Transitional restores #4: Ohio Tool #122, What a Surprise

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Blog entry by Don W posted 07-16-2012 08:30 PM 5903 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: #34 What, a Jointer? Part 4 of Transitional restores series no next part

Some times a restore comes along that just surprises the crap out of me. I’m a bit of an Ohio Tools buff. I’m not sure why, but I just started seeking out anything that has Ohio Tools stamped on it. This plane is no exception. I really believed it was beyond hope, but I could make out the Ohio Tools stamp. Had it not come with a bunch of other planes though, making it almost free, it probably would have been still sitting on the antique dealers shelf.

Someone in its previous life had decided to clear coat it with some kind of lacquer. And we all know what happens when you encapsulate bad rust. It was rusted so bad it actually turned the clear coat a reddish color in spots.

I figured I could get it close enough to be a book end. Even then I was a little skeptical. After all, it was looking pretty pathetic.

But once again, I could still read Ohio Tools, so it gave me a ray of hope. Maybe it will look good sitting on my shelf.

And it was part complete after all, and the wood wasn’t bad. That’s always a plus.

This is the hardest strip job I’ve undertaken. I used every technique I have ever used on this particular plane. I used paint stripper, wire brushes, dremel brushes, sand blaster, scrapers, knife blades, sand paper, and soaked it in evapo-rust. Between the clear coating, the original finish and the rust, it was not giving up easy, but then, neither was I.

After finally getting it stripped, I gave it a coat of Dupli-Color Engine Enamel DUPDE1635 Ford Semi Gloss Black spray paint. The wood got scraped with a cabinet scraper and sanded to 500 grit. A coat of wax and a few coats of BLO rounded out the treatment. I only sanded the front with 500 grit to preserve the stamp.

I sharpened the blade, flattened the back, wire brushed the small pieces and put it back together.

Much to my very pleasant surprise, not only did it come out looking good, but its probably one of the best working transitionals I’ve restored to date. The mouth was tight right away, no fussing with the sole, and the blade was in very decent shape. I was a little surprised the rust had not penetrating the bottom half of the blade or the chip breaker, making sharpening and flattening much easier than most.

Like all transitionals, the blade is a little difficult to set, and this has the extra adjustment for the blade adjuster, so it takes some fussing to get it right. I was taking some heavy shavings at first, but gradually got the adjustment down, and got some very nice thin shavings.

I’m glad I got to bring this one home. Its found a spot next to the other transitionals in my shop. It probably won’t get used a whole lot, but it can sit proudly in retirement knowing its got back the respect it deserves.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

20 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


14820 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 07-16-2012 08:37 PM

Sharp lookin little plane there Don. I think i could lay my head down on those fluffy shavings for a little afternoon nap.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2148 days

#2 posted 07-16-2012 08:45 PM

Very nice… well done… The plane looks like it has the same type of depth adjustment that the Stanley Liberty Bell planes have.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don W's profile

Don W

17453 posts in 1835 days

#3 posted 07-16-2012 08:48 PM

I don’t have a Liberty Bell Dan, but it looks the same from the outside.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13008 posts in 1886 days

#4 posted 07-16-2012 08:51 PM

That’s a nice restore, Hoss! Well done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View barecycles's profile


256 posts in 1596 days

#5 posted 07-16-2012 08:56 PM

Very nice. Always look forward to seeing how you transform these planes Don.

Sometimes, the high point of my day is reading about someone restoring some old rusty tool. What does that say about my pitiful existence?

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 1491 days

#6 posted 07-16-2012 09:00 PM

Very nice looking plane. I am so glad you brought it back to life!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View AnthonyReed's profile


7903 posts in 1707 days

#7 posted 07-16-2012 09:05 PM

Great job Don.

-- ~Tony

View SamuelP's profile


755 posts in 1913 days

#8 posted 07-16-2012 09:21 PM


-- -Sam - Tampa, FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4166 posts in 2124 days

#9 posted 07-16-2012 09:22 PM

That was some restore job

Came out nice though.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View terryR's profile


5768 posts in 1576 days

#10 posted 07-16-2012 09:26 PM

Looks like a tough battle…congrats on the beautiful victory…that’s a keeper!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View BTimmons's profile


2291 posts in 1752 days

#11 posted 07-16-2012 09:29 PM

Don, I’m gonna start calling you The Re-Animator. Seriously, you bring these pieces of iron back from the dead.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Brit's profile (online now)


6116 posts in 2110 days

#12 posted 07-16-2012 09:33 PM

That settles it. I’m definitely not blogging about any plane restorations. Between you and Dan, I’d just show myself up. Great work Don.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Johnnyblot's profile


318 posts in 1543 days

#13 posted 07-16-2012 09:36 PM

Great job Don. I must admit I’d might not have bothered with this plane. Fact is you brought it back to life and it’s a beauty. Well done that man!

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View cirvin's profile


9 posts in 2226 days

#14 posted 07-16-2012 10:02 PM

Very nice restore job. My first plane was an Ohio 7/8 rabbit plane.

View Deycart's profile


444 posts in 1525 days

#15 posted 07-16-2012 10:06 PM

Very nice. That blade looked done. Well done!

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