Although I really only need one block plane, I've managed to collect a few more along the way. I'm probably up to four or five by now, never having paid more than a few bucks each at antique store and yard sales. That's a good thing, since they one's I've stumbled across aren't particularly high-end tools. But, with a little bit of love, there's no reason they can't perform just fine at the kind of things that block planes do best- rounding over an edge, cutting a chamfer, and evening out endgrain. This blog post will illustrate the process I recently used to tune up a plane- your own experience may differ, depending on the tool's condition, but I imagine that this might be a good starting point.
In this case, the plane was complete and there was no real damage to any of the parts- it was mostly dirty and in need of a tuneup!
|Before I could get any farther, I had to loosen up the threads underneath the cap so that I|
could get the plane apart. I used 3-In-One oil- and it was nice to have the one with the extender
spout to get into the nooks and crannies.
|Part of the tune-up just involved simple cleaning- I used steel wool, paper towels,|
an old toothbrush, and some household cleanser.
|The blade had been abused and was pretty dinged up. Fortunately I have a way to bring it back to life quickly and easily.|
|Using your sharpening method of choice, you'll want to start by flattening the back of the blade.|
|With the back flattened, you can work on the bevel- and after that, the microbevel.|
I love my Worksharp because it is fast and doesn't demand that you learn a whole new
skill set- just follow a few simple steps and you're in business.
|The body of this plane wasn't cast iron, and it was formed from a single piece of bent|
steel- pretty typical on cheap old planes. The rust wasn't too bad, at least.
|A flattened sole should show a uniform pattern of sanding scratches with no hollows or crowns.|
|One last thing- I recommend lubricating the threads to keep the plane's adjustments|
easy to use.
|I also lightly sanded the sides of the plane. A coat of paste wax will help to protect the bare metal from corroding.|