Reworking a Stanley 60 1/2 low angle block plane

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Blog entry by Tim Dahn posted 03-31-2013 01:45 AM 5444 reads 5 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This plane has been my favorite tool in the shop, I love the size and weight, it just feels good in the hand. It’s always on my bench and it gets used on every project. Reading on Super Tool it seems to be a WWII era as these models sometimes don’t have the Hand-y grip milled into their sides.

You can see the cam lock is missing, I had been using a screw with a brass knob to tighten the lever cap.

Sadly the Depth adjustment mechanism has been getting loose as you can see here. This is usually renders the plane useless. The original adjustment mechanism was a poor design and the iron body was not a good choice to have a screw repeatedly turned in or out.

Not wanting to give up on this plane, here is what I came up with.

First I drilled out the stripped adjustment screw hole, this is really pushing the limits of the block but it worked.

Then tapped it with new 1/4-28 threads to accept the new depth adjustment screw.

Next I installed a new screw, a lock nut will be added to prevent the screw from turning in the plane body, and hopefully keep the adjustment mechanism rigid.

This was a good opportunity to repaint the body and add a new lie nielsen iron and adjusting knob. BLING!

While fettling the body a bit here and there to be sure the new iron was seating good I addressed another minor problem with this plane and that is side to side adjustment. So after some more drilling and tapping I added side adjustment screws, this time thanks to Vertias. BLING! BLING!

Well after all this I could not put the same old cobbled together knob for the lever cap so I found this cocobolo infilled knob from Bridge city tools. more BLING!

Here it is completed.

What a difference this made to this plane, and I am so happy to have this favorite tool back in service…only better now!

And the obligatory full width shavings from Cherry

Well I hope you enjoyed the results of my Saturday afternoon in the shop, thanks for having a look.

My new old Stanley-Lie Neilsen-Veritas-Bridge City Tools 60 1/2 Low angle block plane:

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

26 comments so far

View felkadelic's profile


220 posts in 3452 days

#1 posted 03-31-2013 01:53 AM

Absolutely fantastic!

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3397 days

#2 posted 03-31-2013 01:59 AM

Holy smokes. That old thing is suddenly nicer than it has any right to be! Great job.

-- Brian Timmons -

View cpd011's profile


91 posts in 4149 days

#3 posted 03-31-2013 03:39 AM

Love it. Nice work.

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3104 days

#4 posted 03-31-2013 03:51 AM

Thats a sweet rehab!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2966 days

#5 posted 03-31-2013 04:11 AM

slick job

-- Joel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4076 days

#6 posted 03-31-2013 07:39 AM

Taking a tool, and really making it yours, is very satisfying. That is a beautiful job, Tim. and it fits your way of working. Bet that is one you never discard or sell.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4246 days

#7 posted 03-31-2013 10:38 AM

Great work Tim. It just shows how a little ingenuity can make tools sing. I have this same block plane and I too use it a lot and for a lot of different types of work. It’s my favorite too because it never lets me down.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Marty5965's profile


161 posts in 2857 days

#8 posted 03-31-2013 11:02 AM

Really nice job. I have one I got on eBay I may have to follow your lead and give it a serious face lift. Thanks for sharing.

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

View Don W's profile

Don W

19746 posts in 3479 days

#9 posted 03-31-2013 12:28 PM

Damn that is sweet.

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

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3692 days

#10 posted 03-31-2013 12:51 PM

Very nice work and nicer adaptations !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3123 days

#11 posted 03-31-2013 01:11 PM

Holy upgrades, Batman! Very cool.

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

View Karson's profile


35229 posts in 5312 days

#12 posted 03-31-2013 01:52 PM

great refirb er Rebuild.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3960 posts in 3163 days

#13 posted 03-31-2013 10:39 PM

Very nice, Tim. I really like the side adjustments—that is very cool. The cocobolo is like putting a tie on to look just a bit extra dressed up.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1614 posts in 4477 days

#14 posted 03-31-2013 10:51 PM

Thanks everyone, it was a fun and satisfying re-work. Now it is a joy to use as well.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View StephenPrunier's profile


19 posts in 2973 days

#15 posted 03-31-2013 10:59 PM

Beautiful job!

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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