Newbie: Plane Restoration

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Forum topic by wilbrijo06 posted 11-17-2016 09:47 PM 774 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wilbrijo06's profile


8 posts in 1941 days

11-17-2016 09:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane restoration bailey no 8 question

Hey all,

I have a nice Bailey No. 8. It’s mostly good, but there’s a little ding in the back of the mouth. Looking for some advice on lapping it out. Two questions:

1. Is it small enough to lap out with sandpaper at home?

2. Is it small enough that it won’t affect my work if I just leave it.

Really a beginner here, and don’t know how much contact the wood makes with that part of the mouth.

Thanks guys (and girls). Looking forward to gleaning from all your sage-iness.

14 replies so far

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2106 days

#1 posted 11-17-2016 10:13 PM

I would work that rippled area at the back of the slot with a small sharpening stone and oil.

View Marn64's profile


296 posts in 988 days

#2 posted 11-17-2016 10:51 PM

I wouldn’t worry about a chip at the back of the mouth, especially one that small. What you are really looking for is cracks, especially at the corners of the mouth, as those compromise the structural integrity of the plane. As for lapping, what I do is I take a very fine grit belt sander belt, cut it in half, and clamp it down to a large truly flat surface, like a slab of granite or a long piece of glass. If you cannot afford or find any of those, you can use the edge of your workbench, just make sure you check for squareness with a try square more frequently than you would on granite.
Have fun and good luck!

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View OSU55's profile


1972 posts in 2192 days

#3 posted 11-18-2016 01:44 AM

By the time you lap the sole flat those ripples will be gone. If its very out of flat, use 50-60 grit otherwise a #8 will take a long time. Some passes over 80 then 120 will remove most of the low grit scratches, wax it and go.

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1978 days

#4 posted 11-18-2016 01:47 AM

Marn64’s recommendation is the way I do it. For the rough work, I cut a 6X48 80 grit belt along the seam and stretch the heck out of it on a piece of melamine. Then I stick on some wet-or-dry paper with double-sided tape and use a little water with dish soap for the final stages.

As you make your passes, flip the plane around. I tend to put more pressure on one side than the other so reversing the body evens that out.

You’re going to need a straight-edge to check the sole. It could be as simple as a 2’ aluminum ruler from the BORG. I’ve used high-tolerance precision tool-steel for years. They are close enough to a machinist’s rule accuracy for what I do.

I use these things in assorted lengths for checking fingerboards, bench tops, cutting materials or tolex, lots of stuff. It will help to check flat in low light with the light behind the plane so you can see gaps as you go. With a corrugated sole, you’ll need to lay it between the grooves.

Have fun with it. Skip

PS Rubber gloves will help keep your hands from being black for a couple days, sh

View HokieKen's profile


7127 posts in 1341 days

#5 posted 11-18-2016 02:24 AM

Just lap it flat the way Marn says. That area will take care of itself. A chip behind the blade isn’t an issue. If that area turns out to be too bad, stone it like unbob suggests and save a little pain in the lapping process. The back of the mouth’s primary function is to support the cutting edge.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15701 posts in 2821 days

#6 posted 11-18-2016 02:31 AM

I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like that ding is not as much a chip as a downward-bent something… If that’s the case, I’d actually take a flat file and go across the plane’s sole (LIGHTLY!) and bring it down to the surrounding area before considering any further lapping.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View luthierwnc's profile


146 posts in 1978 days

#7 posted 11-19-2016 12:37 AM

My link only takes you to the homepage. This will work better:

I don’t have the resources to harden or temper a piece of steel this big but even in the annealed state, mine is still dead straight after 20 years. Hardening it would probably warp it anyway. sh

View Don W's profile

Don W

19014 posts in 2770 days

#8 posted 11-19-2016 02:05 PM

I’d sharpen the plane and try it. No need to fix It if it’s not broke.

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5128 posts in 4163 days

#9 posted 11-19-2016 03:47 PM

That “ding” looks as if it is raised from the sole. It DOES need to be flattened, and I’d lightly touch it with a single cut, fine toothed mill file until it is level. Then, lightly polish up the sole as has been suggested.


View wilbrijo06's profile


8 posts in 1941 days

#10 posted 11-20-2016 06:00 AM

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the advice. That ripple in the back of the mouth IS actually raised. It looks like someone hit a nail or something, but it is bent down towards the wood surface. I think I’ll try to lap it first and see how it works. I included a pic below trying to better show how that ripple looks. Also, there’s a pic of my current lapping set up – right now I’m trying to flatten my wet stones. I had been using a flattening plate from Norton, only to realize that the flattening plate wasn’t flat.

This should work with for the plane sole, right? (Minus the flowing water probably)

Also, what do you guys use to “wax” the plane bed? Do you use the same stuff on your irons? I’ve heard of people using paste wax – or bees wax I think. I have some T-9, but don’t know if that would transfer to the wood.

Thanks y’all – really appreciate it. Now – back to those wet stones…

View bandit571's profile


21775 posts in 2886 days

#11 posted 11-20-2016 06:51 AM

Wax the sole of a plane? I just use a plain candle, rub it in a few lines across the sole.

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

View wood2woodknot's profile


97 posts in 2176 days

#12 posted 11-20-2016 09:01 AM

Plain old paraffn works – the kind your mother used for canning. Same on your saw blades.

-- ajh

View HokieKen's profile


7127 posts in 1341 days

#13 posted 11-21-2016 04:28 PM

I wax with parrafin in use. Works wonders. I give it a swipe with a rag soaked in 3-in-1 before I put it back in the till for rust prevention.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JayT's profile


5961 posts in 2413 days

#14 posted 11-21-2016 04:57 PM

I use Johnson’s Paste Wax on the planes. Works fine and is always in the shop anyways. Paul Sellers uses a coil of rag in a tin soaked with 3-in-1 oil.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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