Wooden Plane Question

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Forum topic by ChrisJ posted 12-29-2012 12:31 AM 1748 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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55 posts in 2847 days

12-29-2012 12:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane wooden tool question hand plane hand tool advice

My brother in law found an old wooden hand plane at a garage sale and gave it to me for Christmas. I have been wanting a jointer plane of some sort for a while and even passed one up at a flea market a couple of months ago. This one has seen better days but it’s in one piece, though it’s missing the wedge. I can’t tell exactly what make it is but I’m not really concerned about it. It’s just over 22” long and has a “19” stamped on the front end.

I’ve got some questions and wonder if anyone has any input.

1.) Is this in usable shape, especially with all the cracks? If not, I’m don’t want to spend my limited shop time in an attempt to restore it…
2.) Should I fill the cracks? Will it make a difference? If so, is epoxy the answer?
3.) Aside from making a wedge, flattening the sole, and sharpening the iron, what else is needed (assuming it’s usable)?

Any input would be much appreciated, there’s a lot of stuff on the Internet about restoring planes, but I haven’t found anything with a plane this cracked. I’d love to be able to use it, if possible.


12 replies so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3422 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 11:07 AM

One of the nicer things about woodworking is about using nice hand tools. You said it right, that plane saw better days and or sure it spent years in a garage or barn; the wood is all dried up, specially those cracks around the mouth. I have been making plans recently about making a plane myself, perhaps it could be a nice idea if you can reproduce that plane and honor your brothers’ love. the same iron can be used.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View bandit571's profile (online now)


20265 posts in 2712 days

#2 posted 12-29-2012 02:21 PM

Try giving that wooden body a long soak in Boiled Linseed Oil, aka BLO. Seems the woos is merely “dried out”. Let it soak a while. Sharpen the iron, mate the chipbreaker to the iron, make a new wedge while it soaks up the oil. Might just have a “Brand NEW Plane” when all is done…

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

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2513 days

#3 posted 12-29-2012 06:35 PM

Someone correct me if I’m wrong. As long as the mouth on the sole isn’t cracked, it should be useable, right?

-- Brian Timmons -

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2406 days

#4 posted 12-29-2012 06:44 PM

I think this one is restorable. I haven’t restore an all wood plane but I have restored couple transitional planes.
Bandit’s suggestion is sound. The wood would soakup the BLO. My transitional plane’s crack actual close up a bit.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 12-29-2012 07:47 PM

You can laminate a sub-sole to it if you like. A hard wood
like maple is good for that. The mouth of the sole can
be drilled out and then refined with chisels, rasps and files.

Making a wedge tends to be a trial and error process
because you may break a few before you discover
what shape keeps the iron in shape without having
to be pounded in so hard the wedge gets damaged.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3989 days

#6 posted 12-29-2012 07:55 PM

Bandit nailed it.


View BoxBuilder's profile


129 posts in 3158 days

#7 posted 12-29-2012 08:25 PM

If I were soaking it (good idea BTW) I would use a recipe I got from Sam Maloof. 1 part good varnish, 2 parts linseed oil (BLO) & 3 parts turpentine. Mix & let set overnight. It also makes a very nice oil finish for projects. 1 coat or as many as you like. Been using this for about 20 years & it lasts well as a finish.

-- Richard, Pennsylvania

View Don W's profile

Don W

18756 posts in 2596 days

#8 posted 12-29-2012 08:51 PM

There are many good blogs here to help you threw the restore. If you look threw some that I’ve restored in my projects you’ll see yours is not in bad shape.

I soak mine from both ends. That way you don’t need to have a container big enough for the whole thing.

when I fill the cracks (and it really doesn’t effect performance one way or the other) I mix titebond and saw dust. No reason epoxy wouldn’t work thought.

let use know how its going. We tend to live vicariously through others.

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

View cabbie's profile


64 posts in 2003 days

#9 posted 12-29-2012 09:01 PM

I’ve got one just like this that was given to me by a friend who was cleaning out an old family storage shed.
Mine isn’t cracked as badly, but otherwise is identical.
Let us know how you proceed and if it works. If it does, maybe I’ll take mine off the shelf and resurrect it.

Altadena, CA

-- Jim, Altadena, CA

View Sylvain's profile


708 posts in 2528 days

#10 posted 12-30-2012 06:20 PM

have a look at Superdav’s woodplane 101:

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View bandit571's profile (online now)


20265 posts in 2712 days

#11 posted 12-30-2012 06:30 PM

One of mine…

After spending a whopping one dollar bill (SHEEESH!) and..

after a good cleaning, a couple coats of BLO, and before i made new Beech handles. This is a Stanley #33 @28” long. Now residing in Hawaii….

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

View ChrisJ's profile


55 posts in 2847 days

#12 posted 01-05-2013 04:06 AM

Everyone…thanks for the input, this is my weekend project. I’ll post the results!

Bandit, that’s beautiful!

Sylvain: thanks for the link to Superdav…

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