On a recent rust hunt, I happened across a Stanley #4.
The very reasonable price and three patent dates behind the frog motivated me to have the nice lady open the display case.
Once it was in my covetous little hands, I started ticking off the distinguishing characteristics of a vintage Type 11.
I’ve been burned before. So before forking over good tool money, I made sure that all the parts were present and in good working order. Check, check, check and—here’s my check.
At home I took a closer look.
The experiential archaeologist in me likes to look over how the previous owner configured my new plane.
Wow. Either a youngster gave cambering the ole’ college try, or an Irish workman decided to do it first thing in the morning on March 18th. The cap iron was also set a country mile (3/16”) from the edge. Let’s see. A course camber and set to the iron, plus paint streaks and drops everywhere, plus some plywood chips ensconced under the frog. To me that all adds up to a lifetime dedicated to general purpose work.
That left a cosmetic layer of rust, tarnish, grime and dust everywhere.
The disassembled parts plopped into Evaporust. Everything else was treated to steel- and brass-wire brushes, cue tips, mineral spirits and that Spice-Girls-fluorescent-pink naval jelly rust remover.
After that, I followed the plane rehab regimen that I detailed in my restore of a #3. That includes lapping the iron, sharpening it with a hint of camber and polishing the leading edge of the chip breaker to a mirror finish.
The sole was in pretty good shape. A total lapping time of five minutes through the grits was all that was required.
I left the sides alone other than to remove some rust to reveal the patina beneath.
Before/After tool porn
With the cleaning and sharpening complete it was ready for the test.
My minimalist rehab must have been sufficient, because it only took a few minutes to dial in some solid, smoother performance.
Mmmm. Billowy, gossamer shavings. That’s good, but what kind of finish does it leave on a piece of cherry?
Nice! A glassy-smooth, reflective, no-sandpaper-needed surface.
I’m satisfied with that. More so, considering that I only spent 30 minutes on tuning activities.
From display case to my shop. This one’s a keeper.
-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."