Rehabbing an old plane

Here’s the steps I took rehabbing an old plane.

This was one I picked up to upgrade the tools in my possession. I was pretty tired of the Stanley “Handyman” plane that I had bought before, presuming it was a quality product. Turns out, it could not get a fine enough shaving but was OK for rough work, so it will be retired to doing general knock-about work.

So, I did a bit of research on old planes and found that the quality went south after the 2nd world war and figured the one that would suit my purposes would be a type 11 or 12, according to the site.

I picked up a type 12 No. 4 plane on the auction site that needed some TLC. I had fixed up a couple of tools by this time, so I was OK with buying one that needed fixing up.

I didn’t take a “before” picture, but I did remember to take this photo of the plane dissembled.


I cleaned the grunge off the brass wheel and the threaded knurls that hold the handles on. After that I sanded them and gave them a coat of Brasso to shine them up.


Next I went to the handle. The top horn had been broken off. To remedy this, I cut the handle square and then planed it flat. Then I cut up a piece of Brazilian Cherry to scab onto it. This I also planed flat on one face.


I mated the two flat faces with a bead of glue and stuck the lot in the vice for the night.


While that was setting up I went to work on the body of the plane. Usually when fixing up a rusty tool I’ll dump it in a vat of Evaporust or just sand the rust off. This time I tried something else: sandblasting. Collector nerds be damned; I sandblasted off rust and loose paint and gave the plane body a couple of coats of brushed-on Rustoleum gloss black paint.


When the glue set up on the handle, I took it out of the vise. I gave it a few goes at trying to pull it apart, but it held up OK. I drew the rough shape on the handle.


So, on to shaping. I used a back saw to cut the rough shape out.


Then, chiseled out the shape.


Gave it a going over with a rasp.


Then filed and sanded it smooth. I gave the front knob a sanding too.


I gave the handle a bit of a dark stain. Not dark enough to match, evidently, but I like the way it looks. I gave the handle and knob a couple of coats of shellac.


Next up, I drilled out the handle for the rod that attaches the handle to the body. Any drill bit I had was too short, so I used an auger bit. It mangled up the top a bit, but I fixed it up by sanding it out.


Here’s a shot of the main parts put back together.


I put the blade and lever cap into the plane, and retracted the blade. I then set went to flatten the sole. First step was mark lines on the base with a Sharpie and set up a sheet of 80 grit sandpaper on a sheet of glass for sanding.

I ran the plane along the paper until the lines started to wear away.


I stopped when the lines disappeared, which indicated that the base was flat.


Here’s the couple of shots of the plane all finished up. I didn’t go to town shining it too much, just enough to get it working. It is now the go-to for finishing.

planerestore17 planerestore18


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s