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Thread: Millers Falls tote loose.....long post

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Couv, Washington
    Posts
    113

    Millers Falls tote loose.....long post

    Hi everyone.
    First post here in the neanderthal section. I am another one sliding blissfully down the slippery slope of vintage tools!!
    I am pleased to say I have acquired some planes in my relatively new woodworking experience.
    I have a Stanley 9 1/2, a Stanley #5 type 14 and my newest purchase is a Millers Falls #9C.
    My question is on the tote on the Millers Falls.
    Its in good shape and not cracked or broken. But it is loose. When I tighten down the bolt that runs through the back of the tote it still is loose and has some lateral play in the front. No bolt or bolt hole for the front part of the tote is provided.
    As seen in the pic, it has a raised area or pin that sticks into the front heel of the tote. Since the hole in the tote is quite larger than the pin, it allows some free movement in the tote after being tightened.
    Is this common on these or is there some type of fix that maybe some of you with similar planes or with a #9 have came up with?
    I really dont want and play in it for fear of it cracking or breaking. OTOH if thats the way they are and this movement keeps the tote from being too tight then I will leave it alone.
    I did read something onnline somewhere about filing some of the threaded end down to provide more tightness but not sure I want to do that.
    Really would prefer a tight grip instead of looseness.
    Let me know if you guys have any ideas on this......

    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Posts
    3,134
    Fill the hole with epoxy & re-drill it smaller so it will fit the pin tight. Or hand make your handle like I did for my #22 which is similar to a Stanley #7.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
    Posts
    2,449
    Not familiar with Miller Falls, but how about a washer under head of the screw? It will probably stick up a bit at the top of the tote. The only thing is, if you do manage to tighten it (whether you shortening the bolt by filing the end or placing washers under the head, you may need to loosen it when winter is over or you could crack the tote. Depending on your shop climate, totes tend to loosen during the winter (dry) and tighten during the summer (humid). If your shop swings thru these climate cycles you need to be aware of this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    A couple of things come to mind.
    with the mounting rod removed, check to see how flat the bottom of the tote seats against the casting. If it wobbles front to back or side to side, you'll need to file or shave off some area on the bottom of the tote until it seats tightly without any wobble. Once it's seated tightly, take another pass or two with the file on the middle third of the bottom of the tote, effectively creating a "sprung joint" that won't loosen up with time.

    If it's not the tote seating, then it might be that the threaded rod is too long. If that's the case, efforts to snug it down even more might risk pushing it through the bottom of the casting. I've seen several planes with a hole in this area where owners got too ambitious with the screw driver, punching a hole right through the bottom. Cast iron is relatively soft and brittle compared to the steel threaded rod. You could shim the top with a washer as someone suggested, but that might put the brass nut taller than the tote. The best solution here is to shorten the threaded rod by a couple of threads.

    I guess there is the chance that the rod simply doesn't have enough threads on the bottom end, limiting how deep you can tighten it. If that's the case, check the other end - see if flipping it over might solve the problem. If that doesn't do it, you'll either need to cut threads further in from the end of the rod, or find another rod that will work.

    Tightening up the dimple hole is a good thing too. The epoxy trick should do the trick.

    I'm with you - i hate a loose tote. It feels sloppy, and i'm always afraid of breaking or that the wear will continually make it worse. Do what you can to tighten it up.

    All that said, you've got a nice plane there. One thing about them - the hinged lever cap is great with the thin steel blades. On some of my old Stanleys and Records, i bought thicker aftermarket blades or chip breakers to hold the blade stiffer. There's really no need for this on the Millers Falls because their hinged lever cap does the same thing. It's a fairly chatter free plane. The one foible would be that the lever cap design sometimes requires tighter setting of the lever cap to hold the blade snugly during use. Apparently they knew this was a problem because the cast iron depth adjustment yokes kept breaking (earliest version of the plane) and they quickly replaced the cast yokes with pressed steel ones. This is all fine, but it does mean that it will require more force on the adjustment knob to move the blade.

    Just make sure, on all hand planes, to set the lever cap pressure just tight enough to hold the blade from shifting during use - no tighter.

    Those are nice planes - should last a long time.

    Paul Hubbman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Couv, Washington
    Posts
    113

    Smile

    Thanks for your reply Paul,Bart and Bill.
    The bottom of the tote is not flat at all.
    I think at this point both flattening the bottom of the tote and reworking the hole for the dimple is the best way.
    I am so leery of breaking the tote or knob. This one has nice ones of both and I want it to stay that way.
    Thanks for the heads up on the lever cap!
    I will proceed very cautiously...........
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    sounds good.
    let us know how it works out.
    paulh

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The Couv, Washington
    Posts
    113
    I have an update.
    I thought about it and decided to make a shim out of some scrap I had in the shop.
    First I took a piece of poplar and made a round plug for the indentation on the bottom of the tote. Then I fit it and glued it in.
    Second, I resawed a piece of oak and made it the same size as the tote bottom.
    Sanded it about where I thought it needed to be and drilled a front and rear hole.
    Attached it to the tote and fitted it up. Seems to be what she needed.
    Nice and tight.
    Gonna order up some hide glue and attach it.
    Should be good once I get it glued on.
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

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