Cleaning up a Stanley 60 1/2 Block Plane

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Matt Nudi posted 12-28-2012 02:33 AM 7470 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, got my first hand plane in the mail, the stanley 60 1/2 plane. It wasn’t in too bad of a shape, but definitely needed some work….

So, first step was to take it apart. Had to get out a couple punches and made one mistake which I’ll explain later…

The smallest stainless steel parts weren’t in too bad of shape, pretty good actually, so all that they need was a soak and some hand scrubbing. They were put in a tub of simple green and I let them sit over night.

Got out the old metal polish to get all of the oxidation off of the brass knobs, after a few good rubbings they came out glimmering with a nice sheen. I’ve seen people work them to a mirror shine but I didn’t really see the point in that since these are going to see use and salty oils from the fingers so they will likely get tarnished pretty quick…

For the body, it was time for some good ol’ electrolysis. If some of you haven’t tried it, you take some water and mix in a good electrolyte, for example, baking soda, and take a standard car battery charger at around 6 amps. Take the positive end and attach it to a piece of scrap steel, and then the negative end around your piece you’re trying to remove rust and paint, and pretty much everything except for the good metal that you want…

Now, I kind of got ahead of myself and forgot to take more pictures until I was done, family in town, busy days, etc. Oops . Anyway, the electrolysis had taken all of the rust off as well as the paint, the original paint job had a lot of deflects due to corrosion in the main frame of the plane. So, I got a can of dupli-coat semi gloss and gloss to try to redo the “japanning” that was on the original plane. I found this little tutorial that might be helpful to some of you, it has some cool info about how to authentically replicate an original paint finish like the planes came painted stock…

Japanning Link

The hardest part about the paint job was really just getting all the not to be painted iron taped off with a good seal so there wasn’t a ton of overspray. There were a couple areas with a little overspray that came off easily with a metal file.

I took the assembled plane over some 100, 220 grit paper to flatten out the sole and the sides, I have a little more tuning up to do but for now it’s looking pretty even.

The only mistake here, is the adjustable assembly to hold down the blade, I had to take apart for painting, well when trying to re-mushroom the end I broke it, so as you can see in the following pictures, I actually ended up using a cotter pin that I clipped and bent out at the ends, actually holds tighter than the original piece so it’ll do. Thanks for looking!

-- - Still a new guy to the craft, but always striving to learn more

4 comments so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3829 days

#1 posted 12-28-2012 11:31 AM

Well done Matt, now you need to show some shavings !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3939 days

#2 posted 12-28-2012 02:05 PM

Turned out nice!
Have you thought of posting a link in the restoration before and after forum?

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Matt Nudi's profile

Matt Nudi

121 posts in 3040 days

#3 posted 12-28-2012 02:20 PM

I actually didn’t know we had one of those. I’ll go find that now, thanks for letting me know about it.

-- - Still a new guy to the craft, but always striving to learn more

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3103 days

#4 posted 12-28-2012 06:08 PM

great job

-- Joel

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics