Finally got around to working on an old Stanley #78 rabbet plane
I picked up a few years ago. The iron has "STANLEY RULE" on an
arc with "& LEVEL Co." under the arc so, if I've got it right, the
iron was made between 1874 and 1884. Cast on the inside,
MADE IN USA
I suspect the plane body is much younger than the iron.
Anyway, the iron looked like it'd been "sharpened" on the
sidewalk or the corner of a cinder block wall. Fortunately
they left the back alone.
Started with an India stone to begin flattening the back. Going
was very very slow even on a coarse stone. Switched to a 220
DMT diamond plate - the plastic ones with the diamond grit
in a perforated metal plate. A little better but still slow. Then
I got out the waterstones, 800, 1200, 2000 and 6000. The
800 cut so much faster. Once the back surface I was working
on showed fresh scratches it was short work going through
the other grits to a nice flat, polished back. Was surprised
at how fast the waterstones cut.
Cleaned up the butchered bevel with the Tormek and then
the sequence of waterstone. Now have a nice sharp shiny
iron - and missing finger prints on the tip of my left
index finger. Funny how the waterstones feel so smooth
Next - a Hock iron for a #6.