Refurbing a plane. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 11-05-2017, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Refurbing a plane.

Hey all, my old man gave me a plane he had neglected, found, handed down to him whatever the case..
I started trying to get it back up to snuff and spent a solid day to get it to where I have it now but it just doesn't get as good as I'd like. The blade still has a knick in it and on the wet stones it started to get quite old trying to remove it..
I'm pretty new to all the wet stone sharpening and this was my first attempt at it after watching tons of YouTube.. And always just been a power tool guy but as I start moving into more detail stuff as opposed to rough carpentry I'd really like to learn the proper maintenance of this stuff.
Any suggestions to speed up process.
Mostly I just let everything soak in wd40 and used a wet dry sand paper on the body at this point.

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post #2 of 19 Old 11-05-2017, 09:46 PM
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That looks like a block plane. Low angle plus bevel looking up, usually used for end grain.

When you say knick do you refer to the blade edge not being square? If you'd want to remove that most people would grind the bevel with a bench grinder to restore it to square. That being said there's actually nothing wrong with your edge not being perfectly straight on the edges, you just won't get as wide as a cut your blade could give, but it was probably done on purpose (possibly by your dad?). Rounded edges won't bite into the wood as a square edge would, just that this one is pretty extended. I don't have personal experience on such a profile, but I doubt it would be a thing to worry about. Just sharpen it off, use it on some end grain and see for yourself!

I would spend a good time to make sure the back is dead flat, I'm doing some restoration of planes at the moment and some of them have awfully hollow spots on the back up to the edge because the people who used them couldn't care less. But then on the other hand that might wear down your stones really fast. I only have used sanding paper for this task up until recently when I bought diamond stones because I do own a few different planes now.

Apart from all the nice sharpening videos on YouTube Paul Sellers wrote a nice blog article about sharpening stones wearing and forming and how that is just completely fine as long as it's from your own sharpening because of your natural motion and use of the stone. Apparently you're using a guide, I'd suggest you experience with free hand honing/sharpening. If you're not up to that you'll probably need to lap your stones every now and then, or even before/after every use. There's lapping stones you can buy or some people say you can use sanding paper with glass reversed on your stone (just like the poor mans sharpening, just reversed).

Hope that helps some. Greetings!

"Earth is paradise, which nobody cares for" - From a Mexican folklore song

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post #3 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 05:44 AM
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Refurb a hand plane, 3 steps

First step;
Use a rust removal chemical,like Evaporust, Harbor Freight, O Reilly's etc. It really works. Remove all loose parts first and let it soak 12 -24 hrs this includes the blade and all screws. Keep the wood separate and remove the paint with paint remover. Let them dry and you'll be ready to reassemble shortly ...

Second step. Flattening the body, sides and plane iron. You can use wet/dry auto sanding paper by 3M starting with 100 grit or 80 moving towards finer 320 to 400, or 600. Use sticky adhesive to adhere the 3M to glass plate needed for flatness and start right in, keeping the surfaces wet with WD 40 or paint thinner to flush off the particles.
Myself, I use a 6' X 48" belt sander with 150 to 320 grit.... makes quick work of it.

Third step: Sharpen the plane blade/iron a jig to get the correct bevel angle of 25 degrees to 30 degrees. Myself, I use a 6" X 48" belt sander for all my rough sharpening, finishing off with either the 3 M paper in 600 or a diamond hone in 400 grit or 600 grit. You can get all fancy and go to water stones and 6000 grits, but I've never found the difference in performance to be significant. There are tricks and tips you can use at the very final sharpening to make a micro bevel. This will keep an edge longer since the blade has more support right at the edge. https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...on+belt+sander

Some of the die hard hand tool guys will only use hand tools to work the material or sharpen the tools. Myself I just use what works for me. The Zen of the sharpening process is still "connecting" with me like the spinning circle on this computer ....

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome.. Looks like I'll have a few busy nights getting it going.. Thanks for all the details I will post some more pictures as I get it figured out and fixed up.

As for free handing the sharpening I've tried it with my pocket knives and pretty sure I messed things up more than I helped.. I can't maintain a constant angle to save my life.

Wonder if it is time to buy a grinding wheel.. I've been putting it off for a while now but maybe I need to to redefine the cutting edge.

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post #5 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 10:17 AM
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don't go off and buy a grinder

First off, there are 3 speeds of grinders or shapeners... fast, slower, and quite slow. Fast is too fast (3600 rpm) Slow is better (1800 rpms) and quite slow is for the final edge.

