Saw and plane restoration #1: New aquisitions - restore or not? Input wanted.

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Blog entry by Tokolosi posted 06-08-2012 05:34 PM 14783 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Saw and plane restoration series no next part

I went to an estate sale the other day and some tools managed to attach themselves to me somehow. I wjust wanted to browse around but these things jumped up from the well worn workbench in the garage and clung to me. Not being someone to cause a scene I just bought them. So now I got them (drat ;-)) I’d love to put them back in use.

First up is a Abernathy Tool & Vise Co. woodworking vise. This sucker was still attached to the bench when I got it and the only tool I was able to use to get it off was a small needle nosed plier and socket set. It was a battle to say the least. Its a Model 70. I did some research and found out that Abernathy went out of business in 1923. Looking for my model I have only been able to find another similiar model; the 70-D.

It looks like its in great shape! Will require minimal work to get back in tip top shape.

Next up is a Stanley No. 18 Block Plane. It has a small nick on the shoe where the blade penetrates but otherwise looks great. Probably the newest of the three planes I got. I read that most Stanley model planes was produced in diffrent Types (i.e. Type I or Type III). How do I determine the Type of a particular model?

Number next is a Stanley No. 35 Smooth Plane. It could be 80 or 90 years old. While the shoe is nice and flat still someone had hammered four nails into the knob presumably because it became loose. Thats going to be a tough extraction.

Last of the planes is a Stanley No. 27 Jack Plane. I estimate this to be well over a hundred years old (circa 1869 to 1917). It is in beautifull condition. With the exception of the enamel that is almost all chipped off the body.

Finally there was a 28” Disston D-8 two handed skew back. This guy was haning of a rusty nail beside the door hidden by some brooms and a mop. Almost didnt see it. Got it for $5. Based on the medallion and info I got off the Disstionian Institute website it was made between 1888 and 1896. It could be 124 years old and not a day younger than 116! I thought that was pretty cool. What was nice is that the Disstonian site states that during this period on this saw the little stars on the medallion was sometimes done with six points instead of the usual five. Made it pretty easy to date. Im a sucker for history so I love this stuff!!

Anyway, The blade is in pretty good shape but it has a lot of rust. Besides having over 100 years of grime on it the handle seems to be in great shape. This will be the first one of the lot that gets restored.

Any tips or tricks or information or anything will be so welcome. My intent is to get these tools working again. For instance; On the Jack and Smooth planes the Stanley Logo is carved onto the nose of the shoes. Can I sand the rest of the shoe and leave the nose alone? Is there a better way to do it without losing the logo?

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

9 comments so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4463 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 05:36 PM

Plush very plush your a lucky man some of those are very nice. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View wishicoulddothat's profile


46 posts in 3121 days

#2 posted 06-08-2012 07:32 PM

Wow! Great finds! I am wondering if there is a stripper you can use to remove the finish more gently around the stanley etching?

View Don W's profile

Don W

19726 posts in 3446 days

#3 posted 06-08-2012 08:04 PM

wow, you got some great finds. They look in great shape. I typicaly use a card scraper on transitionals and then sand. I’d leave the logo as you suggested.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 3233 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 09:15 PM

Don, thanks for that tip and for just posting on this blog. I had a look at your profile, found your restoration blog and have spent the last hour just fascinated! Your work is incredible and your blog is a wealth of info! You answered questions in there I didnt even know I had yet.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Don W's profile

Don W

19726 posts in 3446 days

#5 posted 06-08-2012 09:22 PM

I have been looking for a thumb holed disston or 2 forever. For saw restores look at Andy's stuff.

keep us posted on the progress.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3682 days

#6 posted 06-10-2012 01:06 AM

Looks like some gr8 stuff.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View jeffshop's profile


1 post in 3020 days

#7 posted 07-14-2012 05:12 PM

the Abernathy vise and Tool Co. was in business in to the early 1980’s in Chi. Business went back to the early part of the last century and I came across a catalog featuring their trade school products years ago. the bench you removed the vise from may well have been one of their products as they produced drafting tables, work benches and other products for manual arts education. the vise you have appears to be a 70d and would measure 7” across the front jaw and should have a 10” opening, fully extended. They also produced a 70a with a 10” wide jaw and a deeper capacity. the ingenuity and repairability of these units is reflected in the currently available Jorgenson rapid acting vise series still being produced by the Adjustable Clamp Co. which I believe still resides in Chi. I own five of these vises and have found the three most common issues to be broken or missing handles, front tee fitting replaced with a plumbing tee and worn roller nut assy-all repairable stuff and I’ll put one of these oldtimers against any current or period rapid acting units. the only woodworking vise that surpasses these units is a an original and complete Emmert pattermakers vise but that’s quantam leap in design and availability

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16938 posts in 3496 days

#8 posted 07-14-2012 06:16 PM

Tok – Ditto to all the above that you’ve got some wonderful tools! The D8 handle looks terrific, one of the nicest I’ve seen in the wild as they got beat up pretty good in use. Nice transitionals, and the #18 block looks awesome as well. What restore means to you may not match up with what anyone else thinks, but that’s half the fun. You’ve got users that, with a bit of refining, are ready to work another century.

Fine grit wet/dry sandpaper will clean up the saw plate for use – lots of information can be had reading Brit’s blogs here on LJs (he is to saws what Don Yoda is to planes).

Again, congrats on the finds!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3151 days

#9 posted 02-07-2016 04:52 PM

I just picked this Abernathy No. 20 Clutch at The Woodworking Shows in Chantilly, Va. from one of the antique tool folks there for $140. The only issue with it is the original cotter pin that held the rods in was replaced by a new pin. The other issue is I suspect the handle is not original . From what I’ve been reading these came with wood handles. This one has a steel handle and I’m fine by that.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

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