Shop Work: Stanley Sweetheart No.6 Handplane Restoration

Shop Work: Stanley Sweetheart No.6 Handplane Restoration


In this video I restore a Stanley Sweetheart No.6 handplane from a dingy old dull and rusted shop tool to a beautiful and functional piece of art. Check out the entire restoration process from start to finish, see the handplane in action, and laugh at the outtakes at the end.

Thanks to Jay Bate’s video for giving me some tips and ideas:
Thanks also to Stavros Gakos ( and Mike Dillon ( for their videos, tips, and tricks to getting a nice looking restored handplane.


  1. MH. Ovi on October 17, 2023 at 9:59 pm

    I liked it

  2. James Wilson on October 17, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Depending on the lever cap is maybe 10% due to rust, and the remaining 90% was because you let that sit in vinegar as long as you did. I made the same mistake. You can’t leave cast iron in vinegar that long. Cast iron only develops surface rust, it will never pit under normal circumstances

  3. Bob Weiram on October 17, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Beautiful work! Instead of vinegar, use citric acid. The resulting parts are easier to clean with less rust residue. I would also follow it up with a baking soda solution to neutralize the acid. I would thoroughly remove the paint with paint remover before rust removal. There can be rust lurching under it. For infilling the lever cap with paint, there’s no need for the tape and fine brush. Just paint over the logo and wipe over it with a towel lightly soaked in acetone. It will leave the paint in the engraved areas. Finally, to keep the plane from rusting, polish all the unpainted areas up to 1000 grit. Rust doesn’t like polished surfaces.

  4. Andrew Bieger on October 17, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    AWESOME batch of out takes, and your restoration was pretty good too ;

  5. Nick Graham on October 17, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    A little late, but the japanning was in good enough condition you didn’t need to paint.

  6. The Bob Loblaw Show ! on October 17, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Another great tutorial. Great restoration and thanks for all the great information.👍👍

  7. Gavin Houliston on October 17, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    It’s called a lever cap not a clamp. Nice vid though

  8. C-String on October 17, 2023 at 10:06 pm

    Fantastic result! Well done restoration and great video. The only thing I might have done differently would be a little scuff-sanding prior to painting, to improve the adhesion.

  9. Efrahim Barkbit on October 17, 2023 at 10:07 pm

    Got granpas old No.6 on the workbench. This video was inspirational!

  10. Paul Boegel on October 17, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    I have a Bailey 5-1/2 that I will have to do all this to but fortunately its in much better condition. You did well bro. They are pretty decent tools all in all. I have some Veritas planes too and, of course, they are excellent planes but it cost me less than a third to buy the Bailey. I have a Veritas shoulder plane and a NO 4 which is mostly what I am using anyways. Thanks for the vid. Love to see people fixing up the old stuff.

  11. Cookinitmax on October 17, 2023 at 10:12 pm


  12. Woodworks by Grampies on October 17, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Hola! 🖐Hey, for your first time restoring a plane I thought you did an awesome job!!! 👏👏 I’m sure that the more you use them and give your planes some TLC, you’ll refine your process then you’ll be restoring like a master in no time at all. Try watching Third Coast Craftsman, he’s got some good videos on similar restorations. Really like this video, thanks for making and sharing. Take care and have a good one, Adios! 👊

  13. Triune Blades on October 17, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Next time be sure to put a little roll of paper in the screw holes to avoid paint from interfering with the threads. Do you have a Facebook or Instagram? I have a homemade tool that I’d like to send a pic of for you that would greatly assist with the refinishing of the knob and tote. 😃 The plane is a beauty.

  14. Dpgt on October 17, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    Just watched this, 2020 and I was like oh shit he knew to put the handle on very first, then frog and blade. Then I seen the outtakes hahah by the way which were funny as hell! I’m sold, I mean subscribed lol

  15. Clyde Balcom on October 17, 2023 at 10:18 pm

    The previous owner gave that plane a lot of love and care.

  16. gravelman5789 on October 17, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    Rust removal is easy with a Soda Pressure Blaster!
    Nontoxic, Surface Safe and has multiple Grits….

  17. John Colgan on October 17, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Wasn’t a Stanley Sweetheart though, but still a nice restore & lovely crisp sound when planing

  18. Rand Sipe on October 17, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    If you replace the Stanley blade with a Hock blade you will be amazed at the performance as I was on my #6.

  19. human cattoy on October 17, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    Beautiful job.

  20. Nighthawkrun on October 17, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    Looks great, now finish all the other planes on the shelves.

  21. Harold Shipley on October 17, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    I appreciate that you used brass wire instead of steel. Much less aggressive and better in my opinion. The only thing I didn’t like was the spray paint. I would prefer a real japanning process. It adds a day to the job but is worth it.

  22. twodko on October 17, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    In the future you can use an orbital sander with a 220 grit disk to clean up lever cap easily. Also before you do that, take a wire wheel to it. Then fill the "stanley" logo area with red lacquer. After that’s dry then use the orbital. You’ll clean a polish the lever cap and "stanley" will emerge with a fresh red background. Ask me how I know. Just restored a No.5 & No.3.
    The "back handle" is called the tote. FYI

  23. Williiam Windsor on October 17, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    It looked like you could have stripped the japaning better. John Bear has a furniture refinishing Youtube channel that uses saw dust liberally applied on the stripper.With a small wire brush to get into the details.

