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Really delicate Plane cleaning/rehab, need help

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Forum topic by Marn64 posted 10-23-2016 10:10 PM 1581 views 1 time favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Marn64

295 posts in 625 days


10-23-2016 10:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane refurbishing

Hey everybody,
So yesterday I had an absolutely glorious tool find, a Stanley Bedrock 602 type 3 for 5 dollars. To be honest I am still in shock with this find. But now I want to proceed with cleaning it up, it is covered in rust (still has good japanning though) and greasy gunk and I want to get it back in working order, or at least, remove rust to stop corrosion and make it look presentable as a collectors plane. The approach I want to take is a gentle as possible approach, such as keeping the original japanning and any changes being reversible. So far the only thing I have done is removing this gross black slimy stuff from the brass nuts and depth adjuster with a gentle brasso rub with a cheese cloth. I was thinking of doing citric acid (or better yet, evaporust) for the body, frog and screws, and shellac (reversible with alcohol) on the tote and knob to protect the remaining lacquer. Is this a good idea/plan? Any tips/further ideas?
Thanks,
Benjamin

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee


26 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

871 posts in 1792 days


#1 posted 10-23-2016 10:55 PM

I don’t really know “Jack” about vintage planes (get it?), but from what I can gather that would be a tremendous find. I, and the hoard of plane aficionados on the Forum, would need to see many pictures before offering any advice on the restoration.

Go easy and get some advice before doing any rust removal lest you spoil a real gem.

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Marn64

295 posts in 625 days


#2 posted 10-23-2016 11:03 PM

Pics from post yesterday




-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5068 posts in 2105 days


#3 posted 10-23-2016 11:48 PM

Ben, I’m thinking you should contact DonW. He’s the hand plane guru here. I have just begun using Evaporust and man is that stuff awesome. I don’t know much about that Bedrock 602, Don’s the guy to ask. I’m thinking it all depends on what you want a user or a collector piece.

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WillliamMSP

1084 posts in 1444 days


#4 posted 10-23-2016 11:50 PM

I’m going to leave the advice to the others, but let me be the first to tell you that you suck!

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

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Marn64

295 posts in 625 days


#5 posted 10-23-2016 11:55 PM



I m going to leave the advice to the others, but let me be the first to tell you that you suck!

- WillliamMSP


Yep, I sure do! :D

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

5455 posts in 2051 days


#6 posted 10-24-2016 12:12 AM

As gentle as possible to me would mean cleaning with diluted simple green, then some light oil, a scotch brite pad and elbow grease. Just enough to take care of the active rust blooms, but not going so far as to remove the patina completely. This would give you a usable tool, while still preserving the age, and is the route I would go on that plane.

An Evaporust or citric acid bath is another level up on the intrusiveness scale. It would definitely take care of the rust, but you would totally lose all the age on the iron. Not that you can’t go that route, just saying it seems at cross purposes with your stated goals. It wouldn’t look like a collector piece any more and is definitely not reversible.

If you start with the least intrusive method, you can always go up a level later. If you jump right to a higher level, there is no way to go backwards.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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ColonelTravis

1681 posts in 1733 days


#7 posted 10-24-2016 12:51 AM

I found a Stanley #2 for $5 earlier this year, but that’s a much lower level than yours, so congrats on your YOU SUCK! find.

Cleaned up mine with simple green so the japanning wouldn’t be touched. Taking off that stuff is a Big Fat No. Cleaned the wood with mineral spirits and steel wool. I also buffed up the lever cap, chipbreaker and brass screws for the knob and tote because it’s not as collectible as yours. Cleaned the screw threads with oil and a cloth, wiped all the non-painted metal in jojoba oil, sharpened the blade, made it work again.

Does yours have any pitting anywhere? I’ve seen many collectible planes sell after they’ve had a light cleaning. What “light” means has never really been explained to me. I would guess not making any metal shiny, not touching the japanning, I don’t know about the wood parts. It would seem to me that putting shellac on those would not be a good idea but I defer to others.

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Marn64

295 posts in 625 days


#8 posted 10-24-2016 03:29 AM



As gentle as possible to me would mean cleaning with diluted simple green, then some light oil, a scotch brite pad and elbow grease. Just enough to take care of the active rust blooms, but not going so far as to remove the patina completely. This would give you a usable tool, while still preserving the age, and is the route I would go on that plane.

