Friday, April 13, 2018

Stanley #7C Restoration, Part 4: Fixing the Tote

Part 1 of this series is here.
Part 2 of this series is here.
Part 3 of this series is here.

Note: this post is picture heavy.

Many people would probably just have bought a new tote.  I thought I'd try to fix this one.
Tote condition as found - broken off horn and who knows what under the tape
Hmm ...  Wonder what's under that tape.
Removed from the plane
Tape removed.  Yikes!
A nail in the back and resulting crack
Nail showing through bottom of top portion of tote

Well, that wouldn't have been my choice of how to fix this tote, but there it is.  To start this going, I placed the tote on a piece of paper and drew the outline.
The horizontal lines in center show where the break is.
The break angled from the upper line on the near side to the lower line on the far side
The break may have been clean years ago.  But many years of rubbing against each other rounded over the mating surfaces, so I didn't think that I could simply glue them back together without further modification.

Some years ago i fixed the horns of two #5 totes and to do so I made a planing jig to level off the broken surface.The jig comprises two equal sized pieces of pine, each with identical rabbets.  The broken plane part sits between the jig parts and the whole she-bang is clamped in the vise.
Jig with upper part of tote clamped
The rabbets act as a planing ramp
View from other end
Broken surface planed flat
This is the bottom of the upper portion that was cracked from the nail
For this crack, I thinned some PVA glue, forced it into the crack and clamped it overnight.  That and gluing the newly flattened surface to a piece of wood should keep the crack from ever propagating and letting the big chip fall out.
Gluing the crack in the upper section
I planed the lower portion the same way, trying to keep it level so that the new flat surface would be parallel to the upper portion's flat surface.
Compared to the template to see how big a block I needed to glue in (about 1/2" thick)
Man, the rosewood planed beautifully!  Look at these dark shavings!
Beautiful dark wood shavings
Used hide glue to glue on a piece of (what I think is) mahogany
Gluing on a piece for the horn repair
My usual hide glue setup - microwaved water, candy thermometer to monitor temperature,
glue in plastic cup
Drilling out the new horn using the existing hole to guide the 5/16" bit
Gluing the horn piece to the upper portion and the mahogany block to the lower piece gave me flat surfaces to clamp against when gluing the whole thing together.
Not yet gluing the whole thing - just seeing how they align
 I used a 5/16" dowel rod to align the mounting holes in the upper and lower portions of the tote.  The upper portion didn't mate just right with the mahogany block glued to the lower piece, so I planed the mahogany piece until they aligned properly.
Then glued them together
For shaping I used coping saw, rasps, files and scrapers to shape and smooth the new parts.
Tools for shaping
Clamping the tote so that I could work on the horn was challenging.  But a hand-screw clamp in the vise was the right call.  A little scrap of leather also helped.
Clamp in a clamp technique
Still a little shaping to go
The last step was to enlarge the 5/16" hole in the horn so that the 7/16" brass nut would fit.  For this I used a round rasp and tested for fit every few strokes when I got close.
Rasp to enlarge the hole
And there it is.
My zebra striped tote
I had thought the mahogany would be darker, but not so much.  After scraping all the old finish off the original parts of the tote, I tried staining the mahogany with three different stains that I had, but none of them was dark enough.  After staining I applied several coast of BLO, waiting a day between each coat.  Then a coat of wax and it was done!
Won't bother me that you can see it's been fixed.
In fact, I kind of like it that way
Knob was scraped, sanded oiled and waxed too.  Looks beautiful!
And there she is, ready for work
Out of curiosity, I compared it to my LN #8.  Man that #8 is HEAVY!  This #7 is so much lighter - maybe I'll have less fatigue when using it instead of the #8.
100+ year old Stanley #7 and 5-10 year old LN #8
BTW, I mentioned in an earlier post that the japanning was a bit rough.  Here are the pics.  What do you think - should I repaint? (OK, I know what Ralph thinks about that!)  I have no stripper and don't like working with harsh chemicals, so not sure how I'd go about it.
Heel end japanning mostly gone
Around the tote (where it's relatively protected), it's mostly intact
Some japanning missing in frog area
Front end missing some, but not too bad
So ends the rehab of the Stanley #7C.  Fun project and I'm looking forward to many years using it.  Thanks for following along.  Questions and comments are most welcome.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Stanley #7C Restoration, Part 3: Sole Flattening and Iron Fettling

Part 1 of this series is here.
Part 2 of this series is here.

