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By memzey
#1031154
Hi everyone,

Please let me start by saying a couple of things - firstly I'm an amateur woodworker looking to develop his skills. I am not a collector by any means however I do have a preference for vintage tools. This is partially down to economics but also because I have found in my limited experience that old tools tend to be very well made and that most new "innovations" are a bit gimmicky as opposed to actually useful. Secondly I have never bothered to tend to the aesthetics of any of my tools. My MO is to sharpen, fettle when needed then use. That's it. I don't really want to waste too much time on looks (my wife sees evidence of this every time I get dressed :)) or obsessing over flatness or whatever. I have recently had a tool come into my possession however that has made me reconsider this stance if only just for this particular piece:

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This enormous slab of rust is an early (possibly type 6) Stanley No. 8. It is of the vintage that I like as the frog is fixed and the machined mating areas between the casting and the frog are large. It has a low knob and tote that are both rosewood. Now this plane came to me very cheaply so it doesn't really owe me anything but before I could put it to use I had to address the rust on the top of the casting. The sole by comparison is remarkably sound. In so doing I discovered that almost all of the japaning had gone leaving little to protect the plane from another attack by the rust monster:

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Here you can see what I mean:
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The lever cap and cap iron also need a lot of work:
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The toe of the plane is also in a bad way but the knob is not too bad:
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Now I have never taken paint or any other kind of finish to a tool before but I am currently giving serious consideration to completely stripping the remaining black from this plane and applying something like rustoleum to help protect it from more brown crusty stuff forming. I know this will deminish its historical value and that many people think doing so would be the wrong thing to do (I might get kicked out of TATHS for this) but from my perspective I don't think an old No. 8 that is falling to bits with rust has much inherent interest and at least by treating it in this way it will be kept usable to me and hopefully others in future. I have seen many others on this site bring old tools back to life and just wanted to see your thoughts were before taking that step.

Thanks for reading and sorry it was such a long post (memzey=windbag)!
By worn thumbs
#1031158
This could be an interesting discussion.My choice,which I would not attempt to force onto anybody else,would be to clean and wax the sole and to do the bare minimum of cleaning to the cap iron.Then sharpen it and look for a job to do with it.

I have known a man who stripped the wooden infill of a Norris A5 and re-varnished with melamine lacquer.In my eyes it was vandalism and to him it was making the plane smarter looking.Take your choice,but originality is a one time thing.
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By RogerP
#1031160
It depends whether your aim is to have a workshop or a museum.

I can understand conserving a very old and rare item with the minimum of work to preserve it from further decay and for future generations. But a Number 8 Stanley plane is not such an item - thousands were made and many are still in use.

I'd repaint, re-varnish, clean up nicks and dents and return it back to its former glory and then enjoy using it. :)
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By MIGNAL
#1031163
i suppose there are two extremes. Leave as is or go the whole way and make it appear virtually new looking. There are many shades between those two.
Do what you wish! Your plane and as Roger P stated, if it isn't rare or very valuable does it really matter?
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By n0legs
#1031164
I found your musings on this subject interesting.
The way I think with these old tools is they deserve a second chance. Some of mine have arrived in such a state I've watched for the odd looks from the good lady when I've unpacked them.

Where as some say about the history or patina of/on the tool, I consider most of the times what I'm seeing is neglect. I was taught during my apprenticeship to look after my tools and many of mine are as good today as when they were first bought. I don't get how some people just don't bother, considering the wages of old and the cost of these tools even way back then. Didn't anyone take some pride or care?
My inherited tools are pretty much the way Grandfather left them, they are pretty decent and have been left alone.

My number 3, 7 and 8 have all been stripped down, cleaned, prepped and repainted. Their knobs and handles have been sanded, stained where necessary and lacquered. The soles and sides are sanded and lapped and all the other parts treated to some tlc, then it's all put back together. I want them to look good, work well and remain useful without too much future bothering with.
The refurbishment part is easy for me, family in certain trades etc, so it doesn't seem like a big issue for me. My attitude might be slightly different if I didn't have such easy access to the necessary tools and materials, but I'd still make a good job of tidying them up.

