Bragging #2: Stanley #40 Scrub Plane

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Blog entry by brianl posted 12-17-2010 05:14 AM 6381 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Finally Getting a Mortiser Part 2 of Bragging series no next part

As part of my $175 bench project I did a big glue-up of Douglas Fir boards. Over twenty boards went into the top and due to an oversight on my behalf I ended up bowing the top. In order to level it all out, I needed to take off a fair amount of material. I started to do just that with my number 5 jack plane but I quickly realized how daunting the task was. I knew I needed a better tool to tackle this beast of a problem.

I started looking around for a number 40 scrub plane. After going through some estate sales, yard sales, etc… I finally broke down and bought one on ebay for thirty bucks. It arrived dirty, rusty, beat up, and sorely in need of a bath.

I used Evaporust to take care of the majority of the corrosion. I then spent a few hours flattening the bottom of the sole and cleaning up the blade. All of this done over a sheet of glass with sandpaper. During the cleanup I noticed that the blade is of sweetheart vintage. Finally, I took the blade to my 1000 and 6000 grit waterstones to finish the up bevel.

Once everything was sharp I did a few test runs to see how it worked. It is so much faster than my jack plane! It chewed right through that Douglas fir.

Lastly I did the handles. I initially just cleaned them up with soap and water, after which I noticed that the finish was almost completley gone. I ran some sandpaper over it lightly to smooth out some bumps and then put on two coats of Tung Oil and one good rubdown of natural-tone wax. I’m pretty pleased with the appearance and the performance blows me away!

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

4 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3696 days

#1 posted 12-17-2010 05:20 AM

That #40 is a go getter isn t it ? You did a nice job on it. Enjoy and don t feel bad about the price. Thirty bucks aint bad. JB

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3667 days

#2 posted 12-17-2010 02:19 PM

I keep wondering about a 40 “type” scrub plane I have. I say type because there’s no markings on the body other than a USA behind the tote, it’s old, like your E bay find and required some attention, but not as much as yours. It’s blade’s not a Stanley and I’m baffled as to it’s origin.
BUT ! my oh my can it hog the wood down !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3884 days

#3 posted 12-17-2010 03:44 PM

Good rescue to that #40. Now that it has a nice home and you are having fun using it, I am thinking you are going to intentionally make things that need scrub planing !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View eebdoow's profile


53 posts in 3547 days

#4 posted 01-29-2013 01:40 AM

just picked up a 40 and wanted to know what angle you sharpened it at? Mine has a 30, but it seems to steep

-- In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act -George Orwell

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