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Thread: How should I clean up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Windsor, Ontario
    Posts
    43

    Default How should I clean up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    I picked this up at a garage sale for $5. It's dirty and rusty but is undamaged, except for the loss some of the black (japaned?) finish. I've ordered a new blade/chipbreaker set from Lee Valley.

    But first... the knob and tote. Sand them down? Soak them in a finish remover? they look to be in excellent condition but are pretty grubby.

    IMG_1710.jpg

  2. #2

    Default Re: How should I cleam up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug in Windsor, ON View Post
    I picked this up at a garage sale for $5. It's dirty and rusty but is undamaged, except for the loss some of the black (japaned?) finish.IMG_1710.jpg
    You bought an early pre-WWI Stanley No. 7 plane in good condition for $5? Let me be the first to say "you suck!". If you are not familiar with old tool etiquette, that is a high complement.

    The knob and tote are rosewood and were originally finished with either lacquer or shellac so try lacquer thinner or rubbing alcohol - one or the other should work. Don't use an oil finish on rosewood, it will go very dark, almost black. Clear shellac or spray can lacquer are good finishes followed by sanding with a high grit sandpaper 600 or so. It will leave the handles silky smooth to the touch.

    Before you try the new blade and chip breaker from Lee Valley, try sharpening the original blade. Stanley blades at that time were very good quality and you may be satisfied with the original blade. If so, you could return the Lee Valley blade and save some money (I have Lee Valley blades - they are great - don't get me wrong!).

    Again, very nice purchase!

    Rick in Oakville

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    N.E. Edmonton
    Posts
    2,261

    Default Re: How should I cleam up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Before you decide if you need to refinish the knob and tote at all, clean it first. I use 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits (paint thinner) first. I then use a high quality paste wax rubbed on with a soft cloth, let sit for 1/2 hour, then buffed. I almost never do more than this to the wood furniture on my planes. If they have scratches and gouges then yes I will sand only to make them comfortable in the hand again. If the wood is dried out, I will sometimes soak in Danish oil or BLO to rehydrate the wood, but usually not rosewood.
    FWIW, your plane appears to be an early model. Without knowing how many patent dates are stamped on the lateral adjuster, it's hard to know for sure, but by the looks of it, a type 8 at the latest. which means it was made sometime prior to 1902. Good score!
    Formerly known as "Ryan in Edmonton "

    GALLERY OF PROJECTS: http://lumberjocks.com/galleries/Boomr99#

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    United States Cat-Pig Swamp
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: How should I cleam up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Very nice! If at all possible I would not refinish the wood, and I would use the original blade and chipbreaker. Or use the new ones and keep the originals in a safe place.(if they are originals)
    Thoroughly clean and sharpen, and use, before you decide.

    Toby

    P.S. Why did it change to cleam?
    Last edited by "TobyC"; 06-18-2012 at 06:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cambridge
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    59
    Real Name
    Matt

    Default Re: How should I clean up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Nice find for $5!

    For the knob and tote, if they are in good condition, I typically clean them up with some fine steel wool. No need to sand them down and lose all that old character. After that, wipe them down with some mineral spirits, dry and apply some tung oil. They will look great!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    N.E. Edmonton
    Posts
    2,261

    Default Re: How should I clean up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Sorry Rbeard, but I'm going to disagree on the tung oil. It will take forever to dry, if it ever does, on rosewood. Better off with some fine paste wax!
    Formerly known as "Ryan in Edmonton "

    GALLERY OF PROJECTS: http://lumberjocks.com/galleries/Boomr99#

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    59
    Real Name
    Matt

    Default Re: How should I clean up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan in Edmonton View Post
    Sorry Rbeard, but I'm going to disagree on the tung oil. It will take forever to dry, if it ever does, on rosewood. Better off with some fine paste wax!
    I should clarify I use the cheap polymerizing tung oil So, its not the pure stuff. The fine paste wax would work the best.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Burlington
    Posts
    1,651

    Default Re: How should I clean up the knob & tote on a Bailey plane?

    Personally I use shellac and wax. If the tote is in good condition just wax and a little buffing makes them look good.

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