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Bedrock #605 Restoration #3: Sand and prep handles

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Blog entry by sansoo22 posted 12-06-2021 02:18 AM 859 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Cleaning...and some bad news Part 3 of Bedrock #605 Restoration series Part 4: Set backs »

I was going to sandblast today but I need to cut new plexiglass for the window on the blast cabinet. Instead I finished sanding and prepping the tote and knob for finish. This is a three day process that I’m going to cover in one long post.

Tools of the trade

This is pretty darn simple. I use a bolt with some spacers to chuck the knob into the cordless drill. A drill press will also work if you don’t have yours taken apart like I do. I’m sure a Shopsmith works as well but guess what…ya its taken apart to. I like to use denatured alcohol for cleaning duties. And the last thing you need is a couple quarter sheets of FRESH sandpaper. Seriously if you want nice handles this isn’t time to reuse sandpaper you should have thrown out a month ago.

====== Day 1 ======

First step is wipe both handles down real well with DNA.

You’d be surprised how much filth comes off when you do that. I sure don’t want unknown filth floating around in the air while sanding so I do a very thorough wipe down before sanding.


Next step is install the bolt and spacers into the knob. Then load it into whatever tool you are using to make it spin round and round.

This next part I can’t take photos of because it takes two hands but its pretty simple. Turn on spinny tool and let the sandpaper do all of the work. This is why its imperative that you use FRESH paper. I try to use as little pressure as possible to get finish off because I don’t want to risk changing the profile of the original knob. I repeat this cycle with FRESH 150 grit and 220 grit. It takes 3 to 5 min total and you are done.

After the each grit I wipe it down with DNA to clean it off. I do several cleanings because you never know what kind of funk has seeped into the grain of a 100+ yr old tool and you don’t want your finish flaking off because of that funk.


Almost as smooth and clean as the day it was born.

I seriously can’t stress enough to use fresh sand paper on the knobs. It literally takes an 1/8th sheet of 150 and an 1/8th sheet of 220 to get outstanding results.

Now the real fun begins
This tote is a bit of a bastard to sand. I start with 150 just like the knob but the bastard part comes in following the grain. This particular bastard has an oval on one side because…its a bastard.


Best advice I can give is use light pressure and wipe the dust off frequently so you can see which direction the grain is going. In this image I did the oval and then slowly worked my way out from it trying to discover which direction grain is going.


If the oval wasn’t fun enough we have grain moving in a few different directions across the front. This again is just a matter of taking your time and using as little pressure as needed to take the finish off. Sometimes I have to go over some spots a few times. This is definitely one of the patience testing parts of restoration work.

The last part of day one is to do some preemptive “repairs” with good old fashioned super glue.

Looking at the close up of the bottom there are a few hairline cracks we want to address. They probably won’t cause any problems but to play it safe I fill them anyway.

It doesn’t take but a very thin bead. For larger cracks you can dial down the compressor to about 5 psi and gently blue the glue into them.


I let the bottom glue sit for 10 or 15 min so it won’t run and then addressed a couple little “punky” areas in the tote. You could dent these spots with a thumbnail quite easily. The thin super glue will penetrate just enough to harden it.

Now we let that sit to dry overnight and go back to sanding in the morning.

====== Day 2 ======


The glue we put down on day one is dry and pretty ugly. Don’t fret it will come out looking spectacular.


Before taking care of the sides I like to make sure the bottom is taken care of so I don’t forget. I use a surface plate for this with some 150 grit paper. I grab the tote just like I would if I was planing and take nice even strokes forward. Then lift the tote and repeat. I find this method keeps it nice and flat.


I don’t take all of the tooling marks out just yet. We still have one more super glue session before I do that. This is roughly where I leave them for now.


Then its back to 150 grit paper to remove the glue from the sides. Same process we used earlier following the grain as best as we can. The spots are hardened and barely visible. By the time the finish is applied they should be invisible.

A new step I’ve been taking with these very old totes is to run a bead of super glue around the very bottom edge. I’ve had a few I was wiping with a microfiber cloth catch something and tear a sliver off. And of course that ALWAYS happens after the finish is on.


Its that simple. Piece of painters tape and a bead of superglue all around it just like you would caulk a backsplash. That is a wrap for day two. Set the tote off to dry and carry on with whatever else you were doing.

====== Day 3 ======


Once the glue is dry I remove the tape, which will tear, and run an exacto knife around the edge. Don’t get too close with the knife or you can damage the tote. Better to leave a little extra glue and just sand that off with 150 grit.

I didn’t photograph it but I use the same steps above to do the bottom of the tote again to remove any tape and glue. This time I take 90% or more of the tooling marks out of the bottom.


