Rehydrating a plane tote

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Forum topic by skcj213 posted 04-22-2015 07:00 PM 691 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 888 days

04-22-2015 07:00 PM

Ok all of you vintage plane experts. Last fall my loving wife obtained a Type 11 Stanley Bailey #5 for me at an auction for $1. The only thing wrong, other than needing a good cleaning, was the rosewood tote was broke into 2 pieces and mounting rod bent. I am assuming it was dropped. I was able to straighten the rod, but the tote may be beyond repair.

As luck would have it, she found another #5 at an auction last week, paid $5 this time. This one was very rusty with the iron being severely pitted, but the tote was in one piece, unfortunately it isn’t rosewood. I typed this one to a 16, I believe, 1946-1947, the tote had a black finish on it that is almost completely chipped off.

My question is about how to rehydrate the tote? It is extremely dry to the point that I believe it would likely break if I tried to use it.

FWIW, I am going to try to epoxy the rosewood tote back together to see if I can salvage it as well.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

8 replies so far

View bandit571's profile


14085 posts in 2106 days

#1 posted 04-22-2015 07:18 PM

Haven’t run into THAT problem on any of might try an overnight soak in Boiled Linseed Oil, aka BLO. Or just keep appling coats until it stops soaking in. Then buff with a wax.

Might check with Eric @ He runs a”parts store” on Ebay. IF he doesn’t have what you want IN stock, he usually can get too. Fast shipper,BTW

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

View skcj213's profile


27 posts in 888 days

#2 posted 04-22-2015 07:31 PM

Thanks for the comment bandit. I have seen several for sale on ebay for $20-$30. Honestly, a #5 is not worth much more than that from what I can tell. I downloaded a pattern to make one off of If I can’t revive this one I will likely take a crack a making a replacement.

View chrisstef's profile


15482 posts in 2429 days

#3 posted 04-22-2015 07:47 PM

Before you lay epoxy on the broken tote, drill a handful of baby holes into it so the epoxy has something to “grab” to. Ive epoxied plenty back together and they’ve all held up just fine so far.

Id go with BLO as stated by the bandit.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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27 posts in 888 days

#4 posted 04-22-2015 11:02 PM

Chrisstef, thanks for the tip. I’ll do that.

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1412 days

#5 posted 04-23-2015 12:46 AM

If you like the standard Stanley tote design, then use the dwgs from LV. I have some redesigns here using the LV dwgs if you’re interested in a thicker, larger tote.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2254 posts in 700 days

#6 posted 04-23-2015 01:14 AM

For what is worth I have repaired all my totes, handles and knobs using titebond II and so far have had no trouble. Sometimes I cut the broken tote so that has nice clean faces and sandwich a piece of mahogany or (rosewood if I have it) in between the two halves.

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View TheFridge's profile


5682 posts in 909 days

#7 posted 04-23-2015 01:25 AM

Wenge, mahogany, walnut. That’s what I’ve repaired mine with. I kinda like my frankentotes. Tb2 or 3 has work fine for me too.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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27 posts in 888 days

#8 posted 04-24-2015 02:12 AM

Thanks all for your responses. I think I will try to repair the original and revive the second. Never hurts to have a spare.

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