the.antiquetool.restorer

A few weeks ago I was at work at the Sakrete plant putting Belgard A Frames in my truck when one of them slipped and fell on top of my phone that was laying on my tailgate. It immediately cracked the screen and my phone became completely useless unable to swipe anything on the home screen.

So, the next day, I run out and get a new Samsung phone, and luckily, I was able to transfer all my data from my old phone to the new phone through the cloud. I had to log back into all my accounts but at least they were still active. Everything but Instagram.

When I try to log into my mvflaim_furnitutemaker Instagram account on my new phone it wanted me to put in my access codes. I wrote down access codes several months ago just in case someone hacked my account and I could retrieve it back. My wife has known a lot of people who’ve had their Instagram accounts hacked and suggested I get access codes in case it happened to me.

None of the access codes that I wrote down worked so, I decided to log in through my Facebook account. When I did that, it still asked for the six digit login codes. It then said that you could get these codes from a third party Duo Mobile or Google Authenticator software you set up on your phone.

So then I installed Google Authentication software on my phone which would give me a random six digit code every 30 seconds. When I try to log in and put those codes in, it still didn’t work.

So now I’m pissed screwing with Instagram for several days trying to get back into my account. I tried to log back in to get help and clicked “get support” which asks me if I have a picture of myself. I don’t take many, if any, selfies of myself but do have a few photos of me on my feed. It then has me take a 360 degree video of my face so it could recognize it was me. Every time I tried, it emailed me back saying it can’t verify the video is me. I took over two dozen videos of my head over the past few weeks and everytime, the AI software still will not recognize my face.

It’s so bad that now, the software won’t even pull up when I try to take another video of me saying there is a bug with the software. So basically, I’m fucked.

So, I bit the bullet and decided to create a new Instagram page and call it the.antiquetool.restorer. But now I have to start all over again gaining followers.

It took me nine years to get over 4k followers as I’m not a tech savvy social media guru. It just sucks so bad. All that hard work getting all the followers is just pissed away simply by getting a new phone.

A visit to Colonial Homestead

A couple of weekends ago, my wife and I drove up to Millersburg, OH to check out the fall colors and the antique malls up there. We visited Millersburg a couple of years back only to find out after we left, that there is an antique tool store in town. I saw Colonial Homestead on Instagram when we got home and couldn’t believe I missed it so, this time I knew I had to put it on our list of stops.

The building is about ten minutes outside of town and is a really big. Inside there are thousand of tools laying on tables and bookshelves. I immediately took a step back just to absorb everything I was looking at. There’s a table in front with a bunch of Stanley planes that are restored and ready for use.

Every tool you could imagine in this joint with some rare and unusual pieces. The prices on the tools are equivalent to eBay pricing, so don’t expect to get a steal. At least it’s not for me as I’m a picker so there was no meat-on-the-bone with the pricing on the tools. He was asking $2100 for the Stanley No 1 which was way above my budget. It looks like it’s sitting on the original box but I don’t remember noticing the box when I was looking at it.

He did have a real nice selection of molding planes with prices that were in my budget however, he only takes cash and I didn’t have any on me so, it was pretty much a few minutes of browsing.

He also had a nice closet full of woodworking books. There were a lot of out of print books along with Lost Art Press favorites. I looked for the 2nd edition of the Stanley Tool Collecting book by John Walter but, there was none to be found.

After twenty minutes of browsing, I said goodbye and went on my way as my wife was waiting in the truck. The weekend wasn’t a total lost as I was able to find tools in my budget in antique malls in Berlin, and Walnut Creek, OH. The prelateral Stanley No 37 Jenny’s Plane was my favorite pick of the trip.

Restoring Wooden Clamps

Last month, I went back to the Springfield Extravaganza Antique Show in Springfield, OH. It’s the bi-yearly pilgrimage I’ve taken for the past 20 years. I love it, even though I haven’t found that many tools in the past few years. It was slim pickings again last month so, I was happy to buy a few wooden clamps for $15.00 a piece.

