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80877 bruce_vansloun@h... 2000‑07‑12 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
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Phil asked,

> So, what is deemed acceptable and
> will not change the patina of a 200 year old handplane?
>    Should they just be waxed and buffed or just a light wipe
> with linseed,mineral,tung oil or something else?

I take the minimalist approach.  I much prefer my planes 'dry'
as in that real nice light colored beech.  I'll use mineral 
spirits to clean as much dirt (not patina) off and leave as is
if possible.  If the plane does not look good, I'll rub in a
coat of bee's wax.  (Melted into turps, no linseed oil.) 

If the plane had a coat of shellac, I'll redo that.  These
were more or less just a spit coat, IME.

I really do not like oil on planes as it can not be reversed
and darkens the wood considerably.  Now if you have a plane that
is in sorry shape and needs it, go ahead, but not on a nice plane
that has gone 200 years w/out it!

Bruce

Minneapolis, MinneSOta


80862 Mark Keenum keenum032mark@y... 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Wolfgang,

Linseed oil is what is darkening your wooden planes. 
For this reason it is often maligned in restoration
circles (I guess maligned would be a mild way of
putting it).

I have had some innocuous looking wooden objects
(planes, saw handles) turn almost black when I applied
linseed oil to them.  This is certainly the exception
and I suspect they had previously come in contact with
a lot of water.

Be careful,
Mark

--- "Jordan Wolfgang Dr."
Wolfgang.Jordan@m... wrote:
> Galoots,
> 
>  I cleaned and refinished many planes of my growing
> collection using Anthony
> Seo's instructions
>
http://members.xoom.com/nlindsey/restoration/CleaningWoodPlanes/cleaning.htm
> l. His formula is basically a mixture of paint
> thinner, linseed oil and
> beeswax in equal parts. Applied with a pad this
> solution cleans and
> refinishes the wood, but the resulting color is a
> bit dark. Would I get a
> lighter color, if I used the ingredients of this
> solution separately, that
> is clean with paint thinner, then oil and wax? Are
> there better ways to
> clean and refinish a wooden plane?
> 
> Wolfgang


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80871 jimbono@w... (James Thompson) 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Wolfgang, I am going to shill for Paddy and tell you to seal the wood
with clear shellac, then proceed as usual.
I have seen rosewood handles turn ebony black when anything including
shellac touched them.  Don't know why.





80859 "Jordan Wolfgang Dr." Wolfgang.Jordan@m... 2000‑07‑12 Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Galoots,

 I cleaned and refinished many planes of my growing collection using Anthony
Seo's instructions
http://members.xoom.com/nlindsey/restoration/CleaningWoodPlanes/cleaning.htm
l. His formula is basically a mixture of paint thinner, linseed oil and
beeswax in equal parts. Applied with a pad this solution cleans and
refinishes the wood, but the resulting color is a bit dark. Would I get a
lighter color, if I used the ingredients of this solution separately, that
is clean with paint thinner, then oil and wax? Are there better ways to
clean and refinish a wooden plane? Any comments are welcome.

Wolfgang


80873 "Phil Bassett" bassep@h... 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Ok guys,
        Mark says that linseed oil will darken the planes and
Walt says in a follow up post that linseed oil causes wood to
deteriorate in the long term.So, what is deemed acceptable and
will not change the patina of a 200 year old handplane?
   Should they just be waxed and buffed or just a light wipe
with linseed,mineral,tung oil or something else?Jim Thompson's
suggestion of a shellac coat just doesn't seem right to me.Can we
form some concensus of opinion here - maybe we can hear from the
restoration guys for their views on this .
            Phil Bassett - trying not to ruin the few woodies he owns.


>From: Mark Keenum keenum032mark@y...
>Reply-To: keenum032mark@y...
>To: Wolfgang.Jordan@m... Oldtools 
>OLDTOOLS@w...
>Subject: Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
>Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 04:53:00 -0700 (PDT)
>
>Wolfgang,
>
>Linseed oil is what is darkening your wooden planes.
>For this reason it is often maligned in restoration
>circles (I guess maligned would be a mild way of
>putting it).
>
>I have had some innocuous looking wooden objects
>(planes, saw handles) turn almost black when I applied
>linseed oil to them.  This is certainly the exception
>and I suspect they had previously come in contact with
>a lot of water.
>
>Be careful,
>Mark
>
>--- "Jordan Wolfgang Dr."
>Wolfgang.Jordan@m... wrote:
> > Galoots,
> >
> >  I cleaned and refinished many planes of my growing
> > collection using Anthony
> > Seo's instructions
> >
>http://members.xoom.com/nlindsey/restoration/CleaningWoodPlanes/cleaning.htm
> > l. His formula is basically a mixture of paint
> > thinner, linseed oil and
> > beeswax in equal parts. Applied with a pad this
> > solution cleans and
> > refinishes the wood, but the resulting color is a
> > bit dark. Would I get a
> > lighter color, if I used the ingredients of this
> > solution separately, that
> > is clean with paint thinner, then oil and wax? Are
> > there better ways to
> > clean and refinish a wooden plane?
> >
> > Wolfgang
>
>
>__________________________________________________
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>Get Yahoo! Mail – Free email you can access from anywhere!
>http://mail.yahoo.com/
>
>--
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>Private replies: keenum032mark@y...
>Public replies:  OLDTOOLS@l...
>To signoff or digest: listserv@l...
>Archive: http://mailmunch.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/archives/OLDTOOLS
>                      Quote sparingly.
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>

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80881 reeinelson@w... (Robert Nelson) 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Hi All,

Various anti-linseed oil comments made re this thread have twanged my
bow. I can't quote the sources off the top of my head, but I'm sure I've
seen several of them that stated that linseed oil was the finish of
choice of almost all old time plane users. One of the primary reasons so
many 200 year old planes are still here in pretty decent shape is
because they were finished with linseed oil. To me, any current thinking
that linseed oil is undesirable and/or might do damage is a bunch of
bunkum. Will it darken a plane? Yes, sometimes more than others
depending on the wood, the phase of the moon, and who knows what else.
Is that bad? It's a matter of personal taste, but I prefer the slightly
darker look it usually imparts to the dry bleached out look of something
that's been left out in the sun and rain.

