1894 German hobel (hand plane) restored

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Blog entry by mafe posted 02-24-2011 09:32 PM 9704 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

1894 German hobel
hand plane – restored

I found what I believe is an excellent example of the German and Nordic traditional hand plane. It is simple made, no fancy details except from the fact someone took time to decorate a little. Its cut from one piece of wood, and the horn are simply mounted with a big nail. The interesting part except from this is that the iron has been modified at some point and an adjustable chip breaker mounted, and it was this that made me fall in love with it (yes I need professional help).

Found it on E-bay Germany and got it at 4.99 Euro / 6,81 USD. Fair price I think… (you can buy 52 of these for the price of one Lie Nielsen No. 4, funny thought after all).
The text was: ‘Uralter Hobel,datiert 1894.Ein schönes Stück mit kleinen Gebrauchsspuren’.

Quite good condition, but needed some love.

Small details.

A broken part, fixed with a little rusty nail.

And I found four little worm holes so first step was to spray insect poison into these, and then I left it outside in the minus five for three days, this will kill the bastards if they were still alive.

Cleaning up the broken parts, don’t want to put new since I want history here.

The wedge is getting a shine and rust is removed.

The iron and chip breaker, a little rusty but nothing serious.

WD40, sandpaper and elbow grease.

Leave it over night for soak.

Detail from the iron, here you can see how it has been changed. It will keep an eye out for me now.

The modification of the iron is a long straight hole.

The adjustable chip breaker system, funny yes!

Here you see how it can be adjusted up and down.

And here after a cleanup, linseed oil, and a final coat of bees wax.

Notice how little wear on the back, someone have been kind not beating with a metal hammer.

The sole of the plane.
This plane have ´been working a lot I am sure, also probably been flattened again and again I will guess due to the big mouth opening.
I think I will give it a new sole at some point, to show it honor and to make a smaller or even adjustable mouth.

Still an old tool, but now with respect for the age.

Here the detail with the ornamentation and dating.
(Of course we never know, but it seems fair to trust the dating).

And here my latest buy from France, a wonderful little finger plane (like a violin makes plane), it came in a beautiful wood box, and with the original instructions, this is not going to be used a lot I am sure, it’s one of those that have more charm than usability.

I dedicate this little blog to our LJ Dennis who is fighting to restore a big load of old wood hand planes now.

Hope the blog can bring inspiration, or some old planes back to life…

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

21 comments so far

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 2772 days

#1 posted 02-24-2011 09:37 PM

Well done Mads.

Now Dennis know the standard of old plane that comes to life again;)

Ps thanks for buying that fingerplane to me. SOOOOO kind of you :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View swirt's profile


2640 posts in 2934 days

#2 posted 02-24-2011 09:45 PM

That cleaned up nice. I am impressed by the decorative details. I haven’t seen any like that with the fine lines, pinwheels or stars and pin marks.

Clever depth adjuster.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3052 days

#3 posted 02-24-2011 09:45 PM

Napoleon you make me laugh! Wonderful to see you here on LJ again, the new job keeps you busy.
Dennis is really fighting, and some of his planes are a real challange, but he will manage fine I’m sure.
You have to wake up and get into the game if you want a little plane like this, it’s not for sale, but keep on dreaming, that is … lol.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View CrossGrain (Josh)'s profile

CrossGrain (Josh)

64 posts in 2981 days

#4 posted 02-24-2011 09:50 PM

Nicely done. I always enjoy seeing the process that is gone through on things like this.

-- Josh, Virginia ,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3078 days

#5 posted 02-24-2011 09:57 PM

great to sea another plane come to live :-)
well done
how does it sing , well I hope , i gess with that big mouth its a jackplane right now
thank´s for the kind words Mads big smile on my head now and the rest of the evening in th shop :—))
its a beautyfull tiny plane you have found

take care

View Bertha's profile


13519 posts in 2656 days

#6 posted 02-24-2011 10:02 PM

That plane has some sensational markings. What a find with a ton of history.

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

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3069 days

#7 posted 02-24-2011 10:09 PM

Mafe, I don’t know how inspired Dennis is, but you sure pulled some heart strings over here.You left a lot of love dripping off that old plane. You sure do make me want to get into the planes. Since I have none to restore, I’ll just make my version. lol Where is your Coachmakers rabbeting plane like Div’s? Hint hint…

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2903 days

#8 posted 02-24-2011 10:10 PM

A beautiful piece of woodworking history Mads. You are fortunate in being able to find these tools….$6.00!! Wow, I wish.

That fingerplane is absolutely exquisite!!!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2960 days

#9 posted 02-24-2011 11:07 PM

I’m sorry, the decorations on the plane are great, but I LOVE the eye.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2803 days

#10 posted 02-24-2011 11:40 PM

Mads thanks for the provenance. I love the history of a tool. Great restore.

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3297 days

#11 posted 02-25-2011 12:37 AM

Good job on this plane Mads. I like that you preserved the original parts. I am very partial to planes with horns. They are so much more comfortable for me to use.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Sodabowski's profile


2373 posts in 2795 days

#12 posted 02-25-2011 02:10 AM

Whoa! Talk about restoration, and a huge luck finding a pre-1900 wooden plane for that kind of money!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3636 days

#13 posted 02-25-2011 02:12 AM

Nice looking plane.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2617 days

#14 posted 02-25-2011 03:05 AM

Nice. Never done a restore on a wooden plane, but I love it when good tools get loving homes, especially when they need a bit of TLC.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Bricofleur's profile


1440 posts in 3156 days

#15 posted 02-25-2011 03:06 AM

Now I know your secret! I thought you were using elbow grease, but I can see it’s WD-40!!! (Ha!)

Again, you made a great restoration job. Thanks for sharing.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

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