Stanley No. 78 Scrub Plane Conversion


New User
Will Whitaker
I came across this post a while back and thought it was a neat idea. I recently found a No. 78 Made in England that was missing the fence and depth stop and decided to convert it to a scrub plane à la Paul Sellers.

There was a fair bit of rust and the previous owner had put some deep scratches in the bottom and sides with a wire brush, so I spent some time polishing as much of that out as I could with 220 grit paper and a red scotchbrite pad on plate glass. I personally like to use tools that look nice, so I took the extra time to remove most of the scratches even though this was going to be a coarse tool. Next I chamfered the sharp edges with a file and knocked down the front edge and all the corners. I flattened the back of the iron and put an 8" camber on the blade with the bench grinder, then honed the bevel on 600 and 1000 grit diamond stones then lightly stropped.

After that I wiped all the dust off with mineral spirits and coated everything lightly with Jojoba oil and went to work on a cupped piece of scrap rough cut cedar. I held the board down with one hand and planed at 45 degrees across the board with the other, it sliced through like butter. Being so narrow it would make very quick work of planing edges down to a scribe line, and it's a lot of fun to use.



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Corporate Member
I saw what Sellers did as well and was thinking it's a great idea.... I bet that can remove a whole lot, real quick.....and you really made it look pretty again!


Corporate Member
Hmmm. I use a Handyman #4 for a scrub, but was thinking a #5 would be better. Easer to flatten. If one wants an easier push, just make more camber to the iron. I only cut about an inch wide in a pass so the width of the sole just adds stability. About a 6 inch radius camber. Glad you found the wonders of a scrub. It was eye opening to me.

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