After the previous restore I decided that I wanted to restore planes for both my dad and my father-in-law for Christmas. My dad now has a block plane and I wanted to get him the next one for his kit and I decided on a #4 Stanley would do. After trolling e-bay for a bit I came across two good auctions one for a #4 and one for a #5 (for me) I won both for under $60 including for shipping. Sadly once I started working on the #5 there is a big crack in the left hand side of the body from the mouth up to the top edge.
For my FIL he had this old rust bucket of a block plane that he had in drawer that he would pull out every once in a while and say one day I am gonna tune this one up and get it working. At Thanksgiving he did that gain and a bit latter I went snagged it without his knowledge. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a couple of before pics before I got started on the restore.
This time around I wanted to go deeper into the restoration process, since neither plane had a nice patina and excessive amounts of rust I decided that I get down to metal on all pieces and remove as much pitting as reasonable. So lots of 60 grit sand paper to lap the sides and bottoms of planes. This is where things get interesting and where I learned allot. For prep I used Evapo-Rust to clean the rust from all the metal and then Klean-Strip to remove the remaining Japanning. Then I was using a 3” wire wheel off of my drill to cleanup the metal without much luck. The Evapo-rust work great but leaves a gray tint on the metal. The the lever cap had a damaged edge which was cleaned up on my grinder. The chip breaker and the blade had a lot of discoloration and some pitting. Brasso and Bar Keepers Friend were added to the mix but still would not get rid of the discoloration plus the Brasso would not shine the brass pieces of the plane after several applications. Then it hit me …. my Dremel had polishing compound small wire wheels and such. Wow the brass brush wheel cleaned everything up quickly. I then moved to the 120 grit flap wheel to clean up the pitting on the chipbreaker. Wow that was fast! With these attachments I was able to quickly get all of these cleaned up and then moved onto the small screws and such.
At this point as I did on the last plane, I then proceed to tape what I didn’t want paint on, plugged the screw holes with wax, rubbed the target areas with Mineral Spirits (to help remove any unwanted wax). I then I used a hi temp glossy black engine enamel and applied multiple thin coats and a medium coat last on the plane body and this the lever cap this was done on both planes.
I ran out of time for Christmas so I slapped on the knob from the broken #5 and the tote as is. I am working on turning a new knob and milling up a new tote, side note on this, I have made five attempts at making a tote, and I will just say that the router is a cruel mistress! For anyone interested after some research I determined that the block plane was a Sargent 306 made for Craftsman during the 30’s to the 50’s.
-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"