Well, I'll get right down to it. I did a rough tune-up on the plane to get it in working order and am happy to say it seems to be properly functioning now. Here's the glamor shot:
If you want to find some real nut-cases out there, search around the internet for vintage plane enthusiasts. In the parlance of that particular group, this specimen is what is known as a "user." In other words, it's in decent shape but not exactly pretty. That's fine with me; I can't afford to buy stuff for show. It certainly is manly, isn't it?
This picture showing how the plane iron and chipbreaker came reminds me of an anecdote:
Note how the bevel--if you could call it that--is oriented up, towards the chipbreaker.
I forget the context of the story, but a man is visiting California for the first time and has been just dying to try out surfing for the first time. On the last day of his trip he runs out to a surf shop, buys a wetsuit and board, throws them in his car and drives down the beach. To his dismay he see signs up informing him that there are rough conditions present and only advanced surfers should be out there. I'm not going to let that stop me he thinks, I've come too far and spent all this money and there is no way I'm not going to try surfing. So he gets suited up and is carrying his board across the beach when suddenly, from 200 yards down the beach, the lifeguard blows his whistle, points directly at the man and yells, "Hey! You! No beginners!" The man walks over to the lifeguard and asks, "How in the world did you know that I was a beginner?...I didn't even get in the water." The lifeguard: "Your wetsuit is on backwards."
There are just certain things that so glaringly obvious to those in the know that they can be seen from 200 yards away.
Bench planes have the iron bevel-down (yes yes, I know there are exceptions.) No wonder the seller was ready to get rid of it, it probably didn't work so hot this way. Anyway, I noticed this before I even got it out of the bubble wrap.
The knob is chipped. No big deal.
The tote is chipped and cracked...
...but the crack is repaired now. I can live with it.
This is about 10 seconds worth of lapping the sole. Yeah...there was a little oxidation. My mouth still tastes like pennies; I should probably pick up some dust masks from work on Friday. All told I spent about 30 minutes and maybe seven yards of PSA-backed sandpaper flattening the sole and sides.
The blade also needed a fair amount of work but it's shaving-sharp now and the whole rigs works really well.
In other news, I routed the rabbets on the underside of the tabletop today. These will provide a reference for the tool tray. Here's a picture of the underside of the assembly:
For the record, I have experienced no diminishing returns in owning two Workmates. In fact, I would say that owning two is more than twice as useful as owning one. Three is probably overkill, although there have been times...
I think that will do it for today. Scary stuff starts happening tomorrow when I start the process of pulling it all together. Mistakes will be made, of that I am sure.