The thing is, there are so many about it's not like they're super special or rare. They certainly won't be treated to some kind of museum life while they're with me, they all get used.
In summary I suppose it's a case of each to their own. I certainly don't criticize those who decide not to refurbish as I do and leave a tool as they find it, but I think some tools are worthy of a little bit of love.
By JimB
#1031165
Whatever you do, it's not as if you've found a Leonard sketchpad and intend using it for shopping lists.
Being lazy I'd do the minimum and in this case it includes a protective coat against further rust. I like the look of the knobs but don't know if they would be uncomfortable.
Use it and enjoy it.
By Vann
#1031175
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Nice plane!
memzey wrote:Now I have never taken paint or any other kind of finish to a tool before but I am currently giving serious consideration to completely stripping the remaining black from this plane and applying something like rustoleum to help protect it from more brown crusty stuff forming. I know this will deminish its historical value and that many people think doing so would be the wrong thing to do (I might get kicked out of TATHS for this) but from my perspective I don't think an old No. 8 that is falling to bits with rust has much inherent interest and at least by treating it in this way it will be kept usable to me and hopefully others in future. I have seen many others on this site bring old tools back to life and just wanted to see your thoughts were before taking that step.
In the end, it's your plane. I too would be torn between a minimalist approach and a full refurbish.

Just a suggestion - if all you want to do is to stop the rust, a coat of boiled linseed oil over the previously painted ironwork should do the job.

Cheers, Vann.
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By toolsntat
#1031181
Is that the one you got off Tim?
He said you had a jointer, but USA low knob 8 =D>
Wish I had looked at it :wink:
I'll give you a call later 8)

Andy
By MCB
#1031183
If it was mine, I'd remove the rust using Shield Technology's RESTORE and repaint the painted bits. Then enjoy using it.

Tilgear (at Standon on the A10 just north of Ware) stock Shield Technology products

MCB
By D_W
#1031186
On a plane that's in very good shape with significant value, I wouldn't do more than get it in user shape (sharpen it mostly, and prepare the business end of the cap iron).

On an older plane that's rough like that one (though can't tell about the parts that count by looking at it), trend over here is a cleaned up plane is worth more money. five decades from now will it be? Who knows. the original condition planes may be rare enough by then ...

....but we'll probably be able to print an antique by then.

I hope we can print nice wood, too.
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By Derek Cohen (Perth, Oz)
#1031187
If a plane is very rare, condition may be secondary to its rarity. It is then one for a collector, and should not be used, and restoration may take the form of cleaning off gunk but otherwise leaving as is.

Stanley made millions of common bench planes. The only collector ones are those in pristine condition and rare (earliest made). All the rest are users. Saving the battered condition of a common plane for the future? Nah.

If this #8 was mine, and I planned to use it, because it is in such a sad state, I would strip away the remaining paint (because you cannot paint over chipped paint - it looks terrible), and paint it with something that resembles the original. I have gone so far as re-japanning some planes (an easy formula is marine varnish mixed with asphaltum - leave to cure for a couple of weeks in a warm area).

I have old Stanleys that remain unrestored, but generally they have most of their original finish and wear any battle scars proudly. I think that there is such a wide range of what most here would consider to be their preference, that the rule is There is no Rule.

Regards from Perth

Derek
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By Phil Pascoe
#1031193
JimB wrote:Whatever you do, it's not as if you've found a Leonard sketchpad and intend using it for shopping lists.
Being lazy I'd do the minimum and in this case it includes a protective coat against further rust. I like the look of the knobs but don't know if they would be uncomfortable.
Use it and enjoy it.

What's a Leonard sketchpad? :D
By undergroundhunter
#1031195
I always to the minimum to get the tool to work well, usually this is a clean, oil the wooden bits and sharpen. I'm not one for repainting as I think it removes the working past of the tool but horses for courses. I have a couple of low knob stanleys a 7 and a 4, the sides of the 4 are brown/black from years worth or tarnishing it doesn't stop the tool from working and I quite like it.

Matt
Last edited by undergroundhunter on 01 Feb 2016, 20:09, edited 1 time in total.
By JimB
#1031196
phil.p wrote:
JimB wrote:Whatever you do, it's not as if you've found a Leonard sketchpad and intend using it for shopping lists.
Being lazy I'd do the minimum and in this case it includes a protective coat against further rust. I like the look of the knobs but don't know if they would be uncomfortable.
Use it and enjoy it.

What's a Leonard sketchpad? :D

Just logged in and noticed the typo. Must have been thinking of my cousin. Meant to be Leonardo as you will have realised. :oops: