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Stanley #7 Restoration #3: Grunt work

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Blog entry by dfdye posted 03-12-2010 08:37 AM 956 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Final stripping and paint Part 3 of Stanley #7 Restoration series Part 4: Putting it all Together »

Just like the title says, I did a lot of grunt work tonight. First things first, I cleaned the paint off of the surfaces I should have taped off in the first place. I noticed some of the spots that should have been flat had a little bit of a burr on the edge from getting dinged through the years, so I pulled out a small file and flattened a few surfaces. A wire brush attachment on my Dremel cleaned out of the crevasses pretty nicely, but I did have to resort to dental picks for a few spots. Overall, the paint from yesterday looks fine, but it definitely lacks that deep plasticy rubberized sheen of the japanning. Also, all of the pits from the casting show through, which makes me want to experiment with some other method of painting, but I reminded myself that this is primarily a USER plane, and not a pure restoration project. I may still try some of the heavier spray on products like the engine enamel, but I will test those out on other objects before I try them on the plane (and that will wait until everything else is ready to go.

Besides cleaning up the unwanted paint from the frog and main body, I was able to clean up the sides of the plane and get all of the remaining crud and paint over spray off. Both sides are now a nice dull grey, and look very good. After rethinking of the best way to go about flattening the sides and sole of the plane, I decided against grinding and am going to clean up problem spots with hand filing if I can get away with it. I took a good, close look at the flatness of the sides once I got them clean, and there are only a few high spots around the edges of the casting. Well, that certainly makes filing those down a pretty easy proposition! The flatness of the sole of the plane looks pretty good once you get past the scaling, so I am going to pick up a sharp, new file tomorrow and try to do this the old fashioned way. In the long run, I think it will actually save time vs. regrinding.

Besides that, all of the brass parts got the crud sanded off of them too. Whatever this crud is—I think it is REALLY old oil that has formed some sort of plastic like coating—the only thing that seems to cut it is sandpaper. The good part is that all of the round brass parts got mounted to the cordless drill (one at a time, obviously) and got cleaned up with sandpaper and Scotchbrite pretty quickly.

The wooden handles are cleaning up very nicely, and I’ll probably post pictures tomorrow of how they turned out. I stripped the varnish they had, sanded them down to get all of the residual crud off, and am refinishing them with Tung oil. I went to buff out the first coat, and had the terrible realization that I was out of 0000 steel wool! Ouch. I used some 400 grit sand paper instead, but it just wasn’t the same. Second coat of oil is on now, and hopefully tomorrow night I’ll be able to buff it out (I love paper grocery bags as the final finishing abrasive for oil coats.)

Finally, I put a 2 3/8” A2-Cryo Hock blade on order today. I decided that, while using the original old blade would be neat, I really want this to work well. I am extremely impressed with the IBC A2-Cryo blade I got for my #4, and wanted a comparison with the Hock. I seriously doubt I’ll be able to tell a difference (besides the fact that they are different sizes) but I figured it would be worth getting the Hock just for the sake of making the comparison. The old chip breaker is pretty shot too, so I went ahead and ordered a stock replacement for right now. I would like to get a little time in the machine shop to build a custom one (and practice for building one to put in my future infill project) but that will have to wait. Besides, the replacement chip breaker was all of $6, so even if I do build a custom one, I am barely out any money if it just sits on the shelf for ever. Just having the spare around will be worth the price.

Speaking of prices, it looks like the total price of this plane restoration project (body, replacement blade, chip breaker, paint, general shop supplies, etc, but excluding shipping), will be right around the $90 mark. The #7 Groz is $82, but it would need a new blade, and a ton of work also. The #6 Woodriver is on sale for $112 now, but it isn’t really what I was looking for. Regardless of the cost, I am having a great time restoring the plane and already can tell it will turn out to be a wonderfully useful too that is a pleasure to use, but I still am left wondering if the most cost and time efficient route wouldn’t have been to go with the Woodriver. Just thinking. . . .

Of course this is way more fun, and as I said before, the great story I am getting from working on this plane is completely worth the time and energy invested!

I can’t wait until I actually start cutting wood!

-- David from Indiana --



4 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2749 days


#1 posted 03-12-2010 04:27 PM

Great write-up. I thought oh no he forgot to mask the frog and frog mating points on the bod]ye when I saw the photos from the prior blog. I think if I had seen the rust on the body and had wanted to repaint the body, I would have considered electrolytic de-rusting. Good to see that you have worked through it.

