You get lots of opinions on what to do and not to do when it comes to restoring/refinishing the base. I hear “never sand” or “leave it as is” all the time. But I’m a bit of a rebel, and like my tools to look good. I have never bought into the “refinishing ALWAYS diminishes value”. Be smart, and make sure you know what you’re stripping, because it is possible to greatly diminish the value if you don’t know what you have.
It’s always best to start by cleaning with a 50/50 mixture of thinner and BLO. This might get something in better shape than mine clean enough to avoid the scraping and sanding. The older and more valuable the piece, the more you want to lean toward this procedure rather than being more aggressive. Keep in mind you don’t always want to remove patina, but you almost always want to remove neglect.
This on got a hit on the belt sander to clean up the corners. I try to never sand the logo on the front (or the side with some) if it’s still there. If I do its very light with very fine paper. You always want to maintain that logo if possible.
Some hand sanding will probably be required. Here I am just finishing up the edges with 320 grit Sandpaper.
I’ve recently starting using Tru Oil I always used it for stock, so it just made sense. It work very well.
I keep my blades that are pitted too bad to re-use and glue sand paper to them. They make great instruments to get into places like the bed of the plane. Yes, a set of nice plane floats would work better, but I just haven’t found them in the budget as of yet.
Finishing up the coats of Tru Oil