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Stanley #31 Transitional Plane Restoration

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Blog entry by GMatheson posted 1031 days ago 6221 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I came across an antique shop that had some old tools while on vacation. After strolling through I picked up a few planes and a saw vise (more to come on them later). Once I got home I decided I should start on the Stanley #31 first.

I did some research to see exactly how old this plane was but couldn’t narrow it down as well as I would have liked to. I found that these planes were made between 1870-1943 and that my particular plane was made before 1915 because the frog was screwed to the body with wood screws but that still leaves a 45 year period. I noticed some of the transitional planes have ‘bailey’ cast in front of the knob and others do not but I don’t know which came first.

Here are a few before pictures.

And once I had it all apart

First I started on the body of the plane. I taped a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper to my tablesaw and sanded it flat and square. Then I gave it a good soaking of tung oil then finished it with a few coats of wax. The rest of the metal parts I took to work with me and sandblasted the rust and paint away. I brought them home and gave them a few coats of black enamel paint, sharpened the blade and polished the brass.

It was starting to look pretty good but was missing something….. the original handle was broken in the middle and missing the tip as well. I figured I did all this work I might as well make a new handle for it too. Looking in my scrap bin I found a nice piece of walnut and traced the original handle on it, drilled the hole and cut it out on the bandsaw. Then I rounded the edges with files and rasps, sanded it smooth, gave it a few coats of shellac and finished up with some wax.

Put everything back together and this is what we end up with.

And the shaving picture

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada



8 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2380 posts in 1666 days


#1 posted 1031 days ago

Very Nice Restore !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Don W's profile

Don W

14829 posts in 1193 days


#2 posted 1031 days ago

good for another 100 years or so.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2293 posts in 1406 days


#3 posted 1031 days ago

Well done !

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1577 days


#4 posted 1031 days ago

Great job on the plane restoration! It should serve you well for years to come!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1622 days


#5 posted 1031 days ago

Nice restoration, more life to another older tool. I LIKE that !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View GMatheson's profile

GMatheson

420 posts in 1595 days


#6 posted 1031 days ago

I’d love for this plane to last another 100 years. It’s a real pleasure to use.

Next up is a Stanley #4-1/2 (type 13 I believe)

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View Bart Steed's profile

Bart Steed

24 posts in 262 days


#7 posted 84 days ago

Well done! I really like how you were able to restore it without losing the “old tool” feel.

I’m actually in the middle of restoring a Stanley No 35 transitional. I stumbled onto your post looking for information on what to finish the body with. I learned quite a bit here, thanks for that.

I too, will be creating a replacement handle for mine. I have a beautiful piece of 5/4 curly maple that I intend to create a new tote and knob from.

-- Bart Steed, Apprentice, Ohio USA

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1919 posts in 494 days


#8 posted 84 days ago

She’s a beauty!

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

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