Bench plane lever cap cam repair

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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 11-30-2015 05:21 PM 1336 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 1741 days

11-30-2015 05:21 PM

Hi All,

The first plane I bought was a new Record #5 1/2. Almost immediately, the cam on the lever cap broke. I’ve since added a lot of older Stanley planes and didn’t think much about it but for some reason, I feel like getting the Record up and running.

It looks like a pretty easy fix. Easier than fixing it would be to just get a Stanley replacement but the 2 1/4” wide caps run almost as much as a whole plane. I was thinking I could just get any cap and extract the cam. Can anyone think of a non-destructive way to pull the pivot pin? Getting the old one out on the record cap will be easy since I can just vise-grip it from the middle but my only thought on the donor is to saw the cap on either side of the cam and punch the pin out from there.

Thoughts welcome and happy holidays! sh

9 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile


2881 posts in 1445 days

#1 posted 11-30-2015 05:24 PM

I think that’s gonna be difficult to do without breaking off the tab(s).

I would try pressing it out, but good luck on that.

Any way it could be brazed back on?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1741 days

#2 posted 11-30-2015 05:58 PM

It’s the cam lever that broke and the casting is very porous. Little wonder it broke. I think I have a Stanley #3 or #5 lever cap in the bin of parts beyond description. Finding it would be a project in itself. It looks like all the Stanley cams are the same size as the Record so any bench plane cap would work as a donor.

My other thought to extract the donor cam would be drilling through the closed side of the cap and punching the pin out with a finish nail. Quicker and easier than sawing into the steel.

Cheers, sh

View HokieKen's profile


4737 posts in 1103 days

#3 posted 11-30-2015 09:10 PM

I’d try it with the 2” lever cap from the Stanley if it will fit. I’m not familiar with the Record planes, but if the cap iron and the iron are thick enough, it may do just fine with a lever cap that doesn’t quite span the full width.

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

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1741 days

#4 posted 11-30-2015 11:03 PM

I couldn’t find the spare cap. I am following a couple parts planes on Ebay. And yes, a 2” lever cap would probably work fine. At least, better than one with no cam. sh

View JohnChung's profile


407 posts in 2039 days

#5 posted 12-01-2015 03:45 AM

If you have bronze or aluminium you can cut out and shape it to replace the cam . Not too difficult to shape using a files an a saw.

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1741 days

#6 posted 12-01-2015 06:26 PM

Thanks JohnChung, I’d already marked one out of some 3/4 brass I had in the bin but waited until I got outbid on another cap. Took about an hour. The bandsaw blade is on its last legs so I was glad not to have to use a new one. A dull drill bit (and I have an exceptional collection of dull drill bits) is the lever pin. It works. I cleaned it up a little from this picture but it isn’t shiny.

View Tim's profile


3781 posts in 1926 days

#7 posted 12-02-2015 12:27 AM

Nice job on the replacement lever. Nothing wrong with reusing something to make something else, but it’s pretty easy to sharpen a drill bit on a grinder. You can go crazy with all the different angles, clearance, and dubbing and such, but it’s fairly easy to make them cut much better just with a little effort at sharpening. Of course, you may already know that.

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146 posts in 1741 days

#8 posted 12-02-2015 01:29 AM

Thanks Tim, It was more that I needed a precise piece of drill rod and the bit was handy. I only took 3/4” off the end so it is still usable—after I sharpen it. There’s a bin by the grinder full of anxious bits and a couple chisels that I’ll sharpen when I run out of sharp ones.

The cam looks homemade but should last forever. The oscillating spindle sander got a workout along with the stationary belt sander. A lot of it was hand filing. Now I just need more big projects to air it out. This plane blade has a curved edge for hogging panels. sh

View Tim's profile


3781 posts in 1926 days

#9 posted 12-02-2015 02:27 PM

I’ll have to keep that in mind as a source for drill rod. I have a variety of bits that are rusted and now that you mention it, that would be a good use for them.

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