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How to make a Stanley Plane Lever Cap Sparkle again

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D_W

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put the same or similar color in, just paint it right on and then buff the top and it'll look the same.
 

D_W

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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
Interestingly, if you use oilstones, just the small amount of oil that's left on your hands will be enough to keep even the lever cap from rusting. But (and I'm still guilty of this), tools that are sharpened or used seldom won't fare well with that strategy, but neither will their castings or cap irons.
 

Fergie 307

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Get some banrust paper and when you put it away just wrap it in that, or If you keep it in a drawer or similar then a sheet of the paper in the bottom of the drawer will do the trick. Also good idea to put a sachet of silica gel in the drawer with it.
 

Stan

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I find my homemade wax does a good job protecting bare shiny metal from rust. I polish it in quite hard. If I am putting a plane aside for a while I add another layer and don't polish that in.

My wax is cheaply made from components from Amazon. It is 3:2 by volume of white mineral oil and beeswax.

Re colouring the background of manufacturer's logos, I have used Humbrol gloss enamel in the small tins. I don't think enamel would be much use elsewhere on a plane, but the area around the logo doesn't come in for much wear. Also, I like that enamel has a wider range than paints such as Hammerite.
 

D_W

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You and I use the same wax except I mix it 50, 50. It's worth having around for a lot more than tools, too. Hand salve, lip balm, etc.
 

Stan

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I use it a lot, for cleaning with wire wool, for polishing, preserving etc.

IMO it ranks with duct tape and cable ties as great inventions.
 

D_W

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I use it a lot, for cleaning with wire wool, for polishing, preserving etc.

IMO it ranks with duct tape and cable ties as great inventions.
agree. The place I learned it was actually from a turner who used it as a "sanding wax" (the 50/50 mix), but its rust prevention ability is MILES better than any of the nonsense oils sold by woodworking supply. pint of mineral oil and pound of beeswax (I'm sure that's not even 50/50 by volume since one is a volume measure and the other is weight) will last at least a decade (mine is about half used or a little more 10 years on).
 

HamsterJam

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I have this lovely Record No7 that takes great shavings but needs a little TLC, especially the lever cap.
What do you guys think is the best way of tidying up the lever cap short of getting it re-chromed?
Also what is best for the tote? - want to keep the label on the top of it if possible.
Any other general advice for tiding this up also appreciated please.
 
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Steve Beck

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Buff out the lever cap with a medium to soft wire wheel mounted in a drill. That will take the corrosion off and give it somewhat of a clean look. Put several coats of lacquer on top of the trade label to protect it and then use fine sandpaper to clean the rest of the tote. Apply a new coat of stain to your taste and coat with lacquer or shellac. The sole needs a definite clean also on a flat plate such as granite or your table saw. Best of luck to you, from a dedicated Record tool user and collector.
 

Fergie 307

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Afraid the chrome is too far gone to save. You could have it replated or take it to a plating shop and get them to remove the chrome, then just buff the bare metal. Steve's idea will certainly bring a big improvement, but still won't look that great IMHO. If you did decide to get it replated then worth remembering that chrome doesn't have to be super shiny, it can be satin or matt. Basically the plating is so thin it will not alter the underlying finish. So if, for example, you fine grit blast a part then chrome it you get matt chrome. You might decide that mirror polished would be out of keeping.
 

HamsterJam

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Buff out the lever cap with a medium to soft wire wheel mounted in a drill. That will take the corrosion off and give it somewhat of a clean look. Put several coats of lacquer on top of the trade label to protect it and then use fine sandpaper to clean the rest of the tote. Apply a new coat of stain to your taste and coat with lacquer or shellac. The sole needs a definite clean also on a flat plate such as granite or your table saw. Best of luck to you, from a dedicated Record tool user and collector.
Thanks Steve - very useful.
I have some Chestnut melamine lacquer and friction polish - can I use those on the tote or do you recommend something else?
 

HamsterJam

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Afraid the chrome is too far gone to save. You could have it replated or take it to a plating shop and get them to remove the chrome, then just buff the bare metal. Steve's idea will certainly bring a big improvement, but still won't look that great IMHO. If you did decide to get it replated then worth remembering that chrome doesn't have to be super shiny, it can be satin or matt. Basically the plating is so thin it will not alter the underlying finish. So if, for example, you fine grit blast a part then chrome it you get matt chrome. You might decide that mirror polished would be out of keeping.
Thanks Fergie,
Yep- I agree the chrome is beyond recovery but I was planning to tidy it so it looks like someone cares rather than replate it. I’ll have a go with Steve’s suggestion and see how it looks. I can alway plate it later if it doesn’t come out too good.
 

D_W

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If you're going to stain the handle, I'd strip the non label area and stain it with artist color oils (Look up ronin or Ronan). The pigment is extremely small and dense and will color extremely evenly.
 

richarddownunder

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I got a bunch of lever caps re-plated for myself and another forum member and felt afterwards that I wish I hadn't. I asked the plater not to go anywhere near them with a linisher, so what did he do? The very shiny and now misshapen lever caps just looked out of place on a vintage tool. Buffing as DW has done is the better way to go IMHO.

Cheers
Richard
 

Fergie 307

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I got a bunch of lever caps re-plated for myself and another forum member and felt afterwards that I wish I hadn't. I asked the plater not to go anywhere near them with a linisher, so what did he do? The very shiny and now misshapen lever caps just looked out of place on a vintage tool. Buffing as DW has done is the better way to go IMHO.

Cheers
Richard
I agree the guy I used to go to was very good and took real care not to overdo it. Unfortunately when he retired the guy who took over polished the life out of the first thing I took him, rounding off what should have been sharp edges and totally wrecking it. Now I take stuff in to be stripped only. I then do the finishing myself and take it back to be replated. Bit of a nuisance but at least I can determine exactly the finish I want. For something like this a slightly satin rather than mirror finish looks much better.
If you buff on a wire wheel it's worth having a jam jar of diesel and an old paint brush. Just wiping the metal over with the diesel occasionally gives a much better finish than doing it dry.
 
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