Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stanley No.4 smoothing plane

In the last post, you’d have seen the plane that I recently bought at a local market. It was a great find; I'd been thinking about getting a No.4 for a while. My main plane has always been a No.5 Jack which was given to me whilst I was still at school, so I guess that I’ve been using it for around 40 years (gulp!). I just fancied something to fill in the gap between the Jack and my block planes.
As you can see it was quite rusty and unloved; therefore it was stripped down completely, every part cleaned up, handles re-polished etc.
The sole of the plane was cleaned up and flattened by rubbing it against some abrasive paper stuck down to keep it flat.
The blade needed a couple millimetres ground off its end as it had been poorly sharpened by its last owner. The back surface of any cutting tool should be a mirror finish to enable you to get the sharpest edge. Below you can see how the back surface is gradually improving by using a sharpening stone.

I use three grades of stone, with the final honing being done on a hard black Arkansas stone which gets you a surgically sharp edge. I like to test its sharpness by seeing whether the blade will shave the hairs off my arm!
The cap iron also needs to have a very clean edge, to stop any shavings getting wedged between it and the blade.
And after a few hours work, we have a very well set-up plane with just the right amount of patina to show its age. I’ve no doubt that I’ll be using this plane for the rest of my life!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job...I find I am doing more of this type of thing than actually using them. Maybe I need to stop hitting the markets...

5:58 PM  

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