Firstly you can never tell how good a used plane is until you have cleaned and sharpened it. If starts chattering you can rectify the problem by lapping the sole which often brings to light any issues the sole has, i.e hairline cracks or extreme wear. Every user also has a different action and it will wear accordingly, for example, the previous user may have been left or right handed or the plane has been used for a type of work which may have worn a particular area of the sole badly.
It’s always a risk buying used planes and generally lots of effort and time even with the right tools & equipment. Buying a plane from us eradicates this risk and the hard work needed.
When we refurbish our user planes we really try to get them in good shape and reduce the previous users wear first. We feel it’s important to lap the planes and use a 4″ thick precision granite bed to assess and finish the sole when lapping them.
Once the has been lapped and checked it is thoroughly cleaned ready for re-coating with a durable thick hard finish in the similar manor as they were originally coated. As you can see in the image the frog is cleaned and its also re-coated if needed, all the components on the plane are also thoroughly cleaned. The Iron is sharpened and honed in a similar fashion a new iron with a straight angle, we do not hollow grind them due to many woodworkers not having the tools required to reproduce this properly and those who do can quickly change this.
Some lever caps still have their nickel coating intact and if this is the case we use a low abrasive cleaner to retain it however when their is any flaking we clean and polish them, these will then gradually gain a patina as they are used.
The tote and knob are stripped of loose vanish and re-coated to add a shine. We replace all cracked handles except when rosewood handles are used as these are scarce and expensive to replace but it they are repaired this is done to minimise the appearance and with the use of durable solid glue. Also see “Why Tote handles break and how to avoid it”
Each plane we restore typically takes 1 1/2 hrs – 2 hrs so if you thought our planes a little more than other used planes you see this is the reason why, our refurbished planes offer good value against buying new and and even better value against other used planes. However if comparing them to new it’s a fact Stanley & Record produced better products in the past and would have higher prices if the exact tools were produced today.