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First experience refinishing a plane

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Forum topic by PeteK posted 08-24-2016 02:17 AM 661 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PeteK

15 posts in 109 days


08-24-2016 02:17 AM

Hello all. New to the forum and new to hand planes. But I found a Dunlap plane that I’m reasonably sure is a No 4. Only paid $10 for it. I have zero experience with hand planes, but I’m quickly getting tired of the noise and sawdust in my garage with power tools so I’m finding myself gravitating more and more towards hand tools. Anyways, it’s pretty rusty, but I think it’s salvageable.

From what I’ve found online, Dunlap weren’t the highest quality tools ever made. Sort of Sears second line behind Craftsman. Hopefully it can be tuned up.


14 replies so far

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14661 posts in 2151 days


#1 posted 08-24-2016 03:14 AM

I imagine it could….that plane was made by Millers Falls for Sears.

This model was branded as a Craftsman. It is almost the same as a Millers Falls #8

Not junk by any standards

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#2 posted 08-24-2016 03:28 AM

If it’s the late model Dunlap like I had it’s trash. No offense.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View cooperw's profile

cooperw

14 posts in 195 days


#3 posted 08-24-2016 06:46 AM

With hand plane most important factor is blade sharpness, you should get some japanese wet stones, if you don’t already have one.

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1457 days


#4 posted 08-24-2016 11:57 AM

Welcome to the slippery slope of hand planes. Here's some tune up info. I wash parts in degreaser to remove dirt etc, rinse with water, do some wire wheel work for heavier rust, soak in Evaporust to convert rust in all the unreachable areas, then tune up. Even if that plane doesn’t make a great smoother it’s usable for prepping surfaces for a smoother.

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rwe2156

2200 posts in 949 days


#5 posted 08-24-2016 02:06 PM

I think its worth it to learn to refurb a plane. From experience, my advice to beginners is don’t make the mistake of starting out with cheap, poor performing tools. I think we can have an idea we aren’t “ready” or don’t somehow don’t deserve or maybe aren’t ready to commit financially to a quality hand tool.

What results is frustration and discouragement because we aren’t getting the results we see others getting and we may chalk it up to poor skills, not the tool. If you’re constantly having to fiddle around with settings and get inconsistent results that means its time to move on to a better quality plane.

If you’re serious about getting into hand tool work, very soon, I would recommend starting with one quality #4 plane such as a pre-WWII Stanley, a WoodRiver or, if your budget can handle, Lie Nielsen or Veritas.

If you want’ to go the vintage route, I would stay away from Ebay and look for guys who sell refurbished planes such as DonW.

Good luck. I also love the quiet solitude of working with hand tools.

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

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bandit571

14661 posts in 2151 days


#6 posted 08-24-2016 02:54 PM

Ah, but, other than the labels on the Craftsman I showed, the rest looked like the OP’s plane, mine is a #3 size, his is a #4 size…..likely a Value Line made for sears…#900 about the same as a Mohawk-Shelburne

Which by 1949, Millers Falls had re-branded as a No. 900 V Line smooth plane

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Dwain

379 posts in 3327 days


#7 posted 08-24-2016 02:58 PM

I say get a tool and see what you can do with it. Most tools can be made to “sing” with enough work at it, at least for a little while. I think good points are made regarding bad tools, still, you can work on rust removal, sharpening and flattening. Mainly, you REALLY learn how your plane works. There are great lessons there even if the tool isn’t a type 2 Stanley Bailey plane. Heck, I get some really good use out of the $8 Harbor Freight “33 Windsor” plane I bought. Again, even a poor tool will work right, once adjustedl, if not for a long time. Really, in my opinion, the “problem” planes are problems because they don’t stay set. Don’t get me wrong, it’s frustrating, but if you can get the plane set up, adjusted and singing, even for a very short period of time, it was worth the effort.

I found that taking apart my first plane, cleaning it and reassembling it were paramount in my learning about planes, and how they work. I was MUCH more willing to take apart a 10 dollar plane and see what I could do than to take apart a $350 Lee Nielsen plane.

Believe me, Veritas and LN planes have their place, they are the envy of any plane user that doesn’t own one. Still, if you want to really learn about a plane, buy a cheapee, take it apart and see what you can do with it.

My two cents. Good Luck!

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#8 posted 08-24-2016 03:03 PM

Should make for a great user plus you’ll learn a lot about sharpening

refurbishing etc.

Keep at it and welcome to Lumber Jocks peteK!

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

1458 posts in 1325 days


#9 posted 08-24-2016 03:21 PM

I have a couple dunlops and they work just fine. I have one with a stamped steel frog it worked ok but now is a scrub plane and it works great for that. So tune that one up and practice sharpening the blade and getting the chip breaker flat. You will make mistakes but that is how we learn. $10 for a learning experience is a cheap price to pay. Watch some Paul sellers videos on YouTube I also like woodworking masterclass the host uses English and Japanese planes. Anyways just my two cents I just don’t see why people recommend expensive planes as first planes. Kind of like a car your first car is something older and cheaper that you learn about not a Porsche or Lamborghini as a first car.

View PeteK's profile

PeteK

15 posts in 109 days


#10 posted 08-24-2016 03:36 PM

Thanks for the advice. There is basically no chance I can justify spending the money for a Veritas or Lie Nielsen. I saw a few Stanley’s at antique shops, but the ones that looked salvageable were $50 or more. So far, I have learned quite a bit just in the disassembly and cleaning. I have a diamond plate for sharpening, but haven’t got that far yet. I spend quite a bit of time just scrubbing with scotch pads and steel wool with degreaser. I also sanded down the knob and tote. I think I will apply boiled linseed oil to those.

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waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#11 posted 08-24-2016 04:03 PM

Bob Smalser has a great tutorial on rehabbing planes on wkfinetools.com

http://contrib1.wkfinetools.com/bSmalser/rehabMetalPlanes/rehabMetalPlanes1.asp

Good stuff

View Tim's profile

Tim

3119 posts in 1429 days


#12 posted 08-24-2016 05:18 PM

Definitely wouldn’t hurt to learn on it if you find that fun. Like others said, not a high end plane, so don’t expect too much, but I bet it could be made to work well enough. If you keep your eyes open you can find some better ones for reasonable prices depending on where you live. Antique shops rarely have good prices, try estate sales.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14661 posts in 2151 days


#13 posted 08-24-2016 05:28 PM

Not sure how far away Pete lives from me….but,

West Liberty, OH has a Tractor Fest on Labour Day Weekend

Was there last year…

From one of the vendors that were there..

Same tent. There was a mile or two of walking around last year.

Supposed to be all about farm tractors, steam or otherwise. Lots of old tools to look at, too

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#14 posted 08-25-2016 01:29 AM

That plane will be fine as a user.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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