That said, do I always use linseed oil on planes? No, many exotic wood
planes don't seem to need it as much as the more common birch or beech
planes. My main basis for deciding to use it is whether the wood looks
"dry". If so, on goes a half and half mix of boiled oil and turps; wait
about 15-30 minutes and then thoroughly wipe all standing mix off the
surface. Check the next day and do it again if there are still any "dry"
looking spots. And again the next day and on until it looks "right".
Whether or not to then put some wax on is again a matter of personal
taste and whether the tool seems to look like it "needs" it. Years ago,
I waxed very few tools; as I've aged, I've come to favor doing more ot
them. I'll almost always wax the exotic woods.

Now that my spleen has been vented, Ill retreat to my rock just off the
far corner of the porch.

Best to all,
Bob


80885 Conan The Librarian CV01@s... 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes

   Regarding linseed oil being good or bad for planes: John
Whelan, the author of Making Traditional Wooden Planes 
advocates using linseed or tung (with the first coat thinned
with turps).

   Just another data point.


      Chuck Vance


80883 reeinelson@w... (Robert Nelson) 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Hi Again,

As a PS to my earlier rant, I recall one (or more) of my sources re
oldtimer use of linseed oil describing how they'd set the butt end of a
plane in about one inch of raw linseed oil and (adding more oil if/as
needed) let it stand there until the oil wicked up and beaded on the top
front end of the plane. I do not recommend doing that. Bill Gustafson
once described trying it out of curiosity and winding up with a plane so
heavy that it was awkward to use.

Best,
Bob


80884 "Schwartz, Christopher N." schwartz@i... 2000‑07‑12 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
One data point:

The only thing I read in print regarding linseed oil being bad for antique
planes was from St Roy.  He cited unnamed museum curators, saying there was
evidence it made the wood break down after 200 years or so.  He encouraged
anyone to use linseed oil on planes they were making new, but maybe using
paste wax on you Chelor planes from 1700.  (I'm extrapolating a bit.  Don't
you dare put a hang hole in your Chelor planes or anything.)


Chris Schwartz...  Ex-Feral Brewer
Stealth Galoot #97, FOYBIPO
http://agent.infodata.com/cns/chris.html



-----Original Message-----
From: reeinelson@w... [mailto:reeinelson@w...


Hi All,

Various anti-linseed oil comments made re this thread have twanged my
bow. I can't quote the sources off the top of my head, but I'm sure I've
seen several of them that stated that linseed oil was the finish of
choice of almost all old time plane users. One of the primary reasons so
many 200 year old planes are still here in pretty decent shape is
because they were finished with linseed oil. To me, any current thinking
that linseed oil is undesirable and/or might do damage is a bunch of
bunkum. 


80887 "Todd or Betty Hughes" dedhorse@d... 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
I guess cleaning wood planes is a one of those topics where every one has an
opinion, well here's what works good for me and what I do.
  Mostly I agree with what Bruce V. said about trying to do the least amount
that you can to a plane.I have a friend that no matter what condition a
plane is when he gets it he strips it, scrubs it, and then sprays a coat of
poly on it.To me this is aproaching crimanality, but he says they're his,[he
never sells anything] and that is the look he likes.I traded off him an
18th.cent. stlye pannel raising plane he had given this treatment to and was
enough to make you sick. Most planes I get don't need to much done, maybe a
light cleaning with a rag or paper towl. I like to use this product called
Simply Green, works good to get dirt or grease off planes very well.often a
plane that looks awfull will come right around after this.I used to use
linseed oil on planes but now I use a very light rub down of tung oil, I
think the tung oil drys a little better and darkens the wood less.Don't
think there is anything wrong with the linseed oil I just like tung oil a
little better.If the plane is very clean already I don't do anything to them
except maybe put a coat of wax on them. I like Brie Wax, easy to apply and
gives a good look I think.If a plane is real dried out I use one of those
antique furniture restorers,[Like Formbys], don't know what is in them but
it is thinner then tung,or linseed oil and the plane will absorb it faster
and come around better , then wax it.For paint splatters I scrape them off
and use a little steel wool to blend the area in then finish them in a coat
of tung oil.Now we are talking about dried out, none significant planes now.
Personally I would never put shellack ,[or Varnish] on a plane as it tends
to make them look to "new" or  refinished looking I think.
     Planes I  keep to go into my collection,[I collect mostly early stuff]
I tend to do nothing too, often I don't even like to clean them up, maybe a
wipe down with a damp rag.I like the look a tool gets after years of use and
storage and often a overly cleaned plane is to "sterile" for my tast. With
planes i sell i will clean them up some if needed to make them presentable
but i figure if the buyer wants to really go to town cleaning them he can,
but if a buyer doesn't want an over cleaned tool he can leave it like they
are. Is better to do less then it is to do to much in  cases like this.I
have seen many more tools ruined by over cleaning and or bad cleaning and
refinishing then I have tools ruined from not cleaning them.This takes in
those people that have to buff anything brass on a plane,and glob on
varnish, or spray on the poly anything that stands still..Some people ideas
on cleaning old tools can be pretty strange just this past week I had a talk
with a fellow that had sprayed all the blades on a bunch of saws black! When
I pointed out that he probably shouldn't have painted them he didn't believe
me as he told me he always sells them better after he restores
them!................................Todd


80889 reeinelson@w... (Robert Nelson) 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
I'm still so fired up that I couldn't get comfortable under my rock, so
I'm back to vent some more.

