Hand Plane Restoration #1: Garage Sale Find

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Blog entry by Sarit posted 09-11-2011 05:10 AM 3215 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand Plane Restoration series Part 2: Computer PSU for Electrolysis Rust Removal »

I’ll be documenting my restoration on my blog also.

I got these on my last outing. I had just about given up hope when I saw one more yard sale sign on my way home. I managed to negotiate them down to $60. Its a Stanley #7C and #5C. The tote is broken on the 5, and the lip on the 7 also looks broken off. I’ll do a blog on restoring these once I can get some of my other projects squared away.

I don’t think these are the kind that should be kept in its original rusty condition, but if they are please let me know so I can sell them and get some new LN’s or LV’s instead. I want to have “users” not “collectibles”.

Since this is my first serious restoration I did a bit of research today. I’d like to take a stab at electrolysis rust removal and with that comes the need to replace the “japanning” (the black coating). I’m thinking that some sort of heavy duty paint would be good and easy. Some suggest an automotive engine paint and another recommended a epoxy enamel. What do you guys think?

9 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4153 days

#1 posted 09-11-2011 05:14 AM

They look both restorable and not serious collectable planes. Personally, I do not repaint. I’m sure folks will give you some recommendations. Any patent dates on the #7. Your right the top of the #7’s handle is broken.

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

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3162 days

#2 posted 09-11-2011 05:41 AM

Two old Stanleys…why not powder coat? Beautiful old performers like these deserve the very best. Just my $.02 worth.

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3195 days

#3 posted 09-11-2011 10:15 AM

The cap has a patent number underneath on the 5. I haven’t taken apart the 7 yet.

Yes Rand, I have also considered powder coating, but I have heard that it would be difficult to mask/unmask the machined areas. I haven’t done any powder coating before so if I do screw it up will I be able to strip it and start over? I’m sorta looking to see what people think about the durability of these new paints compared to powder coatings and even the original japanning. If the paint will give me some mileage then I won’t mind painting it again in a decade or so.

Here is the #5 all torn apart.

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 3859 days

#4 posted 09-11-2011 12:45 PM

Best results I have had come from Duplicolor Engine Enamel in Ford Semi-Gloss Black. Paint is very tough, and the color match is near perfect. In practice, the paint/japanning does not take a lot of wear and tear, it just needs to resist scratching by metal that passes over it.

Looks like the 7 is a bit older.

View rkoorman's profile


381 posts in 2880 days

#5 posted 09-11-2011 03:20 PM

That nr 7 is an old one. I would look into that one !!!


View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4153 days

#6 posted 09-11-2011 04:08 PM

The #7 appears to be pre-1910. If you want to figure out how old it is these sites will help….

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

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

316 posts in 3602 days

#7 posted 09-11-2011 05:25 PM

i have gotten several planes over the last couple of years. don’t discount them as users just because they might be collectible. only use that as a deciding factor in whether to restore or clean for use. the tote that is cracked you can take a threaded rod longer than the tote itself to feed through the hole that the bolt holds it down in. take some washers on either end of the rod and put epoxy in the crack and tighten down the rod on both ends. its a simple crack and has an easy fix. after the epoxy has dried you can remove the rod and put it back into use.

I have several in both ends of this so i take different approaches for them both. i still use the collectibles but i take a hands off approach to getting them back in shape in that i clean the rust off and flatten the sole etc to make it usable but stop short of trying to repair the japanning. there are resources to reapply the japanning by making your own from recipes online. i don’t think its necessary. I am not entirely sure what replacing the japanning does to the value.

non collectible but usable i start by cleaning just like the other types but use engine paint to paint the areas that had japanning after some removal and then ready for use flattening sole and frog face etc.

I have had so much fun cleaning and using old tools. its almost become a hobby in its own right.

-- Got Wood?

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3195 days

#8 posted 09-12-2011 10:01 PM

Based on my research so far, it’s looking like the condition of the 7 still won’t fetch me much money so I’ll probably do a full restoration on it too.

Arminius, thanks for the paint rec. I noticed that the rexmill guy also recommends the Duplicolor. I have also heard that VHT Epoxy Paint is pretty good also.
WayneC, thanks for the links. I saw rexmill in a few forum posts but the link he gave was always invalid, its good to finally see it.

On the 5, the broken tote appears to have been fixed before only to break again wearing away some material on the mating surfaces. I will probably be making some new totes out of some rosewood I recently acquired at another garage sale. I’m not able to unscrew the frog adjustment screw. I’ll have to try some penetrating oil to see if that will loosen it.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4153 days

#9 posted 09-13-2011 05:50 AM

If the penetrating oil does not work you can try heat…

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

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