Here is what we’re up against. It doesn’t look too bad is this picture, but things aren’t quite so rosy when you take a closer look.
There is nothing major to worry about, just some surface rust and the brass is very tarnished.
Like I said, the handles will need to be stripped back and refinished – that is probably going to take the most work.
I’ve already inspected the plane body for damage – there would be no point in continuing if there were any cracks – fortunately it seems fine.
I’m slightly apprehensive about this project. I’m not sure how it’s going to go. I’ve only done this once before, with a #4 smoother. That went quite well, so I think I’ll just replicate what I did there.
There is also the question of “how far to go?” to consider, and it all depends on what type of plane one is dealing with. If this were a really rare type 1 or 2, then it would be a collector’s item. In that case it would be better to leave it alone rather than risk devaluing it by restoring it incorrectly. Our plane is a type 19 and probably very common. Therefore, all I’m interested in is that is free from rust, feels nice in the hand and takes a good shaving. Some might go to great lengths to flatten the sole and hone the iron, but it is worth bearing in mind that this is a jack plane. It is a workhorse. It is meant for rough work, and so it doesn’t need to be as finely tuned as, say, a jointer or a smoother.
There’s no reason not to make it look nice though.
The first job will be to check the sole for flatness, and that will be the subject of the next post.
Here goes then. Wish me luck…