Friday, 29 October 2010

Sorry, I Don't Do Windows...

I caught a Stanley No. 10½ a few weeks ago from Jim Bode Tools. It is an "S" cast, probably manufactured around 1900, so it fits with the rest of the planes I have. It has the adjustable throat, about 85 to 90% of its japanning, the "Q" blade (now that I know what that is), and is in pretty nice shape, overall.

So the series is filling in slowly as now I have a 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10½, 48, 49, 66, 71 and 72, most sporting the "S" casts, all possibly produced between 1899 and 1902. I have a 4, 7 and 78 as well, but they are all Type 18's, purchased by my old man in the late 1940's. I will keep these for sentimental reasons, but I will add the same numbers to the older set. There are a few that I won't purchase, come hell or high water, though. The infamous No.1 is one of them, as I would never use it, not to mention I think it is way overpriced.

Once the plane set is complete, I'll do the same for saws. While I have a fair set now, there are a few I would like to add.

The joys of tool collection and being anal enough to want them all to be from the same time period. Go figure.

So here is the 10½ the day it arrived...



Here is the same shot of it after I got through cleaning and waxing it...



I stripped it down and placed it in a bath of Lee Valley's "Evapo-rust". This stuff stinks, but it is a non-acid and non-toxic and requires no work at all. I left the whole lot in the bath for 36 hours, pulled them out, wiped them off and gave them a coat of Minwax's Paste Finishing Wax. The wax is applied with #00 steel wool on the japanned parts and #1 steel wool on the raw metal, followed by more using the #00. The tote and knob are wiped down with 90% alcohol, then given multiple coats of the Minwax using #000 steel wool. I still have to check the sole for flatness and if it is out more than slightly, I'll flatten it, and I also have to sharpen and polish the back of the blade.

This process probably makes any die-hard collector cry and no doubt, costs me a few bucks in lost value, but what good is a tool if it isn't in pristine working order? I can't, for the life of me, figure out why 100 years of crud and abuse makes a tool worth more. It may, in fact, have a higher value, but not to me.

Peace,

Mitchell