There have been some cautions against "overcleaning" and possibly
damaging the patina. I respect that opinion, but I do think some people
take it too literally. Ground in dirt and grime have very little to do
with patina and I don't support leaving very much of it in place. Patina
is mainly something that happens to the outer surface of the wood with
age and handling. As long as you don't scratch or chip that outer
surface, you're not hurting the patina. If you do happen to knock out a
fairly shallow chip, you can easily see the difference between that spot
and the rest of the surface. Now a thoroughly cleaned plane may look
pretty sorry, but the linseed oil and turp mix brings its patina right
back.

Tung oil has been mentioned as an alternative to linseed and I know many
people use and swear by it. I've experimented with it and found the
results a bit too unpredictable. On one plane, it will work great. On
another, or maybe just a part of another, it will leave a "varnished"
look. The difference seems to relate to how much it soaks into the wood,
the varnished look coming if it doesn't do so. I don't care for such a
varnished look and could never be sure enough I wasn't going to get it
to stay with the tung.

Back to my rock.

Best Wishes,
Bob


80891 "Jim Cook" jim-cook@m... 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Hi All,

I have to weigh in on the side of minimal treatment.

If the plane is dirty, gentle use of 0000 steel wool
seems to be the best solution for me, even if there are 
paint splatters on the wood.  If there is patina, it 
doesn't lift it, and if there is any roughness in the 
finish, it seems to burnish it smooth without altering 
the crispness of the edges, and wax goes on much more
nicely.

I follow the steel wool with a coat of Minwax 
polishing wax (the yellow-orangish stuff in the round can).

I hope the reason I haven't gotten negative comments on
the planes I've sold is because this cleanup scheme is
ok. (please tell me if this is not so)

I've tried linseed oil, which doesn't work for me for
two reasons.  A) it's too dark, and changes the color of
the original, and B) it takes way too long to dry - a 
serious consideration for those who sell planes and 
don't want to wait weeks before shipping them out.

Tung oil, it's been mentioned, is inconsistent.  I've tried
to use "tung oil finish" and maybe that's the problem for 
me.  Possibly because some planes are drier than others, the
tung oil soaks into the wood and becomes blotchy, or if the
wood is not dried out, the finish polymerizes and looks 
too much like polyurethane.  

Just another opinion.

Jim Cook
Newton, MA


80895 Tom Holloway thh1@c... 2000‑07‑12 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
At 1:42 PM -0400 7/12/00, Robert Nelson wrote:
>I recall one (or more) of my sources re
>oldtimer use of linseed oil describing how they'd set the butt end of a
>plane in about one inch of raw linseed oil and (adding more oil if/as
>needed) let it stand there until the oil wicked up and beaded on the top
>front end of the plane. I do not recommend doing that. Bill Gustafson
>once described trying it out of curiosity and winding up with a plane so
>heavy that it was awkward to use.

	Interesting comment on the weight (see below).  One possible source
is THE PRACTICAL WOODWORKER, the collection of WW essays edited by the
inimitable Bernard Jones, originally published in Great Britain sometime in
the early 20th century, republished over here about 1983 by Ten Speed
Press.  In opening the chapter on "The Plane," (p. 55) Jones has this to
say:
	"A plane should be 'oiled' before using' this makes it heavier,
lessens the friction, and thus makes the plane work easily.  A reasonably
heavy plane is better than a light one, as it workds more solidly and does
not require so much pressing down on to the work.  If the plane, therefore,
has not been oiled, or is too light, it should be soaked in raw linseed oil
or other suitable oil until it is a suitable weight.  This is usually done
by suspending it in an oil tank.  If this in inconvenient the cutter and
wedge are taken out, the bottom of the mouth of the plane is stopped with
putty, and the mouth filled with oil.  After a few days the oil will have
soaked into the plane; add more oil until sufficient has been absorbed.
Planes are sometimes french-polished, but this is not necessary."

		Tom Holloway



80912 "Caron, Gary J (PA83)" gary.j.caron@h... 2000‑07‑13 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes

So, would anyone out there know what the original treatment was
for wooden planes before they left the factory?

gary    York, PA


80908 Allan Fisher alf@c... 2000‑07‑13 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
At 09:46 PM 7/12/00 -0400, Jim Cook wrote:
>Tung oil, it's been mentioned, is inconsistent.  I've tried
>to use "tung oil finish" and maybe that's the problem for
>me.  Possibly because some planes are drier than others, the
>tung oil soaks into the wood and becomes blotchy, or if the
>wood is not dried out, the finish polymerizes and looks
>too much like polyurethane.

Much of what is sold as "tung oil finish" is varnish or an oil-varnish 
mix.  Real tung oil is usually sold as "pure tung oil."

