I started the night out cleaning up the bench as I am switching gears and don’t need the tools that are currently out. I usually try to clean up a bit at the end each night but I have been using the same tools on a particular project and just didn’t see the need to put them away when I was just going to use them again the next night.
A quick scrub down of the metal bits to get some of the oil and grease off and they get dumped into the citric acid bath. The top of the iron has a fairly substantial amount of rust and is pitted, so much that I can’t even make out if there is a makers stamp or not. The rest looks like its in good shape and won’t need much work.
The body of the plane didn’t appear to bad at first. But after closer inspection it is quite dirty. I scraped off the typical drips, drops and splatters of paint. I then sprayed on some orange cleaner. I worked each side with a scrubby like I normally do. Eww, there is quite a bit of the grayish brown goop that comes off while scrubbing. I spritz on some water and wipe off quickly, this helps remove the sludge that I have loosened up. A little extra scraping in some spots to get rid of the raised and textured black gunk.
The breast and bed were particularly bad on this plane. It took several rounds of elbow grease and a bit of patience, but it paid off and it came clean. Some might think this is a bit harsh on a tool that is 100ish years old, and they might be right, but I want it as a daily user. I would like my own sweat applied over many years of use and hopefully someone else will go through the trouble to clean it up in another 100 years.
Once I have removed the grime to the level I found acceptable, I did one last spritz of water and wiped it down. I then used compressed air to force as much water out of the cracks that I can. I really don’t want it soaking in any longer than needed. Now it sits and dries at least over night.
Before I call it a night I quick scrub down the iron bits one more time, this helped get the larger rust deposits loosened up. I use a cheap stainless steel brush, the kind you get at the dollar store or in a package at Harbor Freight. I’m gentle and let the citric acid do most of the work. Back into the tank the metal bits go, they are bad enough that I am comfortable leaving them over night.
This plane was the dirtiest planes I have encountered thus far, apparently I have been fussy enough to minimize that much work in my previous finds. At this point I have about an hour and a half into it, well worth the trouble so far.