Rehabbing a Stanley #3 Smoother


For years now, I’ve been lusting after a #3, so I bit the bullet and picked up a Type 11 to go with my other Type 11s (8, 7, 5, 4).

It’s been in my shop getting acquainted with its friends and waiting for me to show it some loving care. Sunday (this was last March mind you) proved to be a beautiful break from the wicked wind and snow .

The rehab followed my usual routine.

–Sand iron and chip breaker up through 400 grit.

–Flatten the iron back and tweak the fit with the chip breaker to make the seam between them as tight as Ali Baba’s cave.

–Sharpen the iron to a 25 degree bevel

–Flatten the frog face through 400 grit paper. You can see from the picture that it needed it. Looks like it had some residual paint on it. See the lower-left picture above.

–Put some valve grinding compound (found at an auto parts store) on the frog mating surfaces and worked it back and forth in its slot in the plane bed. After 50 strokes, the surfaces firmly mated with no rocking or unsupported areas.

–Lapped the sole through 400 grit paper. Didn’t quite get the hollow out near the toe, but that 1/8″ more represents working-in-a Roman-mine-with-copper-tools level of labor. Since it’s not critical to the tool’s function, I’ll leave it to my decedents to fix. Or more specifically, to the one who inherits both the plane and the family anal-retentive “just-gotta-get-that-last-little-bit-out” gene.

After putting it back together, I had this.

Then it was time for the test drive moment of truth. Will it be an Indy 500 rear-end-a-pace-truck disaster? Or a checker-flag experience? What say you?

Swwwweeeeeet!! I’ve never, and I mean never, had a vintage Stanley rehab take so little time and deliver girlfriend’s thigh’s smooth wood surfaces. Number 3 will always have a home with me…along with numbers 4, 5, 7 and 8.

Here’s a family photo.

You’d think the #5 could at least comb his hair before the family pic…

And here’s the rest of the family.

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About The Write Biz

By day, I'm a mild-mannered copywriter who harnesses frontal-lobe creativity (right brain) to help B2B marketers generate leads and sales. By night I pick up hand tools to create wooden masterpieces...and give my black lab Bella the "red dot" laser to chase after.
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2 Responses to Rehabbing a Stanley #3 Smoother

  1. Nice restoration mate. Reminds me I need to do my 4, 5 1/2, 7 and 8′s.

    My favourite part of the article was “deliver girlfriend’s thigh’s smooth wood surfaces”

  2. Pingback: Into each life a #4 must fall: Stanley #4-T11-pictoral essay and rehab | Hand Tool Journey-A woodworking show of hands

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