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Just some planes restored #7: The #7

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Blog entry by Don W posted 1173 days ago 2480 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Wood Bodied Fillister restored. Part 7 of Just some planes restored series Part 8: Solar Mfg Co #3 »

I’ve been searching for a #7 for a while now. I finally stumbled onto one in and antique shop that was within my acceptable price range. My wife and I was riding the bike through southern Vermont and stopped at this small shop. I wound up walking away with a nice #3 and a #7. How great is it to combine two pleasurable pass-times in one afternoon.

The nice thing about woodworking as a hobby, is you can work as inspiration strikes. Yesterday I was working on the drawers for my new (well not so new anymore) workbench, I had them glued up and set off to the side, when I just walked over to the plane rack (here’s the plane rack. Note the #7 doesn’t look so good.)

and grabbed the #7 to take a look. Inspiration struck and I was off to restore. This plane was actually in pretty good shape. The sole was flat, the blade had a nice hollow bevel, and the rust was very superficial. The jappaning was missing a bit more than I anticipated, so I decided to give it a coat of black after the good cleaning was complete.

The plane is actually worn more the any other plane I’ve bought. Not worn from abuse, but from use. I could tell it was used by a craftsman who liked his tools and maintained them well. As i said, the blade had a nice 25 degree hollow grind, which I left. The blade was 90 degrees but it has been sharpened many times. Only a fraction of its original glory remains. The handles took minimal sanding. The only spot that took the normal attention was the frog. It may have been flat, but the original machine marks were still very prevalent. I don’t try to get this shiny and spotless, but I usually do take out the larger tool marks.

As I was working with this plane, I could envision an elderly gentleman gliding it across the workpiece. He touted a half smile, unwilling to allow the stiff joints of his aging limbs to prevent him from achieving his daily pleasures. His persistence and caring of this piece of equipment will allow me the same pleasures, with the same occasional stiffness and determination.

If only this plane could talk, it would have stories of pain and glory:

Stories of caring then neglect:

And a hope of a return to its former glory:

I’ve decided not to write through a step by step of this plane, but draw attention to the differences from my previous experiences you can read in this series. Each plane I restore, I learn a little. Not so much about the technical ways of how to perform each step, but of ways to make these planes my personal possessions.

Fir instance as I was sanding the knob and tote for this plane, I was thinking of the finish. When refinishing my rifle stocks, I always use an oil finish, either tung or linseed oil. I decided to try the boiled linseed oil on these. As soon as the oil hit the rosewood, it made the grain pop. I decided at that point, all of my planes will get linseed oil instead of shellac. The other nice thing about the linseed oil is an occasional quick thin coat brings back the luster and after time, gives a nice, built up used look.

Other than that, the rest pretty much was straight forward. I polished the sides, cap, iron, screw, adjusters, and all the misc parts to a reasonable luster, waxed the sole and let it dry over night before putting it back together.


I then tested it out to make sure the blade was sharp, adjusted the throat (I alway have it open to much, I habit I am trying to break) and hung it back up. The next picture of the plane rack will show a completed #7.

I hope reading this series gives some inspiration, whether it be restoring tools, building boxes or climbing mountains. Not that I want another hearty sole competing against me on my next restore able purchase, but its a small price to pay to know the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes with a project completed and another memory made. I hope someday someone envisions me, gliding this plane across a workpiece, touting a half smile, unwilling to allow the stiff joints of my aging limbs to prevent me from achieving my daily pleasures. My persistence and caring of this piece of equipment will allow him the same pleasures, with the same occasional stiffness and determination!

Today, my life is good. Hope yours is as well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com



15 comments so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1319 days


#1 posted 1173 days ago

Welcome to your new favorite plane! I’m enamored by your brass treatment. Favorited, expecting frequent returns :)

I’ve had a chance to read now and I very much enjoyed this post. I, too, am of the opinion that a mirror surfaced frog is a bad plan. I’ll knock down coarse machining but want to keep some friction going. I switched from shellac a while back. I now use beeswax+turpentine but I don’t really care for the smell. In your honor, I’ll use BLO on my #8 that’s about to be plopped into the electro tank.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1915 days


#2 posted 1173 days ago

great job I wish my record planes were black so I could have painted them much easier. Plus they look nice with all the other shiny parts.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View skeeter's profile

skeeter

233 posts in 1967 days


#3 posted 1173 days ago

wow you can tell that plane was a great user. look at how little blade you have left. Almost time to get a replacement. Nice restoration.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1319 days


#4 posted 1173 days ago

Planes with short blades tell the best stories :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2724 days


#5 posted 1173 days ago

Well done Don, here is to another 75 to 100 years of use.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3642 posts in 1791 days


#6 posted 1173 days ago

Nice read…....pretty plane…..

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3156 posts in 2449 days


#7 posted 1173 days ago

Nicely done, thanks for the preservation post and happy planing…BC

View mafe's profile

mafe

9486 posts in 1716 days


#8 posted 1173 days ago

Beautiful job on that plane.
This beauty will now have a long life infront of it.
I love the close up picture of the adjusting screw.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1281 days


#9 posted 1169 days ago

Gorgeous. Keep it looking good the next generation.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3642 posts in 1791 days


#10 posted 1169 days ago

By the way, looking at the way you hang your planes, are they just resting in the groove of the knob? Living in the land of the big earthquake, I always have to really hang something well, especially if it is heavy and expensive.

And then after writing that, I walked out into the shop and looked crtically at my #4 Veritas hanging on a pegboard….....and put it back at the back of the bench, which is against the wall, where I usually keep the #4…...(-:

Anyway, curious about your plane rack…........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14841 posts in 1194 days


#11 posted 1169 days ago

they are just hanging. They’re in upstate NY and the barn is built on solid ledge. If it moves that much, it probably wouldn’t matter if they were bolted to the wall.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3642 posts in 1791 days


#12 posted 1169 days ago

OK, OK, OK…........maybe not immune to an earthquake, but if the planes fall….....does anything else matter?

Actually, I don’t think my plane would have fallen from a good sized earthquake, even though hung on the pegboard….....

It’s just that the planes are so important…...............(-:

Hey, thanks again for a great blog…......

.......do you mind if I copy your rack?

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14841 posts in 1194 days


#13 posted 1169 days ago

copy away. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I look at other projects to get ideas and post mine hoping to do the same.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Brad's profile

Brad

838 posts in 1366 days


#14 posted 790 days ago

Don I can tell that this #7 is special to you. And I like that you appreciate the history that this plane has.

I’d like to think that tools have memories, and that those memories help their new owners be better woodworkers.

My own #7 is special to me also, mostly because it’s “evolved” as my woodworking skills have increased. At first, I only did a marginal rehab. Then, I noticed that the frog was a bit convex so I replaced it. As I grew more confident in my woodworking, I took a stab at crafting a beaver tail to replace the one that broke off long ago. My fix broke so I replaced the knob and tote with new ones. I even tried Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen blades, but they were too thick and I wasn’t going to file the mouth of my friend.

I can only guess at the tales its previous lives could tell, but our journey together has made it one of my favorite tools to use.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14841 posts in 1194 days


#15 posted 790 days ago

thanks Brad. If you read my recent review on my new hock blade, you know I’m not a fan of replacing the irons unless they are completely worn out. As you can probably see, the iron on this old girl has had a few sharpening in her past.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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