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Hand plane - Did I waste my money?

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Blog entry by Pimzedd posted 11-02-2010 01:15 AM 4972 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was at the First Monday Trades Day in Canton, TX last week. Came across a guy with some old hand planes. I bought this one for $15; he was asking $20.

For those of you with knowledge of wood hand planes, please let me know if I wasted my money. I plan to use it as a working plane, not a collector plane. I would also like to have an idea of how old it is.

It is a Sandusky Tool Co. plane.

In addition to Sandusky Tool Co., it has OGONTZ stamped in the end and the number 18 if I am reading it correctly. It is 16 in. long. Base does not show any warping but could use a little truing. Can that be done with sandpaper on a flat surface?

The body has some checking in the end that goes through the bottom. Only one small check on the top. It had the least checking of all the planes. Should I fill the checks? What with, epoxy?

The plane iron has been mushroomed over from being hammered to set the iron depth. I am tempted to file that off. OK, yes or no? The iron is .190 in. thick. It has four small rust spots on the cutting edge. Looks like it will sharpen up nicely. The back of the iron has surface rust.

The tote appears to have been broken off and reattached. It was well done as it is perfectly aligned. It is tight, nothing loose.

Well what do you think? I thought for $15 it was worth a try as a working plane. Otherwise not much lost.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school



23 comments so far

View Cantputjamontoast's profile

Cantputjamontoast

341 posts in 2152 days


#1 posted 11-02-2010 01:59 AM

flatten the back and sharpen the iron. see hore she works.
is the bottom flat? out by how much?

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View Cantputjamontoast's profile

Cantputjamontoast

341 posts in 2152 days


#2 posted 11-02-2010 02:00 AM

for $15 it makes a heck of a nice nick nack

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View Rev_John's profile

Rev_John

93 posts in 2608 days


#3 posted 11-02-2010 02:31 AM

Are you planning on using it or collecting it? That question needs to be asked/answered first.

-- John from Jackson, Michigan

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1692 days


#4 posted 11-02-2010 05:01 AM

It’s a user, put it to work. The price you paid is fine. you can flatten the sole with sandpaper on a flat surface, or if you have a jointer or jointer plane you can flatten it that way. Just be careful to remove as little as necessary because the more you remove from the sole, the wider the mouth will get. don’t worry about the checks, they do not need to be filled or glued unless they are loose, which they are probably not.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1003 posts in 2206 days


#5 posted 11-02-2010 05:32 AM

yeah, sorry dude, you completely wasted your hard earned cheddar. i know you must be feeling really bad so to help out a fellow texan, you can just send it on down here so you won’t have to be reminded when you look at it. did i get you. i didn’t think so. i miss canton. too far to drive much now. if they don’t have it, i don’t need it. seriously, after you tune it up, mostly flatten the back and sharpen the bevel, and put a camber on the edges. also make sure the bottom of the plane body is flat, if not sand it smooth and flat, don’t take a lot off though. it can be a hit or miss with the old wooden planes. the good new is if they didn’t work well, the old woodworker would burn it as firewood or pitch it. if the blade is in bad shape, don’t waste your time, consider a new one. looks like you got a good deal.

edit: i should have read swirt’s post first – what he said.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1718 days


#6 posted 11-02-2010 08:36 AM

You say the iron is pretty good so at the very least, you have an iron to make a new body for. Worth the purchase price by itself.

You have a couple ways to go with it. If the body is fine (which it looks to be) you will look at the mouth. If you want to set it up for fine work, you might have to inset a block or plate to tighten up the mouth. If you want it for really chewing up lumber such as for a scrub, it might call for even opening it up.

Either way, get it tuned up and see how it performs. It might be just right as it is.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 1932 days


#7 posted 11-02-2010 02:31 PM

At the very worst, you’ll need to make a piece to close up the mouth of the plane a bit. I see no reason that plane can’t be rehabbed into a useful tool.

Looks like I missed you over in Canton I was there on Saturday. Here is my blog entry about it...

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

463 posts in 2524 days


#8 posted 11-03-2010 12:47 AM

Cant…. – The bottom is flat. The first couple of inches are worn, .010 max. at the very front. It will be a user.

David – The hope is to use it for fine work. I may need to inset a block to tighten up the mouth. Never done that but bet I can do it. Not much lost of it doesn’t work.

Rick – Thanks for the link to your blog. I was there Friday. Never got to the area you described. Think I will go back in Dec. if the weather holds up. I will try to find the guys you described. I looked at what the guy in the Civic Center had and talked to him. Thought about buying a dovetail saw from him but really did not need it.

