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Refurbishing hand planes

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Forum topic by DennisHolden posted 07-31-2010 06:30 AM 3368 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DennisHolden

4 posts in 2324 days


07-31-2010 06:30 AM

Recently I sold my band saw, that has been in storage and not used for some time, to buy a bunch of hand planes and other various things. I ended up getting 24 planes all together, and I am going to fix up the ones that I want to keep. That means that I’m obviously going to sell some and give a few away (to the guy that was storing my band saw.)

So my question is, if I refurbish the hand planes that i am going to sell does take away from the tools history? My friend told me he wouldn’t do it because they look better when they are old looking. But my thought is that I want to use the tool, not display it like an ornament. So to me it adds to the plane to say that it was tattered and this guy fixed it for the next guy.

What are your thoughts?

Also if anyone has any pointers on what to do and what not to do when restoring a hand plane that would be great, i was thinking about sand blasting and repainting. The whole 9-yards in essence.

Also if you would like to see what I bought you can always look me up on facebook, I’m the one gnawing on a turkey carcase.


10 replies so far

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DennisHolden

4 posts in 2324 days


#1 posted 07-31-2010 07:31 AM

I just found this video on LumberJocks:
Hand Plane Restoration #1: Stanley Bench Plane

David uses electrolysis to remove all of the dust, this seems like a good way to go. Sand blasting might damage the planes to much I guess.

I will keep investigating, and I still look forward to your comments.

Also, if I either buy or make new handles, how does this change the value of the plane?

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paratrooper34

892 posts in 2419 days


#2 posted 07-31-2010 07:57 AM

The best thing to do is determine if any of the planes you bought have any collectors value. Some do, some don’t. If you do have a rare piece or collector’s item, give it a cleaning and sell it as is. You will turn a profit that way and be able to purchase a newer plane(s). If they don’t have any collector’s value, tune them, rehab/refurb, whatever and use them. I have several old planes, but they are a dime a dozen so I cleaned, tuned, and put them to work. These things are so common they will never be of value in my life time.

Electrolysis is definitely the way to go when doing serious rust/old jappaning removal. Get the setup, hook up the plane, dunk it in there and let it sit. Come back from an overnight or day long bath and it will be ready to clean up and such.

-- Mike

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knotscott

7225 posts in 2843 days


#3 posted 07-31-2010 12:38 PM

Everyone’s preferences are different. I tend to prefer them cleaned up, especially if they’re in tough shape, but as paratrooper34 point’s out you can devalue a collector’s plane by cleaning it, which most aren’t.

There are some good websites that can guide you:
http://rexmill.com/
http://www.cianperez.com/
http://oldtoolheaven.com/bench/bench.htm
http://www.record-planes.com/
http://www.recordhandplanes.com/

Evaporust works well to remove rust.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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David Craig

2136 posts in 2576 days


#4 posted 07-31-2010 01:47 PM

From what I have read, the tools with the highest collector value would be tools that were not popular due to poor design or just did not catch on. Value is based on rarity. Useful and popular hand tools were widely marketed, manufactured, and distributed so they are not so rare in the collector sense. Used tools that do not have a collector value are worth pretty close to the price of a new tool of the same caliber. As already suggested, you will have to decide whether you are selling a collectible or whether you are selling a tool. More than likely, you will be planning on selling your items as tools.

My own personal viewpoint is that I would prefer purchasing rusty, old looking hand tools only to save some serious money at the expense of elbow grease. However, if someone were to want me to pay top dollar for their used hand tool, I would expect the tool to be tuned and in great shape. You will probably want to meet in the middle, apply only as much work to it as you can expect a used item to fetch. Evaporust has already been mentioned, you can pick up a gallon at Harbor Freight and at most automotive stores. It will remove any rust quite efficiently without the electrolysis setup.

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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swirt

2118 posts in 2439 days


#5 posted 08-01-2010 06:01 AM

Check them for value, then decide what you want to do with them. Sand blasting would be overkill. USe evaporust on the rust. Don’t go crazy squaring up the sides of planes that you aren’t going to use for chuting. Don’t go crazy trying to make it so you can’t fit a feeler gauge under the sole, or making the sole so polished you can see yourself. A tool doesn’t need to sparkle to work well.

Personally, I like my old tools to look old. Only the parts that are supposed to be sharp sparkle.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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DennisHolden

4 posts in 2324 days


#6 posted 08-01-2010 10:01 AM

Which planes work well for chuting?

I got some of the Evaporust, and it worked really well on what I have done so far, then I plan on truing the sole up to 600 grit. Just using my granite and wet/dry paper.

I also still plan on using the electrolysis to clean my blades and chippers for sure. But I can’t decide if I should use it on the lever-cap and the frog.

Thank you all for your input, the web sites have helped a lot also.

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

892 posts in 2419 days


#7 posted 08-01-2010 01:24 PM

A number 5 type works the best IMO. The size is comfortable for that. LN makes one specifically designed for shooting applications as do a couple of other manufacturers. Stanley made one also, but they are extremely rare and the ones I have seen for sale fetch $1000 or so. I use a Record T-5; it was made with a side handle for shooting. They can be found now and then on Ebay UK. Before that I used my Record number 5, it worked fine.

-- Mike

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DennisHolden

4 posts in 2324 days


#8 posted 08-02-2010 06:53 AM

Would modifying a plane by putting a removable handle on the side be a good idea?

Also, one of the handle screws was rusted badly enough that it broke when trying to take it out…. how much fun is this going to be?

Lol, I really am enjoying every minute of this, probably because it distracts me from other things I should be doing. So no matter how much work I just created for myself I know I’m going to have fun with it, lol.

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2439 days


#9 posted 08-02-2010 05:37 PM

A number5 is a good recommendation for a chuting plane as it is a nice mix of weight and length. A low angle jack plane is also a good possibility since they work a little better on end grain. I’d only considering adding a side handle if you are planning on doing a significant amount of chuting.

I’m not sure why you would use electrolysis on the blade and cap. You’ve got the evaporust.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1441 posts in 2932 days


#10 posted 08-02-2010 06:03 PM

to restate what others have said: most of these old planes are not rare/collectible. There are some great examples of people restoring these old planes to pristine condition…. I’d love to do that one day, but 90% of the way there requires only 10% of the work… ie, it doesn’t take a lot to make them usable.

another thing to keep in mind is the brand/original quality of the tool. If the frog doesn’t sit well on the body of the plane, for example, I would say that it’s not worth fixing it up to use. I picked up a craftsman plane that is not in the same league of quality as my old stanley’s and millers falls…. so i’m not even going to bother fixing it up to working order.

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