My Handplane Restoration

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Blog entry by Cubby posted 01-21-2008 04:38 AM 1136 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks to this site and fellow woodworkers such as Wayne C., I was motivated to tune some planes that were under sawdust in my shop. So, to the chagrin of my wife (after the “behind her back”) purchase of the battery charger, I dove in head first.

I was like a pig in mud watching those hydrogen bubbles percolating next to my rusty parts. The garage soon became messy, the laundry room sink was spickled with magnetite, my workshop smelled less like sawdust and more like WD-40, and my wife had her hands on her hips, but I was happy.

I soon was aware I had a problem….I ran out of planes to restore. With no RA meetings nearby to attend, I gave in to my new vice and learned a new skill, eBay. What a great place! There are tools all over the site. I searched “ugly, pitted, rusty planes” and bought some, and restored some, and bought a few more. The electrolysis machine was now working full time, even heating the garage in January. I soon was looking everywhere for rusty stuff, and then my neighbor came by.

Frank, my dear neighbor and friend, came by to say hello and noticed what I was doing. He left without a word and soon returned with TWO BOXES of rusty tools that he dug out from the depths of his garage. Among this lot were THREE Stanley Bailey #5 planes. I dated them roughly from the “Blood and Gore” site; these were old turn of the century-ish planes. In addition, Frank brought rasps, files, butt gauges (IOB), calipers, egg beater drills, marking gauges, etc. WHEW! It’s not over yet. Frank told his son, Scott, what I was up to and Scott remembered the box of rust he has which was his grandfather’s, the carpenter’s, tools. I should get to see them this week.

Well anyway, thanks Wayne. I include before and after of one of Frank’s #5’s. Ron Baird

Before Restoration of SB#5


-- Ron Baird, Pennsylvania, "WORK HARD, BE GOOD, HAVE FUN"

6 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3962 days

#1 posted 01-21-2008 05:25 AM

Great job, Ron. Like the photos as well. Wait ‘til the rest of the neighbors learn about you! I can see this turning into quite a deal. Have fun.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4097 days

#2 posted 01-21-2008 05:29 AM

Well done. It came out great. Have it tuned and cutting wood?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3874 days

#3 posted 01-21-2008 11:08 AM

I have a few I need to get going on. Thanks for the inspiration.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3812 days

#4 posted 01-21-2008 03:09 PM

Good job. Nice slide show.

-- Jiri

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#5 posted 01-21-2008 04:07 PM

Thanks for the post. Like you I relegated some planes I inherited from my father to an unused corner of the shop. But, thanks to the recent posts, have revived an interest in them. I was working on the #5 Stanley last night. I have sharpened the iron but could not get it to work for some time. In looking closer at the plane I found that the cap iron screw is missing. Once this is replaced I should be able to begin to learn this “lost art”. I don’t ever imagine weaning myself from power tools but learning to use hand tools does provide a satisfaction of its own.

Next up will be the #8 plane.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3795 days

#6 posted 01-22-2008 01:41 AM

I read this blog post as I have a Stanley #4 in a citric acid bath. I hope mine comes out as good as yours did!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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