Stanley No. 6 question

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 10-15-2015 02:16 AM 608 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 810 days

10-15-2015 02:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

I recently inherited a Stanley No. 6

The plane overall is in pretty decent shape. While cleaning it up today, I discovered an issue with the “depth knob” (the knurled knob used to set the blade depth – no doubt it has some special name in the plane world, but you get the idea).

The knob does work, but it is very hard to turn. This is true even with the iron and associated parts removed. The metal lever that goes between the knob and the height adjust knob is fine. It moves easily and is not causing this issue.

I lubricated the knob and threaded post it turns on. The post appears normal. It is clean and does not have any visible damage to the threads.

I don’t see any sort of an adjustment that would determine how stiff this thing is to turn. Is there some trick I’m missing here?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

5 replies so far

View ColonelTravis's profile


1154 posts in 1312 days

#1 posted 10-15-2015 02:28 AM

Sounds like thread damage (maybe inside the knob?) even though you haven’t seen it, or maybe the screw is very slightly bent? I’ve got a couple planes with an adjustment knob that’s really hard to turn if the cap iron is tightened normally, my others aren’t like that. But when I loosen the screw or take the blade out it turns easily.

When you have the blade off, does the knob turn freely at any point on that screw, or is it a chore the entire way up and back?

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 810 days

#2 posted 10-15-2015 02:54 AM

Even with the frog and iron removed, it is very difficult to turn throughout the whole length of the screw.

I thought about the bent post idea too. That seems most likely, since there is no visible damage to the threads on the screw. Kinda hard to imagine how the threads on the knob could be hosed, but I suppose it is possible.

Tomorrow if I think of it I’ll try to get the knob all the way off and have a look at its threads.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View JayT's profile


4670 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 10-15-2015 02:54 AM

ColTravis’ last question is a good test.

My best guess is also that the threads are slightly damaged, probably on the stud, but possibly within the depth adjuster. Since they are an unusual pitch and left handed, the best way I’ve found to clean them up is a thread repair file. Run it around the stud a few times and try the adjustment knob again. I’ve rehabbed several planes that had the same issue and that has fixed every one. Clean up the stud threads and the steel will push the softer brass into shape—that’s why it’s rarely the threads in the adjuster knob itself.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View HokieKen's profile


1519 posts in 557 days

#4 posted 10-15-2015 07:16 PM

Do you have another plane you can try the knob on? That would tell you whether the issue lies with the stud or the knob. JayT is dead on if it’s an issue with the stud, a thread file will fix you right up. If it’s the knob, wire brush the threads and hope for the best. It’s not a common pitch thread so tap’s aren’t cheap.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 810 days

#5 posted 10-17-2015 11:49 PM

Just a follow up to let anyone who eventually finds this by searching know what the solution turned out to be…

@HokieKen turned out to have the the magic solution. I used a rag and a pair of channel-lock pliers to (with difficulty) get the brass knob all the way off of the threaded shaft. A careful inspection did not reveal any thread damage to either, I could not visually detect any shaft bending.

I threaded this knob onto the same type of shaft on a stanley block plane that I have. It went on with similar difficulty, but I noticed that unlike the other shaft, with this one it seemed that threading it on was “therapeutic” for the knob as it was easier to turn it back off than to turn it on (was not true with the original shaft). I guess it was either cleaning some invisible junk out of the thread or perhaps acting like a tap and widening or deepening the threads of the knob.

After doing that bit by bit until I had “tapped” the whole knob, I wire-brushed and re-did wd40 on the original shaft and put the knob back on it. Now it is just “a little bit tight”, but definitely adequate and can be hand-turned with minimal difficulty now.

Don’t know why the other shaft was able to tap the knob’s threads when the original didn’t. Just a slightly different shape to its threads I guess.

Anyway, that was the golden trick here for me…man-handle the knob onto the adjustment shaft of a different plane.

Thanks Kenny!

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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