Stanley No. 5 Frog Snapped

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Forum topic by BTodd posted 10-18-2019 01:34 AM 359 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 386 days

10-18-2019 01:34 AM

I’m currently restoring a Stanley No. 5 Type 11, and midway through trying to flatten the frog, it snapped. I had it held in a hand screw clamp, and was using a flat file.

I’m pretty inexperienced restoring bench planes. So, I guess I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong. Have any of you had this happen before, or do you have advice on how to prevent this on future restorations?

-- Brett, Georgia

4 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile


11442 posts in 1683 days

#1 posted 10-18-2019 12:03 PM

That’s a new one one me Brett. Looking at the location of the break, I’m gonna bet that the frog wasn’t machined and/or mated to the base properly and when it was screwed down, there was some stress induced that caused fatigue over the years. Then your filing was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. In other words, it wasn’t your fault. At least not based on what I can tell. The handscrew is more support than I have ever given a frog while filing and I’ve never had any such failure, knock on wood…

I will throw out one suggestion for future, unless you find a big problem with the flatness of that surface, you’re probably better off lapping it on some sandpaper on a flat surface instead of filing. It’s hard to file a flat surface unless you have a lot of experience.

Good luck!

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

View OSU55's profile


2448 posts in 2534 days

#2 posted 10-18-2019 12:18 PM

Ouch! I’ve filed dozens of old Stanley frogs in a similar way and never had one break. I do use a bench vise with hard rubber jaws but I dont think a wooden screw clamp wood produce enough force to be a problem. I agree it must have been cracked already or had a large inclusion. Dont see anything wrong with your method.

View BTodd's profile


5 posts in 386 days

#3 posted 10-18-2019 07:01 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I feel a bit better knowing it wasn’t my fault. I suppose that’s always one of the risks with restoring old tools.

In the future, I’ll probably try using sandpaper. That’ll probably be pretty soon, because I already have a replacement frog on order from Ebay.

-- Brett, Georgia

View Don W's profile

Don W

19372 posts in 3112 days

#4 posted 10-19-2019 12:41 PM

I use both methods stated, both the sandpaper and file. I typically file, and have file hundred of frogs (maybe more, maybe less) and have never seen that break. Luckily it should be a easy frog to find.

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

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