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Old plane tote... need advice

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Forum topic by TD Bridges posted 01-01-2010 05:12 AM 1188 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TD Bridges

46 posts in 1883 days


01-01-2010 05:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: stanley plane tote finish

OK, I picked up a stanley #4 at a local junk store. (Very rusty but I have discovered that Evapo Rust rocks!) Any way now that the metal has been cleaned I need to turn my attention to the tote. It appears to be original with no cracks, breaks or repairs, heck it doesn’t even have any chips or scratches that I can see. But, it is dry. The tote feels very sturdy but I can tell that it is very dry and there is a small area of light water staining along the bottom. If it ever had any color it is long gone.

Question is what can I use, after I sand the flakes of ‘varnish’ or whatever the finish was off, to try to keep it from drying out further. Just to be clear there is barely any ‘varnish’ left on the tote, it is mostly bare wood. I am thinking some type of oil but I’m not sure exactly what to use. By the way I am not going for ‘original appearance here, just something to give it a few more years of life.


12 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15071 posts in 2423 days


#1 posted 01-01-2010 05:43 AM

Linseed oil adds resilience to wood.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2396 days


#2 posted 01-01-2010 05:47 AM

I’ll second tomapax – several coats of BLO will leave the tote conditioned, protected, and still with a soft ‘wood feel’ to it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6049 posts in 2176 days


#3 posted 01-01-2010 02:58 PM

I’ve never tried this with a tote, but it works great with other pieces.
Prepare a container of BLO large enough to completely submerge the tote.
Put the tote in the microwave for 30-45 seconds on high.
Using tongs, remove it and immediately dunk it in the BLO.
You’ll know it’s working when you see lots of bubbles.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2844 days


#4 posted 01-01-2010 05:41 PM

I have used BLO as well…

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

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3201 posts in 2570 days


#5 posted 01-01-2010 06:19 PM

Gene can you explain the purpose of heating the tote in microwave???Blkcherry

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2396 days


#6 posted 01-01-2010 06:35 PM

blackcherry – you wouldn’t eat it frozen would’ja?

I’m also curious on the process involved in heating the wood prior to dunkin it into the BLO if you could Gene?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6049 posts in 2176 days


#7 posted 01-02-2010 12:12 AM

Sorry for the delay in responding…..football games.

Several years ago someone else told me about this process and claimed that it opened the pores and allowed the BLO to soak in further. I didn’t believe it at the time so, I did a little experimenting. I cut two pieces of maple about 6” long by 2” wide and 3/4 thick. One was put in the MW and the other was not. As soon as the one came out of the MW, I placed both in a 1lb coffee can 3/4 full of BLO and left them there for 8 hours. Then I began slicing them from the “wet” end. Sure enough, the heated piece absorbed about 1” into the wood from the cut end and the other one only about 1/2”. I didn’t check absorption from the face or edge.
I forgot to add that the BLO was thinned about 25%.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2396 days


#8 posted 01-02-2010 12:15 AM

thanks for the tidbit Gene.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

54 posts in 1816 days


#9 posted 01-02-2010 02:21 AM

For an “in the wood” feel, BLO as others have already suggested. Many old totes were originally finished with shellac.

-- Jeff Heath Heath Toolworks planes

View TD Bridges's profile

TD Bridges

46 posts in 1883 days


#10 posted 01-02-2010 03:56 AM

Wow, thanks for the advice. Once I get another day off (putting in 14-16 hrs a day doesn’t leave much shop time during the week) I will try the microwave method and advise on the results.

Gene – would you recommend leaving the tote in for eight hours or was that just an experiment?

FWIW – I never leave Lumberjocks without learning something. this is absolutely the best WW site going.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6049 posts in 2176 days


#11 posted 01-02-2010 05:44 PM

TD,
I left them in that long because we were doing other things and I forgot about them.
Probably, as soon as the wood reached the same temp as the BLO, osmosis would dramatically slow down.
Heating the BLO to just a warm (like hot coffee?) state might be beneficial. Don’t know.
If you really want to infuse wood, I understand using a pressure pot will do the trick nicely. My method is quicker and cheaper….probably not as thorough though.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View TD Bridges's profile

TD Bridges

46 posts in 1883 days


#12 posted 01-03-2010 12:41 AM

Gene,
Thanks for the info, I don’t think complete infusion os necessary as I plan to eventually make a new tote since the plane has a crude homemade knob on it now and I want to make a matching set.
Thanks again.

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