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A poor retired plumber’s not so bargain plane.

1143 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Lawseeker

Hi there fraternity.

Just a short one about a plane I recently picked up. Up until last week I owned two Record Bailey planes, a 3” and a 4” which I picked up at car boot sales in horrendous condition. I posted a video some time back showing my restoration.

A couple of weeks back I was attending the Glamis Extravaganza at Glamis Castle (see photo) ( Ancestral Scottish home of the late Queen Mother) which hosts a two-day antique car event attended by thousands and included is many stalls selling absolutely everything. As I was browsing, I came across a box and had a look. The stall owner offered it to me for £15 and I bit his hand off. As you will see from the price tag it was originally £18.75p back in the day. On inspection it looked as though it had been used only a couple of times then dumped in the box and forgotten about. Its storage must have been in a shed etc. as it has suffered over the years from humidity, but fairly light superficial rusting. The black gloss paint also was peeling on the edges. But the worst condition was the sole which after cleaning up had multiple scaring which on close inspection looked like a bad factory casting. Did not manage to clear all traces even after hours of wet and dry. Almost gave up. Answer was either machine grinding or mill skimming, of which I have neither machine.

Dilemma. I did previously have a sander which I used to on my other planers, but it gave up the ghost a couple of years ago. I decided at this point a new machine was the order of the day.

Even bigger dilemma. Now if you have read any of my previous postings you will quickly ascertain who is the Alpha in my household. I decided the only way forward was to purchase a floor standing sander. My options were limited, I could threaten her with divorce if she didn’t succumb to my demands, but weighing up pros and cons, with her cooking, cleaning, gardening, washing, ironing etc., etc., etc. against what my contributions, are, which consist mainly of cons, I decided that might not pan out in my favour. So, plan B, begging was the order of the day.

So out with the old in with the new. Two days later new sander installed. (Photo) already fitted the overhead obligatory down lights.

Started off with 80 grit, then 150 250 and finished off with 400 grit on the sole and sides. Now I have seen efforts go into the thousands wet and dry, but that is not me. I am a nearest half inch in most of my workshop endeavors.

I then removed all rust from the black gloss areas and resprayed with black matt, gloss matt and lacquer to finish.

And that’s it, worth at least £19.57p.

At that point I stood proudly in my workshop and held up my restoration in all its glory above my head for all to see, no there was no resounding deafening applause or vigorous handshakes, there was just a deafening silence. I had no choice but to take it into the house in the vain hope she would rush over and be astounded at my creation,

Here’s what happened. After ringing the door bell and waiting some considerable time my good wife invited me into my own home. She noticed my precious nestled against my bosom like a newly born child.

So, it’s finished she asked, yes, I replied and thrust it forth. We stood in awkward silence, me staring at her and she staring at the shiny lump of metal.

So how much did it cost. £15 I said excitedly. How much was the sander she asked? £365 I said again not so excitedly. How much does a new plane cost she enquired? About £70 I whispered. So, if you had bought a new one instead of restoring, we would be £295 better off she asked. I haven’t done the math yet I replied.

I drew my not so precious back to my chest and headed back to the workshop where I felt the unveiling of my new plane received a better reception than the household one. I could still here my wife shouting in the background that I could purchase five new planes and still have enough left for a McDonalds.

lads and lasses, a sad tale indeed, a bitter sweet ending where I had to purchase an old plane in order to facilitate the purchase of my new precious i.e., my floor sander.

Colin polishing his sander in Scotland Near Glamis Castle


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I have seen electrolysis used to take the paint of old planes?
I think you went wrong when you admitted to your wife that a new plane was £70, you should have showed her a catalog from lie-Nielsen showing her a new hand plane would be £350. The sander would have sounded like a bargain.
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Nice job on the cleanup. Very nice sander. I suggest you use both to make something worth 1,000 husband points. Heck, more spousal math.
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Clean up looks great. The sander is awesome! I must employ your technique...

As I pondered your story the following summary evolved:

I stared at my great interest
It was hidden in a dark corner of the box
It appeared rusty and dull and a bit unpresentable
But I responded with great hope and captured it in all its waiting glory
To the secret corner of my castle without the guidance of the master I fled
But the resurrection magic stick would not play seems it had lost its way
So to my knees I fell squinting and weeping in hopes the master would not foresee
Awh, success of the camouflage stint and a new magic stick did appear
Sweating and strength and tender care I did employ in a great effort not to annoy
Filled with joy I presented my treasure in great expectation of honor and sway
But to my unsuspecting self there was only silence and an air of displeasure
As the master grumbled something about “and could you have…” I was propelled to admit of the excess
And as I ended my venture I stared happily at my treasure and my magic, seems both are now residing here
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Clean up looks great. The sander is awesome! I must employ your technique...
As I pondered your story the following summary evolved:..
Holy cow, that's freestyle poetry
Thanks for the compliment. It is but a meager effort. The original story led to recognize the efficacy of his methods...
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