As long as we're debating, I prefer not to do anything permanent (oil or 
varnish) to a tool that's in good shape and hasn't been oiled before.  I 
have a few virtually untouched beech planes, and the idea that they would 
have survived more than a hundred years that way only to have me come along 
and oil them is sort of disturbing.

One of the more annoying experiences I've had with a tool was a nice 
Pittsburgh molding plane (W. Even) that somebody had soaked in linseed (I 
think), then reassembled and allowed to dry into a single unit.  Nothing I 
tried could coax it apart.  I ended up letting it cycle through a couple of 
seasonal changes, after which it loosened up enough to be tapped apart.



80915 Anthony Seo tonyseo@m... 2000‑07‑13 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
At 06:05 AM 7/13/00 -0700, Caron, Gary J (PA83) wrote:

>So, would anyone out there know what the original treatment was
>for wooden planes before they left the factory?

They were either
1. Unfinished
2. Linseed oiled
3. Some had a varnish, Sargent wooden planes, later Sandusky & others were 
also.  If you look at the catalog reprints this was an option available.

Tony


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80927 "Breitenberger, Eric" Eric_Breitenberger@e... 2000‑07‑13 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Gently cleaning Galoots:

In discussing what finish (if any) to apply to a plane, you have
to use terminology real carefully. Most "tung oil" finishes are
actually oil/varnish mixtures, and many contain no tung oil at
all. Also, "Danish Oil" is not really oil - it is also an oil/
varnish mixture.

I haven't cleaned/restored too many wooden planes, but my 
philosophy is generally to do as little as possible. In most
cases I've just wiped 'em clean and rubbed on a coat of wax.

But I've often wondered - wouldn't it make sense to varnish
wooden planes? The resulting moisture barrier should enhance 
their stability and limit seasonal changes, no?

Once, at an antique shop, I was *given* an old Ohio grooving
plane. This one had literally come from the chicken coop - it
still had a few feathers clinging to it, tenaciously glued on
by chickensh*t. I took this poor fella' home, bathed it, gave it
a light sanding, and soaked it in boiled linseed oil overnight.
Sure, it took a long time to dry, but the oil closed the up 
cracks nicely, and that plane is now a decent user.

I'm following this thread pretty closely, because I recently 
picked up a set of 18 hollows and rounds which need a bit of 
attention (no, it's not quite a half set*, but I do have 8 matching
pairs). These planes were stored improperly, and they have some 
light dirt and a tiny bit of water damage. Thanks to Tony Seo, I 
now know that the maker (I. E. Smith) is a two-star maker, and the 
planes may be 150 years old - although I do plan to use them, I 
want to be sure I don't compromise their historical value.

I guess what I'll do is clean them lightly and apply paste wax.
Since they were unfinished originally, I don't feel that I should 
apply any oil, but I think paste wax is OK since it is somewhat 
reversible. Any comments from the woodie crowd?

- Eric B. in Fairbanks, Alaska


* - I guess this is a WTB for I. E. Smith woodies, 
    particularly a 1/4" hollow and a 1/2" round.


80932 garyallan may garyallanmay@y... 2000‑07‑13 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
--- Allan Fisher alf@c... wrote:

...snip...I prefer not to do
> anything permanent (oil or 
> varnish) to a tool that's in good shape and hasn't
> been oiled before.  I 
> have a few virtually untouched beech planes, and the
> idea that they would 
> have survived more than a hundred years that way
> only to have me come along 
> and oil them is sort of disturbing.

GGs:
Many of my wooden tools have never been finished; 
they're mostly the best-looking ones.  A woodie that's
handled regularly and protected from the extremes of
climate and humidity should pretty much last forever,
not so?
 Todd's right, of course, that oil is a good finish
for gunstocks, and I doubt that oil HURTS anything,
performance or longevity-wise, but I don't think it's
pretty, and it's not reversible. Wax, you can wash
off...best to all, nice to hear from Mr. Fisher-GAM



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80930 chris winter chris@l... 2000‑07‑13 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
GG's and Jim,

>I follow the steel wool with a coat of Minwax 
>polishing wax (the yellow-orangish stuff in the round can).

I was doing just this last night on a very neglected boxwood plow. But I
actually dip the 0000 steel wool in wax and clean/polish the surface all at
once. The only downside is it does dirty the wax a bit. Now this plane had
some real dirt on it and I used a non-abrasive plastic finger nail brush
(and a tooth brush) to get the initial grunge off. But underneath, much of
the original french polish remains with patina under that. After a few hours
of careful hand rubbing, the plane has a beautiful, rich wax look to it and
the grain pops out very nicely (SWMBO, although jealous of an inanimate
object commanding my attention also gave it a wow). The plane does have some
checks in the tote but the more I handle it, the more the cracks are closing
from the wax/oils in my hands. I will not do anything further. IME, the
greastest culprit of cracking (when wood was properly dried) is a lack of
use/handling over a period of time. So use your tools. Or at least fondle
them errr... handle them.

Enjoy the day and the wood,

Chris W.


80928 bruce_vansloun@h... 2000‑07‑13 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Tony wrote:

> They were either
> 1. Unfinished
> 2. Linseed oiled
> 3. Some had a varnish, Sargent wooden planes, later Sandusky 
> & others were 
> also.  If you look at the catalog reprints this was an option 
> available.

Of course he meant to add -Shellac-!

Bruce

Minneapolis, MinneSOta 


80901 "David Burnett" luscious@x... 2000‑07‑13 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Galoots
Just a few comments in relation to linseed oil on wood*, I agree 
with Bob in relation to linseed for planes.... *(start of holy war!)

