Klingspor - Sandflex Hand Blocks (Wonderbar Rust Remover) (Rating: 5)

A few weeks ago a co-worker and I were talking about axes and he sent me a video on YouTube called An Axe to Grind, its a documentary by the Adirondack Woodsman all about axes - care, maintenance, hanging, etc. It's an hour long and I watched about half of it the first time, its very informative and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn the basics about axes.

Anyway, about 4 minutes in he starts cleaning his axe and something caught my eye, he has these things called the Wonderbar, its a rubber compound impregnated with grit, similar to a sanding block but about 1000x better and more durable.

A couple Google searches later and I found them on Garrett Wade , another great site with lots of cool stuff. Anyway my co-worker and I each ordered a set of the Wonderbar's, $18 for the set is not bad because apparently they last forever, although Garrett Wade does sort of gouge you for the shipping ($9.50), but at least I got a free pocket knife for my first order.

A week and a half later my package arrived, I figured the best place to start was on some hand planes. I looked at my collection and noticed they could use some cleaning. So the first one I cleaned up was a old Defiance (maybe a Defiance knockoff) that I haven't really used, the pic above is the iron, chip breaker and lever cap, took less than 5 minutes to get both sides looking clean and shiny. Then the cheeks of the plane took about 30 seconds to shine up, I was already sold!
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Next the Hercules had some yellowing and weird gunk on it, so again about a minute on each piece and again its looking great.
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Then an Ohio #5, which really needed some cleanup, but again this only took about 1 minute on each piece.
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A Bailey #6, quick 30 seconds on each side.
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I ended up cleaning almost all of my planes that night, and I had a great time doing it! I really didn't think that much effort was required, although none of my planes were in-operable, I probably wouldn't use the Wonderbars right away on rust-hunt finds, if something was badly rusted I'd probably still soak it in evaporust before polishing with the Wonderbar. But these little things are so damn handy, I can see using them for light maintenance on just about any metal, and they don't leave the scratch marks like sandpaper does. They even work well on brass, I polished a couple of old Disston try squares that I had not been able to use because I couldn't see the markings on the steel and now they look rejuvenated. I guess it's time to make a plane till, I'm a little worried about hanging my Bedrock 608 with twine!

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It also states on the package that you can use them wet or dry with oil or water, and I tried them with a little honing oil, wd-40 and water and still prefer to use them dry overalll. But I might try the fine block with a little oil to see if it makes a difference.

Couldn't be happier with these little guys!