Restoring Stanley Hand Plane: mouth-blade question

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Forum topic by Tennwood posted 08-16-2012 07:02 PM 5729 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3209 days

08-16-2012 07:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane handplane stanley restore restoring

I am restoring a number 6 Stanley plane that belonged to my father and grandfather and have an issue with the mouth opening. I believe it is a turn of the century plane due to the patent stamp (Mar-25-02 and Aug-19-02). I replaced the original blade and chip breaker with a Hock blade and chip breaker. The new blades are thicker than the original and the outside edges are touching the front of the mouth. The blade is sticking out from the bottom, but touches against the corner. I have included some pictures but I know it is hard to see. My question is – what is the best way to adjust/fix the issue? Should I file the opening larger at the corners? All the way across? How much? You can kind of see in the picture that the front opening is kind of curved concave (Probably from wear). Should this be a straight edge opening?

As a side note, with the new sharp blade and the plane cleaned up, it does cut great with no chatter, even with the mouth opening issue. It just won’t let the shavings though at the edges.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

7 replies so far

View Mosquito's profile


9355 posts in 2320 days

#1 posted 08-16-2012 07:07 PM

Well, first thing to try would be to adjust the frog back if you can, but from the picture of the under-side, I’m not sure if you’d be able to or not, since it looks like the blade is almost already touching the back of the mouth.

As far as the mouth goes; Yes, it should be straight. Filing it so that it is straight would be good either way, but not as important if it’s not going to be a smoothing plane. I haven’t heard of it being required to file the mouth for a Hock, but I know with some of the IBC blades people need to, so it’s not outside the possibility. If you can’t adjust the frog back any, then I’d say go ahead and file the leading edge of the mouth so it is straight across, shouldn’t need anything more than that, and you should be good to go. Looks like a fine #6 you have there.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View CplSteel's profile


142 posts in 2192 days

#2 posted 08-16-2012 07:30 PM

+1 to Move the frog back.
Also, on a six you probably want some camber on that blade, it is hard to tell on the photos, but it looks like you have some, just increase it a bit more such that 1/32” on each edge is not even protruding through the mouth. The plane would probably work just fine.

Is your blade in bevel down? Hard to tell from the picture but that can fix your problem right there.
Lastly, looking at the 3rd photo, it seems like you have clearance from the blade but not the chipbreaker. Just back the chipbreaker off a bit, it does not need to be right on the edge of the blade. 1/8” or a 1/4” away from the end will still work just fine.

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2211 days

#3 posted 08-16-2012 08:25 PM

I had to slightly open up the mouth of my Stanley No. 7 to put in a Hock blade. As Mosquito and CplSteel have said, first try moving the frog all the way back to see if that helps. If you need to file, use a small flat file and a relatively light touch; cast iron files pretty easily. Make sure you’ll leave enough of an opening for the shavings to get through.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 2590 days

#4 posted 08-16-2012 09:23 PM

Hock blades can be a tight fit with some of the vintage Stanleys. The mouth on my #6 is very snug with a Hock blade and the frog fully back – so much so that it won’t cut. Filing the mouth to fit the blade is sometimes the only solution. Here’s a good video from Rob Cosman on opening up the mouth with a file:

View waho6o9's profile


8208 posts in 2604 days

#5 posted 08-16-2012 10:02 PM

Thanks Pierce85, that was a great video.

View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3209 days

#6 posted 08-17-2012 12:02 AM

Thanks for all the input and help.

When I have the frog all the way back I still have the problem with the blade hitting the leading edge, especially in the one corner. Also, when I put the frog all the way back, I have problems getting the blade to project far enough. So, it looks like I go to the file next.

Pierce85 – Thank you for the video, that will be very helpful for opening up the mouth.

CplSteel – The blade and chip breaker are set up correctly. I have about 1/8 inch space to the end. So that shouldn’t a problem. I haven’t put the camber on the blade yet. I wanted to get the plane set up and made sure it worked.

As a side note, Chris Schwarz has articles in the on-line blog for Popular Woodworking magazine about keeping the blade-chip breaker space very small. Something the Japanese do. He stated he may have to update his book now.

Thanks again.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#7 posted 08-17-2012 12:10 AM

This pretty common when putting Hock blades in Stanley planes. First adjust the frog all the way back. If you still need clearance then you should file the opening, make sure that you file only the forward portion of the opening. Use a square and mark w/ an ultra fine point sharpie marker a line no more than 1/32” in front of the present opening. File to the line and then give it a try. If that is not enough then go another 1/32”.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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