Q: I am a user/collector of wood-bodied planes. Often the wood is very dry. How do I clean and preserve these wooden bodies so that they remain useful? John Michael, Hickory Creek, TX A: My simple method for cleaning and brightening up wooden planes is a mixture of beeswax (chipped finely or grated on a cheese grater), boiled linseed oil, and turpentine (a mixture the consistency of soft butter) rubbed on with 0000 steel wool and buffed dry. Go lightly, as there is a fine line between preserving the original patina and aggressive overcleaning. Photo: Charlie Reina
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