When I started restoring them, they were completely seized as the handles were unable to turn. I thought to myself “did I just piss away $30.00?” Luckily, after spraying the threads with PB Blaster for about 30 minutes, I was able to break free the rust on the threaded rods.

I then went to my tried and true antique oil, of mineral oil, orange oil, and melted beeswax. The solution not only helped the parts move freely, but it made the parts move like they’re brand new. If I had half of a brain, I’d sell this solution as it works so damn well, but I already have enough on my plate these days.

After the parts were free, I used a Japanese metal file and carved away the rust that was in the threads. You can see in the photos how corroded the threads were on the clamps. I feel lucky to have them usable again.

The final step was to coat the whole clamp with my tool solution. With a everything clean, I have two very usable clamps for a fraction of buying new wooden clamps and it was a done in one afternoon while watching football on TV. You gotta love antique shows!

Replacing my Tormek Sharpening Stone

After using my Tormek sharpening machine for the past twenty years, it was time for a new stone. When I researched replacement wheels, I read all about the new CBN wheels on the market that stay flat and don’t require water to use. The one disadvantage I saw with these wheels, is that the side of the stones are prettty narrow. When I sharpen old plane blades, I like to flatten the back of them as well, so I often grind the back of the blade with the side of the stone. I was afraid that the narrowness of the CBN stones wouldn’t do the job as well as my original stone. I’ve been happy with the stone that came with the machine so, if it ain’t broke, dont fix it.

I knew the hard part of replacing the stone would be taking the old one off. I grabbed a 3/4″ wrench and tried like hell to unscrew the nut. I whacked on the wrench with a hammer as hard as I could hoping not to bend the shaft of the machine. It was so tough to get off, my stone cracked and fell apart.

After about twenty minutes of cussing and using a half of a can of PB Blaster, the nut finally freed itself. Once I took the remainder of the stone off, I tried to put the new stone on, but the shaft was so rusted and corroded, I had to sand the shaft smooth in order for the new stone to slide on.

I slipped on the new stone and noticed that it moved up and down just a little bit. Curious, I removed it from the machine and also removed the stropping wheel on the other side so I could remove the shaft in order to get a better look at what was going on.

Sure enough, the plastic gasket that was next to the stone had wore a larger hole in it from use over the past twenty years. Not having a replacement gasket on hand, I simply switched the gaskets from eachother sides hoping they will still work.

Now with a “new” gasket in place, the shaft wouldn’t fit into the hole because of all the corrosion on it so, I carefully filed and sanded the rust away. After a few minutes, I was able to get the shaft nicely seated in the machine.

I checked the squareness of the stone to my crossbar and it looked much better than before. For years when I used the Tormek, it would cut slightly heavier on one side of the blade. I would compensate for this error by tilting the angle of my blade in the jig just a smudge. After messing around with the machine this afternoon, I finally understand why it would cut heavier on one side.

I turned the machine on and checked how everything was running. The stone wobbles just a touch but, from how hard I was hitting the wrench with a hammer in order to get that nut off, I’m not surprised. As long as the machine sharpens blades fine, I’m happy with it.

Stanley No 68 Rabbet Spokeshave

Yesterday, I went to an antique show and picked up the Stanley No 68 Rabbet Spokeshave in it’s original box. I’ve heard about the tool, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person. The price the guy was asking was too good to pass up so I took it home.

When I got home, I noticed a fence inside the box. At first, I thought it didn’t belong with the spokeshave but after looking at it for a few minutes, I saw that it clips on the back. The fence looks crude as if it was made by the original user, so I looked in John Walter’s Stanley book, but saw no mention of a fence that came with the tool.

When looking online for more information for this spokeshave, I saw that the vast majority of them have no fence. Then I came across this photo on WorthPoint where it shows a similar fence as mine, except this fence has a screw to tighten it while mine has a bolt. So, I’m not sure if this was a user tip that people saw in magazines that they made themselves or not.

