Old Trustworthy plane restore...

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Project by Dan posted 11-09-2010 11:58 PM 9578 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the 3rd hand plane that I have completely restored. This one comes from a lot of 4 planes that I won off Ebay. I think I paid a total of 23 dollars for all 4 including shipping. Of the 4 planes two of them were old Stanley planes and the other two I had never heard of. This is one of the planes I had not heard of. I did some research and couldn’t find much on Trustworthy planes but it looked decent quality enough to restore. I had restored my first plane all by hand and it was quite the project so for this time around I decided to try EvapoRust. I had heard about EvapoRust from reading other restore projects on this site.

The first step I took was to take the plane apart and soak all the parts in the EvapoRust over night. Even with all the great reviews I was still a little unsure on how well it would really work. After a night of soaking I was pleased to see that it did indeed work really well. If I were to do over I would probably rinse clean and soak it another night but I decided to finish taking the rest of the rust off by hand.

I started with the base of the plane. I sanded it all down with various grits of emery paper, cleaned it up well and then repainted it. I just used Rust-Oliuem semi gloss black paint. I put 3 coats on it. I did primer it first also.

Next was the fun part! Sanding, polishing and buffing the remaining metal parts. I did most of this by hand but did have a lot of help from my Dremel tool. The Dremel tool with a pad attachment works great for the small parts. I used brass cleaner to clean and polish the brass screws. When the paint dried I sanded and polished the sides of the base by hand.

Next was the hardest and I do mean hardest part and that was sanding the old finish off the handle and knob. If anyone has a secret on how to do this easier please let me know. I think it would have been easier to just make new ones. I used a paint stripper but even after that it required a ton of sanding in order to get the old finish off. I used the dremel tool for some of it but that seemed to wanna take too much off. I ended up doing most all by hand. Once sanded down I finished it with a few coats of shellac.

I started working on the blade but it was pretty shot and probably not even worth the time. I plan on getting a good quality replacement blade and cap iron.

The last step was to flatten the sole which I did using emery paper on glass… Worked well.

Since I didn’t do anything with the blade I have not yet used this plane but I am happy with how well it looks now. If nothing else I will keep it on my mantel for display.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

14 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3010 days

#1 posted 11-10-2010 12:06 AM

Sweet !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2773 days

#2 posted 11-10-2010 12:18 AM

If it cuts as good as it looks…. that’s awesome!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View b2rtch's profile


4851 posts in 3017 days

#3 posted 11-10-2010 12:27 AM

I love to do this kind of thing.
In fact I ma thinking about doing that as a side business, may be.

-- Bert

View Big_Bob's profile


173 posts in 3678 days

#4 posted 11-10-2010 12:38 AM

I love to see old tools come back to life. Thanks for sharing it with us.

-- Bob Clark, Tool Collector and Sawdust Maker

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3058 days

#5 posted 11-10-2010 01:02 AM

Nothing like the first shaves after a good restore.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1229 posts in 3968 days

#6 posted 11-10-2010 01:05 AM

This is a very useful use of time. The new issue of Fine Woodworking has an article how to do this process. Looks like you could have written it. Well done.

-- Bob A in NJ

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3044 days

#7 posted 11-10-2010 01:14 AM

Very well done.

Would the gods who opine on such matters object strongly to replacing the wood in the handle and knob? That seems doable and it would probably be less work that restoring the existing handle and knob.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Bryan_M's profile


46 posts in 3012 days

#8 posted 11-10-2010 01:16 AM

Run a long bolt with some washers and nuts through the front knob and chuck that sucker in a drill press. You’ll have it sanded and trued in minute or two. I haven’t found a clever trick for the rear handle yet…

View WoodLe's profile


155 posts in 2766 days

#9 posted 11-10-2010 03:01 AM

Well done! Not many guys out there that know how to sharpen a blade right. (At least all the ones I buy—looks like they use a hand grinder)

-- Wooster, Ohio

View swirt's profile


2659 posts in 2941 days

#10 posted 11-10-2010 05:07 AM

Looks great.

I haven’t used this method on a plane tote yet, but on old saw handles I use a card scraper to remove the finish in fairly good order. It will even work on the curves. I’ve also had good results with a fine tooth wood file. Eventually you have to switch to sandpaper to smooth it all out.

-- Galootish log blog,

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 2916 days

#11 posted 11-10-2010 05:48 AM

Wow, great restoration. That looks a lot like one I just rescued from Dad’s old file cabinet ready to go to auction, think it’s a Stanley, but not marked as such.

Thanks for the tip on Evaporust!

-- Smitty

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2750 days

#12 posted 11-10-2010 01:54 PM

The front one’s a Stanley, their cheaper line, can’t judge the rear one ? Rich, I’m with you to a point on the replacing handles, but a lot of the old planes used rosewood for knob and tote..toss them ? I think
not !. One way of speeding the cleanup on a tote is to scrape as meantioned, then to the drill press
and a flap sander wheel. Works realy well with a progression of grits.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Themesong's profile


3 posts in 2401 days

#13 posted 04-21-2015 05:11 PM

Thanks for the lesson. Am restoring a Trustworthy plane.
Am going to use Lemon Juice to soak which works great for light surface rust.
Would be very interested in manufacturer/history of this plane. Rex82

View JimT1888's profile


1 post in 52 days

#14 posted 03-04-2018 09:07 PM

Nice job. I searched for this because my father in law gave me his grandfather’s Trustworthy plane today. It look a lot like yours before you started so I am encouraged by your result.

Paul Sellers has a YouTube on restoring a bench plane and he used the side of a chisel to scrape off the knobs. It looked like it was pretty easy. It’s 68 minutes long so be prepared.

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