Plane Restoration #5: Marsh M5 (Day 05)

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by sansoo22 posted 08-12-2020 04:10 PM 755 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Marsh M5 (Day 04) Part 5 of Plane Restoration series Part 6: Marsh M5 (Day 06) »

If all goes according to plan this should be the final day and the plane can be assembled at the end. But since I’m writing a blog about this plane it did have an issue. That’s just how the universe works sometimes. I will cover what happened and the steps to resolve below.

One thing I know I missed from my last entry about paint is wait a full 24 hours after the last coat before handling the plane. I don’t care what the spray can instructions say on it I wait 24 hours because that is what experience has taught me to do.

This is what your painted parts should look like after building with a handful or so of thin to medium coats of paint.

Step 1: CAREFULLY remove the tape
I stress carefully in this step because the paint is not fully cured yet. We will bake it once the tape is removed. If you used high temp painters tape you could actually skip this step. I don’t have anywhere local to pick up high temp tape so I carefully remove the tape. You want to avoid using razor blades in this step unless its necessary to lift a corner of the tape so you can slowly peel it off.

Once tape is removed the plane is starting to look like pretty again

You may have noticed the top edges of the body are still black. I don’t tape these off before painting because that is a hassle. And I don’t remove that until after I bake the plane. It makes quite a bit of a mess and we don’t want any paint flakes baking on to surface by accident.

Step 2: Bake your parts
This is the step that turns the ceramic engine enamel into a high durability finish in my opinion. I don’t have pics of this because its pretty straight forward.

- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. If you have a newer oven that only goes to 200 check for a “Warm” setting. That should be around 140 which will also work.
- Place your plane parts on a cookie sheet covered in foil and put that on the center rack of your oven.
- Let the plane cook for one full hour. My oven is too narrow for the cookie sheet to go in side ways so after 30 minutes I rotate it to ensure even heat on all parts.
- Let the plane cool down to room temperature. This part is important. We don’t want it to still be warm when we bake it the second time.
- After the plane has cooled preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Cook plane for one more full hour at 200 degrees rotating the cookie sheet if necessary.

There you have it you just baked a plane. Experience has taught me that 200 right off the bat can be too high of temp and I have had the paint wrinkle on me. I’m also using a very old oven so a newer oven that heats more evenly may not have this issue.

Step 3: Final clean up
After the plane has fully cooled is when I take a razor blade and scrape off the paint from any places I don’t want it. This is almost always the front lip of the body and top lip of the sides. Also double check all the mating surfaces on the plane body and the frog for over spray. I don’t have an images of this step but its pretty straight forward. One of the razor blades you have left from when you taped the plane can be used for this step. Then throw that blade away cuz you thoroughly thrashed it.

If you have an air compressor use it to blow off any loose paint when you’re done scraping.

Step 4: Wax your parts
I used Renaissance wax for all of my planes. It is a petroleum based wax with other fancy science word additives. Carnuba based waxes can contain acidic substances and we want none of that. If using a micro-crystalline wax like Renaissance or EJ Wheatons DO NOT wait for the wax to “set up” like you would with a normal paste wax. I wax a surface and then wipe it back off. The whole plane may take on a cloudy look at this point which is fine. Once all surfaces are waxed come back with a micro fiber clothe and buff the whole thing.

And here is what it should look like after baking, scraping, and waxing

I could have used another light coat or two on this plane. Baking does cause a small amount of shrinkage to the finish. It would naturally happen over time as it fully cures but baking does that part quicker. Its a hard call to make during the painting process. If you get too thick and it doesn’t shrink enough it looks really bad because you lose the crispness of the stamped lettering.

Step 5: Assemble the plane!
This part is pretty easy. Use a screw driver that PROPERLY FITS the threads. I use my Husky 1/4 flat head for this. We just spent time cleaning up all the screws and we don’t need to muck one up now. Seriously I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a screw driver with a good fit.

I use good old fashioned 3-in-1 oil on all of the threads. I even put a drop in all of the threaded holes on the body and the frog. Some people use paraffin wax which works as well but I prefer the ease of 3-in-1 oil.

The only thing I’m going to show for this step is lining up the frog with the mouth of the plane to be co-planer. This is a number 5 so I doubt I will ever move it but this is how I initially setup up all planes regardless of the size.

Side note: In my personal opinion Marsh had a superior frog design to Stanley. It’s locked in on both sides with butt load of metal meat for the iron to ride against. I wish Stanley would have copied this design when they bought Marsh back in 1924 but they didn’t and shortly after that Marsh ceased to exist.

I don’t have any pics here but as described in the intro a small part of the tote did not like the finish I applied. It happens on like 1 our of every 5 totes. The wood is very old and we have no idea what its been subjected to over it’s 100 yrs of service.

To remedy the issue I sanded some of the finish off with 600 grit automotive sanding sponge. Then smoothed that out with 800 grit wet sand paper. Finally I re-sprayed the bad spot with a thick coat of poly and the rest of the tote with a thin coat. I’m now going to let that sit for a full 48 hours before touching it.

If the tote finish ever fully cures I will see you back here in two days for final assembly and testing of the plane.