Do you think after having done this once that the process will become more efficient for you? Perhaps tilting the balance back from the woodriver some?

Also, related to chipbreakers, I really like hock chipbreakers. They might provide a good design for you to use for the one your planning to build.

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

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1689 days


#2 posted 03-12-2010 05:14 PM

You are psychic or something. I was going to use the Hock chipbreaker as a template. I can get cold-rolled bar stock pretty easily, and was thinking of putting something together from that.

Oh, and I did mask out a bunch of areas on the frog itself, but I wanted to get a good coat of rust-proofing down on the entire bed of the plane. I figured I would have to file some mating parts down anyway to get a good fit, so I went ahead an coated everything. Like I said, the dremel and wire brush did wonders, and didn’t take much longer than it would have taken to mask everything off with tape. The end result is that the cleaned up surfaces of the body and from mate perfectly. I did notice that the underside of the paint was still a tad bit soft when I was cleaning some of the body, so I am going to give the paint a little more time to cure before final cleaning. I think I may start putting things back together tonight, but I am still wondering how in the world to get the gouges out of this stock blade! It is really in nasty shape.

Yes, I know I am replacing the blade and that it is a little silly to put a bunch of energy into regrinding and sharpening it, but I still want to at least give the plane an audition with all of the original parts!

As for the old Bailey vs. Woodriver argument, I honestly am still undecided. Like I said, I am having a ball working this old plane back into shape, but if I was in a production environment there is no way I could justify the time vs. the cost. The Woodrivers come stock with a good blade and chip breaker, a nice finish, and a flat sole (at least the ones I have seen), but then again I wouldn’t be hand planing joints in a production environment! Again, just thinking “out loud.”

Thanks for all of your encouragement, Wayne!

PS This has actually been pretty quick and efficient—next time I will just skip straight to the 220 grit in a finish sander to knock the crud off, though. Or a sandblaster. :) I am sure I could cut the time down substantially if I ever recondition another old plane, but this has not been bad at all. Still, assuming the price difference is ~$30-$40 between the Stanley and the Woodriver, I would have to work REALLY cheap to make restoring an old plane worth my money if I was thinking purely in economics land. (again, I am not, so the question isn’t nearly so straight forward!)

-- David from Indiana --

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2749 days


#3 posted 03-12-2010 06:49 PM

Well there may be cases where a woodriver is not available, so it would be a Stanley vs. Veritas or LN argument so the cost variance is higher than with the Woodriver. Also, I would think that if you were using hand tools in a professional environment (not mass production) that the cost of the premium tools could be justified.

I would suggest considering getting a Lie-Nielson 60 1/2 for a special occasion (or other justification you can come up with). They are simply a joy to use.

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

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1689 days


#4 posted 03-12-2010 08:29 PM

:) And THE LN’s are borderline works of art! Yes, I completely understand that argument for buying the pretty tools. Like I said before, pretty things that make people happy are inherently good to have around (assuming you can afford said item), whether they are useful or not. I like paintings, and lord knows they don’t have any function than to distract from how badly I patch drywall!

I won’t pretend that I am not tempted to get a super pretty brass plane, but if I am going to get a tool as a work of art, I would rather spend the money on supplies to build something myself. That is why I want to get this infil project done one day. If I can pull that off, and build a really good user infil, there is NO WAY you can tell me that it wouldn’t be more of a joy for me to use than ANY Lie-Nielson plane ever made! I have enough experience metalworking via building instrumentation with my professional work that I am sure I can pull off something as simple as a hand plane, but the challenge will be whether I can make it feel as good as another high end plane! I am not naive enough to think that more experienced tool makers know WAY more about the finer points of tweaking some secret angle, or putting in some unexpected mass at some point to add balance, or some such other point. I am betting that I will get something wrong the first time around. Anyway, I am sure we will start this discussion anew when I start that infil.

As for the old Stanley vs. a LN or Veritas, I am completely with you there! If you can get an old Bailey (or better yet a bedrock) for cheap and clean it up, then I am betting you are going to be in good shape vs. the expensive planes. I have a few more thoughts that I’ll save for my next blog post, but suffice it to say that I am duly impressed with the overall condition of this plane under the gunk, other than the blade and chipbreaker.

More in just a minute when I finish writing up the next entry (teaser—assembled pictures coming up next!)

-- David from Indiana --

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