Question to those of you that restore hand tools...

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Forum topic by ErikF posted 03-15-2014 02:24 AM 1178 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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649 posts in 2804 days

03-15-2014 02:24 AM

There is a guy in the area I live that is selling a lot of old planes and large timber framing slicks. Some have light surface rust but some also have some fairly heavy pitting that would take ages to sand out. I am wondering if anyone has used a vertical mill with a face cutter to simply cut away the heavily pitted areas. I am no expert in metal working and do know there is hidden tension inside of metal just as with wood. I am unfamiliar with the stability of cast iron and forged steel. Any advice is appreciated.

-- Power to the people.

2 replies so far

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 3253 days

#1 posted 03-15-2014 04:27 AM

As a hand tool guy and engineer, I’d say go for it, assuming the price is right. Evaluate each tool as you go, and plan to flatten the planes when they are assembled and tensioned, even if you use a mill to dress the castings.

View shampeon's profile


1900 posts in 2743 days

#2 posted 03-15-2014 04:48 AM

It really depends on where the pitting is. For the most part, pitting on the sole or sides of a plane isn’t a big deal, as long as it didn’t affect the structural integrity of the body. For slicks and chisels, pitting on the back could be a PIA to deal with.

You can waste a lot of time and energy making the soles of a hand plane perfectly flat, but I’m basically of the opinion that it for the most part isn’t necessary. You need the toe, mouth, and heel in the same plane, with no convex areas to cause rocking, but there’s no point in sanding out every holllow.

Hand scraping is actually probably a better technique than a vertical mill. You end up removing less material, and can get extremely high tolerances.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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