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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I have an old No. 3 which I've never used.
Now that I'm building my workbench, I realize handplanes have a LOT going on behind the scenes.

Can you give me your advice on repairing / fixing (if possible) this Stanley No. 3?
It's cast as Bailey.

Photos below.
I'm not interested in "restoring" it.
Yet if possible, get her up to snuff working and singing shavings.

Some of the more apparent issues:
  1. The cutting iron is bent (somebody used it to pry a cave rock open).
  2. The cap iron is bent (somebody used it to pry a cave rock closed).
  3. The cap iron does not sit flush with the rear of the cutting iron.
  4. The mouth of the sole has been opened (I guess for creating a scrub plane-ish?).
  5. The cutting iron edge had a curve to it, yet I was able to set it straight and sharp.
    1. Might have to re-curve it in the future if this No. 3 can only be a scrub plane from now on (because of the opened up mouth).
Some of the things pending to do:
  1. Flatten the sole
  2. flatten the back of the cutting ion
  3. flatten the cap iron so it sits flush with the cutting iron
What's your take on this?
Would you order some new parts?
Or try to fix these somehow?

Thank you for your input!!

-- AJ
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That is a long list of defects and issues. Have you considered the cost of acquiring another one in better condition, versus the time it may take to get this one in working order? Does this one have sentimental value?
 

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To make fine adjustments to the cut and to keep the cutting iron from chattering, it is important that the back side of the iron and the surface of the frog both be smooth and flat so they will slide without binding as the iron is adjusted while under the pressure needed to hold it firmly in place as the cut is made. You can work on the frog with a flat plate and sandpaper; but if the iron has been bent, it's hit or miss to bend it flat again. The back face of the cutting iron does not need to be polished like the top face is, but it needs to be smooth. Here's a photo of a frog being ground flat.

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The cap iron can be sprung a bit, in fact a bit of spring that is pulled out of it when it is tightened to the cutting iron is normal. What is important is that it contact the cutting iron for its full width evenly and firmly right at it's tip so shavings can't be forced under it. For a finishing cut it needs to sit very close to the cutting edge. It can't be bent so bad that it twists the cutting iron; but aside from that it is basically a piece of bent steel, and its overall shape isn't that critical.

A very narrow mouth is useful on wood with wild and irregular grain, but I think you will find it isn't needed so much on more agreeable woods which you would enjoy working with more when you are starting out. The Norris A4 smoother on the left has a fixed, very narrow mouth. I opened up the Bailey #4 on the right quite a bit so it wouldn't clog working cross grain to flush up joints. I go back and forth between them without noticing any difference.
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If you need to replace the cutting iron, replacements are available. Hock irons are excellent. The ones I have are a bit thicker than the old Stanley irons, and this would close up the mouth of your plane a bit. The Wood River brand is less expensive. I have one in a low angle plane I use on end grain, and it cuts ok.
 

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Egg Spurt
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Most if not every part can be bought online so replacement parts should be a non issue. Just avoid caves in the future while traveling with a wood plane..travel with a prybar instead if at all possible.. Were you trying a resurrection or something?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the great input.
Seeing as I don't need the No3 at the moment... I'll just put it back as it is, lubricate it, and store it away.

I'll also travel with a pry bar to open/close those pesky cave entrances.

:)


THANK YOU ALL!
 

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AJ, I have a couple of Fuller brand #3 bench planes, and after a complete tune up their performance is excellent. If I spot a Baily #3... I would snag another.
 
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where's my table saw?
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Lacking a surface grinder, I have been using a 6" X 48" belt sander all my sharpening and hand plane tuning. Most woodshops will have one of these and mine is over 45 years old, but works fine. By "reading" the first application onto the belt, I can tell where and how much the sole is off of being flat. I start with a 100 grit belt and then move up in grits to 220 or 320 for a finer finish. I use the belt for sharpening and flattening the blades/irons as well. Rather than hold the blade at and angle to the belt like you would on a wheel grinder, I locate it on edge on the table and "roll" it into the belt. I read it very quickly to see if I have the angle correct and then give it quick touch on the belt. Years of experience has given me the "touch" as I call it. Then after the blade is refreshed, I use a diamond stone to polish the edge.
After soaking in Evapo-Rust I can pretty much do a complete restoration on a yard sale plane or those I find on Ebay.

You Tube has the videos on using a belt grinder/sander:

This one uses the same method as I use:
 
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Egg Spurt
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I have one of them there famous Harbor Freight models. I use it to do my nails whenever foreign dignitaries come to visit.. Which is basically never..
 
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It could be useable with a new cap iron and blade. But unkess you have unusually small hands a No. 3 is not a particularly useful plane, others may disagree.

If you are building a bench, you will need a plane to flatten the top, my suggestion is start with a No. 6, which, with the proper set up, can do double duty as a smoother, too.

You can go the antique/rust recovery route, but you really can’t go wrong with Woodriver planes. The first 2 planes I would buy are a 4 and 6.
 
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