Went and viewed brother David's podcast. Interesting stuff, but the wife has this thing about chemical reactions in the house, so it looks like it's back to the wet & dry paper and elbow grease. Besides, the electrolitic method won't take out the "dings".
the little guy
A soak in citric acid (get the powder from the health food store) or just 5% vinegar (cheapest white vinegar in a jug from grocery store) will do a lot toward removing rust.
Follow up with a light brushing, brass bristle or very stiff nylon works well. Watchout for peeling japaning though. Then dry well and coat with oil. You can use WD-40 to help dry the parts but it really doesn't leave behind much oil. A shot of 3-in-1 works for me. Other guys use a dab of synthetic motor oil. It hardens up in a thin film over a couple days. With a wipe down using a cotton cloth you really can't leave enough behind to mark the wood. Wax the bottom and away you go.
As far as polishing the bottom, its up to you how far you want to go but I've found that 220 works fine and the last few I've rehab'd I stopped at 150. More important is that you have no burrs anywhere on the mouth.
If one is pressing down so hard with the plane you can leave an imprint of the scratch pattern in the wood, perhaps one should consider a bit lighter touch. And if you need a mirror to see yourself, you can do better buying one at Wal-mart.
You can find basic patterns for the rear totes at Lee Valley. I don't have the link handy but if you need help I should have it somewhere. The front knobs are a bit more free-form. I've remade a couple totes wider than the stock totes and that seems more comfortable to me. Cherry, hard maple, rosewood all make good totes. Heck, any close-grain hardwood would work pretty well. I made one front knob from a sandwich of rosewood-walnut-rosewood to get a thick enough turning blank. Worked fine.
p.s. -- ignore any naysayers about your "ugly" planes. Tune them up and have fun.