Eliminating play in heel of plane tote

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Forum topic by wood2woodknot posted 08-02-2016 02:17 AM 312 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wood2woodknot's profile


46 posts in 1393 days

08-02-2016 02:17 AM

I have had several planes with some degree of play at the heel of the tote. (One is a Sargent #4 and one a Stanley #4). I have tried several things to eliminate the play, none of them successful. I can tighten them, but they soon loosen up again. In some cases the movement is slight, in some a little more so. So is this common? Is there a cure?

Some of the “cures” I have tried are:
a) tightening the long bolt in the tote,
b) adding a washer under the bolt head to account for wear,
c) flattening the bottom of the tote,
d) adding a thin compression shim (piece of thin rubber; paper/index stock) under the tote,
e) adding glue (don’t remember if it was pliable like hot glue, or more rigid) – not epoxy.

The only other option I can think of is to make a totally new tote, but then I’m not sure that would solve the problem either.

Does anyone have any suggestions based on your experiences with your own planes?

-- ajh

6 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1771 days

#1 posted 08-02-2016 02:28 AM

I’ve shortened the bolt.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bandit571's profile


14058 posts in 2103 days

#2 posted 08-02-2016 02:32 AM

Totes will shrink over time…

You can grind off a couple threads on the bolt itself, shortening it by..1/8” or less.

Options #2: Get a roll of that poly stuff they use as drawer liners for tool boxes. Cut out a bit to mat the bottom of the tote. little undersized won’t hurt. Apply it to the bottom of the tote. May have to trim a bit around where the bolt attaches to the base.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Don W's profile

Don W

17875 posts in 1987 days

#3 posted 08-02-2016 11:08 AM

I’ve heard shelf liner works well for this. You can also wax the base good and add some epoxy, but it depends on what type of base it is. Post a few pictures. This sin’t a rare problem, but shortening the bolt or adding some washers typically takes care of it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View rwe2156's profile


2114 posts in 900 days

#4 posted 08-02-2016 12:49 PM

How about the bottom is not mating well with sole? or slightly rounded?

If its dead flat and mating up well, it has to be screw tension.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JayT's profile (online now)


4672 posts in 1630 days

#5 posted 08-02-2016 12:55 PM

I’d try the bolt &/or shelf liner first. If that doesn’t work, one thing I’ve thought of, but never done, is to take a small piece of wood and fit it to the small void in the center of the casting under the tote. Once it’s shaped and has a good, tight fit, glue it to the bottom of the tote.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1409 days

#6 posted 08-02-2016 06:57 PM

The tote mount flange needs to be flat, and the bottom of the tote needs to be flat. I add washers under the nut until the bolt doesn’t bottom out in the nut. It’s possible the bolt is hitting the tote hole and not allowing the tote bottom to sit on the flange, allowing the tote to rock and getting loose again. I’ve had to remove some wood on the inside of totes due to interference. Here's drawings for custom totes I make for my planes.

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