Beginner Plane Restoration #1: Why I decided to do this, and my initial impressions of the plane

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Blog entry by bbasiaga posted 05-28-2015 06:11 AM 2043 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Beginner Plane Restoration series Part 2: Stanley No 65 Plane Clean Up and Rust Removal »

I recently came up with a project idea that will benefit from the use of a hand plane. Unfortunately, I don’t have one! After hours of research on old threads here, and soliciting some great feedback on a thread of my own, I had all but decided to buy a Veritas #3 low angle smoother.

Then, my wife’s job situation became quite unstable. While we are working that out, I thought I could spend a small amount of money and give a restoration a try. I have the time (projects on hold until this is all worked out too), and may just learn something and save some money in the process.

So I picked up a Stanley No 65 low angle block plane at a local antique shop. In this video, you will get my initial thoughts on the project, and my near real time thoughts on the plane itself. Future installments will show the rest of the restoration work.

My goal in sharing this is to give a true beginner’s perspective. I will say a lot of things wrong, and probably make some mistakes. But this will show a first time plane restoration by a first time restorer. Hopefully, it will help someone else thinking about going down this path!


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

6 comments so far

View MrFid's profile


910 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 05-28-2015 12:27 PM

Best of luck with your restoration. I’d suggest fixing that bevel by using a honing guide. I know that your goal is to save money, so I hesitate to suggest that you buy a 70 dollar tool to fix a 20 dollar tool, but the Veritas MKII honing guide has worked really well for me. Maybe you live near someone who has one? I’m sure other honing guides would work as well, but it will be difficult to fix that camber without the use of a guide unless you are really experienced with sharpening (more than you or I it sounds like). Good luck with your restore and have fun!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3357 days

#2 posted 05-29-2015 07:38 AM

Watch that slippery slope, its a doozy…

I decided to restore my grandpas #5 a few years ago…

Ive gatherered a few more…

Made another today..

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

View upchuck's profile


540 posts in 2831 days

#3 posted 05-29-2015 04:22 PM

Nice block plane…and for $20 you got a good deal. Everything looks right for that plane. I believe that cleaning,
lightly oiling, and most importantly sharpening that blade will give you a fine tool. Nothing else seems to be required. I would caution you about chasing threads. While I don’t know exactly what threads sizes are used on your plane, Stanley has a well deserved reputation for using sizes that are not “standard” for the 21st century.
The sizes were typical for the last half of the 19th century and have just never been updated. That may be a can of worms that you won’t want or need to open.
The difficulty you were having with the blade depth of cut mechanism also may just be a matter of cleaning, lubricating, and finding the sweet spot. There is a sweet spot in the balance between the amount of threads engaged in the casting, the amount of threads engaged in the part you called “the arm”, and the location of the two protrusions from the arm with the blade. When you find that sweet spot the depth of cut adjustment will be solid.
Nice plane. Good deal. Solid plan to make it a lifetime worker of you. It seems to require minimum effort to it get up and running. An excellent choice for your first plane.

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2652 days

#4 posted 05-29-2015 04:44 PM

The back of the iron is just as important as the beveled side. Take the time to make sure it’s flat. If it looks like it’s gonna take a lot of work then look up the “ruler trick” to save some time. And Id invest in a cheap 10-15$ sharpening guide from woodcraft or Amazon. I use them for reshaping the bevel and the first honing. After that I usually do it by hand because it only take a couple strokes to get it back sharp.

Edit: for me, if it won’t take at least some hair then it’s not sharp enough for me. A regular old paraffin wax like a block of Gulf Wax will make it glide across the work with a couple swipes on the sole.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3161 days

#5 posted 05-29-2015 04:44 PM

Thanks Chuck. I have been looking in to the threads and will talk about that in a future video. I have the tools to determine the diameter and pitch before I just started trying to ram a tap though there. Good thing too as what you state is right on!

And Tug…I could see this becoming a hobby all in itself.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View woodenwarrior's profile


255 posts in 3360 days

#6 posted 05-30-2015 02:55 AM

I second the addictive nature of restoring Stanley planes! Once you bring a rusty piece of junk back to a beautiful working condition and hear the gorgeous “sshhhhhhhhhhkkkkkkkk” as it planes across wood peeling perfectly gossamer shavings….you’re hooked. Personally my No.4 1/2 I restored is my favorite, small enough to be versatile, yet heavy enough to power through the stroke.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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