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