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Forum topic by PPBart posted 11-14-2018 03:46 PM 421 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PPBart

29 posts in 29 days


11-14-2018 03:46 PM

I’ve got an old Craftsman smooth plane that I want to refurbish as a gift for a friend’s son who is showing some interest in woodworking. The plane is complete and seems to be in relatively good condition, but it was painted blue(!) by some previous owner. It appears to me that either the japanning was totally removed before painting (unlikely, IMO), or the japanning was very much intact and just painted over. I don’t want to just repaint over the blue with black. It’s certainly not a collectible so I’m not worried about any damage I might do.

How would you go about removing the blue paint without removing the underlying japanning?

-- PPBart


12 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

7045 posts in 1337 days


#1 posted 11-14-2018 03:54 PM

Try wiping it down with some paint thinner or DNA depending on the type of paint used.

It seems to me that I recall seeing some vintages of Craftsman planes that were made with a blue finish. It’s also possible that, depending on the vintage and who made the plane, it never had a japanned finish to begin with. I believe a lot of later model planes used a baked enamel finish instead.

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

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JayT

5960 posts in 2409 days


#2 posted 11-14-2018 03:57 PM

Can you post pics?

I’ve never had any luck removing paint without affecting the japanning in a case where the whole plane was intentionally painted, if the blue is truly painted over and not original—there are planes out there that had a blue finish from the factory. I have one sitting in my office.

For a user, it would be easiest to just strip down to bare metal (I use aerosol paint stripper) and re-paint.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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Bill White

5123 posts in 4159 days


#3 posted 11-14-2018 04:25 PM

PPBart, just strip it and repaint. You’ll be WAY ahead in time.

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Don W

19007 posts in 2766 days


#4 posted 11-18-2018 12:08 PM

I agree with all statements made. So far, especially about a couple pictures would help us help.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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fuigb

521 posts in 3156 days


#5 posted 11-18-2018 12:24 PM

”...was painted blue…”

I’ve encountered yellow and even orange planes at flea markets and the like: obvious DIY spray paint jobs. I’m told that schools did this to identify their tools… maybe to make it obvious that a plane had been taken from a school? Wonder if that accounts for the blue in this case…

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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PPBart

29 posts in 29 days


#6 posted 11-18-2018 02:59 PM

Sorry, too late for pictures of the blue—it’s already stripped and soaking in the vinegar bath. The comment about schools painting tools seems plausible for this case, as the paint didn’t seem to be too carefully applied. And when I poured the stripper (Goof Off) on the blue paint came off readily to reveal the mostly-intact japanning (which the stripper seemed not to affect).

Like fuigb, I’ve seen various colored planes at sales, eBay, etc. I understand that Stanley/Bailey sold some blue models. What other manufacturers marketed planes in other than basic black?

-- PPBart

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PPBart

29 posts in 29 days


#7 posted 11-18-2018 06:49 PM

OK, I pulled the plane bits out of the rust remover and started cleaning. The first thing noticed was the blue is virtually totally gone. Stamped into the lower right side is “CRAFTSMAN 107-37034” (I understand the “107” indicates Millers Falls was the manufacturer). There is very little pitting on the sole or elsewhere; however, a small chunk is missing from the upper front right-side, and the iron is really bad – cutting edge heavily damaged, only about ¾” left to the weld line.

-- PPBart

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HokieKen

7045 posts in 1337 days


#8 posted 11-18-2018 08:25 PM

3/4” is a whole lotta sharpenings! That iron has a lot of life left. I’d grind the chips out, grind a new bevel, hone it and let it eat!

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

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Harryn

74 posts in 2786 days


#9 posted 11-20-2018 03:52 PM

I have not tried this, but I have heard it works. Boil it in water for 10 minutes, and then immediately dunk it in cold water. the paint should then come off easiley.

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corelz125

565 posts in 1174 days


#10 posted 11-20-2018 09:20 PM

I dont think I would heat a cast iron plane then cool it off that fast sounds like a way to crack it.

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PPBart

29 posts in 29 days


#11 posted 11-20-2018 09:31 PM


I have not tried this, but I have heard it works. Boil it in water for 10 minutes, and then immediately dunk it in cold water. the paint should then come off easiley.

- Harryn

LOL! No, don’t think I’ll try it either.

FWIW, the paint remover (Goof Off) totally stripped the paint but left the black—which I think is not japanning, but some sort of epoxy(?). I just read an ad for a Stanley plane that stated it is coated with “heavy-duty epoxy”. Wonder if any plane manufacturer today applies japanning?

-- PPBart

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Don W

19007 posts in 2766 days


#12 posted 11-20-2018 10:33 PM

Newer planes are painted. For instance, Millers Falls never used japanning.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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