  24. Nick Granville on October 17, 2023 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks so much for this. I recently found a Stanley No.5 plane in the shed that used to be my wife’s grandfathers. Needs restoring, but now I know what to do after watching your video. Thanks Drew,

  25. Heseblesens on October 17, 2023 at 10:32 pm

    Ten thumbs up!

    Only thing I would do different is the flattening of the sole. The plane should be fully assembled when flattening.

  26. jkg2754 on October 17, 2023 at 10:32 pm

    Why didn’t paint the emblem red like original ? It would really make it pop !

  27. Libruh moment on October 17, 2023 at 10:34 pm

    No different then how I’d do it, but one thing you shouldve done is put the orange paint back onto the logo of the cap iron

  28. David Brewer on October 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    The base side is flat for a reason: to put the plane down. When I learned we would get a whack around the back of the head from Chippie Roberts for putting a plane down with the work surface down…

  29. RedShirt MGGA on October 17, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    I came across this just in my feed. It is very timely for me. I have a Companion hand plane that needs serious restoration.

  30. Mathologist on October 17, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    How dare you. No but seriously, good job 🙂

  31. Mark Hunt on October 17, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    I’m in the process of doing a Stanley number 5. I’m jappaning it instead of painting. Still cleaning up the small parts, your video is going to help me with that quite a bit. I’m going to use your method to clean the cap iron. I’m a nickel-plate, just for fun.

  32. Michael McLarry on October 17, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    Wax the bare metal, helps stop rust.

  33. Roy BAILEY on October 17, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    I have restored hundreds of plane’s for years , and I have been a carpenter for 40 + years, I think you did a great job well done, you got all the rust off , I don’t understand when people do half of the job, and leave rust on which will eat into the plane even more, you did a wonderful job.

  34. human cattoy on October 17, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    Beautiful restoration. It’s definitely a lot of work, but totally worth every moment. The end result brought a tear to my eye.

  35. Jason Billard on October 17, 2023 at 10:40 pm

    Video was great. I did one last week and will do one later today. I love the outtakes! Keep up the good work.

  36. Walter G on October 17, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    You’re not done! You need to restore the nickle plating on the lever cap!

  37. Eric Rickert on October 17, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    That end product looks really good!

  38. Clyde Balcom on October 17, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    Dude, it looks like new.

  39. Lorna Penn-Chester on October 17, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    Fabulous 👏

  40. David Peters on October 17, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    I gotta be honest, it hurt me to see vinegar touching that old plane. Yes, it removes rust, but it will also damage the metal. A razor blade will scrape off most of the rust, then you can hit it with sandpaper. Regardless, the end product looks great!

  41. gayle525 on October 17, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    From one Fisher to another, great job.

  42. Bill Giles on October 17, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    The clamp keyhole is of an older design being straight, later planes had a hole like an upside down comma.

  43. Beavis Christ on October 17, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    Dad lets me drive slow on the driveway on Saturdays, but not on Monday.. Definitely not on a Monday.

  44. Home Hero Virul on October 17, 2023 at 10:47 pm


  45. jkg2754 on October 17, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    You finished the knob and tote better than anyone on YouTube !!!

  46. MONICA T on October 17, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    I’m picking up the same one tomorrow and it needs a lot of tlc.. hopefully mine comes out looking at least halfway like yours I’ll be happy lol

  47. Jerry Stark on October 17, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    I have rebuilt a number of Stanley planes. Based on that experience, I think you have done an excellent job.
    Some restorers might quibble with the use of enamel paint rather than traditional japanning, but you’ll not hear that from me. I am a plane user, not a plane collector — and japanning is a level 5 pain in the ass.
    BTW: The lever cap looks much nicer without the chrome, no matter what shape it is in. Nicely done!
    P.S. A Stanley #6 Fore plane is the BOMB. — great daily user in the shop.

  48. Blake Loke on October 17, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    What a great resto! I think many of us are enjoying restoring the old Stanley planes. I’m working on a #3 now. Except, I didn’t use Jay’s method of using a piece of PVC. I liberated one of my wife’s Pyrex baking pans. Hahaha…it will never see the kitchen again! Love the out takes and self deprecation. Sounds like me after a few beers.

  49. David Warren on October 17, 2023 at 10:55 pm

    Beautiful job! One thought for your consideration: Rex Krueger suggests that, when flattening the bottom face of the plane, all the components should first be installed and tightened (albeit with the blade withdrawn up into the body). The idea is that if the plane body is flattened without the components installed, it will not be in the same tension it will be in during use, so the bottom face could be twisted out-of-flat once the components are installed and tensioned down…

  50. ben culp on October 17, 2023 at 10:56 pm

    Got to love the under appreciated #6 fore plane. I would suggest flattening the sole of the plane as the last step of the process when the plane is assembled as if it was ready to use.