Hand plane refurb

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Forum topic by ShawnH posted 10-20-2008 02:36 PM 950 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ShawnH's profile


90 posts in 4074 days

10-20-2008 02:36 PM

I just picked up 2 older hand planes at an antique store over the weekend. All the parts are there and they seem to work ok. They need to be cleaned up and have some rust removed. What is the best way to clean them? I bought them to use even though they are antique, so I don’t care if I ruin the value by cleaning them.


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

5 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3711 days

#1 posted 10-20-2008 03:18 PM

Hello Shawn,

I just did a quick search on ‘hand plane restoration’ here on the site using the search section at the top of the page and got a whole lot of posts on the topic. You may want to start there and then if you still have questions post those.


-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3760 days

#2 posted 10-20-2008 03:23 PM


I have also picked up some handplanes at antique stores, Stanley-Baileys #3, 4, and 6. First, check the flatness of the sole with a straight edge. If it is not within about .003 inches, or has become rough, you will need to flatten and smooth it. I take a series of 3M wet-dry abrasive papers, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, and 1200 and attach them to thick plates of glass using 3M77 spray adhesive. Raise the iron up above the slot and tighten it. Then, depending on the condition of the surface, start with 220 or 320, wetting the paper with a rag or sponge, and work your way up through the finer grits until you are satisfied with the results.

You can then use the same selection of grits to first flatten the back of the plane iron, about 1 inch up from the edge is sufficient. Then, with a honing guide (I use the Veritas MKII) you can sharpen the iron, starting with the coarser grits and working up to 1200. The final touch is to carefully remove the burr by putting the blade flat on it’s back on the 1200 paper and carefully pulling the blade backward. It is slso a good idea to clean up and sharpen the edge of the chip breaker where it contacts the back of the iron. be careful of the angle. The edge of the chip breaker must firmly touch the back of the iron without leaving even the slightest gaps (check by holding it up to the light). When you re-assemble the chipbreaker to the iron place it 1/16 inch or closer, back from the edge.

This system is simple and it works. However, you will eventually want to invest in a good set of stones,. I prefer waterstones.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4063 days

#3 posted 10-20-2008 03:23 PM

There are tons of info on this subject from the dawn (or at least the early morning) of Lumberjocks.
WayneC and David forged a path that I and a number of jocks have followed (Dadoo come to mind).

There is also a product called Evapo-rust that begs a trial. O’Reilly Autoparts and Lee Valley have this product.

Have fun. There’s a good new tool hiding under that rust. Buried in these blogs are links to some after-market chipbreaker and blade replacement. Craftsman Studio is an excellent source. Also for a hoot and a ton of info, visit Patrick Leach’s fabled Blood and Gore pages.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View ShawnH's profile


90 posts in 4074 days

#4 posted 10-20-2008 03:50 PM

Thanks for the replies, I will try those things and also search the site.(should have thought of that before)

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

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 3553 days

#5 posted 10-21-2008 08:08 AM

I found a fast way to flatten the sole of the plane. Get a 6” by 48” sanding belt, cut it in half and use doublestick tape to tape it on top of your tablesaw.
I tried the glass method with a 12”x12” piece of glass but it took a really long time. With the sanding belt, since you have a long strip, it is a lot easier (provided your tablesaw is flat)

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