Myself, I use the belt grinder for several reasons. One, you can get a flat edge or surface easier than on a round wheel ... DUH?
Second you can get a wide variety of belt grits cheaper and easier than with wheels. Watch the Forged in Fire show on History Channel, no one uses a grinding wheel. It also makes for a cooler grind since there is so much more area exposed on the belt. My belt sander is almost exclusively used for "grinding" .... HUH?

Secondly, you will need to learn to "read the steel" in two different ways. Grinding makes sparks and leaves a red or brown edge if you take off too much and that reduces the temper, none of which are good. I mark my surfaces with black Sharpie to tell me where I've been. Just a "touch" on the belt will leave a shiny mark on the Sharpie covered surface. You will learn what angle to hold to get a consistent angle on your edge. You may need a fixture because it's a sloped learning curve. It ain't sumthin you just "get" right off the bat, unless you have metellalurgical genes and good hand eye co-ordination.

You Tube will give you the good and the bad, so look for high numbers of "likes" and well known names.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #6 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Odd you mention the show I was watching the last couple weeks that didn't even click to me. So anyone have experience with the harbor freight ones? Normally I avoid power tools there but trying to figure out how to mess up a motor with a sanding belt attached especially since most likely I will make one for different tool bevels (got a number of turning tools that could use a new edge.

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post #7 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 11:03 AM
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From your photo, I don't see any nicks in the blade, but it appears that the blade may be slightly cambered. The blade angles back slightly towards the sides to get smoother cuts. It helps prevent gouges from the corners of the blade. Veritas makes a special cambered honing guide that wobbles from side to side to help you get that cambered blade for your hand plane (Note: I do not own one, yet):

http://www.veritastools.com/Products/Page.aspx?p=222

A cambered blade like that is used to get the smoothest wood surface. With practice, you can get a very polished surface on your wood.

Be very careful of dry, motorized sharpening, such as typical shop grinding wheels. They can put a new bevel on your blades in a heartbeat, but the problem is that they can overheat your blades in less than a heartbeat. If you overheat your blade, you damage it by softening the steel so that it can't hold an edge. You can't overheat your blade if you sharpen by hand, or if you use a specially designed wet or "heat sink" sharpening system.

Honing a new bevel on your blades takes time and patience, especially if you plan to do it by hand. Having a very very course stone to start makes a big difference, but you also need good collection of successively finer stones. I suspect that your water stones are too fine for putting a new bevel on your blade. Yeah, it would work, but it would take so much time that you lose patience (and wear out your water stone quickly!). I suggest that you start with a courser (diamond?) stone and working your way up to the finer water stones may be the answer.

I got a very nice set of chisels from a retired woodworker, but they needed restoration. I spent several hours apiece restoring those chisels, starting with flattening the backs and putting on fresh new bevels. I started with a extra course diamond stone and worked my way through course, fine, and extra fine diamond stones, before switching to the 1000 and 6000 grit water stones.

I use an inexpensive honing guide, which keeps the blade at a set angle. My secret is to be extra patient when setting the angle. (I made a simple wood jig that sets bevel angles, but I found that it isn't precise enough.) Instead, I use a flat piece of glass. I set the blade in the honing guide with the bevel against the glass. Next, I test the angle by moving the blade across the surface of the glass with the bevel flat, watching the honing guide wheel as it touches the edge of the glass. If the wheel bumps into the glass edge or floats above the glass surface, then adjust the honing guide until it is a perfect fit, with the wheel just barely kissing the surface of the glass. Then you know that you matched the bevel angle with the honing guide.

Once you get the back flat and the bevel set, you can use your newly sharpened tool, but it will need to be resharpened from time to time. You can restore the edge with the finest stones. If you maintain your blades, you will not need to start from scratch again with the course stones.

@woodnthings gives an excellent description of how to restore and sharpen a hand plane. There are lots more procedures and videos on the internet, too.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 11:30 AM
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The more I read about sharpening/honing the more I appreciate every comment that Paul Sellers makes about it: It should be a job of seconds, not a religion. Check out
like mankind did for millennia. No guides, no big science there. Everybody will tell you that an electrical grinder has the potential to be too fast, so people will generally agree that slower is better when it comes to grinding (except for working raw steel fast). So why buy an expensive motor that has lots of horse power when you just use it to turn the rpm down to a minimum? Just put that wheel on a spindle and turn it. In the end that's what any power tool essentially is anyways.
I feel that buying more tools always turns out to generate the need to actually buy another tool for that tool. So you end up tooling tools instead of products. A good old wooden stand with a spindle and pedal for a big grinding wheel is definitely going to be my personal next project.
I totally see the advantage of having a belt sander for instance, but then again, I think I can do without one. If any one day there's nice plans for DIY belt sanders (of course!)

It made me smile. Men have used manual turned axles for sooo many centuries and now we're completely falsely biased against it.