Here’s the spokeshave in action. It works quite well with the fence. I posted this video on instagram and people said that the spokeshave was used by boat builders and carriage makers which would make sense. Definitely an interesting tool.

A Bird Feeder with a Past

Two years ago, our house got hit by a tornado. One of saddest part from all of the damage was the destruction of the shed I built a few years ago. I was so devastated, I never rebuilt it. As I tore down the shed, I kept some of the lumber hoping I would use the wood to rebuild a new one however, with 2x4s costing $7.00 a piece, I never rebuilt it and left the wood on top of the shed’s wooden platform.

Along with shed being destroyed, a bird feeder was also destroyed in the storm. My wife, Anita, finally wanted a new feeder in the yard so I decided to use some of the cedar from the shed to make a new bird feeder. I cleaned up the boards, removed the nails and milled up some boards from the trim I kept from the shed.

After the boards were milled, I glued some boards together and started cutting up the parts for the bird feeder. The feeder was so simple to build I believe I built one just like it in the 9th grade.

After a couple of hours of work, the bird feeder was installed back on top of the post. The birds are happy again and I gave new life to part of my destroyed shed. This summer, we’re finally planning on building a greenhouse on top of the platform.

Springfield Extravaganza

Last weekend was the Springfield Extravaganza. It’s one of my favorite antique shows that happens in May and September in Springfield, Ohio. The fairgrounds is full with over 2000 dealers selling all sorts of antiques and the occasional junk. I look forward to it as much as the World’s Longest Yard Sale up and down US127 in August.

Luckily, I found some planes this time at the show. Many times in the past, I would only be able to pick up a Stanley plane or two, but this year, the Antique Tool Gods were with me as I ended picking up almost ten Stanley planes. None are exceptionally rare but all will make nice users. In fact, the rarest plane I bought was a Union X6 vertical post plane.

Ironically, the only tools I bought this weekend were planes. I was looking for drills, chisels and saws but there weren’t too many available. The one saw I had an interest in was a Disston Thumbhole D8 rip saw that was in a barrel with 50 other saws. When I asked the guy what he wanted for it, he replied “$50 per saw, unless you want all of them, then they’re $7.00 each.” I quickly put the saw back and walked away.

I’ll spend the next few weeks cleaning my planes up, but I’m not too sure how long that’ll take me as I just started my new job today (I got promoted) as I may end up working more hours with this new gig than I did before. However, I’m optimistic I’ll get back in the shop soon.

You can follow me on Instagram to see how the planes end up looking. I’ll remove the rust and sharpen the blades so that they can be put back to work. In fact, I just posted a couple of pictures of a Stanley No 71 Router Plane I restored after finding it at a yard sale earlier this month.

The Worst Plane Blade

Every once in awhile I’ll come across a plane blade that is so heavily pitted and corroded, the best thing to do is to simply throw it away. This blade that came off a Stanley No 6 plane was no different. The problem was that I didn’t have a replacement blade to go with the plane I was restoring, so I was forced to see if I could get the blade to work again.

The first thing I did was take the blade over to my 8″ speed grinder and grind the face and back of the blade to remove the corrosion. I paid special attention not to heat the blade up too much so, I occasionally cooled it off in a bucket of water. Fortunately, the blade’s face had about a 1/4″ of metal at the bottom that wasn’t pitted, so I was hopeful I could still get a good edge out of it.

I took the blade over to my Tormek and ground a 25 degree bevel on it and honed the face flattler on the side of the Tormek grinding wheel the same way as I did with my 8″ speed grinder.

After the grinding was finished, I took the blade over to my water stones and sharpened it just as I do with any other blade. When I was done, there was a clean line of light at the tip of the cutting edge so I was hopeful it could achieve a nice cut.

Placing the blade back into the plane, I tuned it up, and sure enough, this crappy blade cut pretty well. I took out my dial calipers, and the shavings measured .002″ thick. The blade will eventually need to be replaced, but at least the plane can function properly now.

The plane performed so nicely, I used it to flatten my workbench.

