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Jfitz

Restoring Stanley #7.... how far to go?

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I recently bought a Stanley #7 (type 9)  ...  I don't do a 'lot' of hand tool work but I find myself doing more and more.  I have a smoother (WoodRiver), a #5 (old Stanley),  a Veritas plow plane, and a LN router plane - and now this #7.  I soaked the parts in a rust remover ("Metal Rescue") which is a lot like Evaporust ('s a chelating agent, not an acid).  In a nutshell - I'm impressed.  It made quick work of the rust on the parts.  I'm a little taken aback by some of the japanning that was removed as well but I'm guessing it was already loose and maybe had some rust underneath. There's still quite a bit left - I'd estimate 90%.

The knob and tote are completely intact - no chips or missing pieces.  Worn finish in all the right places.  They're nice.

I'm at the point where I'm ready to hone some of the pieces (frog mating pieces, blade, plane sides and body) but.... then what?  I'm debating on how far to go with it.  I'm tending towards leaving it "as is" and feel the joy of using a 100+ year old tool every time I grab it.  Maybe put on a modern blade/chipbreaker.   But - there is the temptation ..... of sanding down/totally refinishing the wood parts.  Of removing all the japanning and applying a new coat of paint.  Of going beyond "refreshing" and doing a total remanufacturing.

Any thoughts?  How far do you go with restoring old planes when their cleaned-up versions are already better than pretty good?

 

 

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I like old things to look old. Nothing looks worse than something that's half new/half old looking.

Nothing wrong with playing with shining it up and making the whole thing look fresh. Not like it's a rare thing... 

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My first one I went overboard on.  Now I just bring them to a level where they can be used and perform well.  I go over the mating surfaces and make sure they are flat and that everything fits and works well.  I do a bit of sole flattening, but I am not all freaked out by a few thousandths, the wood will move more than that seasonally anyway.  I remove any rust of course and keep them wiped down with furniture wax cut a bit with 3 in 1 oil to make a soft wax that helps as a rust preventative.

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Good advice Llama and Jim  Thanks!  Knowing me, I'd like very much the knowledge that the "innards" (frog/mating surface/wood/bolts/etc) were all "touch up" and refined, even if the show faces were left 'as is'.  That's sort of where I'm leaning.  I'll leave the show pieces to my LN and LV planes (which I really like and intend to grow) even as I grow my vintage tools.

 

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I wouldn't go beyond tuning and rust removal, and maybe painting it and refinishing the wooden parts. I mean I wouldn't replace blades or chipbreakers with modern ones or remake handles and totes. 

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OMG - those are gorgeous!! are those the original knob/tote or did you make new ones?

 

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When i restore mine i spend the most time on the surfaces the matter and make sure everything else is clean. I usually try and clean up the frog a bit just to make sure it's flat ish.

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21 hours ago, Jfitz said:

OMG - those are gorgeous!! are those the original knob/tote or did you make new ones?

 

On this one its original. I usually go original unless one or both of the pieces are broken.

When I restore I never bother trying to preserve the original japanning. I use electrolysis to remove EVERYTHING. Then from that clean point I tape it up and apply paint. I find glossy engine paint to be a good choice and I lay down a REALLY thick coat. Way thicker then you are "supposed" to. This gives the closest finish to the original japanning I have found. I give it 2 days to dry then remove the tape. I usually need to use a razor a bit to clean up the edges. The paint tends to stick in patches to the tape and want to come off. 

Spray lacquer is what I use for the wood pieces after sanding off any original finish. 

A wire wheel on a bench grinder cleans up the hardware pieces. 

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Looks great. I am a big fan of cleaning them up making the steel look nice but not going as far as repainting them.

I have a #3 on it's way to my house right now. I'm excited. Also i'm surprised at how dang expensive #4s have gotten. the #3 i got was $65 and every #4 is $75+

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I started pricing #4's and I'm not thrilled with the pricing.  I paid 75 (in person) for the #7 but paying that much and then more for shipping can really push the price up ..

 

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Just now, wdwerker said:

You could collect feathers....freight wouldn't be bad at all. 

Probably more than postage stamps though. :ph34r:

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Yea they have hit the roof I just lost  a bid a #7 that went for 160$ in rusty shape. My max was like $80. To win any of these I've learn you just have to stay constantly with it an sooner or later a good one will get over looked for a decent price. I may have a eBay proble:o

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I've found that the buy it now or make me an offers get over looked. The #3 i just snagged i got for $30 less than similar ones that were up for bid.

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Yea those always lure me in. I got my MF #9 that way. Its a good plane I just can't get it to cut like my Stanley #4 maybe it's just me just ain't the same to bad the price difference is so much. 

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19 minutes ago, Tmize said:

Yea those always lure me in. I got my MF #9 that way. Its a good plane I just can't get it to cut like my Stanley #4 maybe it's just me just ain't the same to bad the price difference is so much. 

Now i'm lurking for a #2 idk why but i want one.

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Yea I've looked but for the price of the old one you can get a LN #2. But I see the point I tend to like the older ones better just a lil dressed up over new sometimes:o  

 

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10 hours ago, Tmize said:

Yea they have hit the roof I just lost  a bid a #7 that went for 160$ in rusty shape

Say wha??  Wow.  I'm sorta kicking myself for not picking up my planes close twin - the place had 2 #7's for sale.  The other one was I think in a little better overall shape but some of the screws/bolts were all messed up - someone went at them with a wrong sized screwdriver.  Still, I am thinking for $85 I should have picked it up - or made him an offer for a discount for getting both.

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