Stanley No.199 Resto?

A Stanley Classic Since 1936

I'm not sure this can be called a restoration.  After all, Meriam-Webster defines restoration as, "bringing back to a former position or condition" and this tool is brand new.  It's also not an "upcycle" type of project either.  No sir, when it comes down to it what we have here is a totally unnecessary fancying-up situation.  

Yeah, it might be unnecessary, but we don't always do just necessary things, no - sometimes we do things because we want to, sometimes we do things just for the fun of it - something to keep us active and out of prison or something!  And, as it turns out, because I don't really know what else to call this, I'm calling a restoration!  So say I!

Brand New

Apparently this cutter has been essentially unchanged since its introduction in the 1930s.  So, I saw a few guys on YouTube like Scoutcrafter and 357MagDad fancying up the classic Stanley no. 199.  Thus inspired I picked up a 199 for about $8 on Amazon.

I guess I didn't pay very close attention to the videos because I was surprised that the cutter came painted a light gray...

Prep Work

So, as 357MagDad did, I soaked the 199 in a sandwich bag with some Citristrip stripping gel.  After sitting for about 24 hours, the paint came off with nothing more than an old toothbrush.

After some cleanup and an initial polishing with the rotary tool and some Flitz metal polish, the cutter was ready for some fancying-up!


I considered a few different colors to make the knurling and writing stand out.  Because several tools I've restored over the last couple years ended up red, I almost went with 173's signature red.  For a few minutes,  and, just for fun I considered green.  

Own a little piece of history, with a modern classic from STANLEY®.
The № 199 has been STANLEY’s original utility knife since 1936.
The first ever STANLEY utility knife, originally launched in 1936, and virtually unchanged to this day. Sold here with additional specialist saw blades.
Classic handle design, unchanged since 1936, featuring the unique Fleur-de-lis pattern. - Stanley Tools Advertisement

But in the end, because I wanted the color to reflect the classic simplicity of this tool, I decided on black.  

I used one of my model paints, Testor's black enamel, then baked it in my shop oven (you know, my 100 watt light bulb!)...


With a total work time, not counting the Citristrip soak and drying times, the whole "restoration" took a half hour, maybe 45 minutes to complete.  The last step was to clean the cutter with some acetone, then a final polish with Flitz.  And voila! - Just like that, it's done!  Let's head on over to the catwalk for a little modeling:

I really like the way the black paint makes the writing and the knurling really pop!

Natural Habitat 

And here's the Stanley No.199 in its natural habitat above the work bench....

Thanks for indulging me with my little "restoration" and thanks for stopping by!

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