Number 2, in my best Dr. Evil Voice

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by ShaneA posted 11-03-2011 10:20 PM 7209 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been bitten by the hand plane bug recently. I used to think I was above such a disease, but alas, I am not. Over the last month it has taken hold. Hopefully it can be contained to a bench plane only type of sickness. My journey is only beginning, at this point the really only successful thing I do well in the hand plane world is pay for them. I see there is a long way to go in my technique and understanding of the tools. I find them interesting because historical reasons, design appeal, and other reasons I dont fully understand yet.

It started with a gift, a #5 Woodriver Jack Plane. To me, a pretty sweet little tool it is shiny and once sharpened and tuned seems to work pretty darn well. Since then I have bought several older Bailey bench planes, mostly 3-5, but I also have added a #220 and a #92. I have read a few books, and looked thru all the forums and projects for inspirational pictures and how to information. I am really in the infant stages of hand plane knowledge, use, and understanding.

The most surprising part of my new sickness has been the restoration/clean up process. When I first started reading and snooping around, I saw myself as someone who would not want to fiddle around with these things, trying to bring them back from the depths of dirt, dust, and disrepair. However, I am working with a pretty limited budget. So a lot of the new shiny offerings are out of my monetary reach at this point. So if I was to be brining home new planes, they needed to be used planes. So the surprising part was that I like the process of trying to bring them back. There are certainly a lot of planes to be found online, which is where I have started my little “collection”.

The most recent one is a Bailey #2. I had taken a couple chances on auctions to buy one of these little guys. I had lost out several times. Sometimes by only a few bucks, sometimes by a bunch. But like anyone with a sickness, I kept after it. About the fifth time that I had tried to buy one, I was successful. A little #2 who needed a new home, and some love. It arrived about a week ago. I knew it had some issues, it was the only way I could bring one into my price range. The tote looked like it had been broken and maybe chewed on by a beaver or two. In the seller’s discription, it said that there was an etching of the owner’s name on the left side. Of course it was pictured from the right. There was a little mystery as to what it would lool like.

When it got to my home, my first thought was it could be worse. I was also taken by how small this plane is in real life. Very compact. I consulted some the hand plane lovers from this site, and with a little advice from them, started to try to bring a little life back to it. The tote may be beyond my level of fixing at this point, but I did my best to get it sanded down and refinished. While not perfect, I think it is improved dramatically. The consensus on the etched name in the side was basically if it will come out with minimal effort, to remove it. However, it was not viewed as a make or break situation. It would not come out with minimal effort, plus it does not bother me as much as I initially thought it would. A little personality, if you will.

So I took it all apart, cleaned, sanded, sharpened, tuned, painted, and fiddled with it. I think I am happy how it came out. I have yet to flatten the sole, but overall, I am pleased at this point. It makes nice shavings and seems to work quite well. I am not sure where the sickness will lead me, but no doubt I have it. I guess everyone has to start somewhere.

I have included some picture of the little plane. Thanks for looking and all the help along the way.

7 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3164 days

#1 posted 11-03-2011 10:55 PM


-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3390 days

#2 posted 11-03-2011 11:03 PM

Yes, job well done… I told you it was worth fixing that tote. Sure you can see the crack but its still a nice looking tote and refinished very well. Its always worth it to try and fix those broken totes.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 3858 days

#3 posted 11-04-2011 02:50 AM

I also was bitten by the same bug, It seems in woodworking you are quite susceptible to this disease.
I got my No 2, reworked it and made a new tote and Knob for it. urns out that I reach for this plane
the most often . I just love my No 2
Nice job

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View ShaneA's profile


7084 posts in 3108 days

#4 posted 11-04-2011 03:47 AM

thanks for the feedback, I also like the #2 best of my current assortment. It is yielding the best results for me at the moment.

Thanks for all the advice Dan,RG, Smitty,Brandon, Al, Don and so many more of you, I am sure I left a couple people out, but consider yourself thanked.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16190 posts in 3128 days

#5 posted 11-09-2011 09:53 PM

Very nice rehab, Shane. When I was assembling a full complement of hand planes, the ‘best one’ I had was always the most recent one. :-) That said, the Stanley #2 (mine’s a Type 13) is simply the best small smoother there is, and can handle small areas of trouble better than anything short of a scraper (tools I haven’t mastered at all up to this point). Mine is tuned as close to ‘angel hair’ as I can get a plane, and it stays there. A wonderful handtool.


-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dave's profile


11434 posts in 3349 days

#6 posted 01-18-2012 04:00 AM

A great refurb. I don’t own a #2 and would like to. Maybe I will be lucky enough to get one one day. And do it as much justice as you have done yours.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 2773 days

#7 posted 06-13-2012 03:50 AM

I understand the desire to get into hand planes, I have a few ah well seven I purchased and need to restore. The #2 looks good great job.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics