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Unusual number 6 restoration

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MikeG.

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Don't get me wrong........the number 6 itself was absolutely bog standard, nothing special about it at all. What was unusual was the extent to which I had to go to restore it to working order. But let's start at the beginning.

Due to being away for a few days and leaving multiple bids in on Ebay in my absence, I found myself in possession of one more number 6 than I'd wanted to buy (for my son in law). I gave him the good one, having cleaned it up and sharpened it. No great story there. That left me with this beauty:









A bit of a clean up, flatten the bottom, and she'll be fine in an hour, I thought....... Well, an hour later:





That was literally an hour of rubbing the thing on 60 grit, 80 grit......whatever I could find to scrape off the high points. I was miles from getting it flat. It was not only badly bowed end-to-end, but also twisted. God knows how it had got in such a state. Luckily, believe it or not, I have friends, and one of my friends has this bit of kit:



A computer controlled milling machine, fitted for this job with a brand new cobalt cutter. He spent a couple of hours making brackets which could hold the plane rock steady, then truing everything up, measuring the material to be removed, and so on. All very engineery, but gratifying to know that we were going to be removing the very least amount of cast iron possible:



He also measured the amount of casting we had to play with, and it was very thick. With the blade in (but retracted, of course), and everything tensioned up, he ran the first cut:



To add to the complications, the length of travel on the machine was just a little short of the length of the sole of the plane, so I was going to be left with a a step at the heel end which I'd have to deal with myself manually.

It took quite some time, maybe 45 minutes, but eventually it looked like this:



I know! It looks dreadful. The thing is, that was absolutely flat, with no discernible edges between those stripes. I couldn't feel anything, and pushing the bristles of a fine brush across it produced no flutter. This was just what the cutter left as "grain" in the casting. I took it home, and just a couple of minutes on the sandpaper-on-granite and I had a normal-looking flat bottom to my plane:



I cleaned this stuff up in the usual way:



And in no time it was working beautifully, albeit with a monster camber on the blade which I'll ease a little over time:

 

Fitzroy

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Nice, hmm I wonder if I have space for a milling machine.

I love seeing stuff saved from the tip.

Fitz.
 

Just4Fun

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What do you use a No. 6 for? I recently bought one at a flea market but only because my search for a No. 7 has so far been fruitless. I am not clear what task(s) would be better with a 6 rather than a 5 or 7.
 

MikeG.

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Just4Fun":m04t4stf said:
What do you use a No. 6 for? I recently bought one at a flea market but only because my search for a No. 7 has so far been fruitless. I am not clear what task(s) would be better with a 6 rather than a 5 or 7.
Planing the edge of boards for edge-jointing. You can just about do it with a number 5, but the reference length of the number 6 sole (in front of the blade) makes it a better tool for the job. A number 7 is unnecessarily large for most home workshops (in my view). As it is for planing narrow bits of wood, the huge camber on the blade in mine is just wrong.
 

memzey

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I’ve ground mine dead square and use on a shooting board. I think a #6 is a great size for that.
 

MikeG.

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On the Woodhaven 2 forum someone has linked to a Record planes dating site. This has the plane as 1931 to 1939. I'm glad I didn't go overboard with the restoration, such as stripping and repainting, or fitting a new handle (or even stripping the handle and knob).
 

Vann

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Nice work on the sole. You wouldn't want to do that if you had to pay full commercial rates. I hope it doesn't move again (now that any internal stresses have been slightly altered).

What use is a No.06? Well Patrick Leach (Blood & Gore) says it's the devil's number :wink:

But really, it depends on your tastes and your physical build. It can be made to do most tasks. Who was the famous woodworker who used a No.7 for everything?

Cheers, Vann.
 

Benchwayze

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Pete,

I already have enough planes: Besides, a number eight is almost longer than my bench!

John (hammer)
 

Benchwayze

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Vann":1rsc37nf said:
Nice work on the sole. You wouldn't want to do that if you had to pay full commercial rates. I hope it doesn't move again (now that any internal stresses have been slightly altered).

What use is a No.06? Well Patrick Leach (Blood & Gore) says it's the devil's number :wink:

But really, it depends on your tastes and your physical build. It can be made to do most tasks. Who was the famous woodworker who used a No.7 for everything?

Cheers, Vann.
I shall probably sell mine. I am a bit ancient to handle heavy planes now. 5-1/2 is about my limit, especially as I will be restricting myself to smaller projects by hand anyway. The name Alan Peters is the one you seek I believe. And my cursor is still leaping about the document pane.

John (hammer)
 

MikeG.

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Vann":211xb3o1 said:
Nice work on the sole..... I hope it doesn't move again (now that any internal stresses have been slightly altered).....
I'd be very surprised if it did, Vann. We're talking a couple of tenths of a mm at worst, if I recall correctly (this took place in June before my big bike ride: I'm just catching up with a back-log of photos).
 

Jarno

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A milling machine is great to have, did you also have him touch up the sides, or where these ok?
One way to get around of the width restriction, is to put the plane on the machine at an angle. The machining marks will not be lengthwise to the sole, but you want to sand those away anyway. Even better would be a surface grinder, no sanding necessary :D
 

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