Resurrecting a Stanley Bailey #3 Hand Plane

I picked up a Stanley Baily #3 hand plane at the local building supply junk store while I was getting some lumber for an oar rack that I will be building.  This sorry plane had been drowned and has a serious case of rust but is not terminal.  The rust looks fresh and the screws and the adjustment knob turns so it is not rusted solid.  The front knob is cracked and will be repaired or replaced.  The rear tote is in good shape except for a bad paint job.   The first task is to disassemble the plane and clean up the parts.

I use electrolysis to remove the rust on the steel parts.   Electrolysis is a method of using a direct current to drive the iron oxides (rust) back to iron and oxygen.  The iron becomes a black slug on the steel that is easily washed off.  Many proponents of electrolysis cleaning use a automotive battery charger to send between 4 and 10 amps through the part.   I built a constant current source that drives 100 milliamperes through my parts.  Although slower, I am more comfortable with the lower current and some suggest that it does a better job.  The part in the tank is the plane iron (blade) and will be left there for about 24 hours.  The electrolysis works in line of sight, so to ensure even cleaning, I have four pieces of steel re-bar as my electrodes.

When all clean and tuned up, this little #3 hand plane will be put to good use.  It will join ranks with other Stanley planes that I have and the wooden planes that I have built.

Comments are closed.