Just some planes restored #1: My #6 Restore.

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Blog entry by Don W posted 05-16-2011 10:48 PM 1913 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Just some planes restored series Part 2: Millers Falls #18 a prelude to the #6 »

I found this Stanley #6 in a flee market. I paid a whopping $10 for it. This is my first restore blog, but not my first plane restore. I’ve learned a little, and need to learn a lot more. So here it was:

I haven’t totally figured out my way of doing all of this, so sometimes I try several different ways. To flatten the sole, I start with sandpaper on my table saw top. If it looks like its going to take a lot, I move to the Ryobi sander, then back to finish on the table saw.

To get rid of the rust, I tried vinegar. That works great on some things, but its to inconsistent. Electrolytic seems to work but usually takes over night. I’ve also used wire brushing and rust and paint stripper to some success.

I filed the frog flat, but usually don’t worry about getting it polished, just flat. Sharpen the blade and cap. I give the sides of the bottom, the iron, cap, and adjusting screw a coat of clear lacquer. The tote and knob gets sanded and 3 cotes of shellac.

All screws get a good shot from a fine wire brush.
Here is what it looks like today:

Note the handle was missing a piece, so I added a piece of wenge. I didn’t have a piece of rosewood.

To polish the adjustment screw I chuck it in the drill press. I will usually progress grits from 100, 180, 220, 320, 500, 600, 800, and 2000 to give it a little shine.

I’ll go into more details in future articles. I just ordered a sandblaster, so I’ll see how that works. I’m working on a #8 I just got off ebay now, but may not get back to it for a while.

Back to working on the drawers for my bench.


-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

7 comments so far

View FoxMountainWoods's profile


30 posts in 2582 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 11:55 PM

Electrolytic? I tried elbow grease and steel wool on a jointing plane that was my grandfathers… that got rid of some rust but certainly not as shiny as yours! Please explain your electrolytic process – I`m very interested!

-- Scott Hubley - Nova Scotia, Canada -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2561 days

#2 posted 05-17-2011 12:11 AM

The best advice I can give is google “plane restoration electrolysis”. Also see

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2687 days

#3 posted 05-17-2011 12:13 AM

The #6 is the star of my shop; reach for it probably 2nd only to the #7. There are excellent primers on electrolysis (which is what I use). Mine’s of a bucket, rebar, and trickle charger; but I’ll let SBO (OP) explain his process sans hijack. I prefer it to elbow grease for sure!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4091 days

#4 posted 05-17-2011 12:15 AM

Well done.

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

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2874 days

#5 posted 05-17-2011 06:05 AM

I am with Al, the #6 is one of if not my favorite plane. I don’t even know why I like it so much, I just do

Great job on the plane. I will suggest one thing, I noticed on both of the planes you posted so far that when you paint them you paint the top ledge where the outside meets the inside. In my opinion it looks better to keep that polished steel to match the outside. That part of the plane didn’t originally have japanning either. Its almost impossible to tape that top part off so I paint it but once the paint is dry I just take a razor blade and scrap the paint right off the top. I also sand and polish the top before I paint so that no other work is required after I scrape the paint off with the razor blade. It looks fine black but I think the polished metal on the top really brings it all together.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2561 days

#6 posted 05-17-2011 07:35 PM

So, i made a conscious decision to leave that top edge black, wondering if it was the right choice. First thing this morning i scrapped and buffed it on the #6 to see if your were right. I know youré right about it not being originally black. From now on it’ll be the original way. You were right Dan.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2874 days

#7 posted 05-18-2011 06:18 AM

The first couple planes that I repainted I had left the tops black also. I did my 3rd one leaving the top metal and after that I went back to the first two and took the black off… It didn’t look bad at all black but it just looks a little better meshed with the steel top.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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