After my “family photo” yesterday, I mentioned to my wife that I was missing some tools. She recalled seeing a few in a particular box in our storage room, so off I went to look.
It turns out, her memory is far better than mine is, and a few more members of the family are found, including a couple of surprises.
Unfortunately, the whole family isn’t together. Some are still missing, and that means sorrow for me.
But, not for long, because I do have a few goodies to share!
You can tell from the photo above most of what I have, but let’s start with my unicorn’s recovery. Namely, my Stanley router plane.
It’s a Stanley #71 that still has the depth stop and everything else. If I were inclined to do a restoration, I’d simply take the knobs down to bare wood and re-lacquer them. They’re still smooth and feel good in the hand as it is, so that is going to go way, way down on my tool restoration list.
A quick look at the sole of the plane:
Smooth as glass.
I’m pretty sure this one was already lapped before I got it, and I can’t wait to create an opportunity or two to use this bad boy.
This one only has the one cutter, but since Lee Valley sells cutters that fit this router plane, I’m not overly concerned.
Finding this one in the box tool made me feel a great deal of relief. Like I said, this was my unicorn while looking for old tools, and while I don’t remember what I paid for it, I do remember pouncing on this one like Jabba the Hut at an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s in beautiful shape and looks like it’s ready to roll right now.
Two other tools missing and were found were my nasty bastard file and my hammer.
Both came from a big-box store and are nothing special, but they’re at least here and I don’t have to replace them.
Because I would have had to do just that.
I mean seriously, who the hell doesn’t have a hammer?
Luckily, I’m not in that category anymore. I have mine. This and my joiner’s mallet from yesterday should get most of my bashing needs covered.
With those two recoveries, that leads me to a couple of surprises. First, there’s the Stanley #45 I had picked up as a project some time back.
It needs a fence and rods, but I’m pretty sure I can pick those up easily enough. It does have one cutter and it has the knicking blade for cross-grain work, so that’s pretty awesome.
The great thing about finding this is that it covers a whole lot of needs. If my memory serves me correctly, this plane was built to replace seven other planes. That means it’s seven planes I don’t need to buy to do work with, once I learn how to use this particular one.
Unfortunately, it’s not as versatile as the Stanley #55 which also had a set of hollows and rounds and a pile of molding blades that won’t work in the #45, but that’s a unicorn for another day, if then.
Another surprise was this little #4C that I found.
This one is in excellent shape. The only complain I have is that someone bored holes in the plane so they could hang it up, which is dumb. Still, it’s in the past.
The sole on this one?
That’s discoloration, not rust. I suspect much of that will vanish when I lap the sole.
Everything on this is nice and tight, and which is impressive since it’s a pretty old plane. I haven’t dated it, but it’s at least from the first few decades of the 20th Century.
I’d completely forgotten this particular plane, so finding it was a nice surprise.
Unfortunately, another quick look of one place I might have stashed some tools came up with nothing but a no-name combination square I’d forgotten about.
Translation: My beloved low-angle block plane is gone.
I hate that, too, because that plane kicked butt. There were times I used that plane to the exclusion of all other planes, even when it wasn’t really the right tool for the job. It just cut so well I felt like I had to do it. The curls it made…
So, that means I’ll have to find a replacement, but it won’t be the same.
I’m pretty sure this is punishment from above. I neglected my tools, and now I’m being taught a valuable lesson. Luckily, I’m pretty sure I’ve learned it.
For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have sweated losing the hammer. It was a lightweight cheapo hammer anyway so I could get a few others if I needed it. Luckily, I don’t.
The #45 will be a project, and an important one after the actual restorations of essentials is completed. That makes it so I won’t need to buy a few other planes and while I wish I still had the Veritas rabbit plane, this will do a lot of the same things, so I’ll have that covered.
As of right now, I’m feeling very good about where I stand, all things considered.
I have some restoration and sharpening in my future, but sharpening will be an ongoing process.
My plan is to pick up a couple gallons of vinegar to put in a five-gallon bucket with an equal amount of water and let it sit overnight. I’ll then pull it out, sand it up, and see what needs to happen from there.
But beyond that, it means I need to plan where I’m going to go with how the tools are set up as well as planning out some of my other projects while I work on that.