First Marking Gauges, More Plane Work

These two marking gauges arrived last week:

One of these is a Stanley #61. Who knows what the other one is, a Stanley #62? The #61 is from the Sweetheart era, so that makes it between 70 and 85 years old. The other one is older, with a patent date of 1873. It’d be real handy if they actually told us the actual patent number, but that would have just been too easy.

The #61 is in really good shape, perfectly usable and ready to go. The other one’s marking scribe is in a strange state. It’s probably salvageable, but I don’t want to munge it too much on a tool that is this old (even if it isn’t in the greatest shape).

These are neat tools; check out the all-wooden screws.

Today’s tool work centered on that Stanley #6. I decided that it was time to attack the schmutz on the bed and frog. I was getting a little tired of wiping crud off, thinking, “OK, now I’m at the end of it,” only to discover more and more of it. So I sat back and thought, okay, well, water isn’t gonna hurt the japanning, and if I dry it fast enough, it won’t rust…

So I took it to the sink, whipped out the Palmolive, and gave ‘er a big scrubbing. That actually did the trick, finally. I had a hair dryer ready, so that’s one clean bed now. The frog is mostly clean now, too, but I did not do as much to it because it’s a more complex part and it may not need any more.

The final cleaning frenzy came this evening, when I scrubbed and polished the various screws and hardware. Although they look very nice now, I have to admit that there is a point, when you’re meticulously scrubbing a frog-securing washer with an off-center hole, that you ask yourself just what in the hell you’re doing…

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