Restoring My Beloved Veritas No. 4 Smooth Plane
I am not exactly sure what happened. I have always kept my planes oiled and waxed. And I keep them in a drawer in my Husky 46” tool cabinet with a bunch of those little desiccating silica packets. Somehow, through the move, my beloved Veritas No. 4 Smooth Plane had succumbed to rust and tarnish. It’s time to clean this beauty up.
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A Little Different This Time
Normally, I go through a full restoration of a handplane. Since this is still a great user plane with no functional damage, I didn’t want to remove any material. This time around I just wanted to remove the rust and give the whole thing a good polish. Nothing more aggressive. I turned to some familiar friends from Dremels lineup the 4-volt GO line up.
Starting with the 4-volt screwdriver, I took my beloved handplane apart. The Dremel 4-volt screwdriver is a great tool for any homeowner. I use this thing around the house all the time. One of the features I really like about this thing is the adjustable torque. This way it doesn’t overtighten or strip out your screws. This really helped with all the brass screws on the Veritas plane. Brass is such a soft metal I didn’t want to mar it up. I do wish the 4-volt cordless screwdriver had a lower torque level for applications like this.
Removing Rust (but not Metal)
I usually use a flat plate and sandpaper or one of my DMT diamond plates to remove rust from a hand plane. This time I just wanted to remove the rust. Metal Rescue gel to the…rescue, and the 4-volt power cleaner with the brush attachment to clean the rust off. This removed the rust but retained the soft steel. The gel took the rust off really well. If you had a little deeper rust you could use one of the scouring attachments to remove a bit of material without affecting the operation of the tool.
Polishing Up the Shiny Bits
Modern-day toolery is only as good as the shiny bits. These shiny bits have been tarnished by the same mysterious forces that rusted the ductile iron sole. I did just buy a new drill press. After all of your suggestions, I went with the Shop Fox Oscillating Drill press, more on that later. I don’t yet have a buffing wheel for it, so I had to get resourceful
Without a buffing wheel, I used the new Dremel 4-volt Go cordless rotary tool to buff up the brass. First, I used the rouge compound that is supplied with the rotary tool but that wasn’t giving me quite the shine I wanted. I switched to blue polishing compound…so shiny.
After a little electronic elbow grease, my smoothing plane is back in shape. This Veritas No. 4 won my first handtool shoot out years ago and it’s still my favorite handplane. Be prepared to continue to see more of this plane in future videos and posts. Shaving is so much easier than sanding, as long as you, well you know…
Keep your tools sharp, and keep your mind sharper
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