Reputable Plane Restorers

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Forum topic by mak posted 10-15-2012 06:55 PM 897 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mak's profile


29 posts in 2075 days

10-15-2012 06:55 PM

I was recently given some old Stanley Planes (#4, #5, and two #7’s). I have three small children and a limited amount of “free time” so any time spent restoring these planes would take time away from woodworking. I am wondering if there are some people in this community that restore planes and how much I can expect to pay to have them restored. They are intact but definitely rusty.

9 replies so far

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2403 days

#1 posted 10-15-2012 07:24 PM

I know I can’t make a living doing restoration. Perhaps some of the pros here got a set up where they could do it cost effectively. My impression is that most guys here does if for the love of the hobby. If they expect to be paid what their normal day job is or former job, then more than likely, no one could afford their refurblished tools.

You can approximate the price by checking the the restoration sale price minus what that old tool would of cost at the flea market (near gloat status). You will have to paid shipping (both ways).

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View chrisstef's profile


17426 posts in 3032 days

#2 posted 10-15-2012 07:49 PM

Mak, PM sent. But i would honestly suggest that you tackle at least one of them yourself for the sole purpose of learning how a plane truly works. I know it opened up my eyes to how they worked after my first restore. Evaporust works wonders on the rust and $20 will certainly get you through all 3 planes. Another $30 in sandpaper will get your irons sharp. Besides that there isnt a while lot that goes into a refurb. Ive got a newborn so i can understand that your time is at a premium. I havent seen much of the shop since he was born but in due time friend, in due time.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2209 days

#3 posted 10-15-2012 07:53 PM

I think you’ll find that paying someone to restore the planes is probably not cost effective compared to the cost of just buying already restored planes. Stanley #4s and $5s in great condition run about $30-40 on eBay. A #7 is about $70-100.

On the other hand, the amount of work required on your part to get the planes you have usable is probably less than you think. A $10 bag of citric acid will make enough rust converter to last you several lifetimes. Strip one plane down, soak the rusty parts in an acid solution overnight, and scrub the black stuff off the next morning, and put them all in the sun to dry for an hour. Sharpen up the blade and straighten the chipbreaker against some sandpaper on a flat surface. Then reassemble everything with some grease on the threaded parts. With about 30 minutes total of work, you’ve now got a good user, without even bothering to lap the sole & sides, touching the totes and knobs, or worrying about the japaning.

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

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3384 days

#4 posted 10-15-2012 09:02 PM

I sent you a PM. The cost to restore these planes will depend radically on how bad off they are.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2403 days

#5 posted 10-15-2012 11:37 PM

Maybe it is just me, It takes me a lot more than 30 minutes of total effort to restore a plane to get it to become a user. Setting things up and clean up time will take me a total of 30 minutes : ). I guess it all depends how bad of a condition the plane is and how efficient with your restoration process.

Rust removal, Painting of the base, Painting of the frog, straighten out the lateral adjust, clean/polish the depth adj nut Knob & Tote repair & refinish, Cap & iron are always tough to clean. Don’t for get the brass nut and the threaded rod.

Hopefully, you have your tools and supplies all ready to go. You don’t have any broken or missing parts that needs to be replace. If you do, that could be a separate challenge all by itself.

I say you do the restoration yourself, you do it for the enjoyment of the hobby.

You might want to compare the restore cost quotes and compare it to the cost of the differential of selling yours and buy the restored equal (assuming you don’t have any attachment to the planes).

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2209 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 11:54 PM

What I meant was that, putting aside making it look pretty, getting a working plane doesn’t take much more than derusting, cleaning the grime, and sharpening. The actual work time in that is about 30 minutes total. A tarnished adjustment wheel works just the same as a polished one.

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

View mak's profile


29 posts in 2075 days

#7 posted 10-16-2012 01:42 AM

Looks like the two-way shipping by itself will add significant cost. Maybe hhhopks is onto something – maybe I should sell the planes I have and buy something restored. I don’t have any emotional attachment to them – they were found on a family owned property and no one is sure who they belonged to.

I have been practicing my hand cut dovetails and want to make my little girls a simple box for Christmas. For the size of the lumber I will be working with, a #5 would probably be sufficient to do any truing or smoothing I’ll need to do. I guess I could attempt to restore the #5 myself or sell a couple of the planes a buy a restored #5. I just want to be able to say that I finished the boxes with only hand tools.

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2624 days

#8 posted 10-16-2012 01:52 AM

I would say having them restored is not cost effective. I would see if you could either sell them here, or on ebay. Another option would be trade plus maybe a little cash. Shipping is the downer in almost all the options.

View JayT's profile


5675 posts in 2237 days

#9 posted 10-16-2012 02:28 AM

I would say offer them as a trade to someone if you don’t want to restore them yourself. There are probably several plane lovers that would be willing to take on a few projects and in return get you one or two restored and well tuned users. A lot would depend on what exactly you have. Any way you could post some pics?

Edit: You might even find that someone would be willing to restore your planes in return for keeping one. Since there are two #7’s, would you be willing to give one of them up in return for having the other three turned into good users? Again, that would likely depend on what you have (types, condition, etc.)

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

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