Hand Tool Cabinet - Start To Finish #2: Rehabbing Craftsman Block Plane for future dovetail work

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Blog entry by Holbs posted 05-18-2015 03:18 AM 1370 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Preparation Part 2 of Hand Tool Cabinet - Start To Finish series Part 3: Dovetail practice »

One of the requirements for dovetailing, is to use a smoother plane or block plane to knock down the pins (or tails… unsure!). So I went to work on rehabbing a craftsman block plane I pick up recently. Mind you, I did not do a restoration like Doug did in his restoration project: . One day, yes :) But for now, just need a 100% operational block plane for this hand tool cabinet. This would be the first rehab plane I’ve ever done. I am sure mistakes were made.
First, flattening the sole. Wow…this took alot of trial and error. Ended up having much better results on 80grit 8”x10” sandpaper than I did on my 120grit diamond stones. I assume it’s because of the square area for each stroke is much larger on sandpaper than a smaller diamond stone…or maybe 80grit is much faster than 120grit.
Luckily, I had a 8”x10” engineering granite plate ($5 from auction, of course!).
Here is a picture of the 4 planes I recently acquired:

And a picture showing how the sole used to look:

OK…was a good learning experience. Many more planes to tackle down the road, so best get alot of sandpaper! Next up, working the iron blade. Flattening the back was a challenge because so dinky in my big hands. Needed a solution. Aha! My dial indicator magnetic base! Worked all thru the grits (80, 120, 220, and 400).

For the sharpening of the blade, I did use my diamond stones and veritas mkii jig. Used 120,240,400,600,1200 (I know I didnt have to go above 240…but wanted to see the results). And set at 30degree angle (this might be wrong, will find out eventually). Tried to emulate the Paul Sellers way of doing planes & blades. Hand sharpened at the end using the lift up method and feathering the sides.

So now I have 1 serviceable block plane. Doesn’t look too pretty. That will come one day.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

2 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3801 days

#1 posted 05-18-2015 12:13 PM

I like the fact you are taking the time to rehab tools. This gives you a real idea of “how & what” the tools will do. MOST people do not do this.
Tools do NOT have to be pretty to be functional. Some people have the pretty tool sitting on the shelf and NEVER gets used, others have tools in their tool box that always get used.
I like old tools, so for me to take the time and remove the rust is always a joy.
Keep posting your journey . Always enjoyable to read.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3608 days

#2 posted 05-18-2015 01:07 PM

You’re a re-hab artist, Holbs.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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