Hand Plane Restoration #4: Stanley Bench Plane

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Blog entry by David posted 11-03-2007 05:37 AM 9267 reads 8 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Stanley Bench Plane Part 4 of Hand Plane Restoration series no next part

Stanley Bench Plane Restoration UPDATE

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I have been a bit frustrated, as I can’t use my shop until the outside portion of our house reconstruction is complete which should be very soon. I have been using the down time to restore my Stanley bench plane. As soon as I get back in the shop, I have plans to make a video tool review so I am quite anxious to get going!

My Stanley Bench Plane restoration project is near completion. 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”.

All parts were cleaned of rust using the electrolytic rust removal process described in the prior blog entry. The plastic front knob and tote were polished with white Tripoli and carnauba wax. Rather than re-apply blue japanning to the plane body I kept the utilitarian look of raw cast iron by using a modified “Parkerizing” process followed by several coats of wax.

To “Parkerize” the plane body, I soaked it in KleanStrip Phosphoric which turned the cast iron an even mild gray color. Immediately after the acid bath, the plane body was doused liberally with WD40 to displace the acid and water. The plane body was then dried and gently heated to 150° in an oven followed by two coats of carnauba wax and buffing.

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For comparison, this is how the plane body used to look

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This is how the plane body looks after de-rusting, modified parkerizing and hot wax treatment

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Next step is lapping the sole and sides. I am still deciding if I will spend the extra money on this humble plane to replace the plane iron and chipper with a heavier set from Hock Tools.

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Reminder: Always use common sense and don’t do anything that feels unsafe. Wear gloves and safety goggles. Always add acid to water! (I did not mix any acid solutions during this process – just trying to be complete).

MSDS for KleanStrip Phosphoric


17 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4124 days

#1 posted 11-03-2007 05:52 AM

What the heck, go for the Hock.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#2 posted 11-03-2007 06:07 AM

Todd -

Still thinking . . . remember this is an inexpensive lumber yard heritage bench plane. Wonder if I should save a Hock blade purchase for another plane in the future.


View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4061 days

#3 posted 11-03-2007 06:54 AM

Sorta like putting lipstick on a pig then?

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#4 posted 11-03-2007 06:57 AM

Exactly Tom! LOL

I do want to get a Hock blade and feel the difference although I think that is best saved for another plane! :-)


View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4090 days

#5 posted 11-03-2007 07:19 AM

David that plane is now too pretty to use. What a revolting development this is :-))

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4021 days

#6 posted 11-03-2007 08:48 AM

Good looking plane – I say get the Hock blade – It may fit the other “plane in the future!” If you flatten the sole well and the mouth is in good shape, why not sweeten up the deal?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4004 days

#7 posted 11-03-2007 12:05 PM

How big is the pig?

That has to play into it somewhere!

David, personally I think you should go for the Hock set up. That plane looks fantastic, so it should work fantastic too. I can’t believe how good it came out!

Also, send pictures of the pig. I might have a buyer for you! LOL


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3987 days

#8 posted 11-03-2007 02:08 PM

I see no reason not to go with the Hock. If you want to switch it to another plane just put the original iron and chip breaker back in this one. You might decide that this is a great plane. Once it is lapped and the iron is sharp I think it will work with the best of them. You have done a great job on this, David and the blogs are going to be of real help to some people in the future. I know I’ve learned a lot from them. Thanks

By the way, what the tote and knob are made of do not make the plane cut better.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4046 days

#9 posted 11-03-2007 02:27 PM

I learned a lot from this one Dave. Way to go!
I think Thom has the right idea re the Hock blade.


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

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 4037 days

#10 posted 11-03-2007 02:52 PM

Hi David…........EXCELLENT work!!!!!!

Been waiting for the “parkerizing”. The plane looks great. What and where (in your former life) was your exposure that took you into the electrolysis and then the parkerizing. Really neet, I marvel at the thought that goes on around here.
Like the guy above who busted up Cosman’s dovetails….......learned alot from this one David…...THANKS!!!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#11 posted 11-03-2007 08:54 PM

Well guys, very cool to come home from work and find so many kind comments for my “little pig”!

I do not have plans to have Bob #2 standing on the plane body to test its strenghth – I think we all learned a lot from Tom & Bob’s trip to the woodshow!

I realize the blade is the heart of the matter and I smile when I think of what has happened since the time I brought this little pig home from a lumberyard drawing. It now has a new life and perhaps a new blade. I am looking forward to puttinng this to use in the future. Now I have to squeeze some free time to make a shooting board! I am afraid I have stepped on a slippery slope . . . I can see Wayne, Tom & Thomas sliding away infront of me . . . LOL

Thanks guys!


Neil – I almost forgot . . . well I was a fireman at one time and learned to work with steel & machines. I also made silver jewelry for a while!


View SST's profile


790 posts in 4219 days

#12 posted 11-03-2007 10:00 PM

Great job on the plane!. I’m going to try the rust removal process on one of mine soon. By the way, if you ever get tired of the stock totes, you could always make some. I repaired a couple of broken rear totes, but the more I think about it, the more inclined I am to find some interesting wood and make new totes. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3313 days

#13 posted 01-20-2011 02:42 AM

nice job, now u just have to get new handles or makem.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View hambonez's profile


17 posts in 3316 days

#14 posted 02-24-2011 05:25 PM

How’s the parkerizing holding up? I’m considering doing this myself. I have the electrolysis down. Actually, now I go through the basement looking for new tools to cook up. So far I’ve been chasing away the water with wd-40 or light oil followed by a coat of light oil, but I’d like to try out the modified parkerizing.

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#15 posted 02-24-2011 07:01 PM

The modified Parkerizing is holding up well . . . I was just out in the shop and the plane looks exactly the same. I had totally forgotten about this post!


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