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By jt
#617405
Hi all. I'm in the process of freshening up an old wooden jack plane (made by Master, no idea of age but it was originally my Grandfathers so I would imagine it would have been made in the 50's or earlier).

I don't think it has seen much heavy use over the years, but in contrast to my other wooden planes it doesn't ever appear to have had a finish of any type applied and consequently doesn't feel very nice in the hand, and a few small cracks are appearing at both ends.

I've read quite a few articles, most of which recommend protecting with boiled linseed oil, but have read conflicting advice on whether to finish the end-grain in the cavity of the plane, where the blade sits.

Some articles suggest soaking the whole plane in a bucket of oil, others say don't touch this area as it may reduce the hold of the wedge, so I'm not sure which approach to take. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance
Jim
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By AndyT
#617481
Seconded. Wipe plenty of boiled linseed oil on with a rag. Wait an hour or two. Wipe off the excess. Wait a day. Repeat.

Repeat again if it really needs it. Some old beechwood planes drink up oil very readily - and change from nasty dry firewood to proper tools:

Before:

Image

After:

Image
Last edited by AndyT on 05 Aug 2017, 15:08, edited 1 time in total.
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By woodbloke
#617611
When I first had a wooden jack the accepted treatment was to block up the mouth with some putty then fill the throat with some BLO and leave it till is soaked right through to each end...took about a week or so. I've since learned that this approach makes the wood soft so a better thing to do is just to give it the outside a couple of coats of oil, wipe off the excess after a day and then leave to dry - Rob
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By bugbear
#617768
woodbloke wrote:When I first had a wooden jack the accepted treatment was to block up the mouth with some putty then fill the throat with some BLO and leave it till is soaked right through to each end...took about a week or so.


Not in 1930 it wasn't !! You must be older than I thought :-)

BugBear
By jt
#617788
woodbloke wrote:.....block up the mouth with some putty then fill the throat with some BLO and leave it till is soaked right through to each end


I'd read about this approach on another forum - but the linked article above makes perfect sense so I shall just treat the visible wood. My main worry was whether to finish the frog, as I have read elsewhere that it may reduce friction and therefore affect the wedging action. Perhaps the person was referring to avoiding the frog during a shellac or french polish stage of the finishing?

Bugbear, thanks for introducing me to such a valuable source - I can see myself losing many hours to those archives.

Thanks all for the advice, any thoughts on whether to oil the frog would also be very helpful.
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By woodbloke
#617796
bugbear wrote:
woodbloke wrote:When I first had a wooden jack the accepted treatment was to block up the mouth with some putty then fill the throat with some BLO and leave it till is soaked right through to each end...took about a week or so.


Not in 1930 it wasn't !! You must be older than I thought :-)

BugBear

That was the advice given to me in the 70's by a pal who was a member of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, so no slouch, in fact some of the work he did was fantastic. Some reading round the subject of blocking up the mouth on a woodie though, convinced me otherwise - Rob
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By bugbear
#617825
woodbloke wrote:That was the advice given to me in the 70's by a pal who was a member of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, so no slouch, in fact some of the work he did was fantastic. Some reading round the subject of blocking up the mouth on a woodie though, convinced me otherwise - Rob


Yeah - I think the idea is still being perpetuated. Ideas are hard to kill.

IIRC Kingshott and Dunbar both recommend it. I can check Dunbar - anyone got Kingshott?

BugBear
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By AndyT
#617867
Jim Kingshott wrote "Beech tools are usually soaked in linseed oil until the grain is full; this adds to the weight and protects against moisture. I have seen some tools finished with modern two pack resin varnish, but to my mind this gives them a cheap plastic look if it is overdone."

But in the chapter on special purpose wooden planes he also wrote "I soak my planes in a bath of linseed oil - this has been the traditional finish since planes were first made. Once the wood has soaked up as much oil as it will hold it is placed on a pile of old newspapers. Quite a lot of the oil will bleed out, but this will not take long - a day in the oil and a day bleeding is all that is required. After a few months of use the oily wood takes on a fine patina; this is a good hard-wearing finish, and a plane so treated seems to stay stable in adverse conditions. "
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By bugbear
#618699
bugbear wrote:
woodbloke wrote:That was the advice given to me in the 70's by a pal who was a member of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, so no slouch, in fact some of the work he did was fantastic. Some reading round the subject of blocking up the mouth on a woodie though, convinced me otherwise - Rob


Yeah - I think the idea is still being perpetuated. Ideas are hard to kill.

IIRC Kingshott and Dunbar both recommend it. I can check Dunbar - anyone got Kingshott?

BugBear


Apols for being slow. I've checked Dunbar, and my memory was playing tricks. He recommends a quick wipe on of linseed oil, thinned with a little turpentine.

(ref:
http://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Tuning- ... 080696670X

Restoring, Tuning & Using Classic Woodworking Tools, Michael Dunbar
)

Over on OLDTOOLS my friend Tom Holloway has the references from Bernard Jones (1930s, IIRC)

http://swingleydev.com/archive/get.php? ... 38#message

BugBear
Last edited by bugbear on 26 Sep 2011, 10:32, edited 1 time in total.
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By Jacob
#618702
Raw linseed oil with half n half real turpentine will do just about everything. On old planes including the metal work and on woodwork as a finish. Particularly good on old faded woodwork, mahogany, oak etc as it brings back colour and depth very quickly.
Not sure if real turps has any advantage over white spirit but it smells a lot nicer, is organic and not that expensive.
By jt
#618750
Thanks all. I opted for a couple of coats of 50/50 BLO and white spirit in the end, just on surface, leaving the frog & bottom of the wedge unfinished. Looks great and feels loads better in the hand (although it does smell a bit - read Jacob's reply too late)

cheers
Jim
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By woodbloke
#619097
Jacob wrote:...including the metal work and on woodwork as a finish. Particularly good on old faded woodwork, mahogany, oak etc as it brings back colour and depth very quickly.
Not sure if real turps has any advantage over white spirit but it smells a lot nicer, is organic and not that expensive.


I've tried linseed oil on metal work, particularly the steel bars of my sash cramps when I first had them in the 70's. As the oil oxidizes, it forms an unsightly 'icky' coating on the surface of the metal, which is all but 'bullet proof'. In all the time I've had the cramps, the bars have never gone rusty, not that it matters on sash cramp bars, but I'd hesitate to use linseed oil on a 'show' metal surface. Agree also Jacob about using oil to restore old and faded surfaces...wunderbar! :D I also like using turpentine as opposed to white spirt (nasty stuff) but would love to know where your get hold of 'cheap' pure turps! - Rob
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By bugbear
#619108
woodbloke wrote:I've tried linseed oil on metal work, particularly the steel bars of my sash cramps when I first had them in the 70's. As the oil oxidizes, it forms an unsightly 'icky' coating on the surface of the metal, which is all but 'bullet proof'. In all the time I've had the cramps, the bars have never gone rusty, not that it matters on sash cramp bars, but I'd hesitate to use linseed oil on a 'show' metal surface.


Linseed really comes into it own when restoring horticultural implements, forks, shovels,spades, billhooks, shears etc..

Having done a derust, sharpen, and scrape or sand to remove of paint, cowshit, etc from the handle, you can just wipe linseed over the whole thing.

The oil make the metal nice and dark, and protects from rust, and it brings out the grain of the wood, and makes it a bit water resistant.

BugBear