On 12 Jul 00, at 13:17, Robert Nelson wrote:
> Various anti-linseed oil comments made re this thread have twanged my
> bow. I can't quote the sources off the top of my head, but I'm sure I've
> seen several of them that stated that linseed oil was the finish of
> choice of almost all old time plane users. One of the primary reasons so
> many 200 year old planes are still here in pretty decent shape is
> because they were finished with linseed oil. 
A common practice mentioned by my Grandfather (a coachbuilder) 
was to plug the mouth of a new plane with leather and fill the throat 
with linseed oil, leaving the oil soaking until it wept out the ends of 
the plane. I have read of similar practices using putty instead of 
leather to plug the mouth of a plane.
To me, any current thinking
> that linseed oil is undesirable and/or might do damage is a bunch of
> bunkum. Will it darken a plane? Yes, sometimes more than others
> depending on the wood, the phase of the moon, and who knows what else.
What oil does't darken wood?. All the ones I have ever tried have 
the same effect on wood eg., walnut, poppy seed, manuka, 
mineral, olive and grapeseed oils. I suspect that any wax or other 
treatment that does not darken wood does not give much 
protection, merely sitting on the surface
Using a plane also darkens the wood, especially if the wood was 
never finished with anything much to start with.

Regards
David Burnett


80940 Charles Rodgers charlesrodgers@e... 2000‑07‑13 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Galoots:
  A couple-three years ago, I posed the same question to the porch (how
do I clean
and refinish a somewhat grungy wooden plane).  The plane I asked about
is an I. Cox
complex molder made circa 1820, according to the fellow PATINA member who
sold it to me at a PATINA get together.  (It was at Mount Vernon, not
one of the
more famous auctions.)
  After several (very similar) replies, I ranked them from least to most intrusi
ve.
They were:
1.  Clean with mineral spirits and wax with a good paste wax.
2.  Clean with mineral spirits and wax with brown shoe polish - the
wax-based kind,
not the liquid.
3.  Clean and apply Tony Seo's formula.
  I decided to start at #1 and work up until I got the results I wanted.
 #1 looked
good to me so I stopped.  I wax it once or twice a year and am still
happy with
the way it looks, and even happier with how it works.  This is what I
use on the
ever-increasing assortment of users, including a C&W smoother and C&W jack.
  To take a short detour from the subject of this post, thanks to all of
the galoots
who gave me advice on how to sharpen and set it.  This hobby would have died
a frustrated death if it hadn't been for all of the wisdom so freely
shared here - both
then and now.
  BTW, #1 was offered up by someone who I suspect knows a thing or two about
old tools - MofA.  That's the Merchant of Ashby, aka the Leachmeister
for some of
our newer porch-sitters.  Yes, at one time he really did sit and chat on
the porch;-)
Charlie Rodgers
Clinton, Maryland...Who has no idea whether or not the plane is worth
what I paid
for it ($45) - jimbono asked for data points and I don't mind saying,
but I'm still
happy with the deal.


80948 "Smith, Ray (GOT)" RayT.Smith@m... 2000‑07‑14 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes

   Looks like good advice from Eric. Adding any type of oil finish will
permanently change the look of a plane, and can adversely affect resale
value if you ever plan to get rid of any of your planes. Whenever I go to a
MWTCA meet, I avoid oiled and refinished woodies like the plague, unless
there is one I just have to own, and can't find another in the entire tool
show. Even then, I hate to buy one with an altered finish.

 If you have to clean a woodie, wipe it down with mineral spirits first and
see if thats enough. As long as your hands stay clean while you are using
the plane, its clean enough !

 If the plne is on the grungy side, with spider crap and stuff all over it,
a light waxing will do wonders, and the wax can always be removed with
mineral spirits.

 In my opinion, only when a wooden plane is REALLY dried out, cracked open,
and ugly as sin, will an oil finish improve things... 

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Breitenberger, Eric [SMTP:Eric_Breitenberger@e...
> Sent:	Thursday, July 13, 2000 3:36 PM
> To:	'List for users and collectors of antique tools'
> Subject:	Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
> 
> I guess what I'll do is clean them lightly and apply paste wax.
> Since they were unfinished originally, I don't feel that I should 
> apply any oil, but I think paste wax is OK since it is somewhat 
> reversible. Any comments from the woodie crowd?
> 
> - Eric B. in Fairbanks, Alaska
> 
> 


80969 Roger Books books+oldtools@j... 2000‑07‑14 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
On 14-Jul-00 at 09:05, Smith, Ray  (GOT) (RayT.Smith@m...
wrote:
>
>    Looks like good advice from Eric. Adding any type of oil finish
will
> permanently change the look of a plane, and can adversely affect
resale
> value if you ever plan to get rid of any of your planes. Whenever I go
to a
> MWTCA meet, I avoid oiled and refinished woodies like the plague,
unless
> there is one I just have to own, and can't find another in the entire
tool
> show. Even then, I hate to buy one with an altered finish.

Cool, that means I, who am looking for strictly user tools and has this
strange motto of "function before form" should look at the oiled stuff
as the steenking c*ll*ct*rs won't be wanting to use them in an attempt
to emulate Cracker Barrel.

