Reconditioning hand plane

I bought a Millers Falls #14 at a garage sale for C$2 (US$1.50). I dated it to 1950-1955 or so.
It's in mediocre condition, well used with some rust and a lot of grime. It's not worth keeping as an "antique" tool but is definitely worth using as a working tool. To that end, I'm reconditioning it. I disassembled it, stripped off the rust and repainted the frog and body. The iron and chipbreaker just needed a bit of steel wool and solvent to remove the grunge.
The problem is the lever cap. It's chrome plated and the chrome is pitted and chipped. I'm not in a position to spend the money on having it professionally re-plated, so I'm looking for alternatives. I DAGS and only found books and stuff on refurbishing hand planes. Nothing online on what to do with the chrome. Removing the chrome looks like using nasty chemicals. I'd consider removing it and painting the cap, or just polishing it up and putting on a clear coat. Any suggestions?
Maybe I should just sand off the worst of it and wait till I can afford to get it re-plated.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Do a search om electrolyic derusting. Will de-plate also. http://www.icehouse.net/overland/derusting.html There is also a way you can plate with a charger.
On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 20:11:32 GMT, "Michael Daly"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That method of derusting works well. I built a setup with a 5 gal plastic pail and a length of black pipe inside a sleeve of PVC central vac tubing. The PVC tubing has slots sawed into it in addition to numerous 3/4" drilled holes: It makes a good insulator to keep the parts and the anode separated.
I use about one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent per gallon of water as a starting ratio for the electrolyte, then add more until the amperage increases to about mid range on the battery charger.
A chemist monitoring one of the auto restoration news groups cautioned against using stainless steel as the anode because as it is eroded chromium is released into the water. Chromium is a nasty element and renders the electrolyte a hazardous waste. Use a chunk of steel or iron instead.
Tim
Lawrence A. Ramsey wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I did that to remove rust on the worst parts. I didn't realize it would de-plate also. I'll give it a try.
Thanks! Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Google for 'metal plating' and similar strings. I found a place some time ago that offered home kits for all manner of plating, but I can't seem to find it now.
--

FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19 Oct 2003 16:00:00 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net (Fred the Red Shirt) wrote:

Caswell are about the only people still offering such kits. You might have some success with nickel plate (especially electroless nickel), but chrome is a no-no for home use. It's not going to work unless you use cyanide, and that takes real fume extraction.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Fred the Red

Caswell rings a bell. I think nickel plating is what you want on a lever cap.
--

FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check out http://www.caswellplating.com/ for home plating outfits and kits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19-Oct-2003, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (edfan) wrote:

Thanks, but they're all more expensive than taking it to a local plating company.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I like my Miller Falls 14 better than my Stanley 5 or 5C. You said it was going to be a user so I don't really see why the need for perfect chrome on the lever cap. Clean it up, polish if you must, put on some wax and (assuming the rest of the tuning and sharpening have already been done) make some shavings.
Dave Hall
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20-Oct-2003, snipped-for-privacy@nhsd.k2.pa.us (David Hall) wrote:

I just want it to look nice. And close to the original look.

That's what I'll do for now. Someone suggested electrolysis to remove chrome, but that would make for a hazmat bath that I'd have trouble getting rid of. So I'm just going to sand the lever cap down and clean it up. Maybe polish it up to 1500 grit, but that's about it for now.
It's mostly reassembled now and looks nice with a clean paint job. The tote and knob need to be fine sanded and treated and the blade sharpened.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(David Hall) wrote:

I can understand, the Miller Falls lever cap with its chrome and red lettering does look so much better than a Stanley.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.