Plane Restoration or No Restoration???? Need Advice.

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Forum topic by hhhopks posted 10-15-2012 05:23 PM 2480 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View hhhopks's profile


645 posts in 1841 days

10-15-2012 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane restoration hand tool refurbishing question

I need an advice from plane experts and “Hand Plane of Your Dreams” contributors. Are there any suggestions on when not to restore a plane?

I recently obtain a pre lateral size 23”, hand plane. It appears to be a Bailey, size 8, Type 4. There are no casting marks on the plane base. It has the faint bead on the low knob. The knob and tote appears to be rosewood. The depth adjust nut is right handed and has Bailey and Pat dates on it. I can make out the faint “Stanley Rule” in an arc on the blade. I’ll post some pictures later on tonight.

It looks really good from a distance but as you further examine the plane close up, it is obvious that some kind of cleaning is needed. I got a feeling that it is one of those things, that the more you clean the more things you will find that needs to be cleaned. Even though it has dark rustic color, I suspect that there is rust and probably is covered with it. It does have the collector’s dreaded nail hole at the tail end.

So how much restoration is really needed? Should I just leave it alone?

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

18 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7211 posts in 2839 days

#1 posted 10-15-2012 05:31 PM

I’d never restore a true collector, but most are really just common users. A pic would help a lot.

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2578 days

#2 posted 10-15-2012 05:47 PM

as a handtool user I maybee a little to one side :-)
but I say the collecters should never set the rules for what we can do or not can do
with tools
and I wuold anytime restore a tool and use it than let a collecter get it just for his pleasure

you can always start with the basic tune up of the plane (blade and sole etc )
but to go all the way don´t take much more beside your time and a little knowledge ¨
that there is plenty of on this site in blogs and projects

good luck on the slippery slope of the galoots highway …. :-)

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4452 posts in 3424 days

#3 posted 10-15-2012 06:32 PM

I think that you might need to send that plane to me. You are WELL on your way to spending a bunch of time on hand tools. Well….......That might not be a bad thing, but I still want the plane. :)
Didja see the smilie? Get to work. Clean it up and use it.


View Don W's profile

Don W

17962 posts in 2031 days

#4 posted 10-15-2012 10:09 PM

I restore everything that needs restoring. It’s mine, if I plane to keep it, I want it the way I want it.

Now what defines “needs restoring”?

I’d clean it up and go from there.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View HorizontalMike's profile


7146 posts in 2377 days

#5 posted 10-15-2012 10:24 PM

Not restoring is the equivalent of having an ALL original 1957 Chevy Belair Coupe and NEVER having changed the OIL. ”Still has the original factory OEM oil in the crankcase! Never touched!”

Restore ALL hand planes. Antique dealers are just snake oil salesmen IMO.

A couple of my hand planes:

Foreground un-restored Type 2 Sargent #422
Background #418 restored

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View dhazelton's profile


2324 posts in 1760 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 11:02 PM

Things that are supposed to be bright, like screw heads, plain steel and brass knobs, I clean up on a soft wire wheel. Painted areas simply get cleaned with 4 aught steel wool and WD40 and wiped clean, maybe some paste wax. Wood gets polished lightly with the steel wool, then a coat or two of BLO and paste wax. I like things to look clean, but with that sense of history. If I want a new plane I’ll just go buy one.

View hhhopks's profile


645 posts in 1841 days

#7 posted 10-16-2012 12:53 AM

Since I have been in this addiction for about a year now, I am still learning more about the hobby.
It is nice to fantasize that you have something special. So, here’s what I got.

I like the feedback so far of no crime in restoring the plane.
I also have couple Unions and a Siegley that I recently have gotten. It is unusal to me. I’ll restore those as well.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View lysdexic's profile


5078 posts in 2086 days

#8 posted 10-16-2012 01:06 AM


Here is my take. I enjoy and value patina just as much any collector. However, patina is not dirt, grime or rust. Take care of those three, fettle the plane and see if the plane pleases YOU.

There are volumes of info here about the mechanics of cleaning and restoration.

Remember, no pics or it didn’t happen. We all enjoy tool porn.

-- I love Jeeps

View ShaneA's profile


6472 posts in 2062 days

#9 posted 10-16-2012 01:28 AM

Looks to be in good shape. Clean/tune her up, use and enjoy it. I like them restored, and shined up, but that is my preference. I think you should make it look like you like it.

View bandit571's profile (online now)


14577 posts in 2146 days

#10 posted 10-16-2012 02:18 AM

Some just take a little more time..

a two-patent date #8C (@ $25) NEEDED A LITTLE WORK

and the after shot.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View mvflaim's profile


183 posts in 2554 days

#11 posted 10-16-2012 03:22 AM

I would not restore it. If you need one to use, sell that on on ebay to a collector then buy a newer No 8 or No 7 and fill up your gas tank with the money you have left over.


View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1891 days

#12 posted 10-16-2012 05:28 AM

“Patina” is a dirty word in my shop. Get rid of all rust, discoloration, and anything that is not army clean! Make that metal shine! lol – army life is far behind me, but

habits die hard.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View knotscott's profile


7211 posts in 2839 days

#13 posted 10-16-2012 10:45 AM

No harm done making that one look the way you want it. I tend to like shiny metal!

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17962 posts in 2031 days

#14 posted 10-16-2012 11:31 AM

I disagree restoration ruins the value (in most cases). I believe that comes from collectors hoping to hold down the price. You guys know I restore and sell a lot of this kind of stuff. Watch a few on ebay. Watch the ones in the original shape, then a restored one. You be the judge.

If you find one (especially a pre-laterial,) that’s above say 80 percent or so of original condition, then original condition may be more valuable. But if the japanning is pretty much gone or badly damaged, restoration is the way to go.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View hhhopks's profile


645 posts in 1841 days

#15 posted 10-16-2012 11:46 AM

Here’s my take on restoration.
The tools in as found condition indicates no one cares about the tool.
When it is clean with a sharp blade, it show that their is pride in ownership.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

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