Vintage Defiance (Stanley) C73 9" plane - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 04:58 PM
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Chuck - 60 years???? That's a long time - I just used one of mine a few days ago - I've refurbed a handful of old Stanleys and there's just something about using a hand plane that is relaxing. Admittedly I don't use them much, other than a block plane to ease edges. I'm sure you realize that a sharp blade is a must - not only makes it easier, but a lot safer to use a sharp tool than a dull one.

One last thing, I've built a similar workbench but I used two layers of 3/4 mdf for the top, screwed together from underneath. I don't mind banging them up because the top layer can always be replaced. As far as the casters, if you're going to be planing, the work bench will be susceptible to sideways racking so make sure your casters are locked in so that the bench doesn't get away on you. I didn't use casters on my bench but it sits on a fairly level basement floor.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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The last time I used a hand plane was in a sophomore woodshop class. It'll take me some time to the feel of one again. Luckily, I have a long way to go to straighten and level this workbench frame.

The reason it's on casters is because my 2-car garage is stuffed full. My "workshop" is really the driveway so I have to push the TS, the bench, the router table and other things out of the garage to do anything other than real small projects. The drill press and the miter station are pretty much stationary. I can move them but it's a pain.

The bench has locking casters but if I'm going to do any planing I will have to push it against the garage wall or block it to keep it still.

I hadn't thought much about MDF for the top but I'll look into it. Maybe 3/4 ply underneath for strength and 3/4 MDF on the top?

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 02:35 AM
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At $30 you can't go wrong, it's what I term a bargain.

The small palm plane in my signature is one I made and the Hock blade is what really "made" it so I think Tom is spot on mentioning him.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 10:52 AM
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At $30 you can't go wrong, it's what I term a bargain.

The small palm plane in my signature is one I made and the Hock blade is what really "made" it so I think Tom is spot on mentioning him.
I really like using planes. What got me started was taking a class over two weekends at Rockler. A part timer there really knows his stuff and ran the class for making your own wooden planes. Since then I've purchased a number of planes. The class covered how to tune them, how to sharpen the blades and maintain them.

Very soothing to use a plane and my block plane (a well tuned Stanley Sweetheart) and #4 Wood River get the most use, but once in awhile I dig out the #6 Wood River to really flatten something bigger than my 6 inch jointer capacity. Have to admit to buying a Veritas router plane in a fit of self indulgence, mainly because it's such a beautiful tool - pictured below, ain't it purty?

To offset that, I have a 1 inch wide cheapie rabbit plane that I tuned up into a really nice tool. I use it surprisingly often.

I guess some of us are just plane crazy.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Very attractive tool, Tom.

I used to think the advent of woodworking machines put an end to hand tools. But in retirement, I'm realizing that less expensive hand tools can do almost everything machines can...and more economically. And, lord knows, I've got the time.

I just checked the Post Office web site and my plane is in town and out for delivery. I can't wait to get started refurbishing it so I can use it to straighten this workbench.

Watching that Paul Sellers video on restoring hand planes, he used 600 and 1200 grit diamond plates for the final honing of his iron (started with 250 grit to take out the nicks). Since those honing stones are costly, I'm going to try to use 600 and 1200 grit abrasive paper on an 8X8 piece of tempered glass. Hope that works sufficiently well.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 11:42 AM
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@sfchuck I have the diamond plates now, but used sandpaper on glass successfully for years. For the final dressing, I've used up to 4000 grit, which really just polishes the edge. For flattening the bottom, I finished no more than 1000 grit. I also have a leather strop and use a fine grinding compound to really clean up the cutting edge. These days I mostly use the diamond stones touch up cutting edges on irons or chisels. They rarely need any more than that.

If I were you I'd take a really good straight edge to the sole to see if it is very far out. And I'd try to rock it on the table saw to see if it is warped or twisted, which will be much harder to work out.

If you're going to use it on a shooting board, the sole and sides must be at a perfect 90, and you'll need a good quality engineer's square to check that. We'll want to see before and after pictures you know. Happy grinding!

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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I was expecting this plane to be a real disaster. It was not. It looks like it was only used long enough to dull the iron and then sat for 20-25 years gathering rust. But, not being familiar at all with Defiance planes, I need to describe it and maybe someone can tell me if it's a real Defiance or if it might be a hybrid or a reproduction.

The sole is 9 1/2" from the front of the toe to the rear of he half-moon on the heel. The iron is 2" wide and 6 3/4" long. The "furniture" looks to be varnished in a mahogany red and is in good shape. The tote is stamped with Defiance by Stanley and the body casting has Made in USA and C73 cast into it. The frog is covered with a thick coat of red enamel and is held in place with a couple round-head machine screws, not the cap screws used by (some) Stanleys. The paint makes the frog very difficult to position. I'll probably have scrape it off or hit it with some lacquer thinner to get down to bare metal. The lever cap is not a shiny, machined part like a Stanley but rough and appears not machined at all. There are no logo or words on it.

Some elbow grease will get the rust off and some work with abrasive papers will get the iron sharp again and it will probably be a serviceable user. It'll never be a collector's item. It's probably worth the $14.50 (plus 16.60 shipping).

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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 07:02 AM
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The "Defiance" line of planes were entry level planes mfg'd by Stanley. They were geared towards the DIYer and general public. The Defiance line was distributed under many different names. Some with the Defiance markings, some without. Good plane to get your feet wet with when it comes to restoring, but I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time and effort into a plane that at best will get ya entry level performance. Sandpaper smooth the sole, clean all mating surfaces, check for cracks or defects, put the best edge you can on the iron, tune as best one of these can be tuned and keep her for a user.

just my couple of cents worth
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Using 100-grit abrasive paper, I worked the sole back and forth on a flat surface and it seems to be in pretty good shape. The rust came off evenly except for some minor pitting at the left front corner There are no discernable peaks or valleys on the sole. Checking with a combination square blade, the sole appears to be flat and straight.

I quickly ran out of 100-grit paper and will have to go out and get some more later today.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 10:35 AM
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@sfchuck Cool that it's flat. If you keep the iron sharp by consistently doing a little touch up, you should get some nice service out of it. Planes are a bit addictive. Of all the woodworking tasks, using a hand plane is the most peaceful and satisfying. I was watching Rob Cosman on video the other night and he used a parafin block to rub a tiny amount by drawing a wavey line on the sole before each use. I can see how that would smooth the motion. Guess I'll go get some.

Please do share about your "new" plane's performance. Sometimes a cheapie tool turns out to perform very well. My $ 40 rabbit plane (after tuneup) turned out to be a great performer depite mediocre reviews.
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