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Thread: Wooden Planes

  1. #1

    Wooden Planes

    Just obtained several old wooden planes. They seem to be complete or nearly so. I know how to take care of the blades and backer, but the wood parts restoration leaves me not wanting to ruin anything. Ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,582
    Pics would be nice, and are you going to use them, daily or collect them (both are fine by me, just need your info on what YOU want to do).

    Did I say pics....?
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,265
    I only have a couple of woodies but I didn't want to do anything to the wood to loose the patina it had developed. Sanding the sole on one to flatten it a bit but that was it. Just used them as they were.

  4. #4

    Wooden Planes

    These planes are pretty dirty and dried out. The metal parts are rusty but the cutting edges are surprisingly sharp. Pics would be nice and I guess I need to figure that part of this process of communication. I imagine I will display them in my shop. I have a pretty good array of more modern Bailey style planes with vintages ranging from the 1940's to present. These wooden planes are quite interesting from a historical point of view. I think all of them are capable of being restored to usable condition without too much effort.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    Posts
    290
    Hi Owen,

    Restoring woodies is fairly straight forward. You can use a hand cleaner such as Go-Jo, which is available from about any auto parts house, to clean the wood. If use judiciously, it will clean without taking all the color years of sweat and grime has produced.

    You can then use BLO or something like Watco clear to reintroduce moisture into the wood. Just make sure to not have the iron in the plane as any swelling can make a snug wedge very tight. Also, make sure to allow the planes to equalize in moisture content before you oil them up, and before flattening the soles.

    If one is a smoother sized plane and the mouth is open further than is applicable, you can let in a mouth piece to close the mouth up a bit. This is a very period appropriate method of repairing the front of the mouth. Planes longer than 14" don't need a tight mouth.

    So a little cleaning and flattening, cleaning the iron, oiling the plane will make them good usable planes.

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

  6. #6

    Wooden Planes

    Mike,
    Thanks for the info. Seems straightforward. I have been away for the week in Louisville KY working. Sorry not to respond sooner.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    Posts
    290
    No worries, Owen. If you get to a part which concerns you or requires a little surgery, just give a holler. I typically am here in the mornings and evenings [my time zone, that is] so I'll see the post at some point during the day.

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

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