I'd like to clean up an old stanley (only sentimental value, no $ value)
handplane. I've flattened the sides and sole, refinished the handles, and
squared the blade so far.
Before I sharpen the blade I'd like to removed the rust (a considerable
amount) from the non-cutting part of the blade, chipbreaker and all the
other rusty componants. Its not surface rust, but quite severe and the metal
is proably quite pitted underneat.
Any suggestions for a product to put on it? I'd like something that requires
as little elbow grease as possible as I used all mine just flattening the
soles and sides!
Also, any idea what I can use to clean up what I assume is black paint on
the top side of the plane. There are too many grooves and hollows to get
down there with any abrasives, any suggestions?
One last question, I notice surface rust forms on the newly shiney, flattend
sole and sides almost overnight, any suggestions what to put on it when I'm
not using it to prevent this?
Thanks in advance.
Molasses. Natural chelating agent, has a strong
affinity for iron oxide, which explains its value as a dietary
1 part molasses, 3 parts water, sufficient to cover the part to
be derusted. Leave submerged 1 week, rinse clean, oil
Desulfured molasses works fine.
Molasses is the leftover syrup from sugar extraction. A
crude vegetable product, it contains many countless
organic compounds, some of which are chelating agents.
"Chelate" comes from the Greek word for claw. Chelating
agents surround target molecules like claws, making them
in many cases easier for plants or animals to absorb.
Plant food. Many of the desirable microbial symbiotes
in healthy, unspoiled garden soil can use the sugars
in molasses as food, especially in presence of oxygen.
Compost "teas" can be activated into high octane
organic rocket fuel simply by mixing with a shot of
molasses and aerating with a ten dollar aquarium
air pump. Microbial populations will explode by
factors of up to 1,000 within 24 hours.
Simply spraying molasses over a target area of
soil would probably have the same effect.
I use electrolysis on the old tools I reclaim. Links below.
Your "black paint" is likely japanning (Google it). You can
leave it as is or an extended stay in the electrolysis solution
will remove it. Rustoleum black paint will help keep future
rust at bay.
I agree with the methods to remove the rust. The trick part now is in
keeping the rust away. The trick I have used on surfaces that do not contact
wood, but you still want the "bare metal" look, is a coating of clear
krylon. The areas of the tool that will contact the wood, need to be treat
differently. The issue becomes the transfer of any protective coating to the
wood surface. It can really cause unwanted results when finishing the wood.
On those surfaces a thin coat of natural wax works well. The best way to
keep the rust from the surfaces that contact the wood is to use the tool
often. sounds simplistic, but I have never seen rust on the surface of part
of the handrailing everyone touches. The other thing to keep in mind is
simple. The higher the moister content in the tools environment, the more
rust. I have a basement shop in the northeast near the coast. before I
installed automatic dehumidifier, I could swear I could see the rust forming
before my eyes. With the dehumidifier, rust is still there but only in very
mild cases. Good luck
Thanks for all the great advice. Father Haskell, I thought you were pulling
my leg when you suggested Molasses. Glad others chimed in. I'll try it on
the frog this weekend for the next week to see what happens...
Thanks to the other posters about the various waxes to try and even the
I have quite a rust-active environment so I need to get a bit more
proactive. Some mornings the temp of my garage is so much colder that than
the outside temps, that if I leave the doors open for more than a few
minutes, condensation beads up on almost every metal surface in the garage -
just like the water beading down a cold glass of ice tea on a hot day.
Oh well, I suppose those days I should just leave the doors closed!
Thanks again to all for their advice, I'll start experimenting...
I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but if the plane is
not an antique, you could use your Dremel and a buffing wheel made
from those green scrubbies. You get rid of the rust right away.
I waxed mine afterwards to keep the rust away.
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