Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Tools and Tool Maintenance/Restoration Stanley No 4 1/2 restoration problem.

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    Malcolm Combes

    After watching Paul’s instruction on plane restoration I have restored a Stanley 4 1/2 plane. It is looking great and cuts beautifully, better than any plane that I have used before. It was in poor condition even though I don’t think it has been used much, it has come up like new. My problem is that after reassembly I am unable to back off the iron completely. When the iron is right back it still protrudes from the sole by a couple of mm. Any ideas what I have done wrong please?

    Dionysios P

    The most possible cause for that problem is that the cutting iron protrudes to much from the cap iron (which actually adjusts the cutting depth). Remove the iron assembly from the plane and adjust it in a way that the cutting iron doesn’t protrude more than a milimetre from the cap iron as on the image below. If this doesn’t sort the issue it would be helpful to post some photos of the plane.



    Is it a Stanley iron? If its another brand, could it be longer than a regular Stanley iron?

    Check that your iron is inserted bevel-down. Fitting it bevel-up would cause it to protrude too far.

    If you removed the Yoke during restoration, you may have re-installed the Yoke 180° from how it should be, preventing it from pulling the chip-breaker/back-iron all the way back up.

    Dave Ring

    A non-Stanley cap iron/chipbreaker could be the problem. If you have another Stanley bench plane, try substituting its cap iron (even though it’s probably too narrow) and see if that works better.


    Malcolm Combes

    I think the problem was caused by the lateral adjustment thingy. I took the plane apart again and noticed that the tongue was not properly located in the iron assembly. It’s working fine now. Many thanks for your responses.


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