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upgrading and modding up my first plane

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Forum topic by Marn64 posted 05-04-2016 02:07 AM 603 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Marn64

209 posts in 251 days


05-04-2016 02:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

I was 14 when I was introduced to woodworking. At the time, I had neither the money nor the space to get power tools, so out of circumstance I bought a 30 some dollar No. 4 Kobalt Bench Plane. At first it was miserable, and I felt like I was getting nowhere with it. Well now I am almost 17, and about to be a senior in high school and now exclusively use hand tools; axes, saws, hand drills, and, of course, planes (thanks to Don W’s blog for giving me the hand plane addiction). I no longer rely on the Kobalt, as I now own a No. 6 and a No. 7 Stanley (the latter I restored, if you’ve seen my first posts). However, I still kept that Kobalt, and after neglecting it for about a year and a half to two years I decided to completely overhaul it. I came up with this idea when I realized that it is a pure carbon copy of a Stanley type 20. I also decided to do this because it seemed to be fitting to make the plane that inspired and led me to my passion for traditional woodworking work as best as it could.

here is the plane

I sanded the enamel off the rim of the plane to make it more reminiscent of a stanley

Blade was scary sharpened up to 1500 grit sandpaper

I refined the cap iron to sit with the blade, it used to have terrible gaps (it still has a extremely small one on the left side, but never jams up)

Stripped the garish looking poly varnish on the oak tote and knob, replaced it with BLO

I squared up the mouth and lapped the sole and sides (still have a bit of lapping left to do)

Shaving from a scrap piece of Cherry

Incredibly smooth surface left behind

All in all, I would like to say, don’t dismiss a plane just because its not a Stanley or Veritas or Lie Nielsen. Yeah, sure this plane is not made at that quality but it sure isn’t a BAD plane. This is why I will always be a believer in the beginners plane, sure, it may not be made 100 years ago in New Britain (p.s. I’m CERTAINLY not badmouthing Stanley), or an expensive piece ductile cast iron with fancy bronze fittings (I may or may not be casting shade at LN for its price tag…..I’m not bitter…..much!), but you know what? it works pretty darn well, and for that, I’m pretty happy.

Also sorry if this post comes off as kinda silly, long winded, and/or storybookish, I’m just a bad writer.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee


10 replies so far

View Sloopmk's profile

Sloopmk

39 posts in 259 days


#1 posted 05-04-2016 02:24 AM

Great post, I enjoyed reading it.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3692 posts in 1731 days


#2 posted 05-04-2016 02:55 AM

As you should be! You did a fine job tuning that plane and you have every right to be proud of your work. Well done young friend.

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

209 posts in 251 days


#3 posted 05-05-2016 02:20 AM



As you should be! You did a fine job tuning that plane and you have every right to be proud of your work. Well done young friend.

- BurlyBob


Thanks! I would also like to add that this thing actually did take a decent shaving out of the box. Now that look back on it, based on the original out of square mouth and poor cap iron, I’m quite impressed with this planes simplicity and sturdy construction.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View alittleoff's profile

alittleoff

296 posts in 742 days


#4 posted 05-05-2016 03:31 AM

Great job on the plane Marn. The wood looks great. Keep up the great work. BTW I don’t own a high dollar plane either.
Gerald

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

209 posts in 251 days


#5 posted 05-10-2016 02:40 PM



Great job on the plane Marn. The wood looks great. Keep up the great work. BTW I don t own a high dollar plane either.
Gerald

- alittleoff

Thanks!

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

294 posts in 214 days


#6 posted 05-13-2016 12:15 AM

A fellow can get a lot of satisfaction from tuning up an old hand plane. First I flatten the sole, then I buy a nice new thick iron and tune the chip breaker. I think what you are doing is great, and leads to happily bonding with your tools.

And I think for a person to be able to understand the workings and proper use of hand planes, that person needs to rebuild or tune up an old hand plane.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1059 posts in 1455 days


#7 posted 05-13-2016 11:50 AM

Congratulations young man! Learning how to tune a plane the door to a lot of very affordable planes out there. The best modification I make to planes are custom knobs and totes to fit my hands. The knobs are mushroom shaped (2” dia) like a Stanley low knob, but the height (2-1/2”) of the high knob.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17969 posts in 2033 days


#8 posted 05-14-2016 10:15 PM

Fantastic.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

209 posts in 251 days


#9 posted 05-15-2016 05:51 PM



Congratulations young man! Learning how to tune a plane the door to a lot of very affordable planes out there. The best modification I make to planes are custom knobs and totes to fit my hands. The knobs are mushroom shaped (2” dia) like a Stanley low knob, but the height (2-1/2”) of the high knob.

- OSU55


Thanks! I did think about rosewood or Ziricote totes and knobs, not only have I never made made a tote, I also don’t have a lathe, I didn’t want to get too invested in a small weekend project. Overall I’m happy with the current tote and knob. I would like to say that I own and use two 1874 Stanley’s, and I absolutely LOVE the low knob compared to the tall.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View Marn64's profile

Marn64

209 posts in 251 days


#10 posted 05-15-2016 05:51 PM



Fantastic.

- Don W


Thanks Don!

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

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