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Thread: I was given a couple planes today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    St. Louis

    I was given a couple planes today

    Spent the Christmas holidays with my wife's family. My MIL found out from my wife that I'm into woodworking, so she handed me a bag with a couple planes in them when we left. "They're pretty rusty, but maybe you can fix them up and get some use from them."

    I've only had a minute to look at them, but it looks like a Bailey #5 and a Stanley block plane. Once I finish this and the next bookcase, I'd like to start on cleaning them up. I seem to remember hearing about a way of removing rust via ionization. Can anyone educate me on that?

    Also, any recommendations on the rehabbing process for planes would be appreciated. These are my first vintage tools. I seem to remember hearing that the Stanley Bailey's were good tools, but don't really know.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    South Carolina
    First of all, welcome to the Creek. I'm glad St. Louis has more representation every day! I'm fairly new to this as well, but there have been several great threads on this in the last few days or so. I'm just starting to rehab one or two, and I've found that jumping in and experimenting in the best way to go. It seems like it is pretty hard to reallly screw it up, so go for it.
    BTW, if you've been lurking very long, you know that you'll have the PIC police on your tail pretty soon without at least a couple of pictures!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Shady Harbor
    Gary, Welcome to the creek !!! I see the lights on the horizon and the Pic Police are a coming .. In case you don't know who they are the little green guy from SJ and that ToolMonster/Neanderthal from the Twin Cities.

    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
    - General George Patton Jr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Harrisville, PA
    Welcome Gary,

    If these will be usesr I feel that less is more on the cleaning side. Unless they are really bad like one in a post a day or so ago I would just flatten the sole and lightly clean it up with WD-40 and steel wool then paste wax the body. I would spend more time on getting the blade good and sharp and making sure it is seated well. That is just my opinion. I would make sure It makes nice thin curlies before I sunk a lot of time into making it look pretty.

    My $0.02.


    When all else fails increase hammer size!
    "You can know what other people know. You can do what other people can do."-Dave Gingery

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Herrmann
    I've only had a minute to look at them, but it looks like a Bailey #5 and a Stanley block plane. Once I finish this and the next bookcase, I'd like to start on cleaning them up. I seem to remember hearing about a way of removing rust via ionization. Can anyone educate me on that?
    Hi Gary,

    Welcome to the 'Creek, where the water's always warm.

    By ionization I take it you mean electrolysis? (I have no science background, so I don't know if they are one and the same thing.)

    I'm pasting in a few links on electrolytic rust removal below. The first two give the best info.

    Here is my quick and dirty summation of how to do it.

    Trickle-type battery charger;
    a few feet of steel flashing, (non-galvanized, for reasons I really don't know, but don't care about either);
    a plastic bucket;
    some baking soda;
    a rusty tool

    -- roll the flashing into a tube so that it fits into the bucket, then let it expand against the sides of the bucket;

    -- fill the bucket about 4/5 full with water;

    -- dump in about 1 tablespoon of baking soda per gallon of water, (more won't hurt at all);

    -- connect the positive clip from the battery charger to the flashing;

    -- connect the negative clip from the battery charger to the tool;

    -- hang the tool in the bucket, making sure it does not touch the flashing;

    -- plug in the battery charger.

    -- make sure there is current flowing -- if not you probably have so much rust the clip can't make contact. Disconnect the power then scrap a cleanish spot on the tool so the clip can make contact.

    -- repeat previous steps.

    -- That's about it, but be sure to read all the stuff below so you don't kill yourself or something.

    As far as plane rehab goes, here are some links:

    Bob Smalser's guide to plane types and what they are used for:

    Bob Smalser on rehabbing old planes:

    Stuff on sharpening:

    What to do with it once you've got it all fixed up:

    If my brain worked at night I'm sure I could think of more stuff to toss at you, but this should at least get you started.

    Let us know how things go, and by all means shout out with any questions.

    James Krenov says that "the craftsman lives in a
    condition where the size of his public is almost in
    inverse proportion to the quality of his work."
    (James Krenov, A Cabinetmaker's Notebook, 1976.)

    I guess my public must be pretty huge then.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Plano, TX
    Tom did a pretty good job of posting electrolysis links. The only thing I would like to add is that I have tried it a few times and it works like magic. There are a few things to watch out for, but nothing not mentioned in the links posted by Tom. Drop me a pm if you need to clarify any thing.

    Welcome to the creek.
    The means by which an end is reached must exemplify the value of the end itself.

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