Saturday 9 June 2018

Norris Plane No 17 - Refurbishment

I bought this rare Norris No 17 on E Bay recently, it has a few issues but was a bargain.
I've refurbished lots of planes over the years so I've learnt what I'm capable of repairing and also roughly how long it will take.

The first issue was the front bun which had been crudely repaired and not shaped accurately, as you can see alongside an No 2 which shows the correct profile.

The spur had also been replaced, again the repair was clearly visible and the shape was incorrect.
The big advantage of both these repairs was that they were too big so I was hopeful that they could just be re shaped and refinished.

First job was to make a plywood template of the front, I've no doubt that the craftsman at Norris also used templates in their day for a repeatable profile.

I applied masking tape to make the shaping easy to see.

I removed a chunk of wood carefully on the band saw to get a perfectly flat reference on top.
It was here I was relieved to find the repair had been done with rosewood rather than a stained hardwood.

Rasps made fast work of the shaping followed by sanding through to 320 grit. I was reminded of why rosewood got its name, not the colour but the smell given off when it's worked.

To darken down the rosewood to match the original, I used powdered spirit stains (lamp black and burnt umber) in a small amount of penetrating oil. This would get the final finish later.

I used the same method to mark out the spur for re shaping. However once I started using the rasps it was clear that the hair crack in the handle needed some attention first, as I could feel movement. Thankfully the crack hadn't been glued in the past so I was able to push in some epoxy resin (also with stain added) and firmly clamp the handle together. This will give a very strong repair and hopefully an invisible one. I need to leave well alone until tomorrow.

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