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Putting Vintage Tools Back to Work

Rust Removed from hand plane partsHow 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.

Resotring vintage hand planesNow 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?

Vintage Jennings Pattern Auger BitsWhile 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.

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