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Restoring an early Craftsman block plane...maybe

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Forum topic by sansoo22 posted 05-22-2019 06:27 AM 445 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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sansoo22

113 posts in 44 days


05-22-2019 06:27 AM

A neighbor of mine dropped off what I believe to be an early, Sargent made, Craftsman block plane. He’s having a tough time getting back on his feet so I give him odd jobs when I can or donate old tools that I don’t need anymore. He gave it to me since he saw the Stanley collection and wanted to say thanks for helping him out. I don’t know anything about Craftsman planes other than what Google has turned up so far. I think this is an early Craftsman 3704 which is the same as a Sargent 306 but i could be wrong.


Not the greatest pic but everything easily came apart except the throat adjustment seems to be seized up. Im hoping someone here can offer some pointers on that. The body only says “Made in USA” on it.


The iron has the early 1927 to 1930s logo on it


The cap has 306 and 307 stamped in the bottom side


Bottom looks like it should flatten out ok. This was taken after a couple minutes on the lapping stone with some 60 grit. If I can’t get the tail fully flat I won’t be too worried.

I know these aren’t highly collectible or sought after planes. I’d like to do a nice job on the restore just for the “feels” I guess. I don’t help people out to get something in return but it sure is nice when someone goes out of there way to say thanks.


12 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19208 posts in 2957 days


#1 posted 05-22-2019 09:12 AM

That’s a great plane. In my opinion, Sargent made one of the highest quality planes in a given time period.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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BlasterStumps

1308 posts in 829 days


#2 posted 05-22-2019 11:56 AM

WD-40 or other penetrating lube works to loosen up the throat plate. I wouldn’t try lapping the sole until, I have taken the throat plate out and cleaned mating surfaces thoroughly.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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HokieKen

9527 posts in 1528 days


#3 posted 05-22-2019 12:35 PM

Those little “high” angle block planes with adjustable mouths are pure gold IMO. Like Mike said, clean up the mouth piece and get it moving smoothly before worrying about the sole. That should be a good user :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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sansoo22

113 posts in 44 days


#4 posted 05-22-2019 04:30 PM

Last night I filled the “bowl” shape of the throat adjustment knob with PB Blaster and let it sit. Haven’t had time to check on it yet today. My real job apparently wants me to do work if they are going to continue paying me…lame.

Need to pick up some Evapo-Rust. I’ve been wanting to try the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remove since I really like their rust inhibitor but I can’t seem to find any locally.

I’m also thinking of splurging a bit since I have a Woodcraft nearby and get their large granite lapping stone. I’ve been using a granite counter top cutoff which isn’t quite as flat as my OCD would like it to be.

Once I get this cleaned up a bit more I will post some more pics.

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HokieKen

9527 posts in 1528 days


#5 posted 05-22-2019 05:08 PM

IMO, a perfectly flat sole isn’t a requirement on a block plane. If Woodcraft still has their granite surface plates on sale though, it is a heckuva deal.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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SMP

1042 posts in 295 days


#6 posted 05-22-2019 08:11 PM

Fwiw, i went to Pep Boys yesterday and they have the biggest selection of rust removers I have ever seen in stock. Good luck with restore, i agree on cleaning the sliding toe, one of mine had probably 1-2mm of rust keeping it from sitting tight so had to get that off before cleaning up sole. And yeah a block plane only really needs to be flat-ish, mainly around the mouth.

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sansoo22

113 posts in 44 days


#7 posted 05-22-2019 09:07 PM

I managed to get the throat adjustment knob off. It wasn’t easy but picked up a trick from an old machinist at my dad’s work. Wrap a piece like that in an old leather chamois and sneak up on the tension of your vice grips. Should be a soft pop when they lock on. Worked like a charm. It came off with a 1/4 turn and no marks on it at all. Unfortunately the throat plate is still stuck on so the whole assembly is in the Evapo-Rust now.


It’s bath time…never mind the stanley parts in there


Stone wasn’t on sale but i got a discount since its my birthday next week. Could I have gone with a smaller one…sure…but whats the fun in that.


And just for the plane lovers out there. A comparison of a US made Type 15 no 4, an English made 4-1/2, and a US made Type 16 No 4. That English 4-1/2 could be an early one. It has the same frog, lateral adjustment lever, and brass hardware as the Type 16 stanley altho the bed is different so who knows.

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sansoo22

113 posts in 44 days


#8 posted 05-22-2019 09:16 PM



Fwiw, i went to Pep Boys yesterday and they have the biggest selection of rust removers I have ever seen in stock. Good luck with restore, i agree on cleaning the sliding toe, one of mine had probably 1-2mm of rust keeping it from sitting tight so had to get that off before cleaning up sole. And yeah a block plane only really needs to be flat-ish, mainly around the mouth.

- SMP

I will keep that in mind about pep-boys next time im near one. Unfortunately they are across town and on one street a few blocks away I have Advanced, Autozone, and Oriellys all within a 1/2 mile stretch. And for some odd reason 2 Napas are within a 5 block drive as well. I guess my neighborhood is fully of hoopties cuz its sure not folks restoring old cars.

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SMP

1042 posts in 295 days


#9 posted 05-22-2019 09:18 PM

Another trick for getting the toe off, since you have the adjustment knob loose, is leave the knob in just barely screwed in and tap it straight down with a wooden mallet or hammer with block of wood. That was the only way the one on my stanley 18 would come off when i got it.

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sansoo22

113 posts in 44 days


#10 posted 05-22-2019 09:36 PM



Another trick for getting the toe off, since you have the adjustment knob loose, is leave the knob in just barely screwed in and tap it straight down with a wooden mallet or hammer with block of wood. That was the only way the one on my stanley 18 would come off when i got it.

- SMP

Great idea! It just so happens I made myself a wooden mallet over the weekend. And if that doesn’t work I have a bucket full of scrap and drawer full of hammers and mallets.

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sansoo22

113 posts in 44 days


#11 posted 05-23-2019 06:34 AM

Lots of sanding, steel wool, polishing, swearing, and probably a few things thrown at random squirrels just because but it’s coming along. I think all I have left to do is grind the iron square, put on a proper bevel, and sharpen it.


All parts cleaned and polished


Japanning got a little 800 grit treatment to make it shine just a bit


Final assembly. Can barely tell it was covered in a 1 or 2 mm of rust yesterday. I even got the lateral adjustment lever hammered flat again. Had a 45* bend in it.


Joining his cousins and ready to get back to work soon

Edit – Need to give a shout out to SMP for the idea to use a mallet to free up the toe. A few solid taps with an acrylic mallet dropped it right off.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2234 posts in 3027 days


#12 posted 05-23-2019 07:06 PM

I don’t have one of those, but I do have one of these – 5607.
It’s OK. Like a Stanley No 65.

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