The first step to reviving an old hand plane is to try to get it looking like something that you wouldnt mind having in your tool box.
I start by disassembling the entire tool and laying out the parts to assess the condition and work involved.
I then take a firm brush and remove all of the dust and dirt, followed by a wire brush/steel wool to remove any of the loose, rough rust and dirt particles. Once i’ve got it down to the raw rusty parts, I use Permatex Naval Jelly (Phosphoric Acid) (Obtainable at your local hardwar store for less than $5, and you will only use 1/8th of a bottle to do one plane). Using a brush, Paint the jelly over the metal surfaces of all parts (wipe it off of any painted parts before too long), and leave it to soak for 5-20 minutes, depending on how bad the rust was (For this plane, it took 2 coats of 20 minutes and will probably need a bit more on a few parts).
Remember to use rubber gloves and safety goggles while handing the Naval Jelly.
After time has passed, rinse off all of the naval jelly with clear cold water and towel dry all parts. Once that has been done, you can give it all another scrub with steel wool, or even better, if you have a dremel, polish everything with a brass brush wheel. Take plenty of time to clean the sliding surfaces on the frog and inside of the sole down to bare metal.
The results are pretty good with not too much time and effort, and you don’t lose the original Japanning:
Once you’ve done that, re-assemble the plane for the next step: flattening the sole.
Already starting to look pretty good for a total of 45 minutes of work so far isnt it?
Next step will be the flattening of the sole, frog and work on the blade.
-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "