The other day I stopped at a garage sale in my neighborhood & lo & behold, (wow, I must be getting old, who uses that phrase anymore?) there was a bunch of tools in a box…hickory handled hammer, 2 vice grips, Stanley bit brace, Craftsman channel-lock, a few odds & ends (yes, both odds & ends…not just odds or just ends) and a used but not abused Sargent jack plane. Price for the box: $10.
Now, mind you, I’m not a plane collector. But I do have a lot of hand planes in my shop & actually use them, but, truth be told, I probably don’t actually need all that I have & certainly don’t need more, but who can resist just one more tool, right???
I figured I would fix ‘er up & add it to the tools I keep at my summer place, where I don’t as yet have a #5 size plane. My home shop planes are pretty much all Stanley or Bedrock planes, but this Sargent was nice enough to add to my “up north” tools, so I did the electrolytic rust removal on all those parts that needed it, stripped off the Japanning (I really can’t figure out where that term came from, it’s just an enamel paint finish, from what I can tell by it’s reaction to the stripper), repainted (Japanned…yeah, right) with a catalyzed enamel, checked for square & flatness, (it was) sharpened the blade, and put it back together.
A test run showed some sweet, see-thru shavings accompanied by the unmistakable sound made by a well tuned plane. If I don’t count the time it bubbled in the electrolyte bath when I did other stuff, I probably have about 1 1/2 hours in it. I guess that’s why I’m always puzzled why anyone would spend a ton of money for a new plane when there are so many of these old beauties to be had really cheap…but, that’s just me. -SST
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you