Hand Plane Restoration #3: Stanley Bench Plane

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Blog entry by David posted 10-30-2007 09:23 PM 8837 reads 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Stanley 9 1/2 Block Plane Part 3 of Hand Plane Restoration series Part 4: Stanley Bench Plane »

Stanley Bench Plane Restoration UPDATE

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My Stanley Bench Plane restoration project is progressing well. All parts have been cleaned of rust using the electrolytic rust removal process described in the prior blog entry. I was really impressed with how clean the parts were after the electrolytic de-rusting process.

As a reminder, this is NOT a plane with intrinsic collector value. I am restoring this “user plane” to be used on my bench. Before using any of these processes make sure you do not de-value your plane if it has value as a “collector plane”. The plane body came out of the electrolytic bath sparkling clean.

I decided to remove the blue japanning for a couple of reasons. First, I really like the clean smooth look and feel of the cast iron. Second, as this is a user plane, I wanted to see how well I could clean the iron as a reference for any future projects. I had initially planned on reapplying the blue japanning, however, I am now considering keeping the utilitarian look of the raw cast iron. I will most likely “Parkerize” and wax the plane body for protection from rust.

The black plastic tote and front knob have been cleaned, waxed and lightly buffed.

Next step is lapping the sole and sides followed by replacing the plane iron and chipper with a heavier set from Hock Tools. Check out The Craftsman Studio for another source of great tools and Hock Blades!

I am also documenting this project on my blog The Folding Rule.

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For comparison, this is how the plane looked before beginning restoration.

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Plane body after electrolytic de-rusting and stripping blue japanning.

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Close-up of plane mouth and front knob.

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View of the plane sole after electrolytic de-rusting.

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Close-up in front of the tote showing product numbering.


16 comments so far

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4322 days

#1 posted 10-30-2007 09:37 PM

Looks good, it seems there is no end to your talents and knownledge.


View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4297 days

#2 posted 10-30-2007 10:08 PM

Interesting. I’m not sure I have heard of anyone stripping the japanning unless they were going to re-japan. How did you come across the process to Parkerize a plane? Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

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

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4221 days

#3 posted 10-30-2007 10:26 PM

ooooh! Dave I luv this one!
Better than outta the box!
Where did you find the chemcial for the parkerizing?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4162 days

#4 posted 10-30-2007 10:29 PM

David, In looking at your photos, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Stanley with the shapes and markings shown on your plane. What exactly do you have there? It says made in the USA. But no number on the front or ” Bailey”. I also would like to know how to Parkerize a plane. I’ve heard of it used on guns but don’t know anything about the process.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4338 days

#5 posted 10-30-2007 10:54 PM

Wayne, Bob & Thomas -

I did not mean to post anything controversial . . . I have been documenting this plane on my own blog. As I mentioned this is in no way a valuable plane with any collector interest. I won it almost 25 years ago as part of a drawing at a local lumberyard (San Lorenzo Lumber) when I lived in Santa Cruz, California. It is the same basic Stanley bench plane you see at the big box stores. For years it lived in the bottom of my carpenter’s toolbox. I used it for trimming deck and fence construction – pretty coarse work. I know I did not care for it as well as I should have at the time. I figured since it is going to be a user plane on my bench that I would experiment with techniques to clean and de-rust tools (for future project!). So, in summary, this is just a plane that needed some TLC with no collector’s value that now is getting a little too much publicity!

I was going to reapply the blue japanning but I am considering Parkerizing the plane body because I like the look of the clean and polished cast iron – just a personal preference. The Parkerizing process is basically just an immersion in phosphoric acid, which creates a fairly durable conversion coating that resists rust. I will lap the sole and sides after Parkerizing and then apply several coats of wax.

Forgot to mention that I used the Parkerizing process in the past with some ironwork detailing – worked out pretty nice.

I will keep you all up to date.


View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4299 days

#6 posted 10-31-2007 02:44 AM

Your knowledge and skill always impresses me.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4034 posts in 4263 days

#7 posted 10-31-2007 03:40 AM

Seriously cool. I too find the markings on this plane odd. I saw a #5 on eBay the other day and thought is this some Frankenplane (put together from parts of other planes) or a forgery? The odd casting around and in front of the tote were different then I have ever seen. Might have find a way to contact Patrick Leach.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4297 days

#8 posted 10-31-2007 03:52 AM

I was wondering about your innovation and not concerned about what you were doing to the plane. It is a real unique idea. Looks like a cool idea. Perhaps you should match it up with one of chscholz's custom plane blades.

Galoot Tools Master Plane Blade

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4179 days

#9 posted 10-31-2007 12:25 PM


I, too really like the look of what youv’e done here. It makes the plane LOOK much more valuable than the standard bluing we’re all so used to seeing.

Very Nice.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4338 days

#10 posted 10-31-2007 12:38 PM

Thanks guys for the kind and supportive words!

Wayne – I will be in BIG trouble if I order one of those blades! They are very tempting . . . a bit to rich for the lineage of this humble plane. I always like the links and information you send – thanks!


View lance's profile


170 posts in 4187 days

#11 posted 10-31-2007 02:50 PM

Job well done and may you have many years of fun filled use. I will file this away for future reference.

-- Bob Lance, DE

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 4212 days

#12 posted 10-31-2007 10:56 PM

Hi David….....looks very neet.

Have a question: If you were to reapply the blue jappaning, what material/brand would you use for the coating????

Also….....are you going to “Parkerize” the plane with a patented Pruett approach???

I’m sorry you weren’t a part of the Thomas Mot Motolla production, I can imagine between Bob#2 and yourself, providing way too much material for Tom.

Interested in the next step on your plane….............Neil

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4338 days

#13 posted 10-31-2007 11:10 PM

Hi Neil! Always good to hear from you!

I have a couple of recipies for blu & black japanning that I stumbled on doing a little research. I did find a very close match to the original blue that was a Rustoleum Hi-Temp Blue paint.

I will be using a modifed “Parkerizing” wich is why I put the original post in quotations. I did not want to have that dark black military color – just a dull grey iron color. I will be sharing that on the next installment. I am just passing time until I can get back into my shop!

LOL regarding Tom’s last video – great production as always! I think I have gotten into enough trouble with him for a while . . . he is fun to collaborate with though!


View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4297 days

#14 posted 02-20-2010 11:09 PM

Hi, the PDF appears to link to a vaccume press bag. I was looking to refer someone to this post.

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4338 days

#15 posted 02-20-2010 11:16 PM

The link has been corrected. Thanks.

My apologies, I’m rarely on LJ any more and I was unaware of the link error.

Electrolytic Rust Removal


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