Restoring a Mathieson infill plane.

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Forum topic by NateX posted 12-06-2014 09:33 PM 2374 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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98 posts in 2966 days

12-06-2014 09:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane question

I just found a Mathieson infill plane at an estate sale this morning for the right price so I took it home. I would love to get this plane back to useful condition, but it definitely needs some help. It has some damage to the tote, but otherwise it looks pretty good! There is some minor pitting on the sole and a decent patina of surface rust. The iron needs some electrolysis but it looks to be in fair condition as well. I have restored several old iron planes with great results. Electrolysis has worked really well and I also have used chemical rust removers. I would love to keep the patina but I don’t think electrolysis is an option with this tool. Anyone here ever tried to restore one of these?

A refined tool from a more civilized age.

I identified it as a no. 843

The sole looks ok.

Still works!

8 replies so far

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5849 posts in 3555 days

#1 posted 12-06-2014 09:47 PM

I look forward to seeing this during restoration and when done.I have done several.I was told this tip by an old boy./try it it works really well.Take a stone used for sharpenning plane blades wet it and removing the blade run back and forth over the stone with the sole held at an angle.I eventually comes up like brand new no electrolysis required for this but I would highly suggest you do it on the body anyway and then lightly sand it to bring it back to life.I bet it will be beautiful.And oh the handle some will suggest repairing it I would use it as a template and make another in the old style.Unless you can get a perfect match with the grain and colour.Have slow fun take it east and as Irving my school pal says cool yer beans laddie.LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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Don W

18686 posts in 2537 days

#2 posted 12-07-2014 12:03 AM

I don’t usually use anything but a wire wheel for the blade. I’ve found some of the steel in irons tend to pit when you do.

Here is one I restored,

That’s going to be a great piece when your done!

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

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Derek Cohen

369 posts in 3938 days

#3 posted 12-08-2014 11:24 AM

Several years ago I completed a complete restoration (from bare shell) of a Spier. The journey of the restoration is here:

It went from an un-handled to a handled plane.

This is how it turned out …

This was published in a recent Fine Woodworking magazine.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

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98 posts in 2966 days

#4 posted 12-08-2014 07:39 PM

Wow Derek, that restoration came out beautifully. Infact, if you google “infill plane restoration” your blog is one of the first results! I don’t know if i need to take the restoration to quite the degree you did, the plane you had was fairly useless in its found state. I’m taking my time, i just gently washed everything with a sponge and warm soapy water, I think I’ll be able to make some progress later with some mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool. I’ll post pics as they come and I’ll probably make a blog post on here once i really get things going.

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98 posts in 2966 days

#5 posted 12-23-2014 07:32 PM

Well, I think its all done. Here are my results! Kept it looking old instead of making it look perfect.

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Don W

18686 posts in 2537 days

#6 posted 12-23-2014 07:35 PM

how does it work?

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

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10283 posts in 3617 days

#7 posted 12-23-2014 08:32 PM

You suck if you got it for less than $100.

(btw I once bought a Bedrock #4 for $3 at an
estate sale and 10 1/2 for something like $5
at another).

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98 posts in 2966 days

#8 posted 12-24-2014 01:12 PM

I won’t be able to test it out for a week or so what with the holidays. I got it for $50!!

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