Garage sale find plus TLC equals nice plane

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Blog entry by Shopsmithtom posted 1530 days ago 1323 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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???

sarge5 plane

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

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


112008 posts in 2202 days

#1 posted 1530 days ago

Looks good

-- Custom furniture

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1596 days

#2 posted 1530 days ago

Nice refurbish.

-- Galootish log blog,

View woodprof's profile


44 posts in 1814 days

#3 posted 1530 days ago

I realized that I hadn’t really thought about what “Japanning” means either, which got my curiosity up, so I did a little web searching. I found several definitions, with the last one offering some rather detailed instructions about recreating an authentic japanned finish :

For what it’s worth!

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1796 posts in 1815 days

#4 posted 1529 days ago

Looks like new, great refurbish job.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

721 posts in 2457 days

#5 posted 1529 days ago

very nice work. I love hand planes.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View unkwood's profile


13 posts in 1927 days

#6 posted 1529 days ago

That’s a fine looking plane and what a nice restoration job. I have found quite a few old planes and they are a pleasure to use, some of the wooden ones are just nice to display after finnishing. Carl

-- Carl

View Napaman's profile


5332 posts in 2701 days

#7 posted 1529 days ago

first of all all—-get a grip, you are old…but more importantly, nice find…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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