An Evaporust or citric acid bath is another level up on the intrusiveness scale. It would definitely take care of the rust, but you would totally lose all the age on the iron. Not that you can t go that route, just saying it seems at cross purposes with your stated goals. It wouldn t look like a collector piece any more and is definitely not reversible.

If you start with the least intrusive method, you can always go up a level later. If you jump right to a higher level, there is no way to go backwards.

- JayT


What would your opinion be on diluted evaporust? Not that I would start there, I’m definitely going to start with simple green and see how that turns out, I just want to expand my knowledge on preserving such a rare plane.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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Marn64

295 posts in 625 days


#9 posted 10-24-2016 04:12 AM


I found a Stanley #2 for $5 earlier this year, but that s a much lower level than yours, so congrats on your YOU SUCK! find.

Cleaned up mine with simple green so the japanning wouldn t be touched. Taking off that stuff is a Big Fat No. Cleaned the wood with mineral spirits and steel wool. I also buffed up the lever cap, chipbreaker and brass screws for the knob and tote because it s not as collectible as yours. Cleaned the screw threads with oil and a cloth, wiped all the non-painted metal in jojoba oil, sharpened the blade, made it work again.

Does yours have any pitting anywhere? I ve seen many collectible planes sell after they ve had a light cleaning. What “light” means has never really been explained to me. I would guess not making any metal shiny, not touching the japanning, I don t know about the wood parts. It would seem to me that putting shellac on those would not be a good idea but I defer to others.

- ColonelTravis


yeah, it really is a you suck find! I also got a stanley type 14 no 4 for 2 dollars and a no 220 block plane for 1 dollar. The no 4 still has the fragments of a decal on the tote! The 602 is pretty good, however, its lever cap is not original, its from a 1930s bedrock, and the cap iron is missing its screw, its bent, and it is from a bailey no 1, I really don’t care though, I’m going to use a lie-Nielsen blade (which should fit, considering that the LN planes are basically bedrock copies) in use, and keep the original for display!
As for the question of is there pitting, yes and no, while there is no obvious pitting, there are some active rust blooms, and I need to stop those before they become pitting.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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ColonelTravis

1681 posts in 1733 days


#10 posted 10-24-2016 04:46 AM

Regarding that lever cap – I wonder if 602s were the same as #2s as far as parts go. Patrick Leach’s site says it’s almost impossible to date a #2 accurately because they didn’t use the same type standard as the other bench planes. You’ll get parts that look like they belong on a plane from a different era. I emailed him to make sure that was true and he said – yep. No clue when my #2 was made.

Reason I asked about the pitting – having it will clearly knock down some value, depends on how much it is. But if you’ve got pitting, I also wonder if cleaning the non-japan metal (sides, blade, chipbreaker, etc.) more aggressively with a wire wheel would knock down the value even more? Or does the pitting kind of give you a green light to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do on that plane? I just see highly collectible planes that have been rehabbed more than just “lightly” sell for lots of money.

Not advising you to clean extensively, just asking if someone knows.

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

5455 posts in 2051 days


#11 posted 10-24-2016 01:02 PM

What would your opinion be on diluted evaporust? Not that I would start there, I m definitely going to start with simple green and see how that turns out, I just want to expand my knowledge on preserving such a rare plane.

- Marn64

If you are wanting to preserve the age and patina, then no. Even diluted evaporust is still going to affect all the iron and steel parts of the whole plane and will remove everything right down to the metal. It also leaves a grayish surface that has to be taken off and then you have shiny metal with no patina.

In your pics, I don’t see any active rust blooms. The sides of the body have a very nice patina, however, and you will lose that completely with any kind of rust removal soak. If there are red, flaky rust on spots, I would hit those with a scotch brite pad and some oil and leave the rest alone, other than a good cleaning with Simple Green.


Regarding that lever cap – I wonder if 602s were the same as #2s as far as parts go.

Small parts are hard to date, the body is easy on a bedrock. With round sides and the 602 cast into the body, it’s either a type 3 or 4.

Reason I asked about the pitting – having it will clearly knock down some value, depends on how much it is. But if you ve got pitting, I also wonder if cleaning the non-japan metal (sides, blade, chipbreaker, etc.) more aggressively with a wire wheel would knock down the value even more? Or does the pitting kind of give you a green light to do things you wouldn t otherwise do on that plane? I just see highly collectible planes that have been rehabbed more than just “lightly” sell for lots of money.

Not advising you to clean extensively, just asking if someone knows.

