Friday, January 4, 2008

Stanley 4 1/2 Rehab

Here's an overview of the process of putting an old plane back to work. My goal was not to recreate "as new" condition, just return it to good working order.

Here is the plane as "found":

The main functional issue was the broken tote. Asthetically, I believe this type 11 should have a low know in the front (I have heard that some type 11's did have the taller knob, but I prefer the low knobs...). It was also rather dirty/rusty.

First order of buisness: fix the broken tote. This involved: cutting and planing the broken end to create a flat surface for gluing on new wood, finding something similar to the rosewood of the original handle (I used some mystery, tropical, dull your chisel fast, wood that I had laying around), gluing the new wood to the tote, boring the counter-sunk bolt hole, shaping the new piece to match the tote, and finally finishing up with some shellac and oil/wax.

Cleaning up the body, frog, blade etc, was just a matter of elbow grease (on really tough jobs I use my electrolysis set-up...which I will hopefully post about at some point...). I also salvaged a low knob from a parts plane. Then just sharpened the blade, tested the shavings and it was cleared to join the rest of the type 11 herd.


  1. Beautiful planes. I too am collecting type 11's. Looking for the 4 1/2 now. I really like what you did with the handle. Have you replaced any of your irons and chipbreakers? I also agree with the low know. Much better in my opinion.

  2. Dwain - Thanks! I haven't needed to replace any irons or chipbreakers yet. What have you used?


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