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Handplane Restoration #2: Preparations for restoring a hand plane

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Blog entry by WayneC posted 03-22-2007 05:58 AM 18587 reads 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Planes, Planes, Planes Part 2 of Handplane Restoration series Part 3: Selecting Planes for Restoration »

I’ve had a couple of 12-14 hour workdays this week and have not had the opportunities for restoring any planes. I decided to take a little time this evening to discuss items that will be needed for the restoration process. The basis for this list comes from the Ernie Conover Video on Reclaiming flea market planes. Hopefully, he will update this video and release on DVD.

The list is as follows:

Lap Plate – used to lap the sole and sides of a plane
- Plastic Laminate – speeds the process
- Heavy Plate Glass – flat surface
- Contact Cement
- Laminate Roller

Lee Valley also sells a glass plate and plastic that adhears to the plate
Other alternatives include using sandpaper on a granate plate or on a flat surface such as a table saw wing or jointer bed

Grit for sole and sides
- Emery paper
- Silicon carbide abrasive 60 Grit (powder)

I ordered some Grit from lee valley and also found some locally at a lapidary supply house.
Also you could use 60 or 80 grit sandpaper.

Abrasives for cleaning metal parts
- Coarse, medium and fine abrasive blocks
- 120 Grit Emery Paper

General cleaning
- Scotch bright
- Alcohol (Denatured)

Finishing
- White Shellac
- Orange Shellac

Other
- Squeeze bottle for alcohol
- Paraffin

Sharpening
- Honing guide
- Angle gauge
- Water Stones
- Tormek

I am using a Lee Valley Honing Guide and Angle gauge, and Norton 1000, 4000, and 8000 grit waterstones. I have a 220 grit or so diamond stone that is used to flatten the water stones. I also think the new Pinnacle sharpening system being sold by woodcraft may be worth a look.

For setting the primary bevel angle on the plane blade I have a grinding jig from wolverine that integrates with my lathe tool sharpening system. The Tormek is on my “someday” list.

Please add to or correct this list as you see fit. As there are many ways to approch this problem. Thanks for reading and hopefully, I will get a plane restored and documented this weekend.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov



8 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3154 days


#1 posted 03-22-2007 06:03 AM

I bought the Pinnacle and it is nice. I tried it on diamond plate and it really took it down nice. I don’t have waterstones so I was going to try it with scary sharp paper. I didn’t purchase the Pinnacle paper holder but I think that MDF would work fine as a base with something at the ends to hold the paper and keep it from slipping.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2928 days


#2 posted 03-22-2007 03:02 PM

I took a look at the Pinnacle tools. Having just recently picked up the Veritas Mark II, I’m not interested in the jig, but their angle gauge is foolproof, their micro-sqare is dead sexy, and they have some really high-grit paper which is sometimes hard to find.

For a grinder, I picked up a WoodCraft slow-speed grinder (1750 rpm) with 80 grit and 120 grit AO stones for $80 on sale a few years ago and it hasn’t done me wrong yet.

Looks like a great list, Wayne. I know some might call this heresy, but I also have lacquer thinner in my repetoire, as I like to remove that plastic-like coating of lacquer on the knob and tote and replace it with a wipe-on varnish and wax finish after sanding them smooth. But I’m not looking to restore a plane as a collector – I want them to be usable. And my hands don’t like the slick glossy finish, so off it goes.

If this rainy weather holds up through the weekend, then like you, I’ll be trying to photo and doc up one plane restoration this weekend – if I can get some of the HD list knocked out, that is… Man, that thing is never-ending.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2846 days


#3 posted 03-22-2007 04:25 PM

Wayne -

I hope you don’t mind me posting this on your blog.

But just a comment to the old plane restorers. There are old tools out there that are actually quite valuable from a collectable stand point. It might not hurt to go to some of the internet informational sites along these lines and get an idea of what is common and what is not. Even some of the common tools are valuable if they’re quite old. For example, I owned a 100+ year old metal plane for a while that I picked up for $12 at the flea market. It was a common 14” Stanley jack plane (No. 5), but since it was a very early model, it was worth more than $12! The same thing happened when I bought a Stanley No. 5 aluminum plane (yes, aluminum) for the same price. But unless you’re somewhat familiar with that world, two planes of quite different collectable value can be sitting side by side and most would see little difference between the two.

You will destroy the value of these tools to a collector if you “restore” them. Like many of you, even when I actively collected old tools, I saw little use for having something that I didn’t ever forsee using. So, I don’t own either of the tools I mentioned above anymore. All I’m suggesting is that you might want to become vaguely familiar with the collecting world. And if you stumble across something for $20 at the flea market that you can sell for $150 . . . you might want to leave it untouched, sell it, buy a good “user” and have a profit for wood, other tools or a nice gift for your spouse. It’s not just a $$$$$ thing for all collectors either. Some take quite seriously the idea that they’re preserving history and ultimately give their collections away to museums.

-- Paul, Texas

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2928 days


#4 posted 03-22-2007 05:23 PM

I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to some aspects of woodworking, so I’ve always made sure of exactly what I’m working with before I’ve done anything, Paul. I don’t look at it as “restoring”, really, because I’m just cleaning it up to be a user.

And yeah, I’m always on the lookout for those rare planes and wouldn’t even consider “cleaning them up”.

But that’s still great advice for anyone looking to restore tools.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2851 days


#5 posted 03-22-2007 05:45 PM

Good point Paul, I was planning to discuss the exact issue you raise. You need to be aware of what your working with. I only recommend restoring common planes for use in the shop. The goal is to gain the functionality they provide. You should always check on-line and other references before you begin the restoration process. For example, you would need to think very hard about restoring a Bailey #1 or #2. If the plane is in reasonable shape, it would sell for more than you would have to pay for an equivalent new Lie-Nielson.

When I hunt for planes, I carry a price guide for stanley planes. This helps me determine if the plane is worth buying and also helps me to understand the rarity.

On my “better” planes, you will notice that I am using replacement blades and saving the originals. These planes are typically in good usable shape and do not need restoration.

Also, I am really looking for input, ideas and discussion. All discussion is welcome and appreciated.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2851 days


#6 posted 03-22-2007 06:02 PM

Ethan, I also have the Veritas Mark II jig and have the angle jig attachment, camber jig and older angle gage in this line. If I did not have a jig, I would really think hard about the Pinnacle, especially given Karson’s endorsement.

I will probably buy the Pinnacle Angle gage next time I am at Woodcraft. It appears to be real easy to read.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2846 days


#7 posted 03-22-2007 06:38 PM

Sorry if I jumped the gun on your discussion plans

-- Paul, Texas

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2851 days


#8 posted 03-22-2007 06:42 PM

No worries what so ever. You raised a very valid point. Please feel free to jump in to the fray at any time.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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