Small Stanley Folding Rule

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Forum topic by controlfreak posted 10-17-2021 12:58 PM 380 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3063 posts in 888 days

10-17-2021 12:58 PM

I found this little guy for $10 and decided to take it home. It looked like someone had gunked it up with Brasso and failed to remove much of it. I gave it a cleaning and discovered a small split that is in need of repair.

Any ideas on what to use? I am thinking wood glue or super glue.

I would like to make it look nice too. Is a better treatment with Brasso in order or maybe a buffing wheel? I would also be curious if anyone can date this or provide a Stanley No.

5 replies so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4079 posts in 3538 days

#1 posted 10-17-2021 01:56 PM

CF — I have a 3” version of that caliper. Mine says Stanley No. 136” on it. I was scare to remove the markings on mine so I just cleaned it very lightly. I used a fine sandpaper on the brass.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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7569 posts in 1876 days

#2 posted 10-17-2021 02:10 PM

I can’t read the number, but I recognize the rule. It’s a No. 36 1/2 R. The 36 1/2 rule was made from 1855 – 1859 and 1874 – 1940. The original had a left hand caliper, but in 1934 they started to offer a right hand version which is what you have. Most of the Stanley rule production put on hold in 1941 so the brass could be used in the war effort, and for many, production never resumed.

I had the same thing happen on my No. 32. I used fish glue, but any protein glue would be a good choice. The advantage of using a protein glue is that you can come back after it dries and clean it off using warm water and a cloth or Q-tip. You will get glue down in the channel for the slide and it needs to be cleaned so it can work.

For the brass, I use a fine Sandflex block. There’s likely pitting so a polish won’t clean it up completely—but you can start with the Brasso to see how it’s going to do. Be careful getting it on the wood though, it might discolor it.

My No. 32 is always in my pocket. I use it often.

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

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88 posts in 2294 days

#3 posted 10-17-2021 02:10 PM

I just “cleaned” up a 2 foot Stanley folding rule that I use occasionally. It had spots of paint and one edge had a pretty heavy line of paint about 2 inches long. The outside face of the rule was a bit darker (dirtier) than the other. My goal was to clean it up a bit, not make it look out of the box new.

I gently used 0000 steel wool and Johnson’s paste wax on all surfaces. The end result was the what I wanted. Some of the paint was removed, the worst was not, but I’m OK with that. The brass has shiny areas and not shiny areas. I could spend a little more time and and make it all shiny but I probably won’t.

A lot of folks recommend the white 3m pad instead of steel wool. It is less aggressive than steel wool….but I didn’t have one.

I would do everything by hand. I think even a buffing wheel would be too aggressive for the wood. Brasso may help but I would try to keep it only on the brass. Use q-tips or whatever to control it’s application.

As for the crack, I think I would lean toward thin CA glue applied with the smallest tip I can find. The goal is to get the glue in the crack not on the surface of the rule. Thin CA glue should wick into the crack.

Rich’s suggestion to use fish/protein glue is even better!


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708 posts in 2377 days

#4 posted 10-17-2021 04:38 PM

a 3rd vote Rich’s suggestion—my first instinct was to suggest hide glue.

View Loren's profile (online now)


11314 posts in 4934 days

#5 posted 10-17-2021 11:43 PM

I think I have one of these somewhere. I also have a little 1/4” wide one with 3 hinges. I think it’s got a split in it so I never used it or fooled with it much.

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