Hand Planes #1: Ebay Planes...

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Blog entry by ryno101 posted 08-17-2008 10:17 PM 1973 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand Planes series Part 2: First Round Cleaning »

Found both of these on Ebay, picked ‘em up for $10 for the pair. Turns out the guy selling them lives only 15 minutes drive away, and had to go by there anyway, so I was even able to avoid shipping costs…

The longer of the two is about 14”, the smaller about 9”

I’ll clean them up and post the results.

I really want to learn how to use these planes, I haven’t had much success with the other one I picked up for a buck! It just digs in no matter how I set up the blade. Any advice would be helpful…

-- Ryno

9 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3901 days

#1 posted 08-17-2008 10:24 PM

There are several good tutorials on plane restoration on the site. I can’t remember who the authors were, but they were very good. Nice score from e-bay.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3771 days

#2 posted 08-17-2008 10:49 PM

Good deal. Those should clean up nicely. On your other little plane, make sure the bevel is up and start adjusting the blade out by just giving it a light tap. It shouldn’t have very much blade out of the sole. It’s made to take very light cuts.

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3842 days

#3 posted 08-17-2008 10:53 PM

I usually leave planes with that much rust alone. It will take a lot of lapping and filing to get the bottom flat, the frog sitting secure and flat on its base, the mouth in shape, the blade clean and honed plus the chip breaker flat where it touches th blade. Good luck though.

-- Scott - Chico California

View Maddhatter's profile


126 posts in 3604 days

#4 posted 08-18-2008 12:35 AM

Nice job, I pick up a couple just like this, I have yet to start cleaning them up.

Look forward to your posts and progress.

-- Norm (AKA - The Maddhatter), Middletown DE

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3810 days

#5 posted 08-18-2008 06:25 AM

If you plan on making them good user planes, I’d recommend maybe buying a replacement blade and/or chipbreaker from Hock, etc. That’s what I plan to do regarding my new (gasp) Stanley #4 I bought a year ago.

-- Eric at

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#6 posted 08-18-2008 06:58 AM

Good luck with the cleaning process, these seem like they’ll require quite a bit of that.

As far as your ‘other’ block plane, make sure the following:

1. Sole is flat and smooth (this will get your plane to glide along the surface of the wood, and make sure the blade gets good contact where it should)

2. your blade is honed properly (otherwise you’ll get chips, and working with the plane will be really really hard only to produce bad quality cuts)

3. your blade is positioned bevel up as mentioned above (block planes geometry requires the bevel to be up for proper blade-attack angle)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3772 days

#7 posted 08-18-2008 07:39 AM

If you have a bench grinder then slap on a wire wheel, a pair of goggles and Get On It! They’ll never be Bedrocks but they’ll be serviceable. I also use very coarse drywall screens backed by a piece of MDF for a flatplate to do the initial flattening. The open mesh of the screens allows the swarf to clear without clogging with all that scale like it would with sand paper.

My process is to disassemble EVERYTHING, down to the last washer on the frog screws and give them the wire wheel treatment. If there is loose rust on the body get what you can with the wire wheel/grinder and attack the rest with a wire brush. Get all of the loose scaly rust off by whatever means. Those handyman planes are not heirlooms but are perfectly serviceable. After you get all the loose crud of you can consider “rejapanning” them with high temp Rustoleum BBQ paint. Don’t worry about masking anything off except the bosses on the body where the frog seats. After the paint is dry begin lapping the sole and sides with the drywall screens and this will take care of any of the overspray. The lapping of the body proper should be done with the plane fully assembled, with the blade retracted but with the proper amount of tension on the cap. This is to roughly reproduce whatever distortion or stress the sole of the plane might take on in actual use.

The Stanley website still sells parts for bench planes and they are priced quite reasonably so if you end up missing frog screws, or tote hardware or the like it is still available. Start your search here:

Beware: This is absolutely the worst web commerce site that I have ever tried to navigate. It is mostly all there, but good luck finding it. They have proven to be very reliable and prompt and that is what matters most but Mrs. Johnsons 3rd. grade art class did a really bad job of site design ;-( It’s literally the e- commerce version of macaroni art. I have provided the direct link to the plane section because it is about fifteen nested menus from the start point.

Good luck with your finds.

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3740 days

#8 posted 08-19-2008 05:14 AM

Some time ago, bbqking posted a forum topic on hand planes. The advice that followed regarding handplane setup was pretty good. Here it is.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4090 days

#9 posted 08-19-2008 08:55 PM

David and WayneC both have posted tons on cleaning up old planes. I followed them down the slippery slope as well.

In hindsight, I think Eric is correct about ditching the pitted old blades in favor of Lee Valley or Hock blades.
Don’t waste a lot of time rehabbing those thin laminated Chrome Vanadian blades. Craftsman Studio has great prices, better than even the Hock website (how do they do that?) and free shipping continues (8/19/08).

You might find Patrick Leach's Blood and Gore page instructive about Stanley Planes, although generally it is about the Bailey series of planes, rather than the Handyman series which was marketed to DIY types well past Stanley’s prime as Toolmaker to the World.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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