I found this old plane in a box of tools that I was given - it belonged to friend of the family who passed several years ago. I'm a complete newbie, heck, I'm a pre-newbie, when it comes to hand tools but I'm starting to figure out that some things might be easier if I knew what I was doing and had some quality hand tools. Lot's of power tools in the shop, but I have to admit I barely know how to use a hand plane. Anyway, I digress.
This old dog seems to be a Sargent & Co rabbet plane. There are no markings on the plane itself other than Sargent & Co and Made in USA. I cleaned a bit of rust off the blade however and found that it says "No. 198" among other things. I have looked everywhere to learn more about this guy but am not getting far. The only reference that I can find is in a PDF I found of an old Sargent Tool Book from 1911 - this exact plane is pictured in that catalog. I think.
So, for anybody who is interested in commenting, I would love to hear your thoughts on what I should do with this. My first choice would be to clean it up for use but I don't know how best to clean it without damaging any antique value it might have. Or, is it too old/crummy to use? (although it seems ready for use). Or, is it too valuable to use? I have no idea if this is really from circa 1911 or not, but I know I don't have another one like it so if I could put to use a tool that's dang near 100 yrs old, that would be pretty cool in my book. Look forward to your comments. Thanks.