Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Combination is Very Plane

 I must have a thing for weird tools.  On one of my curiosity rampages, I ended up purchasing a "combination plane".  One of these just struck my fancy.  The most sought after ones on eBay seem to be Stanley No. 55's, like (the photo was unapologetically stolen from over on Woodcraft, called it the "King of Combination Planes") :

Given that those fetch more of a premium than I wanted to pay just to see what the heck they are and how to use one, I bought one with a different brand.

This one came a wee bit rusty, and (buyer beware, obviously) included a crack in one of the cast iron parts that finished breaking off as it was unwrapped.  That crack was not identified in the sale, hence the "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.  Frankly, I'd do it all over again.  Anyway, enough of my silly rant about being more cognizant of ads and their honesty.

This was an opportunity to use some rust remover.  I didn't want to pay $100 for shipping for the name-brand evapo-rust, so I ran over to the over-priced big box hardware store and picked up a gallon.  I began by taking photos of how it was set up before taking the thing apart.  I need a record of how it will go back together, obviously.

I set the parts soak for a bit (some parts over night), and then rinsed them in water, and then in WD40.  (I figured the WD40 would keep it from rusting instantly all over again.)

I used a wire brush to clean it up - and realized this was indeed cast iron.  It had been painted a bright "aluminum" color, but was cast iron.  That broken tip can actually be brazed back on - if I ever figure out how to do that.

After re-assembly, I had to give it a test on some scrap so I could become familiar with the use of it.  Different knobs control the depth of the cut, the side bars adjust how far away from an edge, and the two hockey-skate-like blade chunks of iron (one of which is broken) are used to cut into the grain for a cleaner cut.  This one came with a bead blade - now I need more of blades.

With the test cut out of the way, I needed to store it.  With my recent foray into French cleats, it was a simple to tack a french cleat holder together for this and my Harbor Freight #33 fake plane.

Speaking of the Harbor Freight, one of the blade adjuster knurled nuts was the wrong size, so I grabbed a few measurements.  The bad one was an m8x1.0, when it needed to be an m6x1.0 .

Next project (when I get a minute) will be to cut a new nut.  I do have the taps.  And right above this are the measurements, so I can always get back to this and know what needs to be made.

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