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!


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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