I have been quite busy lately getting into plane and antique tool collecting. But the real joy of mine is getting a plane that is in rough shape, and restoring it into well working order. I will be writing a more detailed blog this time on restoring this Stanley No. 3, and explaining my methods of cleaning up plane parts, removing paint, painting etc. These are only my methods that have worked for me, they are defiantly not the best methods but different things work best for different people. Or you use what you got, heh.
Here are some pictures of what the plane looked like when i first got it.
The first thing I did was strip everything off it to see what I was dealing with. After taking everything apart, I could start stripping all the paint. Heirloom gel formula has seems to work well for me, I simply brush on a thick coat, let sit for 15 min and then take the part outside and scrub while running water over it with the hose to remove as much paint as I can. Then I quickly dry it with a rag, and repeat this process 3-4 times until all the paint is almost removed. Any spots still with paint on them I clean up with wire brush attachments that can be used in a drill or drill press. I used the same process for removing the paint off the frog as well. Here are some pictures with the paint removed.
Next, I cleaned up the sides and bottom of the plane sole. First I took any rust off with a fine wire brush wheel for the bench grinder. The fine wire brush wheels are great cause they are gentle enough to not scratch any of the metal but take any rust, paint and dirt off quite easily and quickly. Once the sides and bottom are somewhat clean, I tape pieces of emery cloth to a nice flat piece of glass starting from a coarse grit, and work to a fine grit which should leave no scratches.This helps to take remove any dirt, or pitting as well. Finally I polish the plane sole sides and bottom by hand with Autosol or Blue Magic metal polish until I am satisfied with the look.
Taping off the plane, and frog to paint is probably my least favorite part of restoring a plane. Mainly because taping off the frog can be quite tedious and time consuming for me. Here are some pictures of the frog taped off.
In the past with I have had to tape off part by part of the plane or frog as I painted it. This gives great results, but also takes more time. With this No. 3 frog I managed to tape it off in a way so I could paint everything at once. Then I could just do a second or third coat as needed. After removing the tape, a scalpel or sharp knife tip is great for cleaning up any paint that has managed to get places where you do not want it.
After painting the frog and plane, I cleaned up every piece of hardware, adjusting knob, screws and washers with the fine wire brush wheel for the bench grinder. The wire brush attachments for drills and drill presses also work great. I also clean the cap iron and blade with the same fine wire brush wheel before polishing by hand and sharpening the blade.
The final step in my plane restore was to clean up the handle and tote. I sanded them both with sandpaper by hand, this does take longer but you can be careful not to ruin any curves or details. After sanding to a fine grit where they both felt nice, I stained both the handle and tote with a rosewood stain. Sadly the handles were not rosewood, not sure exactly what wood it was but they still look much better now. After I was happy with how the stain looked, I sprayed 2 coats of semi-gloss polyurethane. Lightly sanding in between coats.
Some pictures of everything nice and clean:
And with it finally put back together:
Looks like this one side of the plane must have grazed some grinding tool or something in its past cause some of the scratches were quite difficult to take out. But other then that I am happy with how it turned out.