Quite some time ago, fifteen years or better, I picked up a Stanley #45 Combination Plane.
Back then I didn’t know anything about Combination planes. The only plane I owned at the time was a small block plane I bought from Sears in the late 70s. I don’t think I paid more than a couple of dollars for the #45, as it was completely seized up. I remember I could only get one of the many screws to turn at all. When I got it home I sprayed it down with wd-40, wrapped it in a towel and put in the bottom drawer of my tool box. Other than the occasional spray down with this or that rust penetrant it has been wrapped and stowed since. A year ago, after moving into my first real dedicated workshop I hung the old Stanley in a prominent spot on a wall where I couldn’t help but see it on a semi regular basis. I retired in November of 2015 and three weeks ago the # 45 came down off the wall. I spent a day taking it nearly completely apart lightly cleaning and lubricating all the moving parts. The blade I removed and cleaned up but did not try to sharpen it. I cleaned the knife just short of properly polished. That will come later. It was actually pretty sharp. I reassembled the plane and figured out what did what and why, adjusted it out the best I could and by the end of the day I cut a beautiful groove in a piece of 1×4 spruce, producing perfect long shavings. I was amazed, it cut like butter making the most satisfying swishing sound as it pulled layer after layer out of the groove it cut.
The rust has caused enough damage to the nickel plating that I am considering using electrolysis to do a complete vat clean and repaint. I am looking for someone with specific knowledge and experience with this model as I have yet to determine how to remove the tote. Mine has visible pins on the left side. These pins apparently were peened into the frame from one side after the handle was fitted. The tote and the knob are both in very good condition. I would love to see a #45 with the tote removed so I can confirm how the pins fit into the frame. Anyone?
I have now completely disassembled the plane and have nearly all of the hardware pieces cleaned and mostly polished. Where to go with it now? What to do about the peeling plating? Can I remove the tote with out breaking it?