So far, I’ve been sticking with machine-based woodworking and only occasionally reaching for my cheap chisels to touch up a bad edge. I have recently been thinking about trying out some traditional, hand-tool woodworking. There is nothing smoother than a hand-planed surface. So I needed to get some hand-planes.
I headed over to the local antique mall and snooped around. Unfortunately, I only found two usable hand-planes: a beat-up smoothing plane and a small rabbet plane.
The smoothing plane is a Miller Falls no9 (circa 1941). However, it seems like the woodworker who last used had to replace some parts with Craftsman replacement parts (circa early 1950’s). Overall, the mixed parts seemed like they’d work together and everything I needed was there.
The rabbet plane is quite beat up. It appears to be a Sargent rabbet plane (circa 1940’s). It may be missing a the guide-bar making it most useful for cutting rabbets, but it does have the depth guide, so it’s not completely useless.
I took the planes apart and threw them into a bucket of white vinegar to soak overnight. Unfortunately, there was still a lot of rust on them. So I tried WD Rust Remover with more success. After 24-hours soaking in the solution, the tools began to shine.
Both planes are usable after a good sharpening of the blades.
While I was working on restoring the two hand-planes I had found, I had also begun shopping online (ebay) to see if anyone had some good restored planes that were already ready to be used.
Luckily I had come across Mark Nickel’s page, where he had professionally restored a number of hand-planes. His website (https://www.plane-dealer.com/) is a great resource for restoring these tools. I order a couple hand-planes from Mark to round out my collection. He even included a copy of his booklet on restoring and maintaining these tools.
I added a Sargent no 414 Jack Plane (1940’s), a Stanley no4 smoothing plane ((1942-1945), and a small Stanley no9 1/4 (1940’s) block plane. With these beauties, I’m ready for a glass-like finish on my pieces.