I am very pleased with these results!
After a soak in Evaporust it became evident that there were pin holes throughout the nickel plating. There was a fair bit of rust hiding under the nickel!
Since this plane is going to be USED, not collected, I decided to go for it and remove all the nickel in order to get the rust in its entirety.
A very light sanding on the tote and front knob followed by several coats of thinned shellac.
An problem with antique/vintage planes is finding all the bits that are usually lost. Sometimes you find a plane with one rusty cutter installed, sometimes with none.
Fortunately there is a guy making reproduction parts for Stanley planes, and he has available a full set of cutters in the sizes original to the plane. Since Stanley never made a 3/4″ cutter for the #46, but woodworkers today often use that size lumber, he also makes one of those!
You can find them here: St James Bay Tool Company
I called, spoke with the proprietor and maker. Super nice guy! Highly recommended.