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Osvaldd

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I've seen the sticky on tool restoration. I used wire wool, steel and brass brushes, mineral spirits and oil, the main body of this plough plane is still as black as a coal. I don't know what it is. Patina?
 

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Trevanion

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Looks like the nickel plating has come off and has just left the bare casting which has oxidised leaving the lovely deep grey/black patina.

If you were going to do anything to it I would suggest only a light rub with a bit of scotchbrite, or just leave it as is.
 

Osvaldd

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It this oxidation good? There is no visible rust anywhere. I had this tool for a couple of weeks and I really love it but I've seen others on eBay, looking so shiny and pretty, feel a bit envious. :D
 

Trevanion

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Funnily enough, I've never seen a Record Plough plane that wasn't plated with something. According to the site you linked to Andy, "Whilst nickel restrictions were in force the Plough Planes were plated with a nickel alternative along with the Side Rebates which made a post-war re-appearance." I wonder what they were plated with if that was the case. Osvaldd's one definitely seems to have some flakes of some kind of plating still left on the plane, and the screws seem to be still pretty solidly plated too.

I've got a couple of Warfinish Record planes, a No 04, 04 1/2, 077A Bullnose, and a No 20 Compass, they're all just plain cast iron from what I can tell with no plating on at all.
 

thetyreman

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my no44 was like this, I cleaned it up on a brass wheel, came out pretty good, that was all it needed.
 

ED65

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Osvaldd":1gdwfp7y said:
I've seen the sticky on tool restoration. I used wire wool, steel and brass brushes, mineral spirits and oil, the main body of this plough plane is still as black as a coal. I don't know what it is. Patina?
Haven't looked at the sticky in a while but there should be some mention that any serious amount of active rust or patina (which is also rust) needs to be tackled by non-manual means unless you have the patience of a saint... or just don't want to remove the rust.

To completely remove rust, old or new, it's a rust soak of some kind, or wire-wheel work, or some combination. You can also use a sandblaster but most of us on this side of the pond don't own one of those which is why they nearly never come up here.

Patina may be a desirable look to some (tool collectors virtually insist on it) but if you break the surface of it with abrasives you immediately see a tan, russet or chocolate colour and no prizes for guessing what that is.

Personally I quite like the look of patina on an old tool but I prefer to take my own stuff back to bare metal to some degree, and I have no issue with those who seek to erase all signs of age and try to go back to a like-new appearance if that's what floats their boat.
 

ED65

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I think it looks fine as-is but if you would prefer your 078 brighter why not make up a rust soak with white vinegar or citric acid with some salt added and soak the plane after a good degreasing. The liquid level must allow for the plane to be fully immersed or you'll get a 'tide line' where it breaks the surface. Take it out periodically for a scrub (it'll be covered with a black residue) using a wire brush or pot scourer.

In total it might take 1-3 days, but with barely 10 minutes of actual work on your part. After soaking I recommend scrubbing well with hand soap and an old toothbrush, then dry off thoroughly, I've found this scrubbing much more effective at preventing re-rusting than soaking in alkaline solutions, and it gets the metal surface cleaner too (occasionally startlingly so).

If you want to properly brighten it up you'll want to follow this up with a wire wheel chucked up in a power drill, but diligent scrubbing after an acid soak will give you a pleasing graphite/metallic grey that can be shined up by hand.

Vinegar or citric acid is generally the cheapest way to make up a rust-removal solution that works reasonably quickly and is quite safe (to you and the tool), although you can use much stronger acids than these which work much faster but obviously present a bit more of a hazard in use so more care is needed. These solutions aren't at all a one-shot deal, you can retain a DIY rust soak for quite some time. I've had my current vinegar soak going for over a year now and while it has noticeably slowed it still works to loosen rust from the surface.
 

Osvaldd

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What about electrolysis? I heard it is somewhat safer than acid soak as it doest eat the good metal. I haven’t tried it yet myself though,
 

ED65

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Electrolysis is fine, and actually very easy to get going on because the process if pretty forgiving of differences in setup. It has certain limitations but it is an innately safe method, over time it's cheap (mostly up-front cost, a trickle of electricity after that) and with the right power supply it's quite fast.

But for the average guy doing the occasional tool for himself where's the rush?

And to do it for fear of a rust-removal solution damaging the metal is a largely baseless worry; a lot of the time when people think that an acid soaking has pitted the surface of their iron or steel what they're seeing of course is the damage wrought by the rusting, it was merely revealed by the cleaning. You can get some light etching but it's extremely easy to remove this IF you want to (you might actually like the look this gives).
 

Trevanion

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Electrolysis might take the remaining plating off too, I've never done it before though so I can't comment on how to do it. From what I've been told before is that the fumes are pretty toxic and really should only be done outdoors?
 

Pete Maddex

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Some oxygen and hydrogen are released from the anode and cathode but apart from that its toxic fume free.

I did a plane body it worked a treat, just use an old fashioned charger, modern ones wont work unless you connect a battery across them.

Pete
 

Osvaldd

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I'm just reading more on electrolysis, apparently just a phone charger can work, a spoonful of soda crystals and some sacrificial piece of metal. Pretty straight forward. I’m going to try both methods over the weekend.
 

ED65

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Yes that'll do it, although it will likely benefit from more than one spoonful of soda crystals. Does depend on the size of container you're using of course.

This will probably have been covered by some of what you've read already but in case not, the more powerful the power supply the weaker the electrolyte solution needs to be and vice versa. Phone chargers are pretty wimpy so a strong solution helps, and in fact might prove necessary.
 

swb58

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I've been there got the t-shirt with vinegar, it does the job but leaves the metal with a patina that's not nice.
I used electrolysis for the first time a few days ago, much much better than vinegar. I used an old phone charger and about a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in 1.75 litres of water.

I was really very impressed. Just remember to attach the negative wire to the part to be cleaned. It doesn't do any harm if it's connected the other way, it just doesn't do anything.
 

Osvaldd

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been soaking this mid section in citric acid for 24 hours, it's definitely brighter. I'll try electrolysis on the main body.
 

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swb58

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I should have said I was removing heavy rust and electrolysis worked very well.
Whether it will work the same on your plane I don't know, but it surely won't do any harm.
 

Bm101

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Just be sure not to use stainless steel as the sacrificial.
 

ED65

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swb58":8d5wna5c said:
I've been there got the t-shirt with vinegar, it does the job but leaves the metal with a patina that's not nice.
Any undesirable finish is easily dealt with, often by steps that one would be doing anyway. One standard for restoration is that it should be impossible to tell how a rusty tool was cleaned when you're done, and that includes if an acid soak was used.

swb58":8d5wna5c said:
Just remember to attach the negative wire to the part to be cleaned. It doesn't do any harm if it's connected the other way, it just doesn't do anything.
It most certainly does do something, it turns the tool into the sacrificial electrode. And we know what happens to that :D

Obviously it does need to be left running for a while for it to be a problem but with a more powerful power supply "a while" is only an hour or so.
 
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