Restoring Wooden Planes #1: JACKPOT!! Hmmm...where to start?

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Blog entry by dakremer posted 06-02-2011 02:28 AM 6184 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Here is a video and some pictures of old wooden planes and some shavers (or scrapers, or whatever they are) I found in my neighbors woodworking shop (that he lets me work in). He had them tucked away in a drawer that I’ve never opened. I stumbled upon them today, and felt like I hit the jackpot! He used to be a woodworker, but doesn’t do it anymore (he is now focused on rebuilding/restoring his Dad’s old John Deere tractor). I have sort of “moved in” to his shop, and have kind of made it my own – even though I dont really own any of it – haha.

I’d like to restore these planes…...for him. (who am I kidding….for me). It’d be fun to get some use out of these and at the same time learn how to use them. That way when I’m out of school, and can start my own shop, I can buy some nice planes and already have a little skill and knowledge of them. It would also be nice to to do something like this for my neighbor for being so kind and letting me use his shop – I’m sure he’d like to see them back to their old glory.

Maybe you guys can get me started, or give me some advice. I’ve never done anything like this before, and literally dont even know where to start….What are some methods people use for getting rust off….sharpening blades, etc, etc? Are some of these more worth restoring then others? ANY help (even pointing me in a direction) would be very much appreciated! If I can get enough help, and feel confident about it (since they are not mine) I will start restoring them and make a blog about it, step by step. Even though I have no way of sharpening the blades….maybe a nice LJ would like to receive a couple blades in the mail to sharpen for me….. :) haha

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

17 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3882 days

#1 posted 06-02-2011 02:44 AM

Looks to me like they just need a good oiling, not restoring. You’ll find a couple of blogs on here to walk you through sharpening the irons.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 3807 days

#2 posted 06-02-2011 02:56 AM

The Bedrock #7 (1207) is worth some $. Nice find!

View chrisstef's profile


18133 posts in 4120 days

#3 posted 06-02-2011 02:56 AM

The #4 and #5 look like they would be good candidates for a full on restoration to me but whats got me interested in is that a #7 or #8 in the background and is that a bedrock? That one there may be a real collector … check out patricks blood and gore website to get that one ID’d bro.

I just watched the video … IT IS !!!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20089 posts in 3681 days

#4 posted 06-02-2011 02:57 AM

Be careful restoring these things. It can become very addicting. If you have any doubt, jump over to this thread.

It looks like you have a Bedrock 607 or 608? Search plane restoration here on LJs. Lots of instructions, comments, and guys waiting to help. I think I enjoy tracking these things down and restoring them than actually using them, although that’s pretty cool too.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3768 days

#5 posted 06-02-2011 03:09 AM

I would start on the Block planes if this is you first restore (plane tune up) as they are a bit less work and will give you a taste of what you need to do for the bigger ones. Naval Jelly and hammerlight remove rust if you don’t want to go the electrolysis route. Use adhesive backed sandpaper on a good substrate like plate glass, granite or a jointer table to flatten the soles. Also I recommend using a good side clamping jig (cheap and sold everywhere) to regrind to bevels on the plane blade (lie niesens site has a great tutorial on how to use these to sharpen). If you use the ruler trick on the back of the blade you will save some time but I prefer to get the back flat as it makes future sharpening simpler. Fine woodworking has a vid on tuning up a block plane that you might want to take a look at.

Nice score the the Bed Rock.

Enjoy making shavings and if you have any questions plane nuts like me will be happy to help you.

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

View dakremer's profile


2768 posts in 4205 days

#6 posted 06-02-2011 03:13 AM

How about those shavers or scrapers….are those even woodworking tools? haha. Worth restoring?

I think the hardest thing for me will be sharpening the blades, as he does not have anything to do that with.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3768 days

#7 posted 06-02-2011 03:31 AM

Keep the handles on the drawbridges if you can (though if they wobble break them off and build new ones). If you can’t remove the wood don’t use electrolysis to remove the rust. Drawknives work well with somewhat rounded bevels and backs so this is a really good time for freehand sharpening.

Here’s a good video on the subject of sharpening.

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

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5211 days

#8 posted 06-02-2011 05:12 AM

I would agree – cleanup and not a restore on the planes. The Bedrock Jointer is a high dollar plane. If you clean it wrong could reduce the value of the plane…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 3807 days

#9 posted 06-02-2011 06:15 AM

Nothing like watching Dwight Schrute sharpen a drawknife.

View dakremer's profile


2768 posts in 4205 days

#10 posted 06-02-2011 06:37 AM

Tsangell – I was thinking the exact same thing when I watched this!!! haha

Good video though! – thanks RGtools

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4229 days

#11 posted 06-02-2011 08:28 AM

start with the woodplane …... its a wood-project … :-)
its look like a jack or foreplane and needs a new handle … linsed oil and wax …. maybee some sharpening
and honing
Drawknifes are great both for rough and fine shavings … if you learn to do it right …. LOL

the metal – planes just look like they need a good cleaning and sharpening … maybee a little sole flatning
if there shuold be any rust you can try Hammerite rustremoving Gel .. Brit made a good blog .. rewiew on it
or as I have done Citric acid
Dan made a hole serie of restoring planes …. but serch on L J and you will find many blogs about it
and find several way´s of doing it

good luck on the slippery slope ….. but be aware it can turn into be a new addictive hobby restoring tools :-)


View chrisstef's profile


18133 posts in 4120 days

#12 posted 06-02-2011 02:21 PM

I restored a couple drawknives a while back. What i ended up doing was wrapping a pastic bag around the handles and zip tying it tight and dunking the blade itself into evaporust suspended with some tie wire. I have 2 Witherby’s that came out great. Ive tried hastily to sharpen them but never had real good results. I use them quite a bit to remove heavy dirt and grime off of reclaimed boards.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4173 days

#13 posted 06-03-2011 04:34 AM

For practice, as has already been mentioned, start with the block planes. 1) neither of those block planes are worth much of anything, but you can still use them to learn to sharpen and tune a plane. The Dunlap appears to be a number 4 size which is a handy size for smoothing work. The Stanley Bailey is a good Jack plane size. That old wooden plane is also a good one. Those thick heavy blades on those things are wonderful. Once you get them good and sharp, it will take some of the finest shavings you can imagine and leave a very fine surface behind. As has been mentiioned, that Bed Rock Number 7 is the real jewel of that set. It definitely has some value. No harm in giving it a good cleaning. Someone mentioned the Blood and Gore website. It has some very good information about cleaning up planes. From my perpsective, there is nothing wrong with cleaning them and using them. In my opinion the plane is much more valuable in a usable condition than it is collecting rust and dust on a shelf to look at. All that said, I’m interested in those saws that are hanging on that wall in the background in the video.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4111 days

#14 posted 06-03-2011 06:02 AM

I am envious. A neighbor with John Deere tractors ! and a shop ! and those are nice planes you have found, the large bedrock is worth money do that one right. The others are good to practice on. They will work when tuned properly .

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

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3943 days

#15 posted 06-03-2011 07:15 PM

I’m using a drawknife I got from my uncle to remove the bark of the wood I acquired recently. I’ve just cleaned it up and then sharpened it freehand with an older stone I had lying around (the one I’m using to true up my other stones and for other freehand work, since I don’t mind scratching it up a bit and its harder than my “good” ones). It holds an edge really well and for a long time too. Sharpening it wasn’t really a great deal of work either, since for that kind of work you’re not going to need precision, but just a sharp edge you can quickly hone again if needed.


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