Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 126

Thread: First and last Stanley handplane restoration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    523

    First and last Stanley handplane restoration

    I'm almost finished with my first handplane restoration, a Stanley #5. It will be my first and only such attempt because of not only the work involved but the experience has me convinced the time and effort does not offset the savings in buying new. I'm also disappointed in myself for not checking the base of the plane before beginning the project. It ended up having a crown in the middle that is so far difficult to remove. So, my next purchase will be NEW. What quality can I expect from a Lie Nielsen? I plan to purchase a 5 1/2. Will the base be perfectly flat and sides perfectly square to the base?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dublin, CA
    Posts
    3,020
    Yes, new LV or LN planes have very well-machined bases and sides. There are always machining tolerances of course, but those planes are never off by more than a mil or so.

    With that said, I also think that the "cult of flat" is a bit overdone. People did excellent work with those old Stanleys after all.

  3. #3
    I've rehabbed dozens of vintage hand planes but have drastically slowed down in doing so. That's because I like the LN and LV products. They work right out of the box. Expensive, YES; but they are worth the cost IMO. OTOH, rehabbing has taught me so many needed skills in trouble shooting. Once that new plane is taken apart, you must go through the same steps as using a vintage plane. So, learning the ropes via rehabbing older stuff is still good.

    Like another thread poster, if I've only got a few hours, giving all that to fixing something isn't as fun as working the wood.

  4. #4
    Steve,

    You are a smart dude, it usually take a half dozen or more re-habs to figure the secret out .

    The old Stanley planes work well and I will usually pick up one of the Stanley's before either of the equivalent LN or LV (my woodies are a different story) but unless you can find one that is basically ready to go with a good cutter and chip breaker it will end up costing only a little less than a new one and will be a lot of work....At my time of life time is more precious than money and I'd rather spend my time working wood vs. cleaning up rust.

    ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    15,952
    I wish I had one of those jobs that would pay me enough to purchase a new LN or LV plane for a few hours work when ever I felt up to it.

    In the case of my $10 #5 it would have had to be over $300 an hour to pay off. About the same with the #5 that cost me ~$17.

    My $21.25 #7 took a few hours, but it was also documented (From Junker to Jointer) and painted.

    Like Archie I have done a lot of rehabs but haven't done any lately. There is a #8 sitting in a corner just waiting for some TLC to get back to work. Of course the #8 sitting on the shelf is working just fine.

    A few of my old "rehabs" worked fine out of the box after a sharpening. Just the same, many of them were taken apart and cleaned.

    Patrick said,
    I also think that the "cult of flat" is a bit overdone.
    If you want to make sub-thousandths shavings, then flat is important. If you want to remove saw marks and make a piece of wood flat, then flatness isn't so important.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    706
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    I'm almost finished with my first handplane restoration, a Stanley #5. It will be my first and only such attempt because of not only the work involved but the experience has me convinced the time and effort does not offset the savings in buying new. I'm also disappointed in myself for not checking the base of the plane before beginning the project. It ended up having a crown in the middle that is so far difficult to remove. So, my next purchase will be NEW. What quality can I expect from a Lie Nielsen? I plan to purchase a 5 1/2. Will the base be perfectly flat and sides perfectly square to the base?
    I'm with you on this one Steve. I went thru enough rust buckets to suit me. Then I went to just finding ones that I could clean up with mineral spirits and 600 w/d a little oil and a sharpening. Then I finally had money enough to spare to buy new and never looked back. I all but given away the old Stanley herd. Hardly get what's left out anymore.
    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sebastopol, California
    Posts
    2,017
    Check the sole for flat; look the plane over for cracks. If both are good, then clean off the rust (I use a white vinegar soak, 24 hours; brush off the rust; wash off the vinegar; soak it in WD-40 to "absorb" the water). Wax and reassemble. Total time to "restore" is probably two hours. Even when I was doing consulting work at an obscene income level, I didn't make that hourly wage.

    This is not to say, "don't buy LV/LN." Life is tradeoffs. But a plane will not plane any better with fresh japanning on it than without; the sole doesn't have to be so flat it sticks when you put it on a surface plate; the tote and knob don't need refinishing unless the existing finish is ruined. Quick can work fine.

  8. #8
    Steve, you are WRONG!


