I saw Roy Underhill using one of these, and I thought it was the Bees Knees. I really wanted one. I have been searching ebay for an affordable one for quite sometime. I got this one for about $20 shipping included. Problem with cheap antiques is there is always gonna be missing parts, or unrepairable damage. This one was missing the blades and the screws to hold them. I figured I could buy new blades or cut them out of an old blade. So after arrival, I checked it out, and the fence moves freely,
Screws could be found in a drawer I have loaded with random screws, not the nice knurled knobs that are correct, but at least something that could work temporarily. So now onto the iron ( blade) I had been given to transitional planes One is a jointer that was missing some screws and the front knob, so I scavenged the parts from the smaller tranny, then decided to cut my 48 irons from that blade. I took some advice from a book called “Restoring, Tuning, & Using Classic Woodworking Tools” by Michael Dunbar. There was some good information on anealing tool steel to make it softer and easier to cut and grind, along with info on tempering the steel when done.
First annealing… Heat the blade to cherry red, I used a handheld torch with mapp gas, then the blade needs to cool slowly, I did this by placing it in a can of ashes, that I had previously heated, it should take at least 15 minutes for the steel to be cool enough to touch. Next I scribed some lines on the blade using an awl, I tried to scratch as deep as I could so the hack saw could track in the lines. after cuting for 20 minutes and not getting very far, I borrowed my neighbors hack saw and it cut very quickly. I then ground the edger smooth, and half sharpend the blade. Now hardening the steel, I again heated to cherry red, but then plunged into ice water immediately. According to the book this is as hard as the steel can get, it then suggested, tempering to soften it a lillte, but the book did not talk about weather to plunge into water or slow cool the steel. The recomendation for tempering edge tools is heat to straw yellow, it keeps it tough enough to not be too brittle and hard enough to not wear real fast. Since I am not going to use this plane too much, and not knowing the answerto, “plunge or not to plunge” I left the blades hardened. I did sharpen them, installed them and made some test cuts, this plane is not terribly accurate yet, but sufficient enough to call this done. When I actually use it in the future, I will need to adjust the blades a little.
Okay so here is a picture of my hane plane collection as it stands now…
The #90 I purchased new last year, the #93 was a present from my Dad He bought it at a flea market for me, looks just like the 90 but is vintage. The #4 is a baily bought on ebay, for $15, and the #5 was $25 from Grizzley ( not the greatest, but for the money..) the 2 block planes are both stanley, the one with white letters is only 7 years old, not great and no adjustable mouth. The other is vintage from ebay cost $5 but the locking lever is broken, but it does have an adjustable mouth, in the future they will become a single “super plane” by combining parts. The large transitional plane is a jointer, and was a gift from a freind of mine.
I am happy with my collection, and will be adding to it over time.
Thanks for checking it out, if you know whether to plunge or slow cool heat treated steel, please let me know.
-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns