OK, first attempt at a blog, so please bear with me. This blog series is my journey of trying to replicate the japanning process used on many tools, especially hand planes, that has been used for over a century. It will include some abject failures, as well as what was found to work for me. This blog is not a commentary on how someone else might choose to finish their planes when doing a restoration and I am not necessarily advocating japanning over any other finish. There are many pe...
Having tested, erred, retested, erred again and so on, I was finally happy with how the homemade japanning came out, so did several restores. We’ll try and do a summary of everything learned here in one blog post. Supplies needed:Asphaltum—available in powder form or liquid, which is what I used. Art supply stores seem to be the best source, as it is used in acid etching.Solvent—Xylol or turpentine should either work fine. Both are capable of suspending the heavy...
Now satisfied with how the first coat of japanning laid down, I needed to figure out how to get a better cure. Attempts to leave the plane out in direct sunlight on a hot summer day didn’t do quite a good enough job. Several websites had mentioned baking the plane, but there was no way I was going to use the kitchen stove—for one it was brand new this summer when we remodeled the kitchen and two, I would like to continue to sleep in the same bed as my wife, not the doghouse. ...
Hi Everyone; I just got the go ahead to build a 17 foot dining room table. This going to be challenging, as it has three pedestal bases, which are heavily carved, have some japanning and gold leaf, in addition to veneering. The top will be veneered, include some marquetry, have a couple leaves, which will be stored in table structure. I have to admit, I’m wondering what I got myself into this time, but being the president of the imaginary; ”If It Ain’t Impossible, W...
I’ll be documenting my restoration on my blog also. I got these on my last outing. I had just about given up hope when I saw one more yard sale sign on my way home. I managed to negotiate them down to $60. Its a Stanley #7C and #5C. The tote is broken on the 5, and the lip on the 7 also looks broken off. I’ll do a blog on restoring these once I can get some of my other projects squared away. I don’t think these are the kind that should be kept in its original rusty con...
When we left off, the first coat of Japanning had been applied and allowed to cure. The next day, here is what I had. Even given 24 hours in a very hot and dry Kansas summer, the finish was still a bit tacky. The few internet posts I had found said that you needed to either bake the finish or allow it to cure 30 days or so. A couple also mentioned applying two coats before doing either of those, so I pressed on with another light coat and let it set overnight. In order to try and...
Several days away from the japanning project didn’t really help. There were too many times in those days that my mind returned to the problem and just wouldn’t leave it alone, but no solutions were forthcoming. Finally, it took walking out to the shop again, looking at everything on the bench and BAM . . . there it was! Remember this? The plane I used when testing the finish blends didn’t have any brush marks, and it was the same formula that I had first used tha...
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