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How can I attach the tote on an old wooden plane?

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Forum topic by WoodThings posted 547 days ago 1090 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WoodThings

5 posts in 548 days


547 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: plane old wooden tote handle

I have an old wooden plane made by Ohio Tool Co. It is 26” long and has no number stamped on it. It is missing the tote or handle which I am currently making out of oak. There are a couple of holes, each about 3/8” deep, suggesting the use of screws, on the leading end in the bottom of the 1” deep trough into which the tote will be inserted. As far as I can tell, any photos which I have found on the web of planes at all similar to mine show no visible attachment mechanism. How do I attach the tote?


10 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1584 days


#1 posted 547 days ago

A picture would be helpful. Can you post one?

-- Mike

View Benvolio's profile

Benvolio

134 posts in 564 days


#2 posted 547 days ago

they’re usually mortised in.

this shows you quite well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsN-cyq6wT4

-- Ben, England.

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WoodThings

5 posts in 548 days


#3 posted 546 days ago

Mike,
You asked for photos and it’s taken me awhile to figure out how to do it.

Here are four photos showing the mortise with what appears as two screw holes.

This photo shows the tote being tipped into the mortise which must be done from the back first because the back of the mortise and my tote angle back as it goes downward.

I made my tote out of at least forty year old aged oak which I chose because of some age cracks and weathering which I thought would go better with this old plane. I’m not sure that was the best choice because it’s a little too age cracked. I need to do a little more sanding but not being a great craftsman, it probably won’t be much more. I have not yet put oil or any other finish on it. Unless advised otherwise, I may put a transparent stain on it and a coat of linseed oil.

Benvolio had a link to a good video where the fellow was gluing in the tote. I’m reluctant to do that because there is no indication that the first one was glued in. Mine won’t be authentic I know, but I also don’t want to stray too far.

I prefer to keep the old look of experience which this plane carries, but I would like to know from others if they think I should sand down the plane to new wood and fill the holes which look to me as if they were from insect damage, maybe even before the plane was manufactured.

I am open to suggestions on a finish. The plane was very dry and fairly light in color. I did not clean it first but just rubbed a coat of sunbleached linseed oil on it which gave it a much deeper color. I used sunbleached because I had sunbleached from artist’s paint materials and not because I thought it was better. If I should keep it as it is with just oil, should I also coat it with paste wax, which I have read to do?

I tell my wife “I may not be good, but I am slow.”

Years ago I read the quote of someone “Bad spellers untie.”

View mariva57's profile

mariva57

443 posts in 637 days


#4 posted 545 days ago

Hello,WoodThings
in my forum you can see the restoration of my planers
hand.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6925 posts in 1546 days


#5 posted 545 days ago

I am going to suggest to you that that hole is for a “tenon” and NOT the entire tote to slip into. My opinion only, but that tote just looks to small/narrow. Here is my 1860s, non-prison labor, 22in Auburn wooden plane (remember Auburn eventually merged with Ohio Tool:



http://www.horizontalheavens.com/auburn_tool_co_22in_Jointer.htm

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1584 days


#6 posted 545 days ago

Woodthings, looks good to me. I have a plane with the exact same mortise style for the tote. Some of them had a screw in the front of it and it appears that yours did at one time. That tote absolutely fit entirely into the tenon which provides maximum strength. The strength of the tote cannot be made stronger by making it oversized as its strength is dictated by the mortise area. That is unless you were to make it with the grain running perpendicular to the plane body and totes are not constructed that way. The tote fits entirely in because you want the full strength provided by the handle which would make it less likely to shear off due to the forces encountered when planing. The plane in the above pictures has the same method of tote installation.

Here are couple of wood bodied planes with similar totes:

This plane is a Mathieson about 18” long, not sure of it’s age. Here it is with the tote removed. You can clearly see that the tote is not tenoned. The full width of the tote fits into the mortise. The darker plane seen above is a fore plane, about 18” long. You can see that the tote is fashioned the same way.

Yours looks like it is up to the task. Good Job!

-- Mike

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6925 posts in 1546 days


#7 posted 545 days ago

Why is the opening of the handle BELOW the level of the sole? I do NOT understand…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1584 days


#8 posted 545 days ago

Since I no longer can edit my post, the third sentence in the first paragraph should read:

That tote absolutely fit entirely into the mortise which provides maximum strength.

Sorry for the confusion.

-- Mike

View WoodThings's profile

WoodThings

5 posts in 548 days


#9 posted 544 days ago

HorizontalMike,
Good question about the opening of the handle being below the level of the sole. Quite frankly I hadn’t noticed it. The bottom of the curve of the opening is actually on the same level as the top of the plane (I didn’t know it’s called a sole), but you are right, it is lower on the sides of the tote at the bottom of the curve, and that allows us to see a little of the top of the mortise as we peer through the opening to the opposite side. I probably should not have rounded to the sides of the opening. I might raise the entire tote up a little to make it look better.

Paratrooper34/Mike
Your photos of the tote which has the concave curve in the front with the screw surely looks like my answer. That would place one screw in a location at least close to where my screw holes are. The back would be held in by the sloping of the back of the mortise and of the tote. Now I am thinking whether or not I want to reshape the front of my tote to look like or similar to what you show.

I was also interested that you said in your email to me: “That tote absolutely fit entirely into the mortise [you clarified that you didn’t mean “into the tenon”] which provides maximum strength.” The width of the tote is comfortable to my hand and if it were wider as would be necessary in a mortise and tenon, I think the tote would lose that comfort.

Mariva57
I read that you live “about 100 km from Venice”. We love Italy. We were there in 2011. I didn’t think I would like Venice. Wow what a beautiful city! I was thrilled to be proven wrong. If our good and gracious God lets us be wrong to teach us humility, he certainly gives me lots of learning opportunities.

—Woodthings

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6925 posts in 1546 days


#10 posted 544 days ago

Looks like “para” Mike has the graphic answer. Nice shots of a restore of this particular type of tote.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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