I started repair work way back in the 70's at a local TV repair shop in my home town. After a couple of years there, I went to college and I got into computers and have been there ever since (30 years!!!). Out of college, I started as a repair technician, then a programmer, now I'm a technical lead.
As a hobby I was an avid wood worker. One day I inherited my grandfather's Old Stanley #7 hand plan (type 11 from around 1912). I have always loved history and I started to collect and restore old hand tools and I used them whenever I could, even when a modern powered equivalent was available. I found I loved restoration and bringing things back from the brink was very satisfying.
Here are a couple of planes I
restored. This one is a Stanley
#3 from the war era
(1940-1945). It was heavily
rusted. The japanning was
gone and the painted handles
were in very bad shape.
Electrolysis was used to
render the rust back to iron.
There is one person in this
country that still makes the
original japanning formula
which I use. Japanning is a
time consuming process
(which is another story). The
the plane hardware was
polished and the bed was
lapped to ensure square flat
surfaces. Blade was hand
sharpened on a wetstone.
you can see the completed
plane is quite nice.
This one is from the 30's... it is also a #4 Stanley. It
was in bad shape. It had been sprayed with red
paint (commonly done for easy identification on a
Blade cap and irons were rusted. Planes from this
era should be keep in as close to original condition
as they can. I left the origianl japan in place (85%
complete). Removing paint from the wood handles
is an interesting and time consuming process (that
too, is another story), especially without destroying
the "Stanley Tools" decal on the handle (A rare
decal to find intact on a 70+ year old plane. This
one was 75% complete.).
Here are my favorite tools. The long
tall plane on the far left is the one I
inherited from my grandfather
(~1912). The third one is a very rare
Stanly #41/2 with a 100% complete
"Stanley Tools" decal on the handle
Jewelry box, a sliding lid box,
and a stereo cabinet
So what does this all have to do with vintage stereo restoration? Well, a number of years ago I came across a vintage receiver that needed help. So I drug out all my test gear from my repair days, and brought it back to life. Although the bulk of my background is in digital circuits, my early days of repair during the height of the solid state era, has now come full circle. I enjoyed this so much this is my standing hobby now. I have a real love for this equipment, and I take a lot of satisfaction in bringing new life to it. I have a family and I am not yet retired, so there are limits to the time I can devote to this work. It often take 4 to 8 weeks for me to complete a piece...