    To each their own, I'd guess. Personally I like diddling with antique tools, so it is not a waste of time for me. And the old Stanleys just ooze charisma, something new planes are sorely lacking.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    15,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Kees Heiden View Post
    Steve, you are WRONG!


    To each their own, I'd guess. Personally I like diddling with antique tools, so it is not a waste of time for me. And the old Stanleys just ooze charisma, something new planes are sorely lacking.
    Ok, means not wrong so much as "To each their own... "

    Sometimes just to have a little time in the shop rust is cleaned off of some acquisition in the pile of rusty things.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
    Until I bought my first LN hand plane, I didn't know how well I had fettled some of my vintage Sargents, Millers Falls, Union, Ohio, and Stanley planes. IMO, purchasing a LN or LV is like paying tuition for a class. I get the primo plane, all set up and see the desired results; and this, then, motivates me to reassess what's needed on the vintage planes. Like Jim Koepke, I've got some vintage planes that perform beautifully--and wouldn't have know it if I hadn't bought a representative LN/LV.

    As I have been able to pick up a few LV and LN planes, my desire for fettling has dwindled. Rehabbing planes has given me confidence to keep improving the performance; but, I'd rather spend those two hours gaining ground on the projects for wife and daughters rather than fiddling with the tools. As a hobby, I derive pleasure from both, so I guess that I'm happy either way...just behind on some projects.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sioux City, IA
    Posts
    715
    Blog Entries
    3
    Fortunately, I was able to purchase a couple of LV planes and a couple LN. The bench planes are gone and went full circle back to the old Stanley's. The reason isn't that I think they are better quality, and did take some work to flatten. You might assume that I like fixing them up which is wrong - it was a pain. The main reason was that actually didn't like the 1/8 thick irons. With a Stanley iron, I can sharpen it (Sellers method) in two minutes including stropping. When I have to grind, that is done is less than 5. I simply prefer the thinner iron for that reason and find them every bit as sharp.

  12. #12
    About the third time one of your students sends a well-loved and used 603 to the concrete, you'll realize that ductile iron is wonderful stuff, and if you do manage to break a LN, Tom is an email away. I sold off or put my old stuff away and went to planes that can take a trip off the bench in stride (wood works as well). That I can put a LN or a LV in service in about 10 minutes is icing on the cake.

    I really do need a wood floor in the shop...but not happening anytime soon with a kid in college.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Stock View Post
    ...I really do need a wood floor in the shop...
    I use the rubber mats from HF over the concrete floor near my work centers.
    Anything is possible when you don't know what you're doing.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dublin, CA
    Posts
    3,020
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    You are a smart dude, it usually take a half dozen or more re-habs to figure the secret out .

    The old Stanley planes work well and I will usually pick up one of the Stanley's before either of the equivalent LN or LV (my woodies are a different story) but unless you can find one that is basically ready to go with a good cutter and chip breaker it will end up costing only a little less than a new one and will be a lot of work....At my time of life time is more precious than money and I'd rather spend my time working wood vs. cleaning up rust.
    It depends on how much each individual thinks their time is worth. As anybody who reads this forum knows, I'm willing to shell out $$$ to avoid (what I consider to be) excessive tool setup work. Most of my planes are modern as a consequence.

    There are people who have very different time/money tradeoffs, and there are also people (like Jim) for whom tool setup work is an enjoyable part of the journey.

    I acquired a vintage #20 last week [*] which was in solid "user" condition, but even so getting it cleaned up and the iron to what I consider OK condition took hours. I would have gone for a modern compass plane in a heartbeat if such a thing existed, but that's just me and my preferences.

    [*] From Patrick Leach aka Supertool - I wanted a known quantity that had been looked over by somebody who knows what they're doing, as opposed to taking a flyer on Ebay or spending a bunch of time rust-hunting.

  15. #15
    Even with air cleaners and a good Oneida system, a daily wet sweep is still needed for dust control...so mats end up being moved around as needed. We have them by all four benches, the buffer, and most of the machines, but despondent planes still manage to launch themselves on trajectories guaranteed to earn a place on the disabled list. Oddly enough, when students bring their own tools, they seem to stay on the bench with a bit more regularity...
    Last edited by Todd Stock; 07-10-2017 at 6:42 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •