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Looking for some help on polishing/cleaning hand tool parts

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 09-03-2013 at 07:29 AM 772 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FaTToaD

379 posts in 1778 days


09-03-2013 at 07:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane stanley metal polish buff buffing wire wheel question hf restore

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have some Stanley hand planes (4C, 8C, block plane) I’m going to refurbish. Notice I didn’t say restoreā€¦ I plan on cleaning these up as user planes.

I’ve got the rust removal done using Evapo Rust but a lot of times it leaves the metal parts with a dull gray color.

What would be the best way to shine these up again?

I’ve seen mention of everything from wire wheels, to buffing wheels, to some expensive 3M deburring wheels. I’m got a few buffing wheels as part of a HF kit (comes with black, red, and white compound). I haven’t tried it out, but would it work? I also could pick up a wire wheel at Lowes or HD for pretty cheap. For brass I’ve used some brasso and some eblow grease the past with pretty good luck. However, I’m not sure how to approach the other parts such as the screws, frog, chip breaker, etc. I’m not trying to make them look brand new, just cleaned up enough that they don’t have the dull gray appearance.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-- David


9 replies so far

View Homebrew's profile

Homebrew

64 posts in 823 days


#1 posted 09-04-2013 at 08:39 PM

David,

I’ve done quite a few of these so far pretty recently. Once I find one, I’m already finding another plane so I try to get them done pretty fast because I’ve been lapping just about all of em, and that takes enough time already.

I’ve had the best results with a wire wheel (fine) in the drill press. This is just to remove all the rust. Evaporust is too expensive and Electolallllalalasis or however you spell it takes too long and is too much to spend on stuff you can’t use all that much for woodworking. After the wire wheel, I go straight to a cotton wheel, cotton cone, or cotton buff. I personally like the cone best for most objects. I use automotive metal polishing compound and just about ANY should do the trick. Normally I stick to mother’s mag and aluminum polish, but I’ve had the best results using stuff specifically for motorcycles (high shine). I do the same with everything, from the brass screws to the plane bodies to the cap irons and chipbreakers. They all get the same treatment.

Now, as far as the frog and the frog seat, or anything that you’ll need a different approach. The previously mentioned above is just to stop the corrosion process, refresh, and make things look new again. So it doesn’t apply really to how the plane operates (other than cleaning up the screw threads). There’s a bunch of videos and info you can google on hand plane tune ups and you’ll get it down pretty fast after a couple. But it a nutshell, you basically lap every contact surface of the plane iron as much as possible. That means the frog seat, the bottom of the frog, the top of the frog, I back of the iron, the top of iron, and the leading edge of the chipbreaker. You can even do the cap iron as some see this as helping with chip removal. Rob cosman’s video hand plane revival is a really good source for any of this. LJ member Don W has a website (time tested tools) that has a bunch of info too.

-- Scott Rieman

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Homebrew

64 posts in 823 days


#2 posted 09-04-2013 at 08:43 PM

Forgot to mention too, your other thread showing the couple of planes you picked up, you’re onto the right track. The older planes are easier to tune. Maybe more rusty, but they’ll work better as users. They have larger contract surface areas and you’ll get better results than the later plane types. So try and stick with those ones, I usually only buy stuff pre WW2 now. Check out rex mill’s plane type study for more info on that.

-- Scott Rieman

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VaOak

6 posts in 935 days


#3 posted 09-04-2013 at 11:42 PM

I have a WorkSharp 3000 sharpening device. One of the disks you can get for it is a round pad made from what appears to be a medium coarse 3M ScotchBrite material. I just used it to do exactly what you are trying to do. Worked Great! If you do not have (or have access to) a WorkSharp, perhaps you can acquire a piece of the 3M stuff (try different colors – I believe the light colors are softer/less coarse than the darker colors). Get a piece the diameter of your muslim (cotton cloth) polishing wheel and “co-mount” them on the arbor – the muslim wheel will provide a backing for the 3M pad. Them work your rusty pieces into/onto the 3M pad side to clean the rust & crud off.
Another product to try: The Dico Products Corp of Utica, NY make a product line called Nyalox. They are substitutes for the traditional wire wheel. I get mine at our local Ace “is the Place” Hardware store – between $5 & $10 each.
They come in 3 colors – grits: Gray – Extra coarse / Orange – Coarse / and Blue – Medium/Fine
They come as Wheel Brushes – 3 & 4 inch; Cup Brush – 2.5 inch; End Brush – 3/4 inch; and Flap Wheel – 4 inch.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3426 posts in 2597 days


#4 posted 09-05-2013 at 06:23 AM

Uh, that’s MUSLIN, but good suggestions.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15693 posts in 2855 days


#5 posted 09-05-2013 at 06:52 AM

A wire wheel works great for rust removal. But if you are using Evapo Rust, and just want to get rid of that ugly dull gray color (which I hate, by the way), sandpaper or a sanding sponge will work just fine.

I use a lot of sandpaper in plane restoration. Just like with wood, you can choose what your final finish looks like by deciding how fine a grit you want to work down to.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

379 posts in 1778 days


#6 posted 09-05-2013 at 09:03 AM

Thanks for the responses! I tried a little sandpaper the other night and it seemed to work pretty good as Charlie mentioned. I think I started too hight (~1000) so I’ll go back and start with a lower grit. I’ve got a Dunlap with plastic handles that I’m using as a “test” plane before I do too much on my Stanley’s.

VaOak, I actually just got a worksharp last week. I’ll look for the those 3M pads your talking about, those could be useful for all sorts of stuff.

Scott, I do have some of that Mothers Mag & Alum polish, I’ll give it shot this weekend.

Thanks again!

-- David

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A10GAC

189 posts in 1715 days


#7 posted 09-05-2013 at 05:18 PM

I’ve been using Evapo-rust for years…a green scotch-brite takes the black oxide right off and then depending on the roughness of the casting I’ll start with 220 grit sand paper and work my way up to the level of shine I’m interested in. I usually stop around 600-800 and then wax it…any higher and the steel really starts to polish up nice.

That sounds like a good thing until you look at it from across the shop and realize there’s a finger print on your nice shiny tool. Now you have to stop what you’re doing, walk across the shop, wipe the finger prints off the tool, gently place it back in the rack…oh nuts…there’s another finger print….wipe the finger prints off the tool, gently place it back in the rack…oh nuts…hmmm..never mind…maybe it’s just me.

+1 on the Mothers Mag & Alum, it’s good stuff.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

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Don W

14910 posts in 1204 days


#8 posted 09-05-2013 at 05:29 PM

I use a wire wheel. I’ve got course and a fine set up permanently.

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

View Benvolio's profile

Benvolio

134 posts in 568 days


#9 posted 09-05-2013 at 06:00 PM

If you’ve got some autosol or other automotive metal polish that can be a quick way to shiney metal once rust removal is done.

-- Ben, England.

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