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Hand Plane Restoration #1: Stanley Bench Plane

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Blog entry by David posted 2512 days ago 69832 reads 140 times favorited 73 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand Plane Restoration series Part 2: Stanley 9 1/2 Block Plane »

STANLEY BENCH PLANE RESTORATION

Click here for large format version

PDF ELECTROLYTIC RUST REMOVAL INSTRUCTION SHEET

More information available on my woodworking blog & podcast The Folding Rule Show

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Step #1 – Cleaning & Rust Removal

I have been inspired by a number of resources to start using my hand planes and start on the slippery slope of a hand plane collection. Not the least of whom has been Wayne, our own Lumberjocks plane guru. Of course I have also explored a number of websites including our good friend Phil on the other side of the pond and Matt from Matt’s Basement Workshop.

Another great resource is Patrick's Blood and Gore

Most importantly I have come to realize I need these planes to achieve a higher degree of fit and finish. Plus I like the quite sounds of hand tools and the feel of a thin shaving of wood peeling out of the plane mouth. So the focus of this entry will be an old, but not so valuable, Stanley bench plane that has lived in my carpenter’s box for perhaps 25 years. I used and abused this plane for coarse fitting work on decks and fences. I also used it to hand plane a bunch of clear vertical grain construction redwood for a bed that I made for my wife and I almost 25 years ago.

I am hoping I can revive this fellow to take a place on my bench for future work building furniture and cabinets. Along with my small Stanley block plane, these will be the nucleus of my plane collection.

Today I disassembled the plane and started to experiment with electrolytic rust removal on the plane iron and chip breaker. I plan on replacing these with a Hock set in the near future. The reason I am spending time cleaning these is because I am going to use them in a multi-sized dowel-cutting jig. Also, I want to see how well this process works before dunking my plane body in the bucket!

UPDATE: Thanks to Wayne here is a great link to check out for HOCK BLADES

UPDATE: Thanks to Scopemonkey for noticing I got the polarity reversed on the first posting. Below is an updated diagram with the correct polarity. Thanks Scopemonkey!

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The cool thing about this project is that I already had everything in the shop!

Use a brass brush and a 3M grey abrasive pad for final cleaning.

Some residual stubborn stains were removed with a bath in glycolic acid. I used Kaboom Shower, Tub & Tile Cleaner. After the acid bath I rinsed the parts in fresh water and ran them in the electrolytic solution for 15 minutes to neutralize the acid followed by a second rinse in plain water.

After completing the de-rusting and cleaning process all parts were treated immediately with BoeShield T-9 which is available at the Lumberjock Store. WD-40 would be a good alternative to BoeShield T-9.

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Plane iron & chipper free of rust after electrolytic cleaning

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Cap screw before cleaning

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Cap screw after cleaning

UDATE: Thanks to Wayne, our own Lumberjocks plane guru, make sure you will not alter the intrinsic value of your plane or other tools by this type of cleaning process, i.e. some planes have igh collector vaule and should be left as is with age patina.

MATERIALS LIST

• 5 gal plastic bucket

• rebar pins for anode grid

• copper wire

• wire nuts

• alligator clips

• Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)

• 6/12 volt battery charger

• Kaboom Tile, Tub & Shower Cleaner

• brass brush

• 3M grey abrasive pad

• WD-40

• BoeShield T-9


BUCKET PREPARATION

• Drill holes near edge for twisted wire loops

• Secure rebar with twisted wire

• Connect rebar anode grid with copper wire & wire nuts


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POLARITY IS CRITICAL!
The BLACK (negative) lead is connected to the part being cleaned
The RED (positive) lead is connected to the rebar anode grid

ONLINE RESOURCES

Instrucables – Rust Removal

Electrolytic DeRusting

Barry’s Woodworking – Rust Removal

Electrolysis Rust Removal

Electrolytic Rust Removal

Rust Removal on YouTube

Geoff’s Science Garage on YouTube


SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Before starting, review the Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDS) for the recommended products

Use common sense – if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it

The gases generated are oxygen & hydrogen

Do this process in a well-ventilated area away from sparks or open flame

Wear gloves and safety goggles / glasses

The electrolyte solution is mildly alkaline and could irritate your skin and eyes

Wash any splayed solution off your skin with plenty of fresh water

Despite some recommendations, DO NOT use stainless steel for the electrodes as the results produce a toxic solution containing hexavalent chromate. Hexavalent chromate is a poisonous and hazardous material that requires special handling and disposal.

