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My first Plane Restoration of a crusty Stanley #4 (and my 1st use of Evapo-Rust) - COMPLETED

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Forum topic by David Grimes posted 1099 days ago 2430 views 4 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Grimes

2071 posts in 1226 days


1099 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: plane restore evapo-rust tote knob

Here’s my “crusty Stanley #4” that is in the worst shape of all my recently acquired planes. Like the thread regarding jumping in the deep end or the shallow end on projects, I chose the deep end, since this is my first plane restore and I’m going with the worst first.

Very rusty.

I removed the knob and tote, then moved on to the metal parts. The lateral will not move even after dis-assembly. I poured the entire gallon in my covered 15 quart plastic bin and then (of course) placed all the metal parts into it. The gallon barely covers the frame height. I’m glad I didn’t grab the 18 quart size.


While the parts are in the drink, I started hand sanding the knob and tote. The knob and tote are solid, but most of the finish is gone and the surface of the wood was very dry and porous… kind of brittle on the surface like a crust of dry rot. I’ll get to repair a broken tote soon enough, though.

I started with 80 grit paper to quickly get the remaining finish off, then went to 120 for a bit all over, then on to 220 where I spent awhile getting it really smooth all around.

I’m not decided on what I will finish them with but I have most of the possibilities on the shelf already (BLO, Watco Danish oil, Varathane, Urethane (thick and wipe, oil and water-based), Deft Spray Lacquer, etc.). Suggestions always considered. What do you suggest ?

More tomorrow.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia


42 replies so far

View philip marcou's profile

philip marcou

262 posts in 1183 days


#1 posted 1099 days ago

David,
What are you going to do about the lever cap? Looks like the chrome is coming off so you might as well speed it on its way. Got a belt grinder?

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David Grimes

2071 posts in 1226 days


#2 posted 1099 days ago

Philip, nothing gets by your trained eye ;=)

I do have belt grinders… stationary and portable. What do you recommend ? Grind and then what ? Metal finish to a polished surface ? Sand blast to satin finish ? Re-plate ? Powder coat to “almost chrome” ? Get a better lever cap ?

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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philip marcou

262 posts in 1183 days


#3 posted 1099 days ago

David,
if you have a virgin cap or two laying about this would be easiest….
Other than that belt grind to about 220 grit then power wire brush with a soft brush to get a nice burnished look.

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David Grimes

2071 posts in 1226 days


#4 posted 1099 days ago

Thanks, Philip. No spares. I have wire brush on the bench grinder. Steel okay, I assume.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Don W's profile

Don W

14498 posts in 1154 days


#5 posted 1099 days ago

Nice restore. I’m with Philip. I like the brushed metal look. I started using shellac, went to lacquer and ended with BLO for the knob and tote. Its a more user friendly looking to me. Not real shiny and flashy. I believe Danish oil would give the same type of look. I have used it on gun stocks but never on a plane. I may try it, now that you’ve planted the idea.

Some times the blade and cap will need a courser wheel to start with. (Sides as well). I often sand the plane sides if they still have major tooling marks.

Your knob and tote came out really well. Did it take a lot of sanding? I usually leave any major imperfections. They give it a “used” look and I don’t like to take off a lot of wood.

I want to see the final outcome. It looks like your well on your way. Good to see that nasty #4 will get a new life.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15627 posts in 2805 days


#6 posted 1099 days ago

Ditto the advice given above.

Your knob and tote look great. I have found them to an absolute PITA to sand. What technique did you use? Machine? Hand? How did you hold it? Inquiring minds want to know.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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WayneC

12239 posts in 2684 days


#7 posted 1099 days ago

Hey, I thought you were the “I don’t want to restore a plane guy” about 3 weeks ago…. Lol. Glad you’ve taken the plunge.

French Polish on the tote and knob would be another option. I would have probably gone the look for a replacement lever cap route suggested by Phillip above. I’m real interested how yours will turn out.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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David Grimes

2071 posts in 1226 days


#8 posted 1098 days ago

@WayneC, you know that first plane had to work out of the box to see if it “moved” me or not. Wasn’t it you that recommended the little Indian Anant Kamal box plane ? Well, it did work great and I have the sickness. Prognosis? I will immediately go into remission as soon as I get a 4 1/2 and a #1. 5 1/2 on the way. Thanks for your part in that ;=)

French polish sounds like a lot of work, even on a knob and tote. I’m game, possibly, but any tips from a pro ?

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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David Grimes

2071 posts in 1226 days


#9 posted 1098 days ago

@CharlieM1958, I swear I answered your question earlier today but I guess the post didn’t take.

I hand sanded it. I used 2” x 5” sheets. Normal way on flats and everything else I could get to first, but for the tight curves I formed the paper loosely in my left hand and used my right hand to turn randomly and back/forth so as not to leave lines. It went pretty good. The fines looked like cinnamon.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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David Grimes

2071 posts in 1226 days


#10 posted 1098 days ago

Project Update: I left the parts in overnight, then removed them, rinsed and towel dried, then blew them off with 100 psi at 12”. They are okay ! ;=)

The Evapo-Rust does work really well. No complaints there at all. I wish it had taken away ALL the Japanning on this particular restore, but it may be well that it doesn’t on later restores.

I saw a little rust in the female threaded holes on the base and on the frog, so I placed those two parts back in the Evapo-Rust for another overnight.

That’s where it stands.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View philip marcou's profile

philip marcou

262 posts in 1183 days


#11 posted 1098 days ago

David,
How loose are the threads in the sole for the handle and knob bolts? If these are in danger of stripping out there is a quick and permanent cure which I have used on many occasions …..
And how much lost motion (back lash ) is there between the “Y” lever cam and the Plane Iron Cap (aka chip breaker)?There is a quick cure for that as well….
And how much lost motion is there between the adjusting nut (adjuster wheel or knob) and “Y” lever lobes? There is a quick but more involved cure for that too….
However, despite much application of the magic cures , no Stanley, Record or any clone is going to be cured of the Lost Motion Sickness, due to the design weakness in this area-but one can eliminate a lot of it which means that you don’t spend a lot of time knob twiddling in order to adjust the cut.
Otherwise the beauty of these painted pimps is only skin deep, you know.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14498 posts in 1154 days


#12 posted 1098 days ago

I’ve got a gallon of evapo-rust on its way. I’ve got a #7 waiting to be dipped.

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1280 days


#13 posted 1098 days ago

Evaporust works. If there was any doubt, there isn’t anymore. I recently buffed my #8 capiron with a pad and steel polishing stick. I usually don’t do that but the result was pretty pleasant if you’re looking for a higher shine. I’m enjoying watching this one come together.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15627 posts in 2805 days


#14 posted 1098 days ago

David, that is the same way I have sanded them. I was hoping you had an easier way. LOL!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2372 posts in 1627 days


#15 posted 1098 days ago

Good looking plane going there !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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