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I would get it cleaned up first and see how bad it really is.

Here are a couple of shots of a Stanley Bailey No5, type 11, I got for $2 at a flea market. Looks pretty good for 100 years old. I used warm soapy water to clean it and then a soak in Evaporust. The metal grayed a bit, but I think it would have come off with some light sanding. I just sharpened it since it is a user plane.

The actual restore thread is here http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/2-bailey-no5-score-plus-evapo-rust-props-40222/

Before cleaning and a soak in Evapo-Rust. That stuff works miracles.
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After cleaning, waxing, handle fixing.


 

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Its not weird Acowboy, I think the same thing when buying or using an old plane. What did this tool help build in its long life? What kind of person used it? Does it have magical powers that will turn me into a master craftsman if I rub it three times? Well maybe not the last one.
 
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