6 comments so far

View HokieKen's profile


20673 posts in 2474 days

#1 posted 08-13-2020 06:04 PM

This whole series is an excellent write up Sansoo! Thank you for taking the time to do it :-)) I’m gonna have to try baking my enamel soon. I usually just wait a couple of weeks after painting to re-assemble. Baking would speed that process up!

Sorry to hear about your boxer :-(

Regarding assembling the plane before lapping… Most of the time it’s probably not necessary. BUT, I have had planes where the fit between the frog and the base was such that when the screws were tightened down, it did cause some deformation in the base. I only noticed this because I lapped the sole flat up to 120 grit then after re-assembly went to polish it out on 220 and noticed a high spot right behind the mouth that wasn’t there previously.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the plane would have worked just fine. It was a smoother so the high spot was more pronounced than it would have been on a larger plane and the blade would have probably sat higher than the high spot anyway.

But, in order to avoid that, ever since then I print and scrape the fit between the frog and the base. That way I know the frog is properly fit and isn’t putting any undue stresses in the casting. It may seem excessive but it really doesn’t take long at all and the vast majority of the time, there isn’t any need to scrape anything anyway.

Now, all that said, I still re-assemble my planes before I lap the sole. The main reason isn’t the frog but rather the fact that when I plane, I’m putting significant force into both the knob and the tote. And the forces on each vary through the stroke and aren’t always in the same direction depending on the task at hand. So, I think it’s a good idea to lap a plane using the knob and tote since that’s where forces are applied during use. Does it really make any difference? I have no idea ;-) But it makes sense to me so I figured I’d give you some food for thought.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View sansoo22's profile


1972 posts in 990 days

#2 posted 08-13-2020 09:15 PM

Thanks for the pointers Ken. Just goes to show no matter how many times to you do something there is always room for improvement.

The print and scrape with the dye is a great way to achieve proper fit. I will definitely be giving that a try once I find a consistent way to remove lateral adjusters and get them back on. It’s the getting them back on part I have issues with at the moment.

One of the reasons I don’t lap assembled that I didn’t mention is avoiding the metal dust that could potentially get embedded in the handles. However tweaking my workflow a bit I could lap before sanding down the handles.

In my final entry I think I will mark around the mouth again and run it over some 320 to check for high spots once fully assembled. Who knows maybe I will end up lapping fully assembled for now one once I see the results of my test.

View HokieKen's profile


20673 posts in 2474 days

#3 posted 08-14-2020 02:05 AM

It’s worth a check just to see. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re missing or skipping anything. Just giving my reasoning for how I arrived at my methods.

Also printing and scraping where possible deformation is concerned, would be printing the frog to the pads in the base, not the iron to the frog face. The lateral won’t be in your way there ;-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View HokieKen's profile


20673 posts in 2474 days

#4 posted 05-25-2021 01:01 PM

Got a question for ya…

I’m working on my Millers Falls #24 and have decided to try baking this one. Also going to try not taping off the top edge of the cheeks because it’s hard to get a clean line after removing the tape.
  1. Does baking the enamel have a strong smell in the oven? My wife will hate it and I still can’t smell anything (after-effects of Covid) so if the smell is strong, I’ll probably skip it. Or maybe do it on my gas grill at low heat? And to clarify, you bake it 24 hours after the final coat?
  2. When you remove the paint from the top edges, do you do it immediately after baking or wait for it to cure further? Or does it matter? And do you just scrape it off with a razor blade or do you have some secret sauce?


-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View sansoo22's profile


1972 posts in 990 days

#5 posted 05-30-2021 09:22 PM

I’m a jerk and forgot to reply.

1. Baking the enamel will create a smell. In my oven I can’t really tell its baking unless I open it. The smell is not very kind but it does dissipate rather quickly. My exhaust hood in the kitchen vents outside so I leave the oven cracked and turn that on for 30 min and poof no more smell.

For anyone wanting to try baking I would do a small plane first. They don’t produce as much smell as a big old #8 will and you will probably only get in a small amount of trouble if the wife gets mad.

2. The top edge is cleaned with a razor blade before or after paint with different concerns for both. Prior to baking the enamel is soft and you need to be careful with it. If you have a steady hand the enamel will peel off the edges really nicely prior to baking. If you choose to use the razor blade post baking be warned the enamel more or less flakes off at this point. Its a rather hard surface now after all. If you want nice crisp edges to your paint line don’t dig too hard into the top edge or it will flake and look jagged. You will need to do a little more sanding if removing the paint post baking.

My preferred method is a nice sharp fresh utility razor and do the paint removal prior to baking.

View HokieKen's profile


20673 posts in 2474 days

#6 posted 06-01-2021 03:03 PM

Gracias Sansoo! I have actually decided to go another direction. Mostly because I’m out of Duplicolor but have a couple cans of Rustoleum Protective Enamel that I used to paint my mom’s mailbox a few months ago. I remember liking the sheen and how evenly it went on over primer and it’s held up outdoors remarkably well. So I’ve primed this plane and I’m gonna wet sand that down smooth and hopefully later this week get the black sprayed on. Since I’m experimenting with a new paint, I’m not gonna throw baking into the mix as another variable at the same time. We’ll see how it goes…

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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