First Stanley Plane Rehab

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Project by dsb1829 posted 08-10-2008 09:37 AM 2974 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been leaning towards the neanderthal side recently. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a place in my shop for stuff like routers and tablesaws. But there are just some things that plain work better without a cord. Something about sneaking up on tennon thickness with a 2-5HP tablesaw is just one of those sore thumb examples. You want to take off .005”, pick up a hand plane.

Okay, off soap box. There are a lot of more qualified people who can preach from there. Me, I am gonna hang out in my garage-shop.

My plane life started with a hand-me-down Stanley block plane and some sort of rasp plane. Those were not inspirational at all. I recently picked up a Groz set. They work well, but I am wanting to get some more sizes and specialty planes. So off to e-bay I went. I snagged up a handful of planes (some transitional, a woodie, a #5, and a #78). I kept it reasonable and the #78 was the only one I paid more than $10 for. Well, the #5 arrived yesterday. So naturally today I wanted to see if it could make shavings.

First step, try it out. Horible. Wow, not even functional.

Step 2, see what we are up against
Honestly nothing too bad. There is surface rust and the tote is wiggling. Of course the blade is dull and far from usable.

Step 3, get out the sand paper. Collectors will cringe, but personally I would rather use than let it rot on the wall. So I took a 120 grit belt sander belt and laid it out on my cast iron router table. I flattened the back of the plane iron, squared up and fixed the chip breaker, flattened the sole (mostly, I didn’t go ape on it), and flattened the bottom of the tote and handle.

Step 4, make it sharp. Off to the HF sharpening grinder. Setup was a little fiddley, but I was able after a couple of minutes to be setup for proper bevel and th square the blade back up. I spent a goot 30 minutes at the grinder, then transitioned to the wet stones to polish the back and add the micro bevel.

Step 5, oil and clean. File, sand paper, and scotch brite are your friends. Throw in some wire brush for good measure as well. Oil the threads and anything that can rust. Items in contact with wood need to be wiped clean so you don’t soil your future projects.

Step 6, assemble it. Take care to reassemble your plane.

Step 7, wax the sole so it glides.

Step 8, test your handy work.

Step 9, resharpen the blade. Yep, got a little cocky and tried to take on a couple of knots. Knots 1, micro-bevel 0. I recommend establishing a heavier micro-bevel from the start. The uber-fine is just too fragile.

Step 10, marvel at the fact that a tool that is over 40 years old is actually far superior to what is cranking out of China and India.

Alright, check the pictures. Hit me back if you have any questions.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

9 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4789 days

#1 posted 08-10-2008 03:33 PM

that is an impressive looking edge you put on that blade

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6874 posts in 5040 days

#2 posted 08-10-2008 04:53 PM

Hi Doug;

Nice job.

Great shavings!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 4688 days

#3 posted 08-11-2008 09:28 PM

Thanks guys. I got good results once I moved to a bigger and knot free board. I will be giving it more of a workout on a couple of my upcoming projects. I also have a Hock blade and iron to try out for comparison.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3943 days

#4 posted 04-14-2011 05:26 PM

Good work! I inherited a few planes from my grandfather and have been working to get them into shape; sure takes a lot of patience, especially to flatten the soles.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5158 days

#5 posted 04-17-2011 04:48 AM

Welcome to the slippery slope. Have you checked out the Lee Valley replacement blade/chip breaker?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 4688 days

#6 posted 04-17-2011 03:11 PM

I am familiar with replacement blades and chip breakers. I am a big fan of Hock high carbon steel blades. They work fantastic and are high on my recommendation list. For rough use blades the stock ones work just fine though.

I should probably update this project. Since doing this I have gotten more comfortable with the restoration processes. This plane was eventually stripped down and repainted, Hock’d up, and received some new rosewood handles. It now resides in another loving home. The knob/tote and blade/breaker live on in a No5 that was left for dead on ebay with a chip on one of the shoulders. I use that No5 quite often.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5158 days

#7 posted 04-17-2011 06:06 PM

I’m using Hock blades in most of my bench planes. The reason I asked about the LV ones is because they are a new offering, have gotten good reivews, are reasonable in cost, have flattened backs, and are a bit narrower than the Hock blades. They seem to be a good option especially if you have to widen a mouth to accomidate the Hock blade.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View CrazyCraftsman's profile


27 posts in 3535 days

#8 posted 03-10-2012 04:36 PM

Nice! I’m new to hand planes and just awhile ago I got a new plane and when I got it tuned up it works like a charm! nothing better than a sharp hand plane! good work.

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 4688 days

#9 posted 03-11-2012 12:29 PM

Good deal. Watch out, hand planes are addictive.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

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