Stanley No. 3, Hotrod Edition

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Project by WMD2006 posted 09-03-2014 02:55 PM 5020 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, I’ll start by admitting one thing: I’m sure there’s a reason I haven’t seen this done before, probably because of a balance/center of gravity issue. Noted, but it solves a problem and I’m pleased the result.

A while back I got a #7 from Ebay for my restored plane collection along with my grandfather’s #5c. I figured I’d continue the theme and look for a #3 to restore as well. I got one, and received my next big lesson in hand planes: the number is not just indicative of the length, but every dimension. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my hands around the #3’s stock handle without cutting my fingers all up on the blade assembly.
I looked up handle templates and found some from Lee Valley that were the same size as the original so I wondered if I could modify them. I came up with the idea of basically adding a panel saw handle off the back and leaving the retaining bolt in place.
I drilled some relief holes along a 5/4 piece of figured walnut I had lying around, bandsawed the rest and shaped the result with a palm router and rotary tool. Finish is wipe-on poly.
After sharpening the blade, my #3 cuts as well as any of my planes and while the handle changes the feel of the plane, it’s definitely better than bruised knuckles.

-- -MDWhite

15 comments so far

View hunter71's profile


3558 posts in 4395 days

#1 posted 09-03-2014 03:07 PM

Looks real neat.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View TechTeacher04's profile


472 posts in 2740 days

#2 posted 09-03-2014 03:35 PM

How does moving the handle that far back effect the handling and balance? Great idea

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


6024 posts in 3560 days

#3 posted 09-03-2014 04:13 PM

Nice, now you need to paint flames on the sides.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Matthew Eye's profile

Matthew Eye

95 posts in 2577 days

#4 posted 09-03-2014 06:24 PM

Sweet handle.

-- "When it comes to working on stuff, buying more tools usually helps" - Matthew Eye

View Don W's profile

Don W

20152 posts in 3776 days

#5 posted 09-03-2014 09:19 PM

A thumbhole #3. How cool is that.

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

View Northwest29's profile


1711 posts in 3699 days

#6 posted 09-03-2014 11:37 PM

Has a great look to it. Perhaps you’ll start a new trend for hand planes. (-;

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3636 days

#7 posted 09-03-2014 11:57 PM

Now you’r talking! A size XXl handle on a #3… awesome !

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4705 days

#8 posted 09-04-2014 02:29 AM

That is very cool! Where were you on the hand saw swap?! I have thought about an infill mod on a 4-1/2.

-- Regards, Norm

View MilFlyer's profile


948 posts in 2881 days

#9 posted 09-04-2014 02:47 AM

Nicely done Quigon! You and that big brain of yours never cease to amaze me!!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 3144 days

#10 posted 09-04-2014 03:26 AM

I’ve never used a #3, but I’ve thought a lot about how the heck people are supposed to get their hands in there. Looks like you figured out a good way to do it. Necessity is the mother of invention…

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3349 days

#11 posted 09-04-2014 01:07 PM

Well, that solves that problem.

I usually just wrap my index finger on top of the blade and call it good.


View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4013 days

#12 posted 09-04-2014 11:25 PM

that looks gr8

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View MakingCurls's profile


43 posts in 2788 days

#13 posted 09-06-2014 03:59 AM

that’s come out really well mate! i think it looks the business. very impressive!

-- Out in the shed making curls

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4360 days

#14 posted 09-06-2014 04:14 AM

An idea so crazy it might just work! You GO MD! Awesome.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View LeTurbo's profile


234 posts in 2794 days

#15 posted 09-07-2014 08:19 AM

Vroom! Vroom!Does it cut as fast as it looks?

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