Cleaning up a Stanley Jack Plane

Posted by admin on April 19, 2013

There is something satisfying about getting something broken back into working condition. I have a few small planes, but have wanted to get one with a longer sole. I read on a site where the jack plane was probably the first plane that you should have then followed by a smaller plane and how the jack plane’s name was derived from “jack of all trades” meaning it would be a good multi-purpose plane. A new cheaper #5 (jack plane) runs around $70 plus shipping costs. I decided to gamble on getting an old one of of ebay and fixing it up.

I got this one for around $29 including shipping.I figured if it was trashed beyond repair, I could always get another one and combine the parts. I spent a while in the garage cleaning, polishing it up, refinishing the wood handles and put an initial sharpening on the blade. I’ll need to try to get it a wee bit sharper before I seriously begin to use it.Here’s some before and after pictures.

Bottom before

After Bottom

(This is probably the worst part of all as I couldn’t get all the surface rust pitting off the bottom). I read where you could take it to a machine shop and have the bottom machined up, but I don’t think that is necessary as it is still “true” and sits nice and flat on a surface. I put on a little wax and buffed it off and I bet it will glide even more smoothly than some of my other smaller planes.

Now for the top views:

plane5b<<<Before and After >>DSCF0820

Here’s the adjustment knob and the back handles. I think if I used some brass metal polish (brasso?) the inside of the brass knob would shine better, but I don’t have any so that will have to wait. I used some oil first on the handles and let that soak in for a day. Then I just used some Deft brand lacquer finish on the wood. Two coats felt sufficient to me. One thing that I like besides the smell of the lacquer is that it dries so quickly. You can get on with your work!

Handle and adj knob before

and then


And finally from the side:

side before

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