Just Plane Old #1: As Is - Looking for suggestions

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Blog entry by socrbent posted 06-25-2012 03:36 AM 1979 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Just Plane Old series Part 2: clean up reveals... »

I retrieved to old wooden planes that belonged to my dad from the shop on the family farm now run by my youngest brother. They probably haven’t been used in 50 years. As a long term project (this coming winter) I want to clean them up and if feasible make them functional.

They are at least pre WWII. Would these be something made in a high school shop class in the early 40’s?

The large one is 22” long and the smaller is 16”. Since I don’t know much about plane I’m hoping the LJ community can help me id them and make some suggestions on what to do or not do with them. Do you think these are usable? I’d like to make replacement handles (totes?) for both.

-- socrbent Ohio

4 comments so far

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4003 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 11:46 AM

What they are – just by length, the bigger one is a jointer, the smaller one likely a jack plane. The jack’s mouth is large enough to suggest it would have been used early in the preparation process, the jointer appears to be a little finer, so the two were probably a working pair. Manufacture is hard to guess, you might find a mark on the iron and/or stamped into the wood. But if they were craftsman-made, the irons were likely purchased. Looking at the jointer, I am guessing from that slot that it was a razee handle, and very likely factory-made. In terms of age, a shop class in the ‘40s is possible but unlikely, these are far more likely to date from the pre-Stanley heyday of wooden planes. By 1940, even the Stanley planes were on their way downhill, wood planes like this had been declining for over 50 years. These are far more likely to have been made in the period 1875-1910, competitors to the emerging metal planes.

Impossible to tell what wood until you have cleaned them up a little, and even then the rich patina of aged hardwood under oil could be a challenge. General rule, ‘under’ clean, not over. Here is one simple link

Restoration could even involve re-soling them, the bottom of the jack has what might be a crack. But start with the simple cleaning, maybe some of the Kramer’s Antique Improver mentioned in the link.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19007 posts in 2767 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 12:50 PM

The blade don’t look to bad and the rest is wood (which is repairable). I’ve got a few projects that looks much worst that became usable. I hope you’ll post your progress.

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

View socrbent's profile


687 posts in 2469 days

#3 posted 06-25-2012 01:09 PM

Thanks guys for those suggestions. The bottom that appears to be cracked is looks like a scratch and not a crack at this point. I do plan to post my progress.

-- socrbent Ohio

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3198 days

#4 posted 06-25-2012 06:01 PM

I don’t see anything that would scare me off. About an hour for cleaned up and functional for the pair. As much time as you want to put into them to make them pretty. Only thing that stands out was they were rough on the poor wedge on the larger plane. Worst case scenario is making a new wedge. Not a big deal.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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