|Review by poopiekat||posted 215 days ago||2216 views||8 times favorited||20 comments|
After seeing some plane restorations by LJ ‘ToddJB’ back in December, I was glad to see someone asked him how he got such a terrific surface on the sides of his planes. His ‘workhorse’ as he referred to it, was a simple burnishing wheel! He claimed it would take a plane from rusty to shiny in one step! I had to have one of these, a hundred of my planes are in queue for restoration, and it’s taking me forever!
So, I purchased a 3M burnishing wheel, the exact one Todd uses. Actually three, they are not sold by the each by the distributor I deal with.
Here’s a plane I selected for the first go: A type #19 #4 Stanley, nice but with typical rust and crud, and not so rare as to be possibly ruining a rare plane:
I took it apart, this plane has nice brass barrel screws, a frog adjustment screw, and still has the factory grind on the cutter, but cheap wood knob and tote. Here’s some in-process pics:
I’ve tried all sorts of rotary de-rusting tools, all were unsatisfactory for one reason or another. I’ve been the Evaporust route, and three other iron-chelating products, I just don’t like that gray color it leaves on iron. I’ve even done electrolysis, that works well, but not when it’s -25 outside!
This 3M burnishing wheel is great! It’s kinda like Scotch-Brite, another 3M product, only much denser, and mounts on your grinder arbor, or in my case, chucked into the drill press. You’ll have to get your own reducer; these are made for 1” arbors. I spent less than an hour and though this plane still needs a bit of touch-up with the wheel, I am quite pleased with the results. I like the feel of the warm, smooth surface, it’s like the metal has been smoothed by years of use in craftsmen’s hands, rather than that grainy scratchy surface you get with other abrasives. Oh, yeah…they’re a bit pricey at $63 ea. CDN, shop around if you can! Maybe under $50 in the USA.
If you’re committed to restoring old hand planes…this is a must-have tool! Thanks for looking!
-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!