To flatten the sole, I first mark lines across it, with special attention near the mouth.
Sharpie marks on entire sole
Extra marks near mouth
I'm using sandpaper on a glass plate.  It's important that the sandpaper be well attached to the glass.  I don't have a J-roller, so I use a rolling pin (don't tell the wife ...) to get the sandpaper as flat as possible on the glass.
Getting any air bubbles out from under the sandpaper
There are those who say you should have the iron in the plane when flattening the sole and there are those who say it doesn't matter.  I'm in the former camp, so the iron stays in but well retracted while flattening the sole.

After a few strokes on the sandpaper (I started with 80 and 100 grit paper), you get an idea of what you're up against.
As expected, hollow in the center, especially in front of the mouth
After a bit more sanding: hollow in front of mouth and low spot at toe
Just like when planing the surface of a board, I didn't want to sand any twist into the sole.  So periodically I turned it upside down and checked with winding sticks.
I'll take that - looks pretty good
It took several sandpaper changes, but eventually I got rid of the hollow in front of the mouth.
Still a few thin lines running lengthwise, but they won't affect planing.  I'm calling this good.

As for the iron, it was dirty and had a little rust, but it cleaned up easily with sandpaper and/or wire wheel.  Flattening the back took a while, but eventually I got it.
After some work on the coarse diamond stone, you can see the outsides are not being reached
Progressing, but still not there
I eventually used the McGuire trick of hammering the iron on the bevel side to bend the outsides a little bit.  This was nerve-wracking, fearing that I might crack or break the iron, but it worked and I was able to get the back of the iron flat.

The edge was WAY out of square and the bevel was shaped poorly.  I ground it with the hand-crank grinder to get it close before sharpening on the diamond stones.
Something odd here
In the picture above, I drew the top line registering a square along the right side of the iron.  The lower line was drawn registering off the left side.  Apparently the sides of this iron are not parallel - it narrows a little as it gets farther from the edge.

It took several iterations working with the iron and the cap-iron to get them to mate properly, but eventually they came together gap-free.

The next and last part of this restoration will be about fixing the broken tote.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Stanley #7C Restoration, Part 2: Clean-up

Part 1 of this series is here.

Did I mention this thing was dirty?  Thank goodness for wire wheels in a drill or dremel.  Here's an example:
Knob post looking rusty
Another view

Drill clamped in vise, cleaning post with wire wheel
Et voila!  Looking almost new!
I used this technique for all of the screws, washers, nuts and posts.  I ended up not needing a citric acid bath for anything.

The iron, cap-iron and lever cap all got sanded and/or wire wheeled.
The cap-iron has a little bend in it that I hope will not affect performance.
The bend is revealed by changing light reflection at left of left-most hole
You can see the bend when looking carefully on edge
I like the old lever caps that were not chrome plated.  The plated ones you can't clean up as well.  This one cleaned up nicely.
Lever cap nicely cleaned up
The lever cap screw in the frog was stuck hard.  I had to spray some WD-40 and let it soak a while.  I also gave it a rap with a hammer to dislodge any rust holding it in place.  Finally it came free, but it doesn't seem to want to screw in any further than what is just barely needed to secure the lever cap.
Lever cap screw stuck
Sprayed WD-40 from above and from below
The depth adjustment brass nut was in really grungy condition.
But it cleaned up nicely with wire wheel in a drill and mini wire wheel in a dremel tool
I also took the wire wheel (and then later sandpaper) to the plane sides and sole.
Half of the plane side cleaned up - what a difference!
I let the inside of thee plane body and the frog soak a while in Simple Green before cleaning all the grunge out of them and that worked well.

Next time I'll report on the flattening of the sole and fettling the iron.