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Record plane restoration

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To restore or not to restore

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Sam m

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Hi everyone. New here so apologies if this has been talked about before.
I’ve recently brought a few old record planes. Two in particular are of a good age. One is a 4 1/2 war finish smoothing plane which dates it to the early 1940s and the other is a 010 1/2 rebate plane. The research I’ve done dates this anywhere in the 1930s.
My question is do I restore them back to how someone would have brought them from the shop or do I keep the patina that they’ve acquired over their life time.

Let me know your thoughts
Thanks
 

billw

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My thought is no point having them if you’re not going to use them so whatever it takes to make them work properly.
Yup - restoration should restore functionality, not appearance. Saying that, I de-rusted the metalwork and stripped back the handles on mine and put a new finish them, but repainting them was a step too far.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Unless you're restoring collectors' items worth £1000s restoration should consist of as little or as much as you want it to. They're only tools.
 

Just4Fun

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Unless you're restoring collectors' items worth £1000s restoration should consist of as little or as much as you want it to. They're only tools.
That is certainly my approach. I just "restored" a flea market Stanley #4. That is, I sharpened the iron, gave a quick rub over the leading edge of the cap iron and ran the sole over some abrasive paper to ensure it is flat. Now it works and that is all I am interested in.
 

Sheffield Tony

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It depends on your aesthetic sensibilities. I find pleasing to the eye a plane that is a bit tarnished, odd chips to the paintwork and signs of use on the handles. One that looks well used but loved. A plane that is bling shiny, with a crisp fresh paint job, essentially looking like a new one looks a bit brash and cheap to me. I suspect the root of this is that where hand tools are concerned, a connection has formed in my mind between "new" and "garbage". [Sorry, the forum wouldn't let me have my first choice of word there.]
 

MikeG.

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Unless there's a good reason for "restoring" them to original condition, I can't see the point. Do what you want with your planes, but I'd just get them working properly, and tidy up the handles such that they're comfortable.
 

Bm101

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Do as you wish - they're your planes. :)
Within reason. There is a special place in Hell reserved for people who make 'lamps' and other sh*te tat from good tools. 🤬
Other than that. Who cares?
You will never please everyone so please yourself.

 

Trevanion

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My favorite plane is a Record 04 Warfinish which I swapped the beech handles out for Rosewood ones off another, older Record 04, other than that I've done nothing to it except sharpen the iron which is stamped MOD 1944.
 

AJB Temple

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I am with the others. I don't restore except to make handles nice to hold if necessary and get everything working smoothly. However, I don't buy rusty junk either, so most stuff in my hands is in pretty good nick to start with. For me tools are just a means to an end - which is making stuff. I look after them, but their purpose is clear.

That said if I had a very valuable old infill plane for example I would look after it lovingly :cool:
 

Droogs

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My favorite plane is a Record 04 Warfinish which I swapped the beech handles out for Rosewood ones off another, older Record 04, other than that I've done nothing to it except sharpen the iron which is stamped MOD 1944.
Then it's a fake stamp. The War Office only became the MOD on 1 Apr 1964. Besides Pre 1949 items would have the crows foot and year stamp only after that they would include the NSN
 

Trevanion

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Then it's a fake stamp. The War Office only became the MOD on 1 Apr 1964. Besides Pre 1949 items would have the crows foot and year stamp only after that they would include the NSN
That's what I meant, I just call everything an MOD stamp 😂
 

Droogs

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Anyhoo back to the OP, I strip mine when I get them back to bare metal and do a full rebuild/refurb normally out of boredom at some point and also because I like all my stuff to be painted in L/Rover forrest green (Pearleseant,) as I can't afford Clifton stuff and so nobody can claim them as theirs.
 

AJB Temple

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Every now and again a super cheap Clifton pops up on eBay. You want the proper ones though before manufacturing transferred. I got an old, pristine, boxed 420 for £30, including unused spare blade, and a 4110 for £40, again boxed and used spare blade. (Were they sold with spares originally?). I paid £80 for an old Clifton No 6 with a broken handle. When it arrived the handle was not broken at all, just loose. To me they feel nicer than the old Records. All about 2 to 3 years ago. I must admit I did give these a bit of a polish. The 420 and 4110 do the same job really, but I will keep them both. (I have tried to use the bullnose function of planes, but I find in most (by which I mean all) cases a sharp chisel is better. Sorry drifting off topic.
 

richarddownunder

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Nothing wrong with the new Cliftons! I can't help myself with tools, I always fettle and polish and paint and restore as much as I can unless it is something collectable or rare or of such quality that it demands more respect (e.g. 120+ year old Groves dovetail saw or an infill plane). Then I just do as little as possible to preserve it. I just like using hand tools that are aesthetically pleasing and hope that rubs off on my woodwork.

Cheers
Richard
 
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