Removing a rusted bolt on a Stanley plane

I’ve cleaned up a lot of planes over the years and most of them come apart pretty easy. However once in a while I’ll get one that’s a bugger to take apart. 

This Stanley No 5 I bought was pretty rusted when I picked it up. In fact the only reason I bought it was because the rosewood handles were in nice shape. I as took it apart, one of the bolts that holds the frog down was seized. I sprayed it with BP Blaster several times and tried numerous flat-headed screw drivers to loosen it with no luck.

I knew it was lost cause to save the bolt so I ended up drilling a 1/4″ hole through the top of the bolt and then use a 5/16″ drill bit to widen the hole.

Once the bolt was weakened, I used a cold chisel and a hammer to smack the head of the bolt off and then I was able to remove the frog.

The only part of the bolt that remained was the bottom half that was still screwed into the bed.

I gently unscrewed the threads with some channel lock pliers making sure the threads wouldn’t break off in the bed.

I have a lot of spare bolts from Stanley planes I have taken apart over the years so finding a suitable replacement was a breeze. Not the prettiest Stanley No 5 but with a coat of black japanning, it would look a lot better. Since the body of the plane is so rusty and pitted, the blade will need to be replaced since it too is pitted.

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5 Replies to “Removing a rusted bolt on a Stanley plane”

  1. I am curious if you ‘sealed’ or coated the plane with anything after removing the rust.
    I did electrolysis for the 1st time on vise, which was successful, but be fore Ive had a chance to install it I’ve noticed some rust returning.
    My shop has a dehumidifier and stays ‘fairly’ dry.
    thoughts?

  2. I am curious if you ‘sealed’ or coated the plane with anything after removing the rust.
    I did electrolysis for the 1st time on vise, which was successful, but be fore Ive had a chance to install it I’ve noticed some rust returning.
    My shop has a dehumidifier and stays ‘fairly’ dry.
    thoughts?

    1. I use a combination of orange oil, mineral oi, and melted bees wax for the coating. I used to use Kramers Antique Improver for years and loved it but at $45 for a half quart it became too expensive.

      I don’t use electrolysis anymore. I tried it several years ago and for me it was too cumbersome. Citric acid poured in a gallon of warm water works wonders. If I don’t treat the metal after I take it out of the solution, it will get some slight surface rusting so your experience is not uncommon.

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