Hand plane tote replacement #3: My finished product

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Blog entry by Scotach posted 07-06-2008 12:07 AM 5055 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Shaping of my tote Part 3 of Hand plane tote replacement series no next part

Alright, I’m excited. I put the finishing touches on the tote this morning, and I think, it’s a good fit.
I sanded with 220 grit for the final detail sanding, then counter sunk for the retaining screw, which was a slight pain in the rear. In hind sight, I should have run the forstner bit first, then bored all the way through with the twist bit. Would a made life a lot easier. But hey, that’s how we learn, right?

My hand drilling for the bore was not quite square and the retaining screw was a tight fit inside the handle. I used a larger diameter twist bit to open it up a bit more. Then I marked out for the hole in the toe of the tote for the second retaining screw. That was simple. Took it to the plane, and fastened it on. It’s almost a perfect fit. The screws tightened up nicely and there is not play in the new tote as there was in the original.

So here’s the finished product…for now.
Finished tote
Side view
The whole thing
So that’s it. All in all a fairly easy project. I think it turned out great for my first attempt at one of these plane totes. It’s definitely not show piece quality, but it’s going to be one of my users. I’m pretty darn happy with how it turned out. Now, where is that maple…I have to turn a front knob. Thanks for reading this series of posts, and perhaps someone will find it useful! Now…go make some saw dust!

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

13 comments so far

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3877 days

#1 posted 07-06-2008 12:13 AM

Looks good as new, probably better!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 3964 days

#2 posted 07-06-2008 02:11 AM

I found it useful….I didn’t know plane handles were called TOTES! Thanks!

-- Tony, Ohio

View jcees's profile


1070 posts in 3973 days

#3 posted 07-06-2008 03:18 AM

Super job! Should wear and age very well indeed.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 4109 days

#4 posted 07-06-2008 05:22 AM

Hi All,

Didn’t know that either! :-)

I have recently purchased a Stanley # 3 new. It came with a plastic tote and knob. For my needs (I am a hobbyist, a new one at that), it foots the bill perfectly. As a Lumberjock (pardon me for taking the liberty to pin that title on myself), I just can’t stand the plastic knob and tote. Kinda irritating. I have thought of replacing it with a wooden knob and tote that I have made myself. It is the rainy season here in the Philippines, probably the right time to take on a small project like this. One that I can do exclusively inside my small 10’X10’X10’ shop.

Which part of the fabrication process would you say that I have to be extra careful of aside from the drilling of the bore? Nice job just the same.


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View Scotach's profile


72 posts in 3793 days

#5 posted 07-06-2008 06:26 AM


I would say that getting the hole for the long retaining screw accurate, is the one aspect that to be careful on. The rest is a matter of shaping with small hand tools like files, rasps and sandpaper. I imagine, if you wanted to get the tight radius at the top and bottom of the tote, you could always take it to the drill press with the appropriate size Forstner bit to take care of those quickly. I used the bandsaw to cut the entire shape out.
You might be able to utilize a spindle sander for some of the shaping. I did not have access to one.
Also from looking at all my other planes, get the grain orientation correct. If not, your likely going to be in the shop sooner making another one.

Another LJ’s member, Dorje, passed on this link which has some good info on tote making. I looked at it after completing most of my rough shaping. Wish I would have seen it sooner.

Have fun. It’s a project well worth the time and effort. It’s not only a way to fix something, but also a great way to personalize your tools!

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

View Hugheser's profile


14 posts in 4085 days

#6 posted 07-06-2008 07:57 PM

Nice work. Now go make some shavings not saw dust! :)

-- Brian (Woodworking n00b)

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1902 posts in 3845 days

#7 posted 07-06-2008 08:34 PM

Yeah, that is an awesome handle! It is a good contrast to the black iron of the plane! You should work on a front knob to set it right off! Great job!! Personalized handles, and knobs make an ordinary piece, an extaordinary piece!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Scotach's profile


72 posts in 3793 days

#8 posted 07-07-2008 12:22 AM

Thanks everyone! LOL, go make shavings indeed. You got me there.
I’d love to turn a front knob to match….I’ll have to see if I can find some maple stock thick enough.
It would look cool with the matching wood toe and knob!

-- Brian S. --- "If you’ve worked on the building of a boat, it belongs to you the rest of your life." -Bob Prothero

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3532 days

#9 posted 03-17-2009 05:58 AM

That did come out nice!! Looks like my first project is going to be a new tote for mine. Thanks again!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View ic3ss's profile


391 posts in 2950 days

#10 posted 10-19-2010 09:44 AM

This is the Stanley No. 8 before, and these below are after reconditioning.

Thanks so much for the idea. I found this thread a few weeks ago and it turned out to be the perfect answer for my Stanley No.8 that I got off of Ebay. It had a shaved handle and was in terrible shape. two full days in the electrolosis bath took off the japanning and rust, and a few coats of appliance epoxy were in order, but what to do with that broken tote? I found myself down at woodcrafters and picked up two scrap pieces of figured maple, one for the tote and one for the knob. I cut it out with my new scroll saw and shaped it with my rasp. It turned out great, now I just need to figure out how to do the knob ‘cause I don’t have a lathe.

Thanks again!


-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3040 days

#11 posted 10-19-2010 11:35 AM

That’s a beautiful plane and a beautiful job on the tote. Good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View swirt's profile


3304 posts in 3145 days

#12 posted 10-19-2010 03:58 PM

ic3ss Looks great. To make a knob without a lathe, see Mafe’s how-to blog here.

-- Galootish log blog,

View ic3ss's profile


391 posts in 2950 days

#13 posted 10-21-2010 05:04 AM

Thanks for the link, Swirt, this looks like just the ticket. I don’t have a drill press either, but I should be able to kluge something together with one of my drills.

Check back here, oh maybe next week to see how I did. I may get to this on Sunday.

Thanks for the encouragement!


-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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