Just a plane rehab tip for ya......

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Forum topic by Bill White posted 05-09-2012 09:33 PM 1180 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill White

4930 posts in 3959 days

05-09-2012 09:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

I rehab a bunch of planes. All the usual de-rust, tune, sharpen, etc.
One tip I’ll pass is that about totes and knobs on the old Stanleys with the great rosewood.
Unless they are just plain (don’t go there) crap, I will get out the buffing wheel, load it with green buffing compound, and give ‘em a good buff. Then, a coat of paste wax will pull out the patina without messin’ with the look of the rosewood. I’ve even done the same with some of the other woods and plastic. Just gotta be carefull.
Some may want to refinish, but I find this process very acceptable for most user planes.


7 replies so far

View BubbaIBA's profile


387 posts in 2375 days

#1 posted 05-09-2012 10:37 PM


For my user planes (most of ‘em, I’m not into trying to make new planes) I spend my time on cleaning, fretting, and sharpening. Unless the knob and/or tote are really abused, a good cleaning and BLO works for me, if I have to take it down for repair then shellac and BLO have been my go to. I’m a believer in the tool Hippocratic Oath, first do no harm.

Thanks for the tip…I’ll give it a try.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4930 posts in 3959 days

#2 posted 05-09-2012 10:51 PM

Bubba, I just finished one no name plane for a local. The wood was really in rough shape.
I applied 2 coats of BLO-letting ‘em soak over night (each). Then I refinished.
My post was for planes that were not in crappy shape. I will refinish in a minute if the wood is beyond rehab.
Just did one for my shop (thank you Mike in Baton Rouge) that had some green paint on the tote. It came off with just a touch of DNA. Buffed up, and looks great. Not new. It is an old plane.
Keep after it.


View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3751 days

#3 posted 05-09-2012 11:06 PM

Thanks Bill.

Any tips for a cheapo battery charger for electrolysis?

View ITnerd's profile


263 posts in 2598 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 12:02 AM

Shipwreck – I think the cheapest one you can get with one of those meters is the best one. I picked up a schumacher dual rate on craigslist for 20 bucks, I think they are ~60 new at autozone.

The meter is nice because it helps you know if you have good contacts. The dual settings is handy for me; when I want to just remove light rust but not refinish – I use the 10 amp and take it out after a days soak. if I am trying to soften all the japanning too, I may leave it on at the 2 amp setting for a couple of days.

I had problems using the slow trickle chargers that are tiny – many have overload circuits that will prevent you from doing the electrolysis process.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3751 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 09:32 AM

Thanks ITnerd. I need one badly, I see alot of planes in my future.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2285 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 12:22 PM

Yeah, the totes are not easy to refinish. I think I’ll leave them as is unless they have paint or something.+

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#7 posted 05-10-2012 04:28 PM

Shipwreck, just a note, I struggled with this a little. I bought a new battery charger (my old one dies). After, electrolysis always took to long so I never really bothered with it. Somewhere threw another conversation I mentioned I had a new battery charger and it didn’t seem to work right for electrolysis. Another LJ suggested putting a battery inline between the charger and the vat. What a difference. I had a dead garden tractor battery so I stuck it inline. In just seconds an old rusty block plane created this reaction.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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