Lately I have been adding a few old tools to my tool chest. There is something to be said about things made mid last century – the world was less of a throwaway society. Things were made to last longer. A mans (or woman’s) tools might have been something they took with them to job interviews – perhaps they were inspected and judged upon as much as the person! – are they tuned and kept well, clean, or abused and misused.
I already had a few hand planes and spotted this old Record No7 on our local online sales yard. Described as ‘good for French decoration’, I didn’t have high expectations. The photos suggested it has had better days.
Upon winning the auction and picking up from a very trusting seller, I brought the rust coloured beast home.
As I dismantled the unit, the good news was that all the parts were there. Rusty, but there. The tote/rear handle had broken in two – a common occurrence. It was a clean break however, so with a clean up I wanted to bring it back to like along with the rest rather than replace.
Next step it all (minus the wood bits) got thrown in a container of white vinegar – a budget rust remover. The tote cleaned and glued.
Most the bits soaked overnight, were pulled out, scrubbed with 000 Steel wool, washed and scrubbed in soapy water to neutralise the rust, and then quickly dried with the other half’s hair drier. What a difference already!
Purist restorers might stop here (some purist collectors keep the rust too) , but Im more about making a tool a good looking user again, rather than a cleaned up original. The tote glue all dry, I sanded it and the knob, and followed with a wax buff. The body, not forgotten, got several coats of blue enamel. Not quite the original color. Slightly lighter.
It was all starting to look pretty nice. I gave the metal services a final rubdown on a super flat surface, and reassembled.
I’m in the very slow process of re-flattening my sharpening stone, so technically I’m not quite done, but almost!
Going by various identification pages, I date the plane late 1940’s early 1950’s. The specific date is not so important, more the journey its come so far to get to me. Looked after, it will outlast me too!
In the background of the final photo is my Record-Stanley No6. Technically Record-Stanley is not a thing. Stanley Bailey are. My No6 is a bit of a functional frankenstein. Its got some history to its miles over the years also also to have ended up like this. Looks like the No7 will fit right in now its ready to roll!