The Stanley 5 1/2

I've started the restoration of my new Stanley 5 1/2 and I've decided to document the process as much as possible. You may recall that the plane was hidden under a thick coat of gray housepaint, prompting the use of a citrus based paint stripper. You can see the results of the first application in the pictures below.

The overall shot, plus my very cluttered bench

Closeup of the citrus stripper at work

Lever cap after the first application of stripper, before scraping and sanding

After the citrus stripper, some light sanding and scraping got rid of the stubborn areas and I was down to bare metal. After a very careful masking job, I sprayed the first coat of satin Rustoleum enamel. It will take two coats of the paint to get the proper look.

After the first coat

The front knob and tote are next. Check back for an update after progress is there. The hard part is done though!


  1. Looks nice so far. The satin black paint looks like a good compromise between "leave bare" and "attempt a real Japanning" finish--surely better than the grey!
    Any sign of the "S" or "B" foundry marks in the cast parts?
    Tom Holloway

  2. Tom,

    Thanks for the compliment on the paint choice. No sign of any casting marks on the body.