Hand plane restoration Question

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Forum topic by Tolik posted 08-02-2010 06:19 AM 966 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2913 days

08-02-2010 06:19 AM

Hello all, im very new here but been admiring the site for few months silently..

one question for you all… I am more and more interested in hand planes lately; Stanley hand planes mostly.. I will be buying a few of them in the next few days, and they are all rusted and beat up…

What I am curious to know is how much restoration is good and how much is too much.. Like is removing the ugly chipped paint ok? or should i just get rid of rust and leave the original paint? Is it better to just touch the paint up with new paint? what paint to use then? or just repaint the whole thing? What is valued more?

What about the handles, are the old beat up look better or should I sand it down to perfection? or maybe ever outline the old handle on new wood and make new handle?

Let me hear your side of restoration..

Thank you all in advance!

1 reply so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2978 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 06:49 AM

Hi Tolik….before you begin, there are questions you have to answer on the plane. The answers to the questions will determine what you may want to do.

Is your plane a collector piece?
If it is a collector, do you want it to stay that way?
Do you want your tools to look new or do you just want them to work?

1. If it is a collector, leave it as is, put it on a shelf, and buy something you can use.

2. If you want your piece to remain a collector, refinishing it will de-value it. Unless you are a professional refinisher. Bad idea to underake restoration efforts on one of value.

3. If it is NOT a collector, have at it and take whatever refinishing steps you want to take. Some planes are never going to rise to collector status, so you can do what you want to do with it. If you are the kind of guy who wants his stuff to look new and be functional (I am that kind of guy, I like my tools to look AND perform well), do what it takes to get the plane to where you want it. If it is a rusty piece of garbage, throw it in a bucket and use the electrolysis method to remove rust and old jappaning at the same time. Grab some epoxy paint and repaint it. Epoxy paint is not necessary, but more durable. For the tote and knob, refinish as necessary. I have sanded the old finish off and went as-is. One that I have had a damaged knob and tote. I made new ones and put the plane to use.

Bottom line: determine what your plane’s life is going to be. Collector or user?

-- Mike

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