Grandfathers Handplane from a Christmas Past

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Project by jjw5858 posted 12-14-2011 12:57 AM 2568 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This one for me….is what Christmas is all about.

Life is funny…..but here I am buying some old handplanes at auctions…..handtools….etc…..and sometimes its easy to forget the real special things….we already have.

Like this old Handplane that was in an old wooden drawer under some things in our workshop. I was tinkering around one evening…and I kinda laughed….thinking…I ought to get that out…...and look it over. I looked at it….handle gone….full of some pretty aged rust….nothing would turn…..but I also got this feeling…a new challenge….and a real needed quest. I needed to try and make a new tote for my Grandfathers old handplane…...I never have before and had little idea on the proper way to…so I needed to see if I could now!

My Dad told me….”I remember him getting that plane in a tool kit… was a Red Diamond.” The case is actually still mounted on the cellar wall in my Grandparents house…and still has the paper layout with the saw….eggbeater drill, brace and bit…..wood marking gauge…...some tin clippers….and this handplane!

My Grandmother bought it for him…for Christmas…lol… about that?

I had some Oak…..and I had a template…funny enough…from a cheapo plastic stanley plane…..I shamefully bought about a year ago at lowes….haaaaaa…....Well….my plastic handle was a friend….in letting me use it for a template for something better!

So I used my Bow saw….cut her out….rasped, coped sawed and chiseled here and there…..then sanded.
I used my bevel gauge for angle layout with a little pencil, got the eggbeater…...(funny….the Red Diamond from the actual kit!)...and prayed for the best…..but….I got it to mount.

I WD 40’ed and worked on it a little… the blade to the sharpening stone and gave her a test drive.

Boy…works really nice….I myself…was extremely happy for this being a total first attempt at a tote. I watched in great satisfaction…and some emotion as the Pine shavings cut crisp with little effort…..I think he was watching….lol

Everything is totally done by hand, even the mistakes!

My Grandparents have both been gone now for almost ten years…and it was great to have a chance at reviving this old handplane. I think my Grandfather would have enjoyed this….....I am glad to be here and enjoy these great shavings now for him.

This one is for you Pop-Pop, thanks for all you did for me.

Great shavings to all of you and happy holidays!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

13 comments so far

View mafe's profile


10859 posts in 2357 days

#1 posted 12-14-2011 01:48 AM

It never gets better than that!
To restore a tool from a gradfather and use it again, that is really a chance and a joy.
This will be your favorite plane always I’m sure, it has soul.
Well done.
Best thoughts,

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

View Woodwrecker's profile


3814 posts in 2844 days

#2 posted 12-14-2011 02:22 AM

This is the best post I’ve seen here in quite a while.
That plane has a new life again through your dedication and effort.
I bet that your Granddad is up there smiling right now.
Well done and good job Joe.
And, Merry Christmas.

-- Eric, central Florida

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2029 days

#3 posted 12-14-2011 02:24 AM

What a wonderful gift. I’m sure your grandfather would be proud. Have a Merry Christmas.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View kiefer's profile


4532 posts in 1935 days

#4 posted 12-14-2011 04:14 AM

That is a heartwarming story ,the kind I enjoy and I am glad for you to have that experience .
Yes your grandfather would be happy to see you reviving and using this tool and will guide your hands using it ,
these tools have a spirit attached to them and you will feel it.

Merry Christmas

-- Kiefer 松

View ShaneA's profile


6141 posts in 1867 days

#5 posted 12-14-2011 04:42 AM

Great post, may it serve you well for many years.

View SteveGaskins's profile


540 posts in 1855 days

#6 posted 12-14-2011 05:06 AM

Joe, I love your story. I have some of my grandfather’s woodworking tools, too; only a small saw blade vise and a saw blade set, but I cherish them. My dad, who is a woodworker too, gave them to me. I have them in my shop and I look at them daily. On the other side of life, I have my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter in my shop almost daily, and she loves it. The way I see it, the best thing I can build in my shop is memories with my granddaughter.

Thanks for the great post and Merry Christmas.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View jjw5858's profile


1132 posts in 1870 days

#7 posted 12-14-2011 06:08 AM

Thank you to all that enjoyed it!......I sincerely appreciate your comments! Best wishes!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View chrisstef's profile


14822 posts in 2275 days

#8 posted 12-14-2011 03:20 PM

A warming story for sure. I know that when i grip the handle of the Disston saws or block planes left to me after my grandfather passed a smile is usually not far behind. The little things like that can bring a lot of joy to a project or just a tough day. Thanks for posting jjw.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View helluvawreck's profile


21486 posts in 2135 days

#9 posted 12-14-2011 03:29 PM

Joe, that was a great story. Just think, all antiques have stories tied to them, whether good or bad, because they were owned by those who have gone before us and so those things that we now own will one day after we have gone will likewise have stories tied to them. I suppose that means we should try to make them good stories. You know what I mean?


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2383 days

#10 posted 12-14-2011 05:43 PM

what a story thanks for sharing it :-)
I´ll bett its going to be your favorite to go to when you are finish fettling the handle to your satisfaction :-)
nothing is better than use inheriated tools

Merry Chrismas to you as well


View Manitario's profile


2387 posts in 2151 days

#11 posted 12-14-2011 10:08 PM

Great post. I have a few handplanes that my grandpa left me; I haven’t got them to work as well as you have, but I still love to use them for the nostalgia.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

17456 posts in 1836 days

#12 posted 12-18-2011 12:56 AM

great story, nice plane restore. No mistake about it!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Grandpa's profile


3251 posts in 1944 days

#13 posted 12-18-2011 04:46 AM

I also have some of my grandfather’s tools. I have a Disston hand saw that I have just about retired and plan to pass on. I have a hand brace and a saw set. They are good to look at and remember the times. This is a good time of the year to recall those special memories. Merry Christmas

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