Old gems #1: I didn't know that my plane was so beautiful

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Blog entry by Gibernak posted 06-12-2013 08:06 PM 968 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Old gems series Part 2: mortice chisels (pig sticker) »

A couple of days ago I found out that its possible to restore an old plane. So I thought I’d give it a try.
I only have a few planes and really only one that works. A old Bailey 5 1/4. I read somewhere that they were made from 1920 to 1947 so its no wonder that it looks worn.

I bought it a year ago randomly, not thinking that it was anything special. I replace the blade with a Hock blade. That is really recommendable and I’ve just used it as were and have been very happy with it.

So I took it apart and put all metal parts in water with citric acid for some hours. The remaining few spots of rust was removed by hand.
Then I repainted the centre part

I sanded the knob and tote down and realized that the tote is rosewood and the knob is not rosewood but maybe beech that has been painted. Is that normal? or has the knob been replaced at some point.
They were soaked in linseed oil, they really needed it!
They ended up looking not new, but very nice. The tote has a chip-off, but it just ads to the patina.

So this is how it came out:

I am very satisfied. It doesn’t look new but looks like an old gem with patina and history and maybe that’s even better.

7 comments so far

View ratchet's profile


1300 posts in 2483 days

#1 posted 06-12-2013 08:26 PM

Nice save! Does it work well now?

View CL810's profile


2152 posts in 1684 days

#2 posted 06-12-2013 08:36 PM

Nice! That 5 1/4 is a great plane. Have you seen the Handplanes of Your Dreams thread?

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Gibernak's profile


123 posts in 543 days

#3 posted 06-12-2013 08:40 PM

Yes, it also worked well before but now it looks nice to. I cant say if it any way compares to a, say Lie Nielsen, or other new and expensive planes cause I’ve never uses one of those, but I am pretty satisfied.

View BTimmons's profile (online now)


2150 posts in 1181 days

#4 posted 06-12-2013 08:55 PM

Good save. I think that restored planes shouldn’t look brand new anyway, that’s overkill. But having character is where it’s at. And I’m sure the Hock blade works great, but for pure aesthetics, I could never get over those square topped irons. For some reason that bothers me more than it should.

-- Brian Timmons -

View blackcherry's profile


3174 posts in 2519 days

#5 posted 06-13-2013 02:54 AM

Iron Horse, nice work on keeping this on riding…BC

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


5375 posts in 1295 days

#6 posted 06-13-2013 03:07 AM

That is a desirable plane, for sure. The knob is not original to the plane. That one would have had rosewood. Well done.

View stefang's profile (online now)


13335 posts in 2030 days

#7 posted 06-13-2013 01:15 PM

Nice restoration. Have fun!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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