Over the last few years, I’ve amassed a small collection of hand planes. Most of the planes require some level of restoration for use. At the moment, I’ve performed small restoration procedures on two of the better planes bringing them to usable condition and they’ve been great. As I’m beginning to do more woodwork, I’ve noticed the need for multiple setups and how it would be good to have another plane at the ready. As such, I will be restoring another plane and thought I would document the procedure here.
The plane is a Stanley Bailey No.4 plane made in the USA. I got this in a collection of 4 planes second hand with the whole set of 4 costing about $40. The plane has all parts included but I’d like to replace a few parts, some of which are a requirement but the others I’d like to replace for aesthetic. I’ve included a photo of the disassembled plane below.
Here is a list of my issues with the plane and planned work to fix them:
- The front handle works but is not a great shape and is very splintered towards the base. I want to replace this for ergonomic reasons. It will also be nice to have a matching wood and finish as the rear handle. I’m thinking I will use Merbau or Jarrah.
- The rear handle is quite wobbly even with the screw fully tightened. This needs to be replaced.
- The body and frog both have their japanning peeling quite badly and the machined surfaces are rusted and slightly pitted. Japanning and rust will be removed and a spray coating will be applied. Machined surfaces will be lapped to ensure they are completely flat.
- The original brass or steel adjustment knob has been replaced with a plastic one from a cheaper plane. I would like to make a new adjustment knob from brass purely for aesthetic reasons.
- The lever cap and chip breaker are very rusty, they will be cleaned and polished.
- The plane blade is rusty, the cutting face will be lapped, the bevel sharpened and all rust will be removed from the back face.
- The adjustment lever is very rusty. I will remove the rust and apply an electrolytic galvanised coating. Removing this will require destroying the rivet used to hold it to the frog. I will also make a new rivet to replace the existing one.