Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 39: Notching the Guide Rail Ends and Restoring a Jack Plane

Now that all of the balance rail pin holes have been redrilled, I can turn my attention to notching the guide rail ends of all of the keys. This is necessary for ease of maintenance. In the likely event I will need to work on one of the keys in the future, this will make it much easier to get the keys back in because they are essentially hidden once the instrument is completed. In the photo below, you can see where I drew in a measure line 1/8" in from the end of the key.

I then use a Dremel tool with a small drum sander installed to cut from the end corner of the key into the cut line. You can see the result in the photo below.

One down, 50 to go.

While I'm working on these, I will also be restoring the Stanley Bailey #5 (patent year 1902) jack plane we picked up in Astoria, Oregon. As you can see from the photo below, it's pretty filthy. Of course, my mind wanders all over the place when I look at the built up wood shavings and gunk - where did they come from, who was the craftman who used it, why wasn't this piece better cared for? I'll never know the answers, but it sure is fun asking the questions. The photo below gives you a better idea of what I mean.

A great article by Jeff Hallam on WoodCentral details how to use electrolysis to remove rust from a hand plane. Basically, this requires a DC power source, a conductive solution, and patience. In this case, I'll be using a car battery charger I picked up last week to supercharge the hydrogen and oxygen in the water to melt the oxidation (rust) away. As with building a harpsichord from scratch, I've never done this before, so it should prove to be quite an adventure.

Until next time...

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