Millers Falls 1455B and Stanley 103

I’m starting to push towards more restorations and get things in working order. I want to have it so I can grab any plane or saw and it is ready to go. I have had a Millers Falls plane sitting in my chest for almost a year. I found it at an antique shop for $10 and bargained the guy down to $6. It was a bit rusty especially on the sides and sole of the plane. The iron was in great shape with a lot of life left and no dings or chips.

I was also able to pick up a Stanley 103 this past fall for another great deal. This one was in great shape already, just needed some cleaning.

For this process I chose to use paint stripper. It works quickly and does a pretty good job with a wire brush. I try to put on a liberal amount so I do not have to repeat the process. The stripper does tend to make a mess so there is always something under my work or I get a bucket to contain the mess. For brushes I use cheap wire brushes. I use a mix of small one like the one in the picture and also some longer ones. The longer ones seem to do better in tighter areas, possibly the bristles are a bit longer as well. These brushes get used until they are falling apart.


While the stripper is doing its thing I look for other areas of the plane that can be worked on. Some of the spots are the iron, any of the screws that need cleaning, and also wooden knobs or totes. In this case the front knob was really dirty. I took some sandpaper to it to clean it. As I am sitting here I am rethinking of why I didn’t use the turpentine and boiled linseed oil mix I have. Out of the two I would have chose the turp/BLO mix. I guess old habits kicked in. The mix would have cleaned the knob and kept the color and as you can see the sandpaper changed the color of the knob and took away its history.








After some scrubbing to remove paint I made sure everything was clean and paint free I used black enamel spray paint and gave both planes 2 coats.

On to the sharpening taking my usual steps. I use sandpaper, then go to my Xmasis stones and finish it off on the new strop.

Then it is time for reassembly and give each one a try. I have always tested going on the long grain, but mixed it up and tried it on end grain to see how clean of shavings I could get. Not bad…..

Woodworker and blacksmith

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