Tool Restoration
Tool Restoration
Among the various projects I carry out, I often restore old tools. It means I can purchase  tools I couldn't otherwise afford, and it is good to bring back otherwise unloved ones back into use.
Most of the tools are generally rusty when I purchase them, so a common process is to use citric solution to do this. I will create a seperate page on the process of this.

Mathieson Infill Plane
Infill Plane
Restored October 2023
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Plane- Some plane detective work and repairs

I bought this plane as a project of potentially dubious provenance and condition. It was listed under Railwayana tools on ebay, with the description "Lancashire Yorkshire railway Wooding Plane", but as it was going cheap (about 30), seemed to be of age and is an infill plane I thought it worth taking a punt despite my doubts.

Firstly I am confident it can't be a 'Wooding' plane- Robert Wooding worked between 1706 & 1728 and this plane is definitely not old enough to be one of his.
Whilst there is no makers mark discernible on the plane body, both the iron and the chip-breaker are marked Mathieson, Glasgow. The adjuster screw seems to match that used by the Mathieson company, and the general shape also seems to match. I think that on balance of probability this is a Mathieson Infill plane

When I received it, the handle wasn't attached. Prior to purchase it had become clear that the handle didn't seem to be 'correct'- Mathieson seemed to always use a saw style handle. It is obvious the handle has been replaced at some point in the plane's life- it is of a different timber to the rest of the plane, possibly beech. Under where the handle was attached was a rusty stub of screw that doesn't have a corresponding hole in the handle. The repairs had been effected with hide glue, with the timber well aged, so this replacement has evidently been done a significant time ago. In my restoration I therefore chose to refit the existing handle, as it is part of the history of the plane even if it is not original.

The L&YR mark, supposedly identifying it as owned by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway is on the front tote and obviously stamped in using metal punches. A few things make me wonder if this is genuine as it is known that fakes of railway related items have been made by marking up otherwise un-noteworthy items.
Firstly & most importantly, the stamping appears to have been carried out after the tote was painted. In some places the paint in the impressed areas has flaked out- it would seem most likely that this would occur after the paint surface has been damaged by the stamping. If painted after stamping, one would expect the deeper sections to be filled more with the new paint.

The paint appears to have been applied to the plane, certainly at the rear, after the handle repair has been made.
Similarly the top of the tote is damaged by use, scratched and dinked, but the stamped letters appear to be over the top of these, again suggesting the stamp was added later in life.

Whilst not definitive, if the L&YR were regularly marking their property, I would have expected a proper touch mark/ stamp to be used rather than individual stamps- The top of the tote would also seem to be a poor place as it would be easily removed, and the metal body would therefore be likely a better place to mark it.

All of these together suggest that this has likely been done purposely to add fake provenance to it. I do not suggest that this was done by the person I bought this from though. Ironically, this has probably meant I obtained the plane for significantly less than it is worth as it was listed under railwayana rather than with the other infill planes on ebay, similar condition Mathieson planes needing restoration have recently sold for over 100 and a good restored one would be well more than this.

Other than re-gluing the handle and applying some black woodstain to the repaired part, I have done nothing more than clean-up, sharpen and wax the plane to get it back into working order

Draw Knife
Thiis vintage draw knife was part of a job lot of tools and was in a pretty terrible state, The handles were riddled with wood worm and the blade was very rusty. The blade was cleaned and sharpened and new handles were fitted, bringing the tool back to life. It has been used much more than I would have expected.

Vintage Draw Knife
Restored Draw Knife
Restored April 2021

Metal Files

I found a large box of rusty files at a bootfair, along with a couple of other items.  10 later I had over 50 files.
These were sorted with the most damaged immediately scrapped. The rest were put through a clean and de-rust using citric acid to clean and sharpen them and a brass wire brush to remove 'pinned' metal.
After cleaning a few more files were disposed of as they were too far gone. In total, I ended up with about 30 useable files.

Finished Files

Files 1  Files 2
Some Files as Bought and in Citric Acid
Restored 2020

Wood Plane Restoration
I have been using for years an old Whitmore plane that had seen better days, and have finally decided I wasn’t getting good results from it, so I started looking out at the local bootfairs for a better plane or two. After a while of finding nothing, I turned up several. The two pictured here are a Record No4 (with Stanley pressure iron) and a Stanley Bailey No5. The No4 was in a pretty poor state with extensive rust and some seized bolts, the No5 was in better (usable) condition. Both have been through a process of dismantling and thorough cleaning followed by repainting. The soles have been flatted, blades sharpened, and exposed metal waxed. They have then been reassembled to make a nice useable pair of planes.

Record Stanely No4 No5 plane
No 4 & No 5 Planes

This is a Union Manufacturing Company of Conneticut block plane.This was in quite a poor state when I bought it but sound underneath the muck and rust. Union was bought by Stanley in 1920, so it is 100 years or more old.

Union 139 Block Plane
Union 139 Block Plane

The 78 rebate plane was bought at a bootfair and just needed a clean of a few light rust patches and a sharpen to put back into use This was finished, like most of my tool restorations with Liberon lubricating wax- I highly recommend this for protecting tools.
The Stanley number 6C (corrugated base) is a later model as it has plastic handles. It was a cheap Ebay find as it was dismantled. It needed a thorough clean and sharpen before being put back to use.
The Millers falls plane is a number 15, bought in an unloved state from an autojumble, again very cheaply. It is the equivalent of a 5 , and from info available on the web dates between 1929 & 1961.
The plane needed a comprehensive de-rust, carried out by my usual method of a citric acid bath. The black paint wasn’t in a great condition, so this was repainted, and the broken handle repaired. The handle looks to have been American beech originally, but as I didn’t have any, I used a piece of English beech. The damage was cut off, the new wood glued on and the handle re-shaped and refinished. The blade was sharpened and the whole lot re-assembled.
Millers falls planes are relatively unusual in the UK, but this has proven to be a very nice plane- the original machining and finishing is certainly nicer than the contemporary Stanley and Record offerings.

Restored Planes

 Millers Falls
Millers Falls No 15 as purchased
Restored 2020

This Stanley No 20 compass plane was found in a pile of junk ready to be thrown in a skip. Whilst the sole is heavily pitted and it needed a through de-rust I have got a very usable plane for nothing!

Stanley No 20 Plane
Plane as recovered

Compass Plane Restoration
Restored Plane
Restored 2023

A linisher I restored to working order and mounted on a frame with a new motor after I destroyed a warco one in a few months. This one is lasting much better!
Restored 2015

Edwards Guillotine  Guillotine Spring
Edwards Guillotine

3ft Edwards guillotine manufactured in 1945 and rescued from a scrapyard a few years back. It was missing a couple of parts including the springs and the treadle to blade links. I've repaired this with springs salvaged from a commercial dishwasher and some steel bar, also found in the scrapyard.

Restored 2011
(C) M.Pantrey 2020-23