best way to clean old block plane? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-13-2012, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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best way to clean old block plane?

I bought this Stanley Two Tone block plane at an estate sale for two bucks and was wondering the best way to clean it up. Its not rusted, just a few small spots, but mostly the inside of the plane has a lot of fine wood dust mixed with some oil or maybe wax. The blade is original and is a little more rusty but not bad. Is there a rust removal product i should buy?

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post #2 of 13 Old 06-13-2012, 05:50 PM
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Evapo-Rust is a product that most people seem to be using with good results. Also, head over to the hand tools section - there are lots of discussions on cleaning and tuning old planes.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 05:05 AM
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My first go to is : Electrolysis.

It is a cheap process with the only real expense is a normal 12 volt battery charger. I have always had one, if you have one, then all you need is $2 worth of Washing soda

Evaporust is popular with you guys, but I am cheap. Having said that I do have an Evaporust equivalent that is used when all else fails, not that it really works any better.

Pete
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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I like the electrolysis method. Ive seen it online and looks fun. Ill have to try it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STAR View Post
My first go to is : Electrolysis.

It is a cheap process with the only real expense is a normal 12 volt battery charger. I have always had one, if you have one, then all you need is $2 worth of Washing soda

Evaporust is popular with you guys, but I am cheap. Having said that I do have an Evaporust equivalent that is used when all else fails, not that it really works any better.

Pete
What is washing soda? I take it that baking soda is not the same thing? I have an old Craftsman plane that I would like to fix up a bit.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 05:06 PM
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I think electrolysis would be total overkill for that. It already looks like most of the "after" shots I see guys posting for this method.

I would hit it with some WD40 and paper towels to clean up the crud, and a little steel wool on any rust spots. For $2 you did really well
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 06:18 PM
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[QUOTE=65BAJA;346794]What is washing soda? I take it that baking soda is not the same thing? I have an old Craftsman plane that I would like to fix up a bit.[/QUOTE

--------------
Washing Soda and baking Soda are not the same thing. Close, chemically but still different.

I think some guys have used baking Soda and got a result because both are Alkaline but because Washing Soda is cheap I use that.

Now, I am no chemist but think that washing Soda is Sodium Carbonate. NaCo3. Baking Soda is Sodium bi Carbonate. Na2Cos3.

Not going to google it, others can. I think you will find it in the grocery aisle under many brands. Hammer and Anchor, come to mind and I think that is a US brand so you should not have any problems finding it. Here, it is in the cleaning and washing powder section, so that might help.

Pete
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by scoffey View Post
I like the electrolysis method. Ive seen it online and looks fun. Ill have to try it.
-------------
Electrolysis is a very simple system in practice. Try not to get hung up on the Google information. I have read a lot about it and some sites go into all the chemical reasons why it works, the precautions to take, what and why you should not use certain materials as a sacrificial rod, etc, etc, etc.

The fact is you do not need to know what happens and why, interesting reading ,but as long as you take some simple common sense precautions which any sane person does anyway, all goes well.

The beauty of it is you remove all the wooden parts and brass then the Electrolysis gets into every nook and cranny doing a great clean up.

I try to steer clear of Steel wool because of the scratches it might leave, some WD40 and paper towels are my final clean up if necessary. But that only really happens if the plane is taken out of solution before the Electrolysis has done its work.


Experiment on some old rusted items and you will be surprised how good it works.

Pete
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 06:30 PM
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EvapoRust works wonders. Disassemble, brush clean with an old toothbrush, soak for a few hours, wash thoroughly with water and then get rid of all the water with liberal application of WD40 and a rag or two. Works great for me...
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STAR View Post
-------------
Electrolysis is a very simple system in practice. Try not to get hung up on the Google information. I have read a lot about it and some sites go into all the chemical reasons why it works, the precautions to take, what and why you should not use certain materials as a sacrificial rod, etc, etc, etc.

The fact is you do not need to know what happens and why, interesting reading ,but as long as you take some simple common sense precautions which any sane person does anyway, all goes well.

The beauty of it is you remove all the wooden parts and brass then the Electrolysis gets into every nook and cranny doing a great clean up.

I try to steer clear of Steel wool because of the scratches it might leave, some WD40 and paper towels are my final clean up if necessary. But that only really happens if the plane is taken out of solution before the Electrolysis has done its work.


Experiment on some old rusted items and you will be surprised how good it works.

Pete
ps

Which ever way you decide to go, Electrolysis is another arrow to put in your quiver. It gives you some more alternatives so you can decide what options to take.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the responses. I do agree that it might be overkill for this plane but I do have another that is pretty rusty and I will try this on it. I agree it is a neat thing to know how to do just in case I run into some more real rusty planes. Thanks again!
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-14-2012, 08:55 PM
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Just a note on battery chargers for electrolysis. If you have a newer, electronically controlled charger it may not work. Something in the circuitry will turn the charger off when you connect the leads to the bath. Instead, try one of the many old wall warts most of us have. Just make sure they are a DC charger and not an AC. I use one from an old laptop power supply and it does a good job at about 3.5 amps. Many wall warts are much lower amps than that, but they will do the job, just take much longer.

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post #13 of 13 Old 06-15-2012, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by trc65 View Post
Just a note on battery chargers for electrolysis. If you have a newer, electronically controlled charger it may not work. Something in the circuitry will turn the charger off when you connect the leads to the bath. Instead, try one of the many old wall warts most of us have. Just make sure they are a DC charger and not an AC. I use one from an old laptop power supply and it does a good job at about 3.5 amps. Many wall warts are much lower amps than that, but they will do the job, just take much longer.
-

--------------

Interesting thing you have stated about the charger. Mine is an old one and the ones I have seen are a similar type. Maybe their are some you beaut ones available but I am too cheap to know anything about them.

Also, it needs to be stated that never, ever put the leads into the water. What I do is connect some ordinary fencing wire to the alligator clips and then just put that wire into the washing soda solution making sure the negative and positive wires do not touch each other.

Pete
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