I began by soaking the plane body and frog in a bath of white spirit for half an hour or so, just to get rid of any oil and grease and loosen all the crud that had built up in the nooks and crannies.
To help things along I scrubbed them with a wire brush, and rinsed them off with some clean white spirit. I then patted them down with a paper towel and let the residue evaporate for a few minutes.
Using a fine grit sand paper, I de-rusted adjusting lever and lapped the mating parts of the frog and body to make sure it seats properly with no rocking. I also lapped the area where the iron mates with the frog (you’ll have pardon that expression, and try to ignore the disturbing image it conjures up).
Then it was time to mask up ready for painting.
The paint I used is a rust prevention satin finish spray paint by Rustoleum. I’m sure that purists will recoil from this, insisting that a plane body should be japanned. But, I’m not a purist, and this finish worked well for me on the last plane I restored, so I’m happy to use it again. If I was restoring an antique I might rethink this attitude, but in this instance, the spray paint is fine.
I applied three coats over two days, letting the last coat dry before removing the masking, and I must say I’m more than happy with the result.
Let me know what you think.
What did you use to mask the frog and the body? I can’t tell from the photo, but it doesn’t look like tape but some other product. Am I wrong and it was just taped up?
It is tape actually – masking tape in fact. The product is called frog tape, hence the colour, but any masking tape will do.