- ColonelTravis

The longer I go with planes, the less cleanup I feel is necessary. The honest truth in most cases is that a totally cleaned and shined up plane will sell for the same amount or more than one that has been very lightly touched. I suspect the people buying them are two totally different types, however. Those truly interested in the history will prefer one that legitimately shows its age, while the shiny ones will sell to a person that has more interest in owning something that few other people have instead of the history behind it. Not saying either is right or wrong, just two totally different approaches.

Benjamin, here is my final piece of advice. You have a relatively uncommon plane on your hands, and personally, I don’t think this is the right piece to be attempting with your first restoration. You mention that you also bought a #4. That would be a better plane to start with. Oil up the 602 to stop any rust growth, set it aside and work over the #4 first. Give that one an Evaporust bath and cleanup and see for yourself what the changes are and then decide if you want to do that to the 602.

If possible, I’d actually recommend restoring several planes to different levels to decide for sure what you like before ever touching the 602. Going back to my reply to ColT, as long as you don’t drop the plane and break something, there’s not going to be any real loss of value, but it is possible to go past the level where you want to be. I’ll repeat what I posted earlier. You can always go further on a restoration, but you can never go backwards. I’d hate to see you jump in too deep and do something to the 602 that you’ll regret later.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

14857 posts in 2458 days


#12 posted 10-24-2016 01:10 PM

I agree with JayT and suggest you don’t do anything to the #602. If the plan is to turn it around and re-sell, go ahead and do that in ‘as-is’ condition and be done. There’s a bunch of return waiting seeing how the purchase price was so good. Many, many folks buy with the intent to not restore / refurb (I’m one of them), and doing it poorly isn’t un-doable.

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

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Don W

18524 posts in 2407 days


#13 posted 10-24-2016 01:43 PM

I’m going to agree with JayT and Smitty. There is an experience level that gets you to what you want. My recommendation would be to clean it. Simple green or wd-40 will work. Use a tooth brush for inside and frog. A soft wire brush for the metal pieces like the screws and such.

Then just oil it. I use fluid film but any oil will work.

Then, as you restore other less valuable planes, you can decide on the level you’d like.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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Marn64

295 posts in 625 days


#14 posted 10-24-2016 02:21 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone!
What I think I am going to do with this plane is leave it be for now, but in the end I think I will clean the wood with mineral spirits and steel wool, simple green the plane and scotch brite, then wd-40 it, and then fluid film it. In the meantime I’m going to shift my focus to other restores I have been working on. My end goal is to have a plane that still has its patina, but any rust on it is inoculated and stays that way. By the way, what type of simple green, just the normal kind? And what should the dilution ratio be?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

5455 posts in 2051 days


#15 posted 10-24-2016 02:47 PM


Is it asking too much to say that I want this plane to have both collectors value and still take a shaving? Is there such thing as a collectors value plane that is usable?

- Marn64

Yes and no. A true collector’s piece probably wouldn’t ever be used, it would be a very rare piece or a very uncommon plane that is found as unused and probably NIB.

I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call your 602 rare or a “collector’s item”, as it has been used and doesn’t have all original parts. It is, however, an uncommon plane and has quite a bit of value. If you want to make it a user, there is no reason why it can’t be done. Here’s a type 2 607 I had that I think would show what you are looking for.

The patina and age is still there on all the iron parts, the japanning is still original and the wood has been cleaned, but not refinished. In every visible way, it is an untouched original type 2 Bedrock. When you take it apart, however . . .

Notice that the frog to base mating surface has been cleaned up, the frog was a bit out of flat, so that was taken care of and the iron, which you can’t see, was flattened and sharpened, so the last 1/2 in or so of the iron was bright and shiny, while the chip breaker and upper part of the iron still has the age and patina.

The bottom of the plane was also cleaned up and flattened to be a user, but I kept that work off of the sides, which still show the age. If you are using a plane, the sole would stay shiny just from the abrasive nature of its use. That 607 was used quite a few times without ever having to remove the evidence of its age.

Do keep in mind that if you are going to use the 602, there is always a chance, however small, of something happening to it and ruining the value. A fall off the bench or a clumsy moment and you drop it or something on it could cause irreparable damage. Again, I’m not saying don’t use it. It’s your plane and it was meant to be used. What I am saying is that if you just want a user #2 size, you might be better off selling the Bedrock for enough profit to buy a Bailey #2 or new Lie-Nielsen with quite a bit of money left over. If you want to own an uncommon plane that has the potential to be used occasionally, the 602 would definitely fit the bill.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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