Thanks all.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1718 days


#9 posted 11-03-2010 02:25 AM

Well, you could resole the entire plane. Not as drastic as it sounds. Just flatten it on the jointer, Glue a block on the bottom, joint that and then drill out the mouth and open it slowly with a file until the blade barely comes out.

Insetting a block is fine as well.

One more thing to think about. Use it as an opportunity to make a new body and see if you like doing it. Laminated body planes are really easy and fun to make. The only thing you will lose is a piece of wood if it goes badly. It is a really good practice in precision.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

463 posts in 2524 days


#10 posted 11-03-2010 02:01 PM

David – thanks for the additional suggestions. Hmmm, a new body, we’ll see. I think the current body is flat except for the first couple of inches due to use.

I got out in the shop (garage) last night. Started to sharpen the iron. I’ll say one thing about the iron, it is hard! Of course that is good. The back was not flat, a little bowed; worked on that some but still needs more to get totally flat.

The cutting edge was almost straight but needs some work. Turned out to have one nick so it needs some more work.

After some general sharpening, of course I had to give it a try on some clear 2×4 pine. Getting the depth set was a learning experience since all I have ever used are metal planes, usually Stanley no. 5. The shavings did not curl so I probably need to work on adjusting the cap. That also may be letting me know that mouth opening is too large.

Think I’ll see about getting a Scary Sharp setup. I have a flat granite piece, just need the sandpaper. Currently using diamond stones and one hard Arkansas stone. Once I get the iron sharp and learn a little more about adjusting the plane, I’ll consider a new mouth.

Thanks again to all.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1692 days


#11 posted 11-03-2010 05:36 PM

It’s an old plane with no chipbreaker, so don’t expect the shavings to curl as much since they aren’t being broken every 1/16th of an inch.

You don’t have to flatten the entire back of the iron. Use the Charlesworth ruler trick and you will save yourself a lot of time and effort.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Lochlainn1066's profile

Lochlainn1066

138 posts in 1497 days


#12 posted 11-03-2010 09:00 PM

You got a nice tool at a nice price.

-- Nate, thegaragestudio.etsy.com

View ShannonRogers's profile

ShannonRogers

540 posts in 2508 days


#13 posted 11-03-2010 09:59 PM

I love these old woodies and it takes a lot of abuse until they are no longer workable. You said you are hoping to use it for fine work. I question that with a 16” long body why you would want to do too fine of work. This is a good length for Jack/Fore plane to be used for rough work or thick shavings. As you know the longer the plane the flatter it can make a surface, but smoothing planes are shorter because they can get in to localized areas and clean them up without having to worry about the surface being dead flat. To get a thin shaving you need a tight mouth and a very flat sole but so this can determine how much work you need to do to this plane to get it into working condition. However it takes an awful lot of work to use a longer plane like this to get very fine shavings on a board because the boards are always moving around and the minute to you get them flat they go out of flat. This is not to say it can’t be done, but I would ask that you think about your definition of “fine work” and make sure you set up the plane accordingly. To your original question though, you got a deal, be very proud.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at www.renaissancewoodworker.com

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

463 posts in 2524 days


#14 posted 11-03-2010 10:55 PM

Swirt, it has a plane iron cap which I always interpreted as a chip breaker. Am I confused?

Had never heard of the Charlesworth rule trick. Found it and will give it a try. (Isn’t the internet just full of resources?)

Shannon, since all I have ever used is a Stanly #5 and a Stanley block plane, a 16 inch plane looks big to me. Thanks for the advice.

One question for all, I was under the impression that the plane iron cap position controlled the curl. Several of you have referred to the size of the mouth. How important is the size of the mouth if the plane has a plane iron cap?

Thanks again to all. I am learning a lot from you.

Bill

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View ShannonRogers's profile

ShannonRogers

540 posts in 2508 days


#15 posted 11-03-2010 11:01 PM

I think chipbreaker is the most common term and cap iron can sometimes be interpreted to mean the lever cap on a metal plane. The easy answer Bill is both effect the shaving. The chip breaker when set very close to the cutting edge will curl that shaving back quickly and break the fibers preventing it from diving below the wood surface and causing tear out. At the same time, a tight mouth means that the leading edge of the sole is still pressing down on the wood right in front of the cutting edge preventing the fibers from lifting up and causing the same tear out. In tandem they both work to prevent tearout. If I were to choose then I would go for a tight mouth as many old wooden planes and Japanese planes have not chip breaker at all, just an iron and a wedge and they rely on the sole to do the job.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at www.renaissancewoodworker.com

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