To each his own. :)

Roger


80984 "Stephen Reynolds" stephenereynolds@e... 2000‑07‑14 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
First Bob Nelson asked about where he may have seen a written description of
oiling planes, then Tom Holloway responded:

>  Interesting comment on the weight (see below).  One possible source
> is THE PRACTICAL WOODWORKER, the collection of WW essays edited by the
> inimitable Bernard Jones, originally published in Great Britain sometime in
> the early 20th century, republished over here about 1983 by Ten Speed
> Press.  In opening the chapter on "The Plane," (p. 55) Jones has this to
> say:
>  "A plane should be 'oiled' before using' this makes it heavier,
> lessens the friction, and thus makes the plane work easily.

Which I will give a "Brendler snip".

    Thanks for that reference, Tom.  I have been away from my email a few
days but was able to glimpse the talk on the porch from Egroups.  I was
itching to quote that passage from Jones but was using an account that would
frown upon non-business use.

    But I would like to ask if there may be a difference between US and
British taste in this area?  I was fortunate to meet Tony Seo right in the
middle of the last Donneybrook over oiling planes.  He showed me a woodie
that had a factory done oil soak where the oiling had never dried.  He had
some that were surface oiled, of course.  And he even sold me one that was
never oiled (or used for that matter).  I got a nice tutorial on wood plane
finishing that day.

    Fast forward to a year later when I met Tony Murland to pick up a
harlequin half set of hollows and rounds (at half the price he charges
today).  The variation of finish on these plane is even greater then what
Tony Seo had shown me.  I'm no expert, but I believe some of the Mathieson
planes are french polished.  I love 'em.  I think they look great, feel
great and work great.  They are significantly darker, but like I said they
look great.  So did American manufacturers not go in for French polish?

    By the way, I have no intention of oiling the never oiled plane.  I
agree with those who have stated that a plane that old should stay in
original condition.  But if a plane needs it's oil finish renewed, I say go
for it.

Regards,
Steve - who once saw a couple of panel raising planes in an auction house
that were wrapped in Saran because someone had treated them with an oily
substance that had not dried, and was challenging to remove.


80983 "Stephen Reynolds" stephenereynolds@e... 2000‑07‑14 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes

> 
> - Eric B. in Fairbanks, Alaska
> 
> 
> * - I guess this is a WTB for I. E. Smith woodies,
>     particularly a 1/4" hollow and a 1/2" round.
>

    I have a memory from a few years ago of a galoot that moved to Alaska
and found a use for his handtools the first day there.  It was a wonderful
post.  I read it a number of times over the next few months.  The
description of the bay just picked me up from my office and took me to the
Great White North.  But my poor memory can't come up with the name of the
author.  Was that you, Eric?  If so, have you had much use for your tools
since?  How about laying down your chickensh*t plane and giving us an
update?

Regards,
Steve


80987 "Bill Taggart" ilikerust@w... 2000‑07‑14 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
I was waiting for somebody to say:

> 1.  Clean with mineral spirits and wax with a good paste wax.

I have had really nice results just cleaning with mineral spirits - using a
toothbrush to get old, greasy, caked on grunge out of crevices, then using
0000 steel wool with paste wax.

I use linseed oil on saw and plane handles - several thinner coats over a
couple days.

One might consider taking a look at CRAFTS member Herb Kean's book on
cleaning old tools. Some might shudder at one or two of his techniques, and
he even admits that some people disagree with him, but it's hard to argue
with his results- really nice stuff.

- Bill Taggart
- At home in Califon, NJ, USA


80988 "Bill Taggart" ilikerust@w... 2000‑07‑14 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Ray Smith wrote:

> If you have to clean a woodie, wipe it down with mineral spirits first and
> see if thats enough. As long as your hands stay clean while you are using
> the plane, its clean enough !
>
> If the plne is on the grungy side, with spider crap and stuff all over it,
> a light waxing will do wonders, and the wax can always be removed with
> mineral spirits.

The advantages of this approach also include the fact that it's quick and
easy, and the mineral spirits dry pretty soon.

Thanks for reminding me about this... I'm about to acquire about two dozen
wooden planes, all in need of some cleaning...

- Bill Taggart
- At home in Califon, NJ, USA


81019 Gary Roberts groberts@s... 2000‑07‑15 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
At 7:32 PM -0400 7/14/00, Stephen Reynolds wrote:
> THE PRACTICAL WOODWORKER, the collection of WW essays edited by the
> > inimitable Bernard Jones, originally published in Great Britain sometime in
> > the early 20th century, republished over here about 1983 by Ten Speed
> > Press.  In opening the chapter on "The Plane," (p. 55) Jones has this to
> > say:
> >  "A plane should be 'oiled' before using' this makes it heavier,
> > lessens the friction, and thus makes the plane work easily.


>Steve - who once saw a couple of panel raising planes in an auction house
>that were wrapped in Saran because someone had treated them with an oily
>substance that had not dried, and was challenging to remove.

In response to the oily substance that never dried. In all 
likelyhood... boiled linseed oil or even raw linseed oil. Neither of 
which will ever dry to a hard film. Apply enough boiled linseed oil 
and you WILL end up with a gloppy sticky mess. In particular when it 
is warm out.

As for Mr. Jones, whom I have the utmost respect for, he spoke from 
the accepted knowledge base of the day. Which is to say he spoke from 
handed down 'truisms' that had little if any basis in hard scientific 
fact. Jones, as well as Paul Hasluck, wrote regular columns in 
various craftsman and home handyman journals of the later 19th and 
early 20th Centuries. Some of their writings where their own and some 
simply re-tellings of folklore and myth. If you read the original 
columns in Carpentry and Building, you can find references to the 
fact that Hasluck was recounting another person's information. Same 
with Jones. He compiled and edited columns that were submitted by 
other people, along with penning some material of his own. The Ten 
Speed Press reprint is an edited compilation of the original three 
volume set which was a compilation of the columns. See the problem?

