Well, actually “restoring” is the wrong verb. This plane isn’t particularly collectible, and collectors might not approve of my approach. Whatever. My goal is to make it work right and look sharp. No pun intended.
All of the parts were dirty and rusty. Luckily I know how to fix that. A few minutes in the bead blast cabinet and everything was clean and rust-free. I started with the clamp-thingie, most of the chrome was rusted off, and I tried to make sure I blasted off any remaining flecks.
First, with the, ahhh, patina…
Then bead blasted. I use 220 grit beads at about 120psi. Better. You can see where the rust has eaten away the surface.
Then I sanded it with 220 and 320 grit. I am shooting for a satin or brushed finish. On the lever cap. My hands are OK as-is. I’ll probably work this a bit more and see if I can get rid of more pits. Then I’d like to have it nickel plated, there is a shop near work that does electroless nickel plating. Maybe paint in the background around the lettering?
I also blasted the plane body, frog, blade and chip breaker. Clean is good. The “japaning”, which apparently is an asphalt derivative, took a little extra work to remove. It stuck in a few recessed spots, so I scraped it with a screwdriver and blasted it again. Now I can start improving things.
I watched Rob Cosman’s “Great Handplane Revival” and picked up a couple of tricks. First I wanted to make sure the face of the frog that supports the blade was absolutely flat. In the DVD Rob removed the lateral and depth adjusters. I don’t think that’s necessary. I put some sandpaper on a piece of marble, right at the edge. By sliding it side-to-side while rotating it I was able to sand the entire surface. Just hang the protuberances from the adjusters over the edge. You don’t have to do a lot, just sand it enough to get an even scratch pattern on the surface.
Here I’m flattening the surface for the blade. The two red arrows show the surfaces that will need to be lapped in the next step. I’m using 80 grit for this step.
Next lap the two frog attachment surfaces. Again, don’t go crazy, just get to an even scratch pattern. Just slide it side-to-side with moderate pressure.
Finally, attach some sandpaper to the frog attachment points. Then seat the frog into the plane body and rub it back and forth. This ensures that the attachment points in the plane bed are a mate to the frog.
After three sets of sandpaper (I used 180 for this step) I was satisfied with the seating area in the plane bed. I’m ready to lap the sole and sides next, but that is for another day.
I also striped the paint off the knob and tote. As expected, the wood is nothing special. I’ll sand them, stain them and see how they look. I expect I’ll be scrounging some nicer bits to replace these.