Repairing a Rosewood Knob

Sometimes when buying a plane, all the parts will be in good shape until you look at the front knob and see a big chunk missing from the bottom. I’ve repaired dozens of totes over the years, but I’ve never really tackled a knob as it looked like a big pain in the ass. So, I decided to give it a go and see how it turns out.

The first thing I did was shave the broken area smooth with a bastard file. It didn’t have to be completely clean, just good enough to hold some glue.

Then I took a piece of cocobolo scrap wood and glued it to the surface of the break. I paid careful attention to the orientation of the grain so the repair would look nicer. I used Gorilla Super Glue Gel as it works well gluing all type of rosewood woods together.

Once the glue dried, I cut off the excess with a dovetail saw and shaved the thick areas away with some chisels and gouges.

I wanted to shape the new area perfectly round with the rest of the knob so I created a little holding jig to be used on my lathe.

I measured the inside diameter of the knob’s mounting hole with inside calipers and transferred that measurement unto outside calipers, then turned a tenon to the measurement. Then I stuck the knob onto the tenon and stabalized the top of the knob with the lathe live center point.

With the knob spinning nice and true, I carefully used a round scraper and gently turned the new piece of wood concentric with the knob. After a few minutes, and a little bit of sanding, the knob was finished.

I noticed that the knob had split just a little bit while it was turning, so I applied more super glue gel to the bottom of the knob to stabalize the wood.

The final step was to apply a couple coats of shellac to the knob and stick it back on the plane. Because the piece of cocobolo was a little lighter in color than the rosewood, I colored the cocobolo darker with a black Sharpie marker then wiped off the excess with some fine steel wool.

The end result came out fine. The knob looks complete and you can only notice the repair if you really look at it. In fact, the knob on the right was also repaired the same way, and you can hardly see it. Looks like I’ll have to start repairing more knobs from now on.

Stanley No 5 1/4 Plane

A few weeks ago, I stopped by an antique store in New Paris, OH across the state line from Richmond, IN and bought a Stanley No 5 1/4 plane strictly for the parts. The plane was missing the blade and lever cap but the price was right so I took it home.

When I cleaned up the plane a little bit, I noticed it was stamped Cincinnati Public Schools. I thought that was pretty cool since I live in Cincinnati, even though I went to Sycamore High School and not CPS. After thinking about it, a light bulb went off in my head.

I’ve owned this Stanley No 5 1/4 ish plane for years however, the plane is not marked 5 1/4 on the bed. I think it was either a Four Square plane or maybe a plane that came with a tool cabinet kit. I use it from time to time and it works well, it just sucks that it’s brazed on one side. I’m not sure where that lever cap came from as it looks like a transitional plane lever cap.

I ended up deciding to take the blade and lever cap from the old plane and put it on my new 5 1/4 plane and keep this one in my tool cabinet bidding the old brazed bed goodbye. After I cleaned all the parts, the plane came out pretty nice.

I used the plane right away to see how it cut. It worked okay but I decided to see if the bed needed to be fettled so I gtabbed some sandpaper and an old window sill to act as a surface plate and went to work.

After several minutes of fettling and changing the grits, I was happy with the outcome. Some people fettle their beds until there are no pits left on the bed and it obtains a mirror finish, but I don’t have the patience for that. As long as the front of the bed, the front and back of the mouth, and the back of the bed are even with eachother, I’m happy.

I went back to the board to see how the plane cuts and it works like a dream. Now I have a new Stanley No 5 1/4 with the provenance from my back yard.

Some people may wonder what the intended purpose of a 5 1/4 plane is, and for that, I’m not entirely sure. It’s a little too big to excel as a good smoother and a little too small to be a good jack plane. If I had to guess, I think Stanley made this size plane as well as a No 2 size plane for kids. Kid’s hands are much smaller than adults so smaller planes work well for them. The fact that this plane was marked Cincinnati Public Schools, it was more likely used by little kids in shop class. Nevertheless, I still enjoy using this plane in case one of my other planes is not set up right or it’s blade is dull.