Click here for a good discussion of why NOT to use stainless steel

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS

Washing Soda MSDS

Glycolic Acid MSDS

Kaboom MSDS


-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com



73 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#1 posted 2512 days ago

Great info. I’ve been wanting to try electrolytic rust removal but not gotten around to it. Any thoughts about getting a hock blade and chipbreaker?

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

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2672 days


#2 posted 2512 days ago

Nice!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2775 days


#3 posted 2512 days ago

Wayne -

I am getting a Hock blade & chip braker. I am going to use this iron & chip breaker in a dowel making jig (hope to post that later!).

David

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#4 posted 2512 days ago

David are you going to try this on the body of the plane? Also, are you planning to lap the sole?

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

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

376 posts in 2934 days


#5 posted 2512 days ago

I have a couple of old Bedrock planes that belonged to my great granfather, and I’ve been wanting to clean them up. I can’t wait to try this out. I also can’t wait to see the look on my neighbor’s face when I’m standing in the driveway looking over a bucket with a battery charger and wires running to it while wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles!

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2775 days


#6 posted 2512 days ago

Wayne -

I knew you would ask that . . . !

This worked out really well and I was pleased with the results. The plane body is next in the tank followed by lapping and a new plane iron chip breaker set. I guess the next project will be a shooting board thanks to you guys!

David

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2775 days


#7 posted 2512 days ago

JP -

It does look kind of funny with all the wires and bubbles! I did get a lot of funny looks from bypassers . . . should have gotten some video of thier faces as they tried to figure out what I was doing!

David

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#8 posted 2512 days ago

Hey, JP what size bedrock planes? Be careful cleaning them. They may be best left original.

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

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

376 posts in 2934 days


#9 posted 2512 days ago

I was wondering about that, Wayne. I’m am very unfamiliar with planes, but I’ll get the numbers off of them and let you know. I may even take some pictures if I get a chance. They are in bad shape. Apparently my great granfather and grandfather really put some hard miles on them. I ran across them last summer when I found my grandfather’s old wooden tool chest. I was so excited to find them, but nobody could understand since they were just “junk”. Oh well… one man’s trash…...

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2775 days


#10 posted 2512 days ago

Wayne -

Good advice as always! Just for clarity, I cleaned this plane because it has no other value than just a tool I wanted to tune-up. Obviously some tools should be left in thier original state so you don’t alter value.

David

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#11 posted 2512 days ago

Thanks David.

I would agree this plane is a good candidate for restoration. There are lots of them in service. But with some planes selling for in the multiple hundreds to thousands of dollars, it pay to determine if the plane has any sigificant collector’s value. Ebay is a good way to do it.

Check out what Bedrocks, Stanley #1s and #2s sell for. It may open folks eyes.

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

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2775 days


#12 posted 2512 days ago

Body should go into the tank tonight. We are packing for vacation later this week . . .

Thanks for the link for the Hock blade set!

David

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2598 days


#13 posted 2512 days ago

Thanks David, I’ve been wanting to know how to use this electrolysis cleaning method. Now I have it. Thanks again.
Tom

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2775 days


#14 posted 2512 days ago

Tom -

You’re welcome! I had a lot of fun with this . . . very impressed with how clean the blade was afterwards. I will be using this technique in the future!

David

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2615 days


#15 posted 2512 days ago

David;

Fantastic information. It really makes me want to go buy something rusty!

Lee

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

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