Putting Vintage Tools Back to Work
How many times have you started a project and had to set it aside to tackle something else only to completely forget about the original project? I was doing some Spring cleaning in my shop this weekend and stumbled across a container filled with vintage plane parts, blades and Evapo-Rust. Suddenly I remembered the old Stanley planes from my mother-in-law’s basement that I started to clean up 6 months ago. Uh oh, these parts have been soaking for 6 months in rust remover! Well apparently, that isn’t a problem and these blades couldn’t be more free of rust. The parts where the rust was the worst have a dark stain to them now but the steel is clean as can be.
Now I just need to work on the larger bodies and make some new totes and handles for the planes. I have 2 blocks planes, a 78 Rabbet plane, #7C, #4, and a 248 Plow plane all begging to be put back into service. I don’t need any of these planes as I have working models already but it really bugs me to have good tools that could be put back to work, rust away in disuse. If nothing else, I will tune the #4 and 7 for some specific task or another and set up the plow and rabbet for a specific operation.
Normally, when I restore tools I clean them up just so they work well, but since these planes belonged to my wife’s grandfather and hold some sentimental value I think I will try to restore them to pristine condition…now I just need to find the time for that. I do have a friend with a sandblaster…
How far do you guys go when restoring an old tool? Barely workable or shiny and new?
While we are on the topic of shiny and new, I just spent a whopping $10 on this complete set of Auger bits in sizes 4-16 complete with case. The bits are shiny as if never used (which they probably weren’t based on the cutting edges). That just breaks my heart and I think I need to design a project that requires many different sized holes just so I can lets these beauties taste some wood.