I love your screen name by the way. It just goes to show that a lot of the old woodies that have flaws (major cracks, rust, loose handles, etc.) can be restored to give useful service and doing so can extend the life of the tool.
Two other tricks that I have found useful in some of the old planes. With blades that have bad pitting, it can be very difficult to flatten the backs but the pitting can often be eliminated using the “ruler trick” effectively moving the edge deeper into solid metal. Wooden handles are often weak due to short grain. Original handles can be made useful again by drilling a hole up the handle and gluing in a long grain dowel for reinforcement.