I continue to make progress slotting the guide rail ends of the keys. It gets easier (i.e., less terrifying) with each pass. Progress is slow at this time because I want to make sure this step is executed with utmost care. When you think about it, the keys are really the primary player interface - they had better be just right or else!
One thing I've noticed is that some of the keys are bent downward or twisted a bit, and some of them just don't fit as perfectly as I would like. One thing every woodworker must contend with is wood movement. In this case, it's quite the pain, though I did expect it. I will need to work with a heat gun to soften the keys and bend them once I get all of the slotting completed. More on this later.
On a side note, a few weeks ago, I posted a photo of a Stanley Bailey #5 hand plane I picked up at an antique shop in Astoria, Oregon. It was missing three crucial parts - the blade, chip breaker, and cap. Well, I ordered them for a total of $15 from a dude on eBay and they just arrived this last week. This, combined with the original $15 I paid for the base and a little elbow grease will yield a nice tool once I get it restored. I'm going to break this out as a side project of its own, yet still report on it here. You can see its current state in the photo below.
The patent date on this little beauty is 1910. It should clean up nicely - I can't wait to get to it.