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Help! Restoring a Vaughan and Bushnell 905 (Stanley Bedrock Clone)

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Forum topic by Nicholas Hall posted 08-19-2012 04:30 PM 1910 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nicholas Hall

348 posts in 853 days


08-19-2012 04:30 PM

Hi All,

I just recently bought a Vaughan and Bushnell 905 bench plane, which is a Stanely Bedrock 605 clone. The trouble is that I haven’t a clue how to fettle it. I have a ton of information on restoring Bailey bench planes, and I even took a class with Roland Johnson from Fine Woodworking Magazine two weeks ago on how to do it, but I don’t know a thing about restoring a Bedrock. The primary difference between the Bedrock design and the Bailey design is the frog. As a result, I’m primarily interested in info on how to get the frog properly ground and seated. There is a whole lotta metal down there compared to my Bailely’s, and I’m guessing there is a different approach to polishing it so that the frog seats properly. I’m leery of tossing valve grinding compound on the bottom of the frog and sliding it back and forth in the plane body, ala Roland Johnson’s Stanley Bailey restoration method, because I’m not sure this is appropriate for bedrocks.

I’ve spent 4hrs searching the internet generally, and lumberjocks in particular on “Bedrock Plane Restoration” and “Bedrock Plane Tuning”, but all that I’ve wound up with are links to people’s pictures of the planes they’ve restored, but nothing on how to get the frog seated. Can anyone point me in the right direction with a link or two? This will be a pure user, so I’m not interested in aesthetics, just how to get that vast expanse of gorgeous frog steel properly seated!

Thanks in Advance,
Nick

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx


5 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5448 posts in 1344 days


#1 posted 08-19-2012 04:45 PM

You can use PSA sandpaper adhered to the bottom of the frog, trimmed flush. Then rub back and forth until a smooth even wear pattern is seen. As for the iron mating surface, I typically remove (carefully) the lat adjuster and yoke and adhere sandpaper to a flat surface and rub it around till flat, smooth, even, and shiny. Replace the lat adjuster/yoke and then set up the plane. It isnt as bad as it seems.

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 1998 days


#2 posted 08-19-2012 10:46 PM

Nick, what is making it seat poorly now? If there is dirt/grime/junk in there, then clean it out. If there is paint, scrape it off. Otherwise I’ve never seen a Bedrock plane that needed much more work to seat the frog properly. If it was machined well (and I don’t have any experience with V&B planes, only pure Bedrock’s) then it shouldn’t require much more if anything. If they did such a poor job of replicating a Bedrock that it requires a ton of work to just get the frog to seat properly, then perhaps finding a real Bedrock is more worth your time?
:D
Ryan

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View Don W's profile

Don W

15526 posts in 1314 days


#3 posted 08-19-2012 11:12 PM

I totally agree with Ryan. To be honest, most Baileys don’t need much in that area and I’ve never seen a bedrock that needed anything. I’ve not worked on a Vaughan and Bushnell either, so its a general statement.

What’s it doing that you think it needs work?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

348 posts in 853 days


#4 posted 08-20-2012 02:26 AM

@ ShaneA: Good idea with the self adhesive PSA sandpaper. I think that will do what I’m looking for. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it.

@ RS Woodworks: The real answer to your question is that the plane probably doesn’t need the work. I got a bit of chatter out of the plane working on some fairly badly case hardened 5/4 cherry, but there are a lot of reasons why I might of had chatter. A wise man once said that there is a difference between fiddling and fettling, and it pays to know the difference. I think I’m probably doing the former.

The reason I started using valve grinding compound with the frog and frog seating area is that the machining on the frog seating area didn’t seem that great (but I have nothing to compare it to). I posted a picture of the frog seating area on the Vaughan and Bushnell 905 in question. I painted the whole seating area with a black sharpie and then did a bit of abrasion by sliding the frog back and forth with valve grinding compound in the frog seating area. The area in red didn’t seem to be getting even contact with the frog. If you look at the area in yellow, there is a channel that is 1/8” wide, and 1/16” deep that sits to the left of the frog seating runner (it’s right in the middle of the yellow box). The runner is getting contact the whole way down, so the valve compound started grinding a 1/1000” groove in the underside of the frog from the grinding compound. I don’t really want to grind a groove in frog, which the reason I stopped doing it and then posted the question. I think that ShaneA’s solution of using self-adhesive PSA sandpaper would solve the problem.

Ultimately though, the plane is working pretty damn well. I think I’ll use it for a while longer before I worry about tuning it.

Thanks for the input,

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 1998 days


#5 posted 08-20-2012 06:26 AM

I would kind of doubt that it’s the frog seating that is causing your chatter. But if your real concerned about it, sand or file away some of those paint globs that seem to be there, especially on the right side of that photo. In fact, a flat file to that whole area might easily clean things up for you withour screwing around with valve grinding muck. :D

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

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