The fix is in

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 02-19-2014 07:09 AM 1444 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Way back in 2013, I participated in the LJ Plane Swap. I sent out a nice plane and received one from GMatheson. A lovely woodie, 55° smoother made from maple and walnut. Here’s Greg’s project page for it:

About 5 minutes after I opened the box, I destroyed it. ‘Destroy’ may not be the right word, but ‘render completely unusable’ would be 100% accurate. Here’s the problem:

In trying to get the lever cap tight enough, I pulled the threaded nut insert completely out. :-(

I’m a woodworker, I can fix this! It’s taken me a while (been busy building and moving into a new shop) but the plane now works. Here’s what I did.

First, I decided to replace the original nut insert with one that had deeper and more aggressive threads. The old and the new:

I also needed to plug the old hole for the insert and drill one sized to the new. So, drill out for a 1/2 plug:

And cut a new plug from some scrap Jatoba. Very hard wood, that stuff. Might as well make some extras:

While I’m at the drill press, I’ll drill pilot holes in the plugs so I can later freehand drill the hole for the insert. The smoother’s bed is at 55° and getting my drill press to drill at that angle would be a problem.

Mark the plug centers using the eyeball method:

And drill 3/32 pilots:

Next step is to cut the plugs out of the block. They go about 7/8 deep, so I’ll cut them at 3/4 .

You did notice that I mentioned I just moved into a new shop? The move is recent enough that my bandsaw isn’t hooked up yet. So I have an excuse to use the neander tools for the task.

Set a marking gauge (you all have one of these, right?) to about 3/4”:

In a remarkable bit of irony, this marking gauge was sent to me by none other than Greg Matheson in the LJ Marking Gauge swap. Yes, the same GMatheson that sent me the plane I am now repairing. Fortunately, I managed not to break the marking gauge!

Marked the piece of wood and sawed down the line. Very nice saw, by the way.

2 of the plugs popped out, didn’t drill the other 2 deep enough. But I only need one to work :-)

Picked the one that fit better, scuffed it up with some sandpaper and glued it home:

I set the plug slightly lower than flush with the bed. It doesn’t need to be flush and I didn’t want to have to mess with levelling it down to the bed.

The next day, I drilled out the hole for the new insert. Stepped it up in small increments:

Still didn’t get it centered, but it wasn’t critical.

Drove the nut insert home, put everything back together and proceeded to test the plane out:

Full width shavings on a scrap of walnut. If it was a light-colored wood, they’d be see-thru. The high angle bed means it takes some effort to push the plane. I had the chip breaker set very tight to the edge, too. When I was done testing the thing out, I realized that I had been planing in the wrong direction. I’d say the plane is keeper!

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

7 comments so far

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1660 days

#1 posted 02-19-2014 08:35 AM

What a nice tool! Great save as well, well done.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18756 posts in 2596 days

#2 posted 02-19-2014 10:49 AM

Excellent repair.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View CFrye's profile


10247 posts in 1869 days

#3 posted 02-19-2014 11:28 AM

Nice shavings Mark! Thanks for the blog and update.

-- God bless, Candy

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 02-19-2014 01:38 PM

Glad you got it working again Mark. Great shavings and it’s nice to see the marking gauge in action too. When I did yours I made two cutters but haven’t got around to making gauge for myself yet.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View terryR's profile


7169 posts in 2337 days

#5 posted 02-19-2014 02:45 PM

Great repair, thanks for sharing!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3180 days

#6 posted 02-19-2014 03:05 PM

I love this plane, glad you were able to fix it.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mean_Dean's profile


6567 posts in 3176 days

#7 posted 02-20-2014 01:59 AM

Nice save!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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