If you read the reprints of various early planemakers catalogs, 
you'll find reference to 'French' and to 'Bright' and to "Best" 
finish. Oil finish, if referred to, was down the list. My assumption 
is that most planemakers assumed that if the buyer did not ask for 
the shellac finish, then the buyer would apply whatever finish was 
preferred.

Back to the myth of Linseed Oil. It was available, plentiful and 
cheaper then many other types of oil. When applied, it appeared to 
provide a waterproof finish and even looks good for a while. After 
all, if it was good for grand dad, it was good for you.

Having applied more then enough WATCO in my day, I now prefer to 
leave well enough alone UNLESS the plane is destined for use. A wash 
down with mineral spirits. Acetone if necessary to remove stubborn 
tar and to zap any live creatures. Wax if necessary for surface 
protection and to bring up a dull grain. Wiped on Shellac if that was 
the original finish or if I plan on using the plane. OR if the wood 
is soft and needs some minor reinforcement.

If the endgrain is split, I usually leave it alone. Soaking in any 
oil (read: most commercial oil finishes) will only leave you with a 
gummy exudate next hot summer day. I guess you could use a wipe on 
varnish (simply dilute varnish with lotsa oils added) but why bother 
when you have Shellac? Split engrain is allready physically 
compromised. The integrity of the wood fibers has been breached. 
Nothing short of injecting glue will hold it together again (and that 
will only result in further splits as the seasons change). If the 
split doesn't affect use or looks, why worry? Besides, when you get 
really old and gray and your skin starts looking dry and crinkly, 
would you want someone to apply linseed oil to you?

Gary

For the matter, three of my favorite planes are a set of L. Little 
complex molding profiles that have never seen a touch of oil or wax. 
You can see the finger marks from years of use.


Gary Roberts groberts@s...
Dedham, MA...Antique tools, Art Pottery, Hong Kong cinema, what else is there?


81020 "Michael D. Sullivan" avogadro@b... 2000‑07‑16 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
On Sat, 15 Jul 2000 23:12:38 -0500, Gary Roberts wrote:

>If the 
>split doesn't affect use or looks, why worry? Besides, when you get 
>really old and gray and your skin starts looking dry and crinkly, 
>would you want someone to apply linseed oil to you?

All I can say is, people whose skin starts looking dry and crinkly spend a 
load of money on oils and creams to try looking smooth.  Think "Oil of 
Olay."  Maybe we should try it on a plane?  NOT.

Personally, I find that one or two coats of thinned linseed brings out the 
color and figure of an old, dull woodie nicely, and wax keeps it looking 
nice.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
               Michael D. Sullivan, Bethesda, Md., USA
          avogadro@b... (also avogadro@w...
---------------------------------------------------------------------



81031 TomPrice@a... 2000‑07‑16 Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Gary wrote:

>In response to the oily substance that never dried. In all 
>likelyhood... boiled linseed oil or even raw linseed oil. Neither of 
>which will ever dry to a hard film. Apply enough boiled linseed oil 
>and you WILL end up with a gloppy sticky mess. In particular when it 
>is warm out.
>
>As for Mr. Jones, whom I have the utmost respect for, he spoke from 
>the accepted knowledge base of the day. Which is to say he spoke from 
>handed down 'truisms' that had little if any basis in hard scientific 
>fact. Jones, as well as Paul Hasluck, wrote regular columns in 
>various craftsman and home handyman journals of the later 19th and 
>early 20th Centuries. Some of their writings where their own and some 
>simply re-tellings of folklore and myth.
(snip)
>If you read the reprints of various early planemakers catalogs, 
>you'll find reference to 'French' and to 'Bright' and to "Best" 
>finish. Oil finish, if referred to, was down the list. My assumption 
>is that most planemakers assumed that if the buyer did not ask for 
>the shellac finish, then the buyer would apply whatever finish was 
>preferred.

Roy Underhill and Michael Dunbar both describe the soaking of unfinished 
wooden planes in linseed oil as a once common practice. I expect that it 
did help stabilize the dimensional movement to some extent and certainly 
would add weight. A lot of wooden planes were used by carpenters in 
more-or-less outdoor settings. Somehow, I don't think those guys cared if 
they had to wipe some oil off of their planes from time to time. 
Thankfully, it wasn't a universal practice.

I've tried to track down references in the Univ. of Delaware libraries to 
degradation of wood via linseed oil and was only able to find a couple of 
abtracts. Apparently raw linseed oil will support the (slow) growth of 
certain fungi. These fungi produce enzymes that will slowly degrade wood, 
which would explain why some wooden planes, without obvious signs of rot, 
don't seem as hard as they should be. I was not able to find articles 
that measured the degradation in hardness, etc. of antique wooden planes 
per se. Such references may exist, but if so are deeply buried in 
conservator's journals and not widely available.

In any event, I seriously doubt that applying small amounts of boiled 
linseed oil as a rubbed on finish would lead to the same problem. Also, 
if you want linseed oil to dry to a nice finish, you have to hand rub on 
several thin coats - simply brushing or wiping it on doesn't work as 
well, in my experience (mainly with gunstocks). The exception is if you 
wipe a thin coat on to 'pop' the grain before following with shellac. The 
shellac dries well with no adhesion problems.
****************************
Tom Price (TomPrice@a...
Will Work For Tools
The Galoot's Progress Old Tools site is at:
http://members.aol.com/tomprice/galootp/galtprog.html


81028 "Jeff Gorman" Jeff@m... 2000‑07‑16 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-oldtools@l...
> [mailto:owner-oldtools@l... Behalf Of Gary
> Roberts
> Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2000 5:13 AM
> To: oldtools@w...
> Subject: Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
>
> In response to the oily substance that never dried. In all
> likelyhood... boiled linseed oil or even raw linseed oil. Neither of
> which will ever dry to a hard film.

