Great G'pa's #4

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Forum topic by KJL posted 07-09-2018 03:09 AM 717 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1153 days

07-09-2018 03:09 AM

I’ve been piddling around in the shop for a few years now, but am now getting more serious (I’d like to start building furniture, particularly Arts & Crafts).

I recently began to rehabilitate my Great Grandfather’s WW II – era #4 hand plane (he had his initials stamped on the side). Someone evidently got after the blade with a grinder at some point, so I’ve literally spent hours over a couple of days working it on a diamond stone. Two very small chips to go, but I almost have it flat.

Not a great step for Lumberjock-kind, but I figured if anyone could appreciate the effort going into restoring a bit of history, you all could…

7 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3079 posts in 2570 days

#1 posted 07-09-2018 03:49 AM

Good for you.
Most of my hand planes are Lie Nieson but I do have several vintage planes and chisels.When i rehabbed my Stanley chisels I had to grind back quite a bit.
There’s no shame in the sharpening game to have a high speed grinder with a white wheel and small bucket of water.
Save the elbow grease for the maintenance of the edge.

-- Aj

View Woodknack's profile


13389 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 07-09-2018 03:53 AM

Get yourself a grinder, spending hours profiling a blade is ridiculous. If you insist on doing by hand, start with 80 grit sandpaper. About the nicks, grind them out flat and then regrind the bevel. Post pics of your progress if you like, I’m sure people will like to see them.

-- Rick M,

View Rich's profile


5609 posts in 1361 days

#3 posted 07-09-2018 04:06 AM

That’s a keeper. Anyone with a legacy plane like yours is fortunate indeed. I’d consider a Hock Tools replacement blade for it. Since you want to use it, having the best steel will improve its performance, and Hock is second to none.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3181 days

#4 posted 07-09-2018 04:54 AM

Stay at it, preserve what you can of a great tool. I have my grandfathers old hammers stamped 1953. The handles were done but the steel was in good shape and cleaned up well.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View BurlyBob's profile


7601 posts in 3038 days

#5 posted 07-09-2018 10:15 PM

I have to agree with Rich. Your very fortunate to have something from your great grandfather. I’m certain you’ll enjoy restoring it.

View JCamp's profile


1181 posts in 1323 days

#6 posted 07-10-2018 12:28 AM

Lucky to have something like that from your grandpa. Fix it up and use it. They weren’t made to just be pretty. Lol. I gotta agree that a new iron would have been the way to go but probably nothing wrong with the old one once the chips are out. Btw it would make a good project to show off when ur done

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View dca's profile


28 posts in 797 days

#7 posted 07-10-2018 09:50 AM

Love tools with a story and soul.

I think everyone has to learn the hard way – I did the exact same thing with some early vintage planes – hours over a diamond stone. I’ve been less than impressed with diamond stones for coarse work to be honest – but I think that’s due to using a DMT stone. DMT’s seem to work well when you get good ones but their quality control isn’t great – maybe I’m just unlucky but that’s my experience.

The best is using a grinder as others have mentioned (I use a CBN wheel on my grinder as my coarse stone now and am much happier for it) – but that won’t help you with flattening the backs if they need it.

Get a flat surface and a roll of 80 to 120 grit self adhesive sandpaper. Porter Cable has a reasonable price on them. I use an offcut of a granite countertop for the surface. I rub it down with a candle so the adhesive comes off easier when you change the paper. Goes quicker than the diamond and you’re less likely to wear out or damage your expensive stone.

Hock blades are great, I have one – but I wouldn’t rush out to get a new blade just yet – only when you need a replacement or an additional blade. Use the one you have for the time being since you’ve put so much work into it.

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