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Planes restored - Because I can. #3: Making a new tote.

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Blog entry by Don W posted 06-03-2011 02:26 AM 4278 reads 20 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Making a knob without a lathe Part 3 of Planes restored - Because I can. series Part 4: Fixing a tote. »

Today I decided to make a new tote for a plane. This is the first tote I’ve made, so I learned a few things, and I know there will be more. Here is the steps I took.

First i downloaded the templates from Lee Valley.
I then glued to to the blank and cut it to size. Make the grain parallel to the bottom of the template.

I then drilled the holes. Make sure you drill it before you cut it out. First the tote top hole, then I drilled the through hole. I drilled from both sides first, then with a longer bit, cleaned it through. To keep it square I clamped 2 speed squares to each side.

I then drilled the two holes as the template instructions indicate.

Edit: I typically don’t bother drilling the holes anymore. I just cut out the whole thing with the bandsaw. I really haven’t noticed any difference.

Then off to the bandsaw to cut it out.

Then off to the router table with a round over bit. I’ve done this with a rasp as well, but the router is quicker.

Remember to not go all the way around. I marked the area I wanted to round over using a tote as a guide.

Then, i traced the top and the bottom from another tote. Off to the belt sander to round over and form the top and bottom.

A little bit of rasp work.

Off to the spindle sander.

Then a little hand sanding and we’re pretty close. Here it is next to a tote being refinished.

I’ll finish and post the finished picture when available.

Here is the final.

I wound up painting these. I wasn’t sure how’d they come out so I made them out of a couple maple scraps. I wasn’t crazy about the light color.

Edit, some additional experience:

I typically start the countersink hole for the nut, and finish it after shaping to get it exact.
Use the template but a bit of advice. The angle of the threads for bench planes are not exact. Check the angle against your plane before shaping it and get it exact. We’ve all seen bent tote rods. That bend is to compensate for the difference in the angle. (I learned this from a fellow LJ). I slightly modify the tote to reflect the exact angle before cutting the thing out.

I also struggled to get the front hole on a #5 and larger plane. I’ve found the easiest way to get it exact is with a broken sole. I dropped a #5 on the concrete and shattered it way beyond repair. I was heart broken, but it became my ’’front hole template’’. I drilled a pilot hole all the way through, and now just hook up the tote and drill it exact.

For sanding I have an old transitional frame. I hook up the tote, hold the frame in the vice, and can sand with a long piece of paper (like a lath strip). Any base would work, but the transitional frame doesn’t have the wider hump to get in the way.

As with all woodworking, make more than one at a time to save time

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com



24 comments so far

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1062 posts in 2103 days


#1 posted 06-03-2011 03:28 AM

Very nice job and a very nice tutorial. Thanks!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4145 posts in 1695 days


#2 posted 06-03-2011 04:16 AM

Excellent tutorial! I have to make one of these for my #5.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1579 days


#3 posted 06-03-2011 05:04 AM

Thanks for the link, I’ve avoided the hassle of buying some semi-decent planes due to busted handles and needing to design new handles. This solves the problem nicely.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1624 days


#4 posted 08-01-2011 10:13 PM

I saw this blog when you posted but I must have missed the link. I just read the blog again and I have to thank you for posting that link. I have made a few totes to some success but its always been a pain to get all the holes lined up. That pattern will work great.

I know my project for tonight.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15516 posts in 1311 days


#5 posted 08-02-2011 02:11 AM

There is a warning about making sure the scale is right when you print the template. I never had a problem until the last one I did. It was just slightly smaller. I only have one printer, but it could have been printed from a different computer. Just keep this in mind when you print the template.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View wb8nbs's profile

wb8nbs

141 posts in 1436 days


#6 posted 09-04-2011 06:22 PM

I’m leery of doing the half inch roundover on a router table. There is not enough mass in the work to keep the bit from grabbing and flinging it and part of your fingers across the garage. DAMHIKT.

I used a smallish router and half inch roundover with the handle secured to a good sized board. I put two screw eyes in the board, put the handle between them, and slid a metal rod thru the handle hole and the screw eyes. Then tweak the screw eyes until the rod held the handle down firmly.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15516 posts in 1311 days


#7 posted 09-05-2011 01:57 PM

wb8nbs, you can also clamp the handle in a wood clamp. That allows for more control surface.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15516 posts in 1311 days


#8 posted 06-23-2012 11:42 PM

I very seldom make these one at a time. I stated making a few cherry totes.

That’s it for now, its at the router ready for the round over.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15516 posts in 1311 days


#9 posted 06-24-2012 04:13 PM

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View wb8nbs's profile

wb8nbs

141 posts in 1436 days


#10 posted 06-24-2012 08:11 PM

Great photos Don W. Looks like you sacrificed a couple of old broken planes to use as fixtures. Good idea., and I will remember the two square clamp on bit for vertical alignment.

A photo of three I made using the Lee Valley template is here

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15516 posts in 1311 days


#11 posted 06-24-2012 09:13 PM

they look great wb8nbs. Where’s the planes they went on?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View wb8nbs's profile

wb8nbs

141 posts in 1436 days


#12 posted 06-24-2012 10:18 PM

A 605, 606, and an 8.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15516 posts in 1311 days


#13 posted 06-24-2012 10:30 PM

NICE…........

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View hhhopks's profile

hhhopks

565 posts in 1121 days


#14 posted 08-27-2012 06:13 PM

Don,
Thanks for the post.
I was getting ready to give it a go.
Always help when you can pick up some insight.

Any suggestion on the type of wood? I am using walnut on mind. Not because of looks or any in depth analysis that it is better….. It is simply what I got on hand. I also got the walnut to turn the knob if I ever get motivated.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1437 days


#15 posted 08-27-2012 06:15 PM

That’s pretty clever clamping the transitional top while you work. C’mon Don, all the kids are doing light colored totes now;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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