Without hand planes, your woodworking project may not be as easy as now. No doubt about that. However, despite its performance, this tool can easily get dirty. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, the same problem will come over and over again. The only consolation is, you can easily clean and make them new quite as easy as getting them dirty over and over again.
Many Hand planes today are made of ductile cast iron and treated with some kind of rust preventative. We need to remove this first. Take a rag and dampen it with mineral spirits, then use it to clean all the machined surfaces. Make sure you don’t miss the area under the toe and nose, as long as it is applicable to your hand plane. Some manufacturers may ship their products with lacquer on the cheeks, sole, and blade. If you find this on your hand plane, please take it off as well.
Next, we need to prevent rusting and seal out moisture. A light paste wax coating should be sufficient for this job. This material will also act as a lubricant for a smoother planning. To do this, clean off the surfaces from any wood dust. Then, apply a light coat of paste wax onto the surface. Wait until the wax dries, then use a clean soft cloth to buff it. As you buffing it, the unique solvents in the wax will also remove any harmful oils that may lead to corrosion, including those left from your fingers.
If you want to store your hand plane in humid or damp places, please make sure to store it in a sack or wrap it in a cloth before storing them. This way you can keep your tool away from scratches and dings. Please remember that both a plane sack and paste wax contain silicon. This substance may cause certain finishing problems, if it is transferred to your woodworking project. You can simply avoid this problem by using only silicone-free products. Please carefully follow all instructions mentioned in the product label to achieve optimum results.
Maintenance is also important. You should regularly take your hand plane apart to lubricate and clean it. First, you need to remove the adjustment mechanism, blade, and lever cap. If applicable, you should also remove the cap iron and frog. For shoulder planes and block planes, please have the toe removed from the body. Next, take a cloth and dampen it with light machine oil. Then, use the cloth to clean all parts of your hand plane. The machined contact surfaces, cap iron, adjustment components (such as traveler, threaded shaft, and pivot) and blade bed between the frog/toe and body will benefit from this coat. It is a simple treatment that will allow them to work freely. If you have corroded plane bodies, it is very important to remove the rust first. You can use a rust eraser for this and proceed with the steps above.
To clean the bright finish on all the brass components, you can follow the above instructions. If you prefer the patina finish, you can simply ignore the brass components. Leave them unprotected until it reaches a specific level of oxidation. Once it reaches that point, you can apply a sealant. Some people manage to make their brass finish shiny and bright again by using a brass polish to revitalize the surface.
If your Hand planes come with rosewood handles/knobs with lacquer finish, there is not much you should concern. These parts require nothing, but a simple wipe with a clean cloth. Just make sure you remember this because some people tend to forget this simple treatment because they are so simple.
As you can see, keeping your hand plane new is not as difficult as you see. With only simple tools, you can keep your hand plane new and, therefore, save your money from purchasing a new one. Besides, if they can still work perfectly, why should you spend on your money to purchase the same thing? It’s better if you spend it on something different, something that can make your woodworking projects even better than ever. This is a better way to spend your money, for sure.