When it’s all said and done it should look something like this. It appears there was a low spot here that I hadn’t noticed before. But that glue will become invisible after finish is applied.

All that is left is to carefully sand with 220 grit following the grain just as carefully as before. The more careful you follow the grain with 150 the less work you have to do to fix things at the 220 stage.


After the 220 grit I do another very thorough cleaning with DNA to get any dust off. And by thorough I mean I keep cleaning until barely any color is coming off on a blue shop towel. This is what the tote and knob look like once they are finished sanded to 220.


This is a little holder I rigged up to help me apply finishes. Pencils or dowels work great to hold most plane handles I have come across thus far. As you can tell I never do one set at a time. There is a mix of Miller Falls, Marsh/Rockford, and Stanley planes in that mix.

And that is a wrap for handles. If you’re still reading at this point you should go get a cookie or any snack you desire because you deserve it.

Note about DNA: So using DNA to clean the handles can dry them out. I have tried mineral spirits in the past and had trouble with finish adhesion. When I switched to DNA the problem went away. I use an oil based wipe on poly as my base coat which will bring the grain back to vibrant and will go into more detail on that when its time to slap some finish on.

Bonus images of my sanding job. I am quite proud of the very few and very faint scratch marks left. This handle was a pain to sand.



6 comments so far

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

5038 posts in 5076 days


#1 posted 12-06-2021 04:16 AM

Interesting about the bead of super glue around the base of the tote. Also, I’m guilty of using sandpaper ‘til I can’t tell which side is the abrasive side….I’ve got stashes of sandpaper that are 30+ years old!! I should be refreshing the paper more frequently.

Two very good tips! Thanks!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1972 posts in 996 days


#2 posted 12-06-2021 04:45 AM

I’m a sandpaper hoarder myself. But in doing that I managed to screw up the profile of a couple type 12/13 front knobs. Was using pressure to sand the base instead of letting the paper do it and I rounded that nice crisp profile over on accident. So its a lesson learned the hard way.

One of these days I might get bold enough to try resoling a couple transitionals I have. I saw one of yours on the HPOYD thread the other day and it was down right gorgeous.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

5038 posts in 5076 days


#3 posted 12-06-2021 04:01 PM



I m a sandpaper hoarder myself. But in doing that I managed to screw up the profile of a couple type 12/13 front knobs. Was using pressure to sand the base instead of letting the paper do it and I rounded that nice crisp profile over on accident. So its a lesson learned the hard way.

One of these days I might get bold enough to try resoling a couple transitionals I have. I saw one of yours on the HPOYD thread the other day and it was down right gorgeous.

- sansoo22

I’m following your progress on the #605. Do you ever use walnut shells in your sandblaster? Is it worthwhile?
I posted a procedural for building new wooden bases for transitionals without all that tedious chopping long ago, and mostly I got slagged for painting the iron top in Rose Gold, lol. I’ll see if I can find the link, Sansoo.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1972 posts in 996 days


#4 posted 12-06-2021 04:56 PM

I have not tried walnut shells yet. My current compressor is barely making 5 CFM. I’m actually using 70 grit black aluminum oxide right now. I’m not entirely sure I should use that media but its working fantastic with the low pressure setup I currently have.

California Air Tools has a continuous duty compressor pushing 6.5 CFM @ 40 PSI I’ve been eyeballing. I would love to have a big boy compressor but don’t have the wallet or power requirements for that at the moment. The CAT unit comes in it a $1k for continuous duty and 77DB making blasting a much quieter experience.

So long story wrapped up…with proper specs for a blasting setup I think walnut shells could be great for rust removal. However I’m not sure how that media would fair against the japanned finishes…as you know some of that stuff is very TOUGH.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

20733 posts in 2480 days


#5 posted 12-06-2021 07:37 PM

Interesting idea using CA to shore up the edges at the bottom. Never thought about doing that. Of course that’s because I’ve never had a problem with it… knock on wood. Hard. A LOT.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1972 posts in 996 days


#6 posted 12-06-2021 09:22 PM


Interesting idea using CA to shore up the edges at the bottom. Never thought about doing that. Of course that s because I ve never had a problem with it… knock on wood. Hard. A LOT.

- HokieKen

Its mostly just the older rough cut Stanley’s that give me a problem. I think mother nature and father time conspire to pry bits loose on those totes. Other than that I rarely have an issue unless I come across a tote that had an oil spill or chemical accident of some sort. Sometimes those totes get a little “punky” around the bottom and need this treatment.

After typing that I think I restore too many planes…or at least too many unloved bastard planes.

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