24 October 2013 at 1:35 am #20309
Hey guys… I picked up a Stanley 71 1/2 router plane. These are nickel plated and I’m wondering if it is ok to clean up and flatten the soles of the plane with abrasives as I normally would with a hand plane?
Thanks for any advice.24 October 2013 at 4:10 am #20315
No. Attach a wooden base on the sole and put that old granny’s tooth into service. Just my opinion. I wouldn’t use abrasives on anything that is plated.24 October 2013 at 6:40 am #20318KenParticipant
Jay, is the sole in need of flattening, if yes I would do it, if not I would leave it alone.24 October 2013 at 9:21 am #20328Mark ArmstrongParticipant
If it needs flattening do it if you want to use it if a collection piece leave alone. I done my 71 just remember to treat as any other ferrous tool with somet sort of oil to stop rust.
Dagenham, Essex, England24 October 2013 at 12:29 pm #20332
Thank for the replies, all… this is what I am dealing with. Ken, there are little “peely” spots around the rust that made me think the sole was plated.
My goal is to clean up the sole of rust. I actually think it is fairly flat, but I want to get it cleaned up. This isn’t intended to be a collector’s piece, I want this to be a little workhorse router for many years. How would you guys proceed with the clean-up?24 October 2013 at 1:24 pm #20334Mark ArmstrongParticipant
I would scrape nickel platting off then proceed flattening with abrasive papers on fat surface. 400 grit should be more than fine enough.
Dagenham, Essex, England24 October 2013 at 2:01 pm #20337
My advice not to scrape off the plating is not from a collector standpoint. Rust never sleeps. The wooden base is the way to go with this type. Just clean it up with solvent and some super fine steel wool.24 October 2013 at 4:13 pm #20341
Thanks so much for all the quick replies! You guys are great, and so helpful.
I’m taking everyone’s advice into consideration. Timothy, if the nickel was removed from the sole, would you have the same iron surface that you have on the sole of a smoothing plane, for example? Would a paste wax coating, the same way I coat my hand planes, prevent the sole from rusting?
Mark, you mention oil to prevent rust… I usually use wax, is that ok?
Thanks again for all the advice.24 October 2013 at 5:55 pm #20345
Most of these type of planes in user condition I’ve seen with the wooden base attached. It is a safe assumption that this was done to prevent the nickel plating from wear, causing the plane to corrode. I can’t speculate whether you will get a good polish on it compared to a premium hand plane. That would depend on the quality of iron composition. Back in the day it was generally pretty good (although it being nickel plated it may not be)It is your plane you can do what you wish with it. The wax would be better if you were to lap the sole thus removing the nickel plating. If you were to attach the wooden base, you could use the wax as well.24 October 2013 at 6:33 pm #20348
I think the wooden bases (which I was planning on making one eventually) are to give the plane a wider base so that they can span large dados, etc… maybe I am wrong on that. I know what you are referring to, though, with the wooden base.24 October 2013 at 7:14 pm #20349
Yes. There is more than one reason for attaching the wooden base. Easing off the edges will improve performance with either process. Let us know what you decide, and the results.25 October 2013 at 1:43 am #20352
I went back and forth on this and finally decided, based on the various advice here and a few restoration blogs (there was actually mixed advice there as well) to clean/flatten the bottom of the plane. It ended up needing a bit more flattening than I expected (which seems to be the norm for all the planes I have worked on… wishful thinking I guess). The 400 grit that Mark mentioned, above, was fine… and, in fact, it looks about like the sole of my other planes at 400 grit. I didn’t see the need to go higher with this router.
I have a paste wax finish on it and I’m pretty happy with the end results. The knobs turned out really nice… I used the drill press pseudo-lathe trick some of you may have seen in resto blogs to smooth them down, and then they finished out quite nice.
I plan to shape a wooden base for it, to use when I need a bit more width on my router. That project is on hold as I am now wrestling with a block of osage orange I picked up for a mallet.25 October 2013 at 1:55 am #20353
Awesome. May your newly restored plane bring you years of happiness and service.25 October 2013 at 1:57 am #20354
Thank you, sir… and thanks for the advice and discussion.25 October 2013 at 1:58 am #20355KenParticipant
Good job Jay 😉
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