Well. This is a tale of one plane actually, but the second image may as well be a second plane, for all you will recognise.
I sold this Norris A5 a couple of weeks ago. Straight from a master carpenter’s toolchest. I ‘ummed and ahhed’ about selling it, because it had just the right amount of wear, no damage whatsoever and a full original iron.
However, I tend to keep only tools I really need, or don’t have, and decided to sell it to cover the outlay of buying a large job lot. The plane went to a buyer and all was good on the transaction.
The plane is now back on the market, with what I can only describe as a ‘makeover’. It has been buffed to oblivion, all trace of it’s history, the marks from it’s owner and it’s own patination removed.
Not a hint remains that this plane has been lovingly used and cared for, for well over a hundred years. The buyer is flipping it on eBay in it’s freshly polished, preened and shellaced state. The poor owner must be turning in his grave.
It’s my personal opinion that only grime should be wiped from quality tools, (and there are other methods for sensitively removing other problems such as rust).
These quality tools will likely outlast us all if kept properly, doing this sort of terrible work to a good plane not only ruins it in the short term, but denies future owners the chance of seeing how time has worked it’s magic.