I’d like to share with the world my restoration of a Stanley No. 4 smoothing plane. I picked up this plane last spring off C-list. Here's a post from when I got it if you are interested in seeing more “before” photos. It seems to be a type 13 example, which dates the plane between 1925-1928. Rust was pretty much only surficial, and the original jappaning was about 95% intact.
Here’s what she looked like as found:
Cleaning up the plane was pretty straightforward. An abrasive pad, a can of WD-40 and a couple gallons of elbow grease got her all gussied up and ready for a night on the town. The only issue was with the blade. Apparently the previous owner thought they could use it as a chisel, and the top was mushroomed a bit. The blade was also slightly bent (I think the previous owner was related to Primitive Pete. If you don’t get that reference, please watch this video, it’s very entertaining). It was also hammered on to repair the bend, albeit unsuccessfully. Luckily I had an extra blade that I picked up for pennies at a yard sale. Not only was it pristine, but was also a Sweetheart logo blade of the same era as this plane. Perfect.
Now I needed to turn my attention to the knob. As you can see, it was missing a chunk.
An esteemed associate of mine procured what he thought was a small chunk of rosewood to fix it. The tropical hardwood wasn’t rosewood, but I decided to use it anyway. I think it may be Wenge?
I first sanded the chipped surface flush so that it mated flush with the mystery wood.
I used regular wood glue, and clamped the piece on.
When it dried, I roughly shaped the piece with rasps and files. I don’t have a proper bench and vise yet, so I use hand screw clamps for all my work holding needs. They are actually very versatile.
Next, I chucked the knob in my ghetto lathe, and went at it with some 120 grit paper. The final result was pleasing, even if the color didn’t match.
And so, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I present my new, nonagenarian smoothing plane.
-- Marc -- Worcester, MA