A metal bodied wood plane that looks like a complete rust bucket can almost always be restored to be a good looking user. Other than heavy chips or rust pitting ahead of the mouth other wear and damage doesn't usually matter.
This Stanley Number 5 jack plane has good finish on the knob and tote so it was retained. Good wax was just rubbed in with 0000 steel wool. If the knob and tote are really chewed up they can be stripped, sanded, oiled and waxed and will look terrific. The knob is quickly sanded on a lathe or drill press. The tote is all handwork. Strips of sandpaper used shoe shine fashion while the tote is in a vise are helpful.
I use wire wheels in the drill press to remove rust and then Scotchbrite pads to give the
steel a uniform scratch pattern. Brass parts are polished on a buffing wheel and with Simichrome metal polish. Steel screw heads can be buffed to a chrome-like luster with the buffing wheel.
I used naval jelly on the rusty parts of the japanning and then wiped on some oil.
I reassemble all the parts with a drop of oil on all threads.
Click on the first picture for a slideshow:
All parts before and after cleaning:
The final result still has lots of patina, just no rust. The sides of the plane could have been lapped until they were bright as well.