 06:01 PM

John, Sharon another source for the Evaporust that may a little cheaper than Fastenal’s price of $26.50l is a direct purchase from Their website lists a gallon at $21.00 + shipping. Shipping to my home address in Kentucky would run $9.50.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4175 days

#8 posted 08-23-2009 06:04 PM

That turn out great< congrats on restoring a tool to its former glory. The handle looks super and I can’t believe out clean all of the parts were after using the evapo rust. Keep it up.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 4087 days

#9 posted 08-23-2009 06:05 PM

You got a great deal $20 and its pre ww2 you can’t beat that ! And thanks for the how to tips I’ve never used EvapoRust but I will now !
Here’s some usefull sites on Stanley planes
general info

Trade mark dates info

Purplev have you thought about making you own plane-s ? If you do it right They are sooo sweet.
Bhavens has made alot of his own and I have to tell you they are better than store bought.
(thats just my opinion though)

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Dusty56's profile


11851 posts in 4143 days

#10 posted 08-23-2009 08:52 PM

Great restoration , Sharon !! Can we get a close up of the finished handle ?
I’m glad that you found a good use for the Tiger Maple : ) Any plans on what to do with the rest of it ?
Have you made anything with the Honduran Rosewood yet ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4209 days

#11 posted 08-23-2009 09:41 PM

Nice looking handle!. Got those same plans in hand and it is on my to-do list this week. Need to turn a knob at some point also. Good restore on the metal!. I have found it in the Gallon Jug at O’Relliy’s Autoparts. I found an older single space plastic drawer organizer. It is perfectly wide and deep enough for everything up to a #5 and I can submerge almost the whole thing and then flip it over to get the rest…works very well.

If you leave the evapo-rust on the metal it will keep it from flash rusting also. If it is new jucie it shouldn’t leave the dark haze that the heavily used stuff leaves. You can use it mutiple times just leave it exposed to air, for some reason closing it causes it to go rancid…

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4104 days

#12 posted 08-23-2009 10:32 PM

Thanks Everyone,

good tips on where to get larger containers of Rust-o-leum, if I’m in the need, I’ll go there next time.

Jimi_C – those are good deals on #7 especially, and also a #4 is a good one to have (or 2, or 3 – each setup slightly different). just make sure they are good quality – Stanley, or other known brand.

Rj – thanks for pointing that out (mfg date) I didn’t even think about it – just needed a plane for jointing applications, and a #7 is a bit large for me at the moment (storage limitations). I have been indeed thinking about making my own planes, but for lack of time, and lack of proper lumber (hard and tight) I’m going to hold off on that one for the time being- although in the future I might take up that project.

Len – I’ll get another picture for ya soon,don’t have any more at the moment.

sIKE – I have so many container that would gladly fit a #5 …. but not even one that would hold the body of this #6…. and I’ve checked every corner of the house…lol.

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

View king's profile


71 posts in 4403 days

#13 posted 08-24-2009 01:59 AM

Nice job, and a good find on the plane,I love seeing old tools brought back to new condition, and able to work again.

-- [email protected]

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4128 days

#14 posted 08-24-2009 02:12 AM

Great job on the handplane.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2993 posts in 3893 days

#15 posted 08-24-2009 02:29 AM

I’ve used evaporust a lot. I also did my large plane and didn’t have a container large enough but still narrow enough so that I could use a smaller amount of evaporust. So I got a box of tin foil, gathered it up 4 sheets thick and formed a container the length and width of the plane body. I then put it in a large tray, just in case, and put the plane in it.

Also, for long slender objects a 1/2 inch or 1 inch or 2 inch, whatever size you need PVC with a cap on the end works well. and uses little of the fluid if you use the right size. This would be for long chisels or screw drivers or files.
I’ve also used a 1 liter soda bottle with the cone cut off the top.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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