"Earth is paradise, which nobody cares for" - From a Mexican folklore song

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post #9 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
From your photo, I don't see any nicks in the blade, but it appears that the blade may be slightly cambered. The blade angles back slightly towards the sides to get smoother cuts. It helps prevent gouges from the corners of the blade. Veritas makes a special cambered honing guide that wobbles from side to side to help you get that cambered blade for your hand plane (Note: I do not own one, yet):

http://www.veritastools.com/Products/Page.aspx?p=222

A cambered blade like that is used to get the smoothest wood surface. With practice, you can get a very polished surface on your wood.

Be very careful of dry, motorized sharpening, such as typical shop grinding wheels. They can put a new bevel on your blades in a heartbeat, but the problem is that they can overheat your blades in less than a heartbeat. If you overheat your blade, you damage it by softening the steel so that it can't hold an edge. You can't overheat your blade if you sharpen by hand, or if you use a specially designed wet or "heat sink" sharpening system.

Honing a new bevel on your blades takes time and patience, especially if you plan to do it by hand. Having a very very course stone to start makes a big difference, but you also need good collection of successively finer stones. I suspect that your water stones are too fine for putting a new bevel on your blade. Yeah, it would work, but it would take so much time that you lose patience (and wear out your water stone quickly!). I suggest that you start with a courser (diamond?) stone and working your way up to the finer water stones may be the answer.

I got a very nice set of chisels from a retired woodworker, but they needed restoration. I spent several hours apiece restoring those chisels, starting with flattening the backs and putting on fresh new bevels. I started with a extra course diamond stone and worked my way through course, fine, and extra fine diamond stones, before switching to the 1000 and 6000 grit water stones.

I use an inexpensive honing guide, which keeps the blade at a set angle. My secret is to be extra patient when setting the angle. (I made a simple wood jig that sets bevel angles, but I found that it isn't precise enough.) Instead, I use a flat piece of glass. I set the blade in the honing guide with the bevel against the glass. Next, I test the angle by moving the blade across the surface of the glass with the bevel flat, watching the honing guide wheel as it touches the edge of the glass. If the wheel bumps into the glass edge or floats above the glass surface, then adjust the honing guide until it is a perfect fit, with the wheel just barely kissing the surface of the glass. Then you know that you matched the bevel angle with the honing guide.

Once you get the back flat and the bevel set, you can use your newly sharpened tool, but it will need to be resharpened from time to time. You can restore the edge with the finest stones. If you maintain your blades, you will not need to start from scratch again with the course stones.

@woodnthings gives an excellent description of how to restore and sharpen a hand plane. There are lots more procedures and videos on the internet, too.
Hmm so much to process.. So I finally got into garage to take a closer shot of the blade easier to see knicks and damage. Also I have the nice guide with camber set I went ahead and got highest rated when I first decided to tackle the project.. I'll take the night to process all the stuff and for now I will start with buying a rust remover and soaking for a day.. Then I'll need to decide sit and keep working on the stones or not. I happen to have a nice piece of glass laying around I'll use to flatten the stones and use to resurface the sole.

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-06-2017, 11:55 AM
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That edge is indeed quite damaged. The ones I'm working on look similar. That requires quite some patience on stones. You can do it!

Just a quick tip: I have used plain white vinegar for a long time now to remove rust from severely weathered steel such as tools, big bolts, blades, irons and the like. It works and it works well!

"Earth is paradise, which nobody cares for" - From a Mexican folklore song

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post #11 of 19 Old 11-07-2017, 06:56 AM
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Here's a 2 part episode on my youtube channel on the basics of refurbishing a plane. I hope this helps.






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post #12 of 19 Old 11-07-2017, 10:13 AM
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What was the original bevel angle for ordinary bench-type Stanley hand planes? 25 degrees? 30 degrees? Did it differ by plane type (e.g. #4 vs. #5 vs. #7, for example)?

Could the original bevel angles be 25 degrees for chisels and 30 degrees for hand planes?

I have searched the internet, but there does not seem to be any consensus.
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-07-2017, 04:44 PM
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Most modern planes have a 25 degree primary angle on the blade with a micro bevel to make resharpening easier since you donít have to sharpen the entire bevel again to refresh the edge, but keep in mind, the angle of the frog (usually 45 degrees) determines the cutting angle of the plane.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-07-2017, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
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Most modern planes have a 25 degree primary angle on the blade with a micro bevel to make resharpening easier since you donít have to sharpen the entire bevel again to refresh the edge, but keep in mind, the angle of the frog (usually 45 degrees) determines the cutting angle of the plane.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
I am looking for the original bevel angles as delivered by the factory. Just checking to make sure I got it right:

* Modern Hand Planes: 25 degrees
* Chisels: Also 25 degrees
* Old Stanley-type standard hand planes (e.g,. #4, #5, etc.):??? Still looking for a definitive answer.

