I love “before” and “after” photos of things.
This week I picked up a nice 3/16” side-bead plane from Josh Clark (aka Hyperkitten). The tool is a gem. The boxing is perfect. The sole is straight. The wedge fits great and the iron’s profile is the right shape and is – gasp – sharp.
But there was a big bloom of rust on the beveled side of the blade that was thick – thick enough to interfere with the iron bedding. And the non-business end of the iron also had some rust.
When I clean up vintage tools I go for functional and stable. I don’t try to restore them to like-new condition. I like patina. It’s like getting some distinguished gray hair in your beard (which is the line I use on my spouse and kids).
So I don’t own the wire wheel that is issued to every English antique dealer when they graduate from antique college.
Today I decided to give Evapo-Rust a try, which is the latest craze among hand-tool nerds. The stuff is quite safe compared to some other de-rusting solutions I’ve used that have removed a couple layers of my skin.
You can read all about the product at the Evapo-Rust web site. I bought my gallon jug for $20 at Harbor Freight.
This morning I dropped the iron into some Evapo-Rust. I took it out at lunch and knocked off some of the scale that had come loose using a straight razor. After six hours in the solution, here is what it looks like.
There is still a little rust at the end where you adjust the iron so it’s back into the drink for you.
We’ll see how it looks in the morning.
— Christopher Schwarz
Handplane Nerdiness, Explored & Embraced
If you like planes, old or new, you probably will get a kick out of my book “Handplane Essentials,” a 312-page book (read: brain dump) on these tools. The book is printed in the United States and was praised thusly by David Charlesworth: “I greatly enjoyed your ‘Handplane Essentials,’ particularly your punchy style and refusal to accept traditional lore without close scrutiny and experimentation.”
That note made my day. The book is available in our store with free domestic shipping.