The Type 17 Stanley #4 rehab is, for now, complete. For those with short memories, this is how it looked when we started this journey:
The more I worked on this plane, the more two little sayings kept coming into my head:
1. Like putting lipstick on a pig. – Every time I shined some part up the rest of it just looked uglier and uglier.
2. Beauty is skin-deep but ugly goes to the bone. – I found pits inside pits. If I kept grinding away until every bit of ugly was off this plane, it would be smaller than a #101 block plane by the time I finished. So knowing it would never win any beauty contests. But I had resolved to save this veteran so I drove on, deciding to go for “clean, fully functional.”
After the metal was done with its electric bath it got a couple coats of japanning and all the little bolts got wire-brushed. The back of the blade was flattened and then I sharpened it up but couldn’t get it to cut butter because the frog was warped AND twisted. It was like it was leaning back and looking over its right shoulder, fat in the middle and the upper right was dipped way back. Here’s a shot of it ready for surgery on the surface grinder.
Note the pits that cover the entire surface – the entire plane was like that, now it’s down to just the lateral, top of the frog, and a few pits on the sole. I ground the frog “flat enough.” It’s still a bit low on the upper right (see the pits remaining) but the bottom 95% of the surface is flat for the iron to sit tight against and I didn’t want to keep grinding away metal for another hour.
I’ve got a decent flap-wheel type system on order. Until it arrives I’ll have to settle for this clean but very scuffed up lever cap. At least the pits are gone.
And of course the obligatory final shot of the plane taking shavings from a piece of cherry.
Next up in the saga we will take a short break from the norml planes to clean up a hand-forged adze and a very-abused scraper plane. Thanks for reading.
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