Well, I got around to starting the clean up on this new No. 4. Took it all apart and hit it with some mineral spirits, paper towels, a stiff nylon brush, some steel wool in some places and a plastic abrasive pad in others. That got it pretty well ungunked.
Then sprayed just about all the metal parts with WD40 and did some more work with steel wool and some 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Things generally cleaned up pretty well. I didn’t touch the sole or do anything on the iron or chip breaker other than take off the surface rust yet.
Looking a lot better than yesterday.
1. There’s a fair bit of pitting on the iron, but it’s all way up, far away from the business end of things, so that should be fine.
2. The japanning is in rough shape in a lot of spots, but I’m not really too worried about that. If it hasn’t rusted out sitting in a pile somewhere all these decades, I think it will be ok for a few more decades with me.
3. The lever cap is in pretty rough shape. It’s plated. I believe they were doing nickel plating back then. And some of the plating has flaked off. Scrubbed it up the best I could, but it’s never going to look new again. But this is purely cosmetic. It can still do its job.
I was surprised at some of the differences between this new plane and my other.
I noticed that when I put this in my hands, my fingers were more cramped around the tote. Comparing it to my other No. 4, it’s actually quite a bit shorter.
Also, the mouth is much narrower.
(Again, I haven’t touched the sole on the new one yet.)
I’m a little concerned because in my initial messing around with it, it seems tough to get the blade anywhere but very near the front of the mouth, even pulling the frog all the way back. But I’m holding off worrying about it until I get the blade all properly ground and honed and the sole flattened. It may not be an issue.
Just before posting this, I started polishing the back of the blade. That’s going well.
Also, the knob and tote on this one were in pretty rough shape. Again, just cosmetically. They are solid and sound, but lots of paint splashes and the finish was not great. I cleaned those up with an abrasive pad and put coat of danish oil on them. Looks 100 times better already. But these are much darker than the nice reddish color on my other No. 4. I know for a while they were staining them black. These aren’t quite black, but very dark.
Hoping to get the iron in shape by tomorrow and see how the wood parts look when that coat of oil dries.