Tool Restorations #1: Dunlop Smoothing plane, and Trustworthy Jack Plane

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Blog entry by luckysawdust posted 01-06-2013 11:02 PM 2900 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This project actually began at the library, long before I had ever even laid eyes on the Trustworthy plane you will see in the pictures below. I had recently graduated from College, and had been longing to engage in some meaningful ‘extracurricular’ activities. Some of my hobbies had been shelved for nearly 7 year (2 years as the LDS missionary, plus 4 years of undergraduate study, and a year of courtship). Woodworking was one of them – so one of the first things I did when I graduated was go to the local library, and check out several books on hand-tools, woodworking, etc.

One conclusion I came to rapidly was: “Wow… I don’t have enough tools.” I expect I’ll come to this conclusion frequently as time goes on. :-) Enough tools or not, my buget was not yet expansive enough to immediately remedy the situation. I read “Handtool Essentials”, put out by Popular Woodworking magazine, and one of the editors suggested that used tools might be a good option to the woodworker on a budget.

They suggested looking at flea markets, garage sales, etc. —and so soon afterwards, I went to an estate sale, and my wife (did I mention I married the right girl!?) found this trusty-rusty old jack plane in a pile of hand-tools in the shed out back of the house. $8 was a good enough price to have me sold on the idea.

I brought it home and laid it next to the Dunlop smoothing plane that had belonged to my mother’s father.

I knew I had some restoration work ahead of me before I would have some bench-ready tools in hand—

I read up on some tool restoration:

Got some ingredients for electrolytic rust-removal together, and went to work!

A couple of days later, with some work with sand-paper, brushes, and electrolysis, I had some planes that were ready for touch-up, sharpening, and a couple of test passes over some cedar posts!

They worked (and are working!) terrifically. I don’t have the world’s best hand-planes, but they are certainly better than what I’d had before, which was a couple of rusty old tools!

I’m back to woodworking… with a new side-hobby: tool restoration.

-- “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

6 comments so far

View CanalboatJim's profile


200 posts in 3505 days

#1 posted 01-06-2013 11:41 PM

Very beautiful restoration. I have a special fondness for Dunlop planes. I learned to use a plane on a Dunlop my father got at Sears and Roebuck, when he got a job in their hardware department right after WWII. I used that plane exclusively for years. Recently I passed on Grandpa’s plane to my son. Keep restoring, you can’t beat the old ones.

-- Jim Westbrooks

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3787 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 12:09 AM

sweet resto!

View luckysawdust's profile


32 posts in 2444 days

#3 posted 01-07-2013 12:13 AM

Thanks for the Kudos Jim! I plan on restoring several tools – and that Dunlop actually belonged to my maternal Grandfather, who worked in the ship yards in San Franciso during WWII – I have no idea where he got it, but I’m glad its finally gotten the TLC it deserves. I certainly plan on adding a few more ‘restorations’ to my collection as time and budget allow.

-- “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2840 days

#4 posted 01-07-2013 12:16 AM

You make all refurbers proud. Well done and well written.
Keep em shinny and sharp.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Don W's profile

Don W

18717 posts in 2568 days

#5 posted 01-07-2013 12:25 AM

Sweet restores. Always glad to see another brought back to life.

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

View CL810's profile


3786 posts in 2988 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 03:55 AM

Well done!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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