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Cleaning/ repairing wooden planes

Walnutz's picture

All these discussions of late regarding plow planes, dado planes, and hand saws has been really great.  Something we didn't talk about, and I know little about, is what to do with the little gems we come across that need a little work or housekeeping before being put into use.  Some of the topics I'd like to see discussed are:



  1. What solution is best to clean up an old wood plane with dirt and grime?  I've heard rumors of kerosene, but certainly wouldn't want to mess up a few that I'm wanting to clean.

  2. If a plane has loose boxing, how would this be repaired?  Would you simply just re-glue it and clamp it, or is there another tried and true procedure?  What type of glue is used?  Does it matter?

  3. When dealing with a plane like a filletster or dado, how critical is it for the sole of the plane to be flat?  I've got one with rounded corners.  Since it's not a moulding plane, and I wouldn't be changing a profile, would I damage the useability of the plane by planing it flat again? It would seem to me that it would improve the quality of the cut, but I'm not sure.

  4. Is there a good book out there that discusses these and many, many more issues with wooden planes?  Hacks "The Handplane Book"  discusses what they do, but not how to fix them.  He simply states in his book ( I checked again last night) that there are so many planes out there, that one should just move on and find another good user.  Is this really the best option?

My list could go on and on, but I'd like others to contribute what they would want to know, as well as hear from the guys who use woodies all the time to hear their experiences. 


Come on Adam!  Come on Larry!  Lay down those broadswords for a minute and help us out here!


Walnutz

lwilliams's picture

(post #103759, reply #1 of 8)

Oh no--that's the stuff of the other dvd we'll be filming in a few days. It will cover making and tuning wooden planes.

Walnutz's picture

(post #103759, reply #5 of 8)

Larry,


When will  these dvd's be made available to the public.  Will your website discuss exactly what will be covered in these dvd's.  They sound very interesting.


Walnutz


 

lwilliams's picture

(post #103759, reply #6 of 8)

I hope they will be available in June. You won't have any trouble locating them when they're out. Right now I'm more worried that Don and I do the best job we can on our part. We haven't had the time to worry about anything but the scripts and getting every thing we need ready. A lot of work has been done but there's still a lot to get done.

VTAndy's picture

(post #103759, reply #7 of 8)

Larry,
This is going to be wonderful. I'm really looking forward to these DVDs. I just made my first wooden plane and used it for the first time to joint the edges of a tabletop glue-up -- the feel of a wooden plane made the work pleasurable. I made the plane out of hophornbeam and have access to more of it (air-dried), which I'd like to use to make some planes in your style --- so I can hardly wait for the DVD.
Thanks for sharing the exciting news.
Best regards,
Andy

mufti's picture

(post #103759, reply #8 of 8)

          Going back to your post, Mr Goss recommends jointing any plane out of true using winding sticks, with the iron in place but drawn back. Similarly the mouth should not be wide since the use of a cap iron is then defeated.


He also makes the point that the wedge must not be driven tight, the iron being held even when the wedge may be withdrawn by hand.


The iron is of iron overlaid in part with steel and the outline of the cutting edge, unlike that of the chisel, is never straight but curved in measure according to the work. I believe this last is most important since these days so much advice is devoted to straight sharpening. I hope this is of interest.


 

RU34's picture

(post #103759, reply #2 of 8)


I'm not an expert and only have a few years experience with traditional wooden planes but I find myself using and liking them more and more. It has been a trial and error struggle for me with some "aha" moments. I hope this will help.


 


1. A little household ammonia with a scotchbrite pad works well, just don't flood it. Put on a little furniture wax like Butchers to restore a little luster.


2. Re-glue it with hide glue, it is reversible and was most likely used originally. Clean any dirt in the groove or boxing before gluing.


3. I use a batten (temporary fence) on my work to guide the dado plane. The plane side registers off the batten. With the filletster I think it is more important that the blade cuts level and square to the fence. Unless the corners are really bad I would leave them alone. You could plane it flat and square and glue on some hard wood like dogwood and call it boxing!


4. I highly recommend John Whelan's two books. One deals with the history and what they are used for and the other one guides you through building various planes. If you plan on using vintage wooden planes it would be a good idea to get Pollack's book on identifying American planes. You wouldn't want to booger up a valuable or historically important plane. I wish the British Planemakers book was still available.


Paul Dzioba

pzgren's picture

(post #103759, reply #3 of 8)

Walnutz,


  <<Is there a good book out there that discusses these and many, many more issues with wooden planes?  Hacks "The Handplane Book"  discusses what they do, but not how to fix them.  He simply states in his book ( I checked again last night) that there are so many planes out there, that one should just move on and find another good user.  Is this really the best option?>>


  Take a look at Mike Dunbar's Restoring, Tuning, and Using Classic Handtools. The chapters on restoring both metal and wooden hand planes are quite detailed and thorough.




.


Tschüß!



James


 


"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that...."


 


--A.C. Clarke

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Tschüß!

James

 

"The end does not justify the means. No one's rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others."

-- Ayn Rand

mufti's picture

(post #103759, reply #4 of 8)

           From the view that books written at the time the tools were in common use, Spons Mechanics Own Book of 1893 is very helpful whilst Bench Work in Wood by W.F.M. Goss of Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana gives very straightforward advice from 1887. These books cost me £5 and £3 respectively so do not assume their likes are beyond reach.