I'm sorry to offer a direct contradiction, but very infrequently I've
given my two wooden planes a rub of boiled linseed oil. Most of my
self-made workshop jigs and gadgets are made in European Beech and
given the odd rub of oil. No problems.

However, I cursed the day when after trueing up my beech bench top I
swilled raw linseed oil on the top and rubbed it in. It took a week or
two to dry, after contaminating paper and workpieces left on the 'dry'
surface.

Maybe the frequently reported Murrican problems are due to local
factors not often applying in Ukadia.

Jeff
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Jeff@m...
http://www.millard.demon.co.uk/Index.htm


81030 "richard.wilson" richard.wilson@t... 2000‑07‑16 Re:RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Jeff points out. .. 

responding to Gary's comments..
>
> In response to the oily substance that never dried. In all
> likelyhood... boiled linseed oil or even raw linseed oil. Neither of
> which will ever dry to a hard film.
(snip)

However, I cursed the day when after trueing up my beech bench top I
swilled raw linseed oil on the top and rubbed it in. It took a week or
two to dry, after contaminating paper and workpieces left on the 'dry'
surface.

Maybe the frequently reported Murrican problems are due to local
factors not often applying in Ukadia.


To which I'll add that, as far as I know, Linseed is a self-polymerising oil,
which will react with atmospheric oxygen to cure iinto a solid film.
This takes a long time for raw oil. 

But, Once started, this will continue.  Oil held within the grain of a lump of
beech (like a plane body) will be denied oxygen, so can 'weep' until the
end grain is sealed.

Steam injection to linseed oil (boiled oil) was started as a means to speed the
process by beginning the oxygenation, arresting it whilst the oil is still
liquid, then bottling and selling it.  Metallic driers are also added nowadays,
so don't dry drinking the stuff.

As Jeff used raw oil, he would be expecting a couple of weeks before full
curing took place.  If he'd used boiled oil, then a few days would have
sufficed. 


FWIW - I too use Linseed - of all types, and have never had any problem, other
than my own impatience wanting the job to dry ready for the next coat.  

I am aware of stories on the porch regarding subsequent mould growth etc,
asmentioned in a recent thread.  But in our balmy climate !!


Richard Wilson
The *real* Yorkshireman from east of the pennines   :-)


81049 "Bill Taggart" ilikerust@w... 2000‑07‑16 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
Jeff wrote:

> I'm sorry to offer a direct contradiction, but very infrequently I've
> given my two wooden planes a rub of boiled linseed oil. Most of my
> self-made workshop jigs and gadgets are made in European Beech and
> given the odd rub of oil. No problems.
>
> However, I cursed the day when after trueing up my beech bench top I
> swilled raw linseed oil on the top and rubbed it in. It took a week or
> two to dry, after contaminating paper and workpieces left on the 'dry'
> surface.

I've used linseed oil with great results on old saw handles, after cleaning
first. I apply in THIN layers, with a paper towel or old t-shirt. Let the
first coat dry a couple hours, then apply another. Let dry a day or two,
then another. If necessary, I come back a week or two later and apply
another.

I've got several saws I've done this for - about once or twice a year, while
I'm linseeding something else, I'll hit the saw handles if needed. It's hard
enough - never been sticky. Tom Price advised I should hit them with shellac
and be done with it. I'll probably do that when I get a round tuit.

I'm sure that local humidity at the time of application, the age of the oil
when used, how heavy a coat you apply are all factors affecting how well
this works...

- Bill Taggart
- At home in Califon, NJ, USA


81096 "Smith, Ray (GOT)" RayT.Smith@m... 2000‑07‑17 RE: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes

 Oh ! OK. I see how it is...

  Just because I like an antique plane to keep its original appearance,
rather than alter it with a finish that can't be inconspiculously removed,
I'm a 'steenking collector/Cracker barrell wannabe' ?

  Mkay, thats fine with me. Really...

 I think I'll go home now and screw some molding planes to the wall.   

 Ray T. Smith

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Roger Books [SMTP:books+oldtools@j...
> Sent:	Friday, July 14, 2000 3:44 PM
> To:	oldtools@w...
> Subject:	Re: Cleaning and refinishing wooden planes
> 
> On 14-Jul-00 at 09:05, Smith, Ray  (GOT) (RayT.Smith@m...
> wrote:
> >
> >    Looks like good advice from Eric. Adding any type of oil finish
> will
> > permanently change the look of a plane, and can adversely affect
> resale
> > value if you ever plan to get rid of any of your planes. Whenever I go
> to a
> > MWTCA meet, I avoid oiled and refinished woodies like the plague,
> unless
> > there is one I just have to own, and can't find another in the entire
> tool
> > show. Even then, I hate to buy one with an altered finish.
> 
> Cool, that means I, who am looking for strictly user tools and has this
> strange motto of "function before form" should look at the oiled stuff
> as the steenking c*ll*ct*rs won't be wanting to use them in an attempt
> to emulate Cracker Barrel.
> 
> To each his own. :)
> 
> Roger
> 
> --
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