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How to make a Stanley Plane Lever Cap Sparkle again

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okeydokey

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I cant be the only person with a Record/Stanley plane thats been acquired and although its a bit tatty worth bring back to life as a good user plane.
The bit I never seem to get right (well to my eyes anyway) is how to refinish the Lever Cap some are chromed some not - see attached photo of a Stanley cap before I start on it, yes it was chrome and this one might be better than it looks once I try a bit of chrome polish on it.
So wire wool and oil, 3m flap thing in a drill, polishing mop and compound, crunched aluminium cooking foil and oil, garryflex abrasive block which seems to get the best vote?
AND THEN - leave as it is? Spray paint which colour silver aluminium zinc? or just buffing wheel to see if I can get a bit of a sparkle
DSCF5399.JPG
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Doug B

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You can get them re-chromed, I refurbed a pre war Stanley a few years ago & as a friend did chrome plating I took the bits to him, I explained which bits I wanted chroming & left it with him.

unfortunately there was obviously a break down in communication.
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44509AD3-C9B2-488B-ABB9-1E731D3B4DDD.jpeg


on the bright side it’s easy to find :oops: no pun intended😂
 

raffo

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A couple of weeks ago we had a presentation on the restoration of the nickel plating of Record planes at the A Plane Life Zoom meeting. The slide presentation can be downloaded from the link below.


P. S. Messing with Chrome may result in pretty nasty chemicals so beware.
 

jcassidy

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Is there an easy way to remove chrome plating ?
Yes, same way as chroming in the first place, just reverse the polarity. However the bits have probably been dipped in acid first, so will look ugly without the chrome plating. For example rechroming old cars bits requires taking any old chrome off first, if I'm not mistaken.
 

Stanleymonkey

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You can get them re-chromed, I refurbed a pre war Stanley a few years ago & as a friend did chrome plating I took the bits to him, I explained which bits I wanted chroming & left it with him.

unfortunately there was obviously a break down in communication.
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.View attachment 108384

on the bright side it’s easy to find :oops: no pun intended😂
That has put a smile on my face this morning!

I can't be the only one who wants to see a picture of the assembled plane.
 

okeydokey

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A couple of weeks ago we had a presentation on the restoration of the nickel plating of Record planes at the A Plane Life Zoom meeting. The slide presentation can be downloaded from the link below.


P. S. Messing with Chrome may result in pretty nasty chemicals so beware.
Thanks Raffo
Very interesting site, my goodness the amount of work some people devote to renovating a plane is beyond belief - but its a hobby and the end results are just what that hobbyist is after.
For my part I prefer to see an old plane looking like an old plane, useable and lightly restored, comfortable to have and use.
Looking forward to any other views on how best to improve Lever Caps. Have a good weekend all
 

D_W

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I cant be the only person with a Record/Stanley plane thats been acquired and although its a bit tatty worth bring back to life as a good user plane.
The bit I never seem to get right (well to my eyes anyway) is how to refinish the Lever Cap some are chromed some not - see attached photo of a Stanley cap before I start on it, yes it was chrome and this one might be better than it looks once I try a bit of chrome polish on it.
So wire wool and oil, 3m flap thing in a drill, polishing mop and compound, crunched aluminium cooking foil and oil, garryflex abrasive block which seems to get the best vote?
AND THEN - leave as it is? Spray paint which colour silver aluminium zinc? or just buffing wheel to see if I can get a bit of a sparkle
View attachment 108378View attachment 108379View attachment 108380
You can sand and polish the metal bits. I'd put a very thin enamel on it rather than a paint, or you can just buff it from time to time on a buffing wheel.
 

Inspector

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If it is a user and the lever still moves and the screws aren't plated too thick to fit, I wouldn't worry about it. Much of it is hidden or harder to see anyway. What does show will make it easier to see with your periphery vision or amongst shavings. Could have been worse. The plane body, including the sole, and blade could be sparkled up.

Pete
 

D_W

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I figured I would take one of my old unplated lever caps and run it over the belt grinder stopping at trizact. I don't have a plated cap that's in sad shape, but what you do with them is just get the plating off (even if it takes nasty sanding) and then work the metal below the surface.

This is A30, and then light buffing (not a heavy buffing compound with the intent of really polishing the surface, just shining it a bit - 95% of the result is the trizact).

20210416_120432.jpg


(this lever cap was brown with a bit of oxidation/rust on it, also - the contact wheel with a trizact belt isn't fast, but it's fast enough to remove minor pitting, and you can get in trouble with it if you accidentally lift a corner into it).

Part of the reason that it looks a pretty black in the background of "stanley" is because the brown has been buffed hard and some of the color is the black compound residue, but that residue also contains wax and animal fats, so I'm perfectly fine with it being there).
 
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Doug B

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Where are the pictures?? You've had enough time to take it to the car wash and get it all shiny!!
Give a chap a chance 😯 I have to go to work:unsure: 😂

9863635A-A714-4882-A2D0-9DDC583E61E3.jpeg


Disassembled, I’ve replaced the original iron with a Hock blade also the handle isn’t the original a mate gave me a plank of Indian rose wood to make a handle to match the tote but I’ve not had time yet.

66B00F95-AC5C-4DB5-B890-BF7973A593C1.jpeg


Whilst the blade could do with honing it still takes a nice shaving
 

okeydokey

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Thanks folks
Due only to cost (of course!) I will miss the entire re Chroming thing and instead go the chrome polish/wire wool then try a Garryflex block (Ive used them on other things quite successfully and then buff it up a little. Should then be gently improved and not become a highlight item - good enough for casual use.
If the red behind STANLEY disappears totally any idea what colour to wipe in?
 

Inspector

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If you shine it up and don’t watch out it will rust up again. I would see if there is a chrome shop nearby that rechromes bumpers etc and see what they would charge to slip it in with other work. Might be cheap if for cash or a case/flat of beer especially if you have done all the polishing prep first.

Pete
 

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