-> Is that right? Are chisels and hand planes BOTH delivered from the factory with 25 degree bevel angles?

-> Does anyone know the original iron bevel angles that came with those original Stanley hand planes? Were they also 25 degrees?
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post #15 of 19 Old 11-08-2017, 08:06 PM
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UnleveldDesigns, how is the process going? I did a very worn chisel with a lot of nicks and rust today and had to think about your post. This is the result with free hand honing/sharpening on extra coarse (220 grid) and fine (660 grid). Took about 6 to 7 hours to get it pretty on all sides (which apparently is not necessary to work with it). The back took forever. You can still see a little black spot on the lower right side. This is a chisel from my late grandpa so it's really nice to have it like new again. Job was done almost exclusively on the coarse stone, then sharpened on the 660. Pretty sharp as is, any finer stone is just perfectionism. I'm really a beginner at woodworking so really, it's just about patience and feeling the steel on the stone.
Refurbing a plane.-chisel_refurbished.jpg

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post #16 of 19 Old 11-12-2017, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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UnleveldDesigns, how is the process going? I did a very worn chisel with a lot of nicks and rust today and had to think about your post. This is the result with free hand honing/sharpening on extra coarse (220 grid) and fine (660 grid). Took about 6 to 7 hours to get it pretty on all sides (which apparently is not necessary to work with it). The back took forever. You can still see a little black spot on the lower right side. This is a chisel from my late grandpa so it's really nice to have it like new again. Job was done almost exclusively on the coarse stone, then sharpened on the 660. Pretty sharp as is, any finer stone is just perfectionism. I'm really a beginner at woodworking so really, it's just about patience and feeling the steel on the stone.
Attachment 323762
Sorry for long delay reply.. It went ok.. There are so many pits in the plane itself I have it a full morning using sandpaper on glass but just so much more than I could imagine it needing.
I will have to set some time aside again to keep going on it. So much work :0

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post #17 of 19 Old 11-12-2017, 05:13 PM
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Don't give up just yet! You can do it. I remember my first plane was a Stanley block plane bought new and it was really badly fabricated. The sole was so coarse that back then I seriously wondered why everybody uses Stanley (you get what you pay for), the mouth was poorly cut, one screw skewed so it wouldn't turn smooth...Took a lot of patience to get that thing right and running. The iron wasn't grand either. I really love that plane though. After setting it up well it's a fabulous tool.

Take note that you don't have to become overly obsessive with the sole having nicks and pits (as in your pictures) as long as it ain't got real bad hollows or highs around the mouth and the front! The front of the plane that guides over the wood and the front of the mouth that initiates the iron should be level. In your case I think it's really about getting the edge of the iron reestablished and do some work :) The sole doesn't have to be a mirror finish!

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post #18 of 19 Old 11-12-2017, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Don't give up just yet! You can do it. I remember my first plane was a Stanley block plane bought new and it was really badly fabricated. The sole was so coarse that back then I seriously wondered why everybody uses Stanley (you get what you pay for), the mouth was poorly cut, one screw skewed so it wouldn't turn smooth...Took a lot of patience to get that thing right and running. The iron wasn't grand either. I really love that plane though. After setting it up well it's a fabulous tool.

Take note that you don't have to become overly obsessive with the sole having nicks and pits (as in your pictures) as long as it ain't got real bad hollows or highs around the mouth and the front! The front of the plane that guides over the wood and the front of the mouth that initiates the iron should be level. In your case I think it's really about getting the edge of the iron reestablished and do some work :) The sole doesn't have to be a mirror finish!
Well I just gave a try on some birch plywood for bed frame I'm building.. I seemed to have at least got the iron sharp.. Just not as pretty as i would like. I'm sure I could get a much more mirror finish on the blade if i pulled out the stones.. This was all done with sandpaper and wd40 after a soak in some rust remover.


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post #19 of 19 Old 11-12-2017, 07:40 PM
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It does look like there's still a hollow in front of the mouth, you may want to get that out. As for the blade I'd say start using it on not so important projects and with the use and the resharpening during work you should be fine.
You may want to read this Blog post from Paul Sellers on sole setting and view
on flattening soles with the remark on the important spots. Sellers especially points out that you can and you will flex the sole during flattening which sounds kinda absurd but is not. Also to me it happened quite a lot that I had high spots on backs which I had to remove and apparently removing them exposed more and more metal to grind which in return would take longer with every micron I'd remove...

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