Posts Tagged With: Stanley #5

Stanley #5 Restore – It’s a Wrap

The paint came.  Tape went on.  Paint went on.  Tape came off.  Parts went on.

I like it.  And it’s a far cry from the rusty mess I started with.  Restoring an old tool like this is really gratifying.  I haven’t made any cuts with it yet, the paint isn’t cured, and the finish on the handles isn’t completely dry.

And yes, I went with the original handles, stained and varnished.

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Stanley #5 Restore, Getting Closer

At this point I’m just about done with the “restoration” of the #5 Stanley.  I should get the recommended “semi-gloss black Ford engine paint” delivered tomorrow, all I need to do is paint the frog and body, and re-assemble it.

I picked up a replacement rosewood knob and tote from  At the same time I’ve been playing with the original handles.  After stripping the black paint I sanded them with 220, then soaked them overnight in a mix of danish oil and mahogany gel stain.  This is the result.  I’m in the process of applying a few thin coats of wiping varnish to build up some gloss, but they aren’t too bad.  They look better in person than in this picture.  The other knob and tote are the Rosewood replacements I got.

I lapped in the sole, of course.  The bottom looked flat when I checked it with a straightedge – I couldn’t see light anywhere – but it was pitted and ugly.  I started with 80 grit, then 180 and 220.  I may do a bit more before I paint it, but I think it’s more than OK.

Next I attacked the blade and chip breaker.

Remember the before picture?

I stripped the rust, painted the back of the blade with blue Dykem and scribed a 7″ arc.  I want this blade to be cambered for roughing in stock.  I have another blade and chip breaker from Ron Hock that I’ll also use in this plane.

Then off to the grinder.  I use a Burr-King belt grinder, here with a new 40 grit belt.  There is nothing like a Burr-King.  They aren’t cheap, but they are powerful, smooth and accurate.

I ground the edge until I got an even space around the line, then worked it down right to the line.  The tool rest is set at 90 degrees to the belt/platten for this step.  The blade never got past warm.  After I had the curve ground in I used a worn 220 slack belt (no platten) to put a shine on the edge.  I used the width of the shined edge and the width of the bevel in the next step where I grind in the bevel.

I set the tool rest to 25 degrees to grind in the bevel.  I made light passes, checked the the heat in the part after each pass and checked my progress.  I wanted to have an even bevel and to take the edge down just leaving a “shine” on the cutting edge, without any appreciable thickness and certainly no sharp edge.  This is just the rough grind.  Sorry about the focus.

Next, the back of the blade needed to be flattened.  Since the blade was pitted I started with 80 grit, then 180, 220, 400, 600 and 1,000 grits.  Before and after, you can see how nasty it was to start with. I had to free-hand sharpen the blade, but it wasn’t too bade.  This blade is for rougher work, to either follow a scrub plane or to use instead of a scrub plane.

I test fit the chip breaker to the iron, and there was a big gap.  I had to bend the chip breaker a little so the the edge would even touch the blade.  Then I lapped it with 220 until I hade an even shine across the edge.  That gave me a nice tight fit.

I think this is going to be a nice plane when I’m done.  If I had to pay myself for the labor to restore this plane I think I would have been miles ahead to just buy a new lie-nielsen.  Luckily I do this for fun and it’s been an enjoyable project.


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Restoring a Stanley #5

Well, actually “restoring” is the wrong verb.  This plane isn’t particularly collectible, and collectors might not approve of my approach.  Whatever.  My goal is to make it work right and look sharp.  No pun intended.

All of the parts were dirty and rusty.  Luckily I know how to fix that.  A few minutes in the bead blast cabinet and everything was clean and rust-free.  I started with the clamp-thingie, most of the chrome was rusted off, and I tried to make sure I blasted off any remaining flecks.

First, with the, ahhh, patina…

Then bead blasted.  I use 220 grit beads at about 120psi.  Better.  You can see where the rust has eaten away the surface.

Then I sanded it with 220 and 320 grit.  I am shooting for a satin or brushed finish.  On the lever cap. My hands are OK as-is.  I’ll probably work this a bit more and see if I can get rid of more pits.  Then I’d like to have it nickel plated, there is a shop near work that does electroless nickel plating.  Maybe paint in the background around the lettering?

I also blasted the plane body, frog, blade and chip breaker.  Clean is good.  The “japaning”, which apparently is an asphalt derivative, took a little extra work to remove.  It stuck in a few recessed spots, so I scraped it with a screwdriver and blasted it again.  Now I can start improving things.

I watched Rob Cosman’s “Great Handplane Revival” and picked up a couple of tricks.  First I wanted to make sure the face of the frog that supports the blade was absolutely flat.  In the DVD Rob removed the lateral and depth adjusters.  I don’t think that’s necessary.  I put some sandpaper on a piece of marble, right at the edge.  By sliding it side-to-side while rotating it I was able to sand the entire surface.  Just hang the protuberances from the adjusters over the edge.  You don’t have to do a lot, just sand it enough to get an even scratch pattern on the surface.

Here I’m flattening the surface for the blade.  The two red arrows show the surfaces that will need to be lapped in the next step.  I’m using 80 grit for this step.

Next lap the two frog attachment surfaces.  Again, don’t go crazy, just get to an even scratch pattern. Just slide it side-to-side with moderate pressure.

Finally, attach some sandpaper to the frog attachment points. Then seat the frog into the plane body and rub it back and forth.  This ensures that the attachment points in the plane bed are a mate to the frog.

After three sets of sandpaper (I used 180 for this step) I was satisfied with the seating area in the plane bed.  I’m ready to lap the sole and sides next, but that is for another day.

I also striped the paint off the knob and tote.  As expected, the wood is nothing special.  I’ll sand them, stain them and see how they look.  I expect I’ll be scrounging some nicer bits to replace these.




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Preview of Coming Distractions

I have a new-ish Stanley #5.  Yep, plastic tote, plastic front knob, plastic depth adjuster.  No adjuster on the frog, just loosen the screws and slide it around.  The blade vibrates like a tuning fork, and it doesn’t even begin to hold an adjustment.  But it looks like a plane.

So I decided to upgrade. Seriously.  $14.50 on ebay.  With shipping.

I don’t know the vintage on this plane, but it’s certainly not a “collectable” vintage.  The knob and tote are painted black over wood, and I believe that is the original finish.  I removed some of the finish from the knob, and it’s certainly not rosewood hiding under there.  But it has a metal blade adjuster and a frog adjuster.  I think it will make a fine upgrade, especially after some clean up, a fresh Ron Hock blade and perhaps a little hot rodding.

I pulled most of it apart, which took perhaps 45 seconds.  The last thing I disassembled with an eye toward improving was an Ironhead Sportster.  That took longer.

So, what do we have?  A lot of dirt and rust.  But at this point all the parts are accounted for and nothing seem broken.  The lateral adjuster is tight.  The wood is solid — if nothing else I can refinish that.

The blade might need to be resharpened…

But I have a replacement Hock iron already, so I’m good there.

I checked the sole with a straightedge and it needs a little flattening, but it’s straighter then the new #5 was out of the box.  If anyone is just starting out and wants the late model #5 I’ll make you a, uhm, a Sweethart deal.

Next steps are to clean up the parts, re-assemble it and lap in the sole and sides.  Then I’ll pull it apart for detailing and try to avoid getting carried away.

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