View Full Version : Stanley #5 Questions
12-04-2004, 05:29 PM
I've finally found time this weekend to cleanup an old Stanley #5 I eBay'd several months ago. I have a few questions I'm sure somebody here can answer:
A) The finish on the handles is in pretty bad shape. How did Stanley finish these originally? Is it shellac? I'm thinking I want to remove the finish, sand out some of the nicks, and refinish them. I'm just not sure what the "right" way to do this is.
2) The original bevel on the blade is really uneven. I've been trying to sand the original bevel complete down using 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper. After about an hour of sanding, I'm on my 3rd sheet of sandpaper, and it's still not down to one even surface across the whole bevel. I don't yet own a grinder. If I run the bevel over my belt sander to even out all the low spots, and take care not to let the blade get too hot, there isn't any risk of compromising the blade, is there?
3) What bevel angle do you usually put on your #5 plane?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
12-04-2004, 06:43 PM
In answer to #2, I had a couple of blades that way and I started lapping with 50 grit and once even, it was a quick trip to sharp.
12-04-2004, 06:48 PM
Hmm...220 grit is the lowest wet/dry I've found around here. Were you using 50 grit wet/dry paper, or regular?
12-04-2004, 08:13 PM
Shellac was the finish of choice for totes on handtools. Depending on the amount of grunge on the totes, I will initially use mineral spirits to clean them initially, then lightly sand them using 100 or 150 grit. The gunk on some seems to load up higher grit paper if you start off with that. I then go up to 220 grit. I will then wipe them down with denatured alcohol. This will remove some additional dirt and also renews any shellac that might still be on the wood. Then I do a French polish on them to get a nice protective coat of shellac.
As far as the iron, if I'm grinding a bevel I go to my small benchtop belt sander. Others I know of use a portable belt sander clamped to the bench or in a vise. Just be careful not to overheat the iron. Keep a bucket of water nearby to dip it into regularly. It gets a little tricky when you start getting down to a nice sharp edge as that can heat up real quick. If it heats up enough to turn the metal blue you will have to remove that metal as it is now too soft to hold an edge.
When you start to polish up the bevel using sandpaper, keep the paper lubricated with a small amount of oil or water to wash away the metal fileings. Otherwise they will wear out the paper much faster. You also don't want to use a lot of pressure when sharpening. Let the abrasive do the work.
As to the bevel angle, I use a 30 degree angle on all of my bench planes. Since they are bevel down planes, the angle has little effect on the force needed for it to cut. Some folks use a 25 degree angle which I don't understand because the 30 degree bevel is stronger and will maintain an edge better. A 25 degree bevel is beneficial on bevel up planes such as blocks as less effort needs be put behind the plain with the flatter angle.
12-06-2004, 04:59 PM
12-10-2004, 12:39 PM
simple answer as to tightening the lateral.....No
complex answer..if you feel that you have to tighten it up the best way to go about it is peening the pivot pin over some more tightening the lever up closer to the frog...drawbacks to that..when you peen it have the back of the frog supported fully or you risk breaking the top of the frog off...DAMHIKT.....same with removing the yoke...it's do-able but be careful...nice #5
it's not the tool, so much as the hand that guides it....
12-10-2004, 12:45 PM
I think I decided that, should the flopping about of the lateral lever become too irritating during use, I'll just use a rubberband or two around it and the blade to hold the lever in place.
06-02-2010, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the advice, gents. Got the bevel evened out on my belt sander in about a minute, set to the right angle with some 150 grit paper, and scary-sharped down to 2500 grit wet/dry paper. With the rest of the plane cleaned up, I've got it cutting 0.0005 - 0.001 inch shavings.
One other question - the lateral adjustment lever is kind of loose. The lever flops around a bit while using the plane, though it's still functional. Is there a way I can tighten it up without ruining it?