Cleanup a Stanley Bailey #4-1/2 Jumbo Smoother

Before anyone jumps all over my case, we all take a different approach to “cleaning” a tool such as this. I’m all for trying to keep what I can of the patina, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out as nice as we would like. I probably clean a little more than many like, but I do my best not to damage the tool in the process. My ultimate goal is to make a usable tool, not just collect them on the wall, although I do what I can to keep as much patina as possible.

All the metal bits of this plane were cleaned with a nylon brush and soapy water. I then put all the parts into a tank of water and baking soda. I applied 6 volts to it and let it sit overnight. The following day I removed the parts and lightly scrubbed the gunk that was left over from the process. This approach seems to remove the oxidization and leave most of the patina. After a rinse they are thoroughly dried with a towel and occasionally I use compressed air to get into the difficult places. Then I apply a thin layer of paste wax as seen in the next couple of pictures.

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WP_20140211_006 Here is the 4-1/2 partially assembled after removing the paste wax. You can see the owner’s stamp on the side and you might even be able to see the crack in the side. Once all cleaned up I will see how flat it is with proper blade tension and attempt to flatten the sole if it’s reasonably possible.

I also cleaned up the knob and tote a bit, and applied a thin coat of finish. I will apply a few more coats for additional protection and then a thin coat of wax to finish them off.

I will attempt to take more pictures and possibly go into more depth on the #7 that I recently purchased.

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