Planes restored - Because I can. #1: Planes Restored - Because i can.

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Blog entry by Don W posted 05-16-2011 10:08 PM 2631 reads 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Planes restored - Because I can. series Part 2: Making a knob without a lathe »

Throughout my many years of marriage, my wife has constantly dragging me on her antiquing outings. At some point I decided I needed to find a way to make the time useful. One day while looking over my 3 hand planes and knowing they needed serious tune ups, I started doing a little research. I was hooked at that point. I needed more planes, and I started buying and restoring.

Stumbling onto this site I see that I am far from alone. So, since so many have helped me along the way, I figured I’d give a little back. I’ll try to document as I go, and where I’ve been. I often look over my shoulder and chuckle at the mistakes, but like any good Carpenter, I’ve learned to cover my mistakes. One, two, three, four, five…..yep, still got all fingers.

Professionally I work in technology and travel extensively, so time is often limited. Most of this writing will be evenings spent in a hotel, wishing I was in my shop. Hey, next years bonus may mean a Lie-Nielsen.

My shop started in a converted cow barn back when I was trying to make a living at it. Ceilings were to low, concrete was uneven and it was damp almost year round. Last year I finally built my wood shop, so now I have a place to work. My wife has stopped complaining about the time I spend on the computer and replaced it with the time I spend in my shop. Hey, at least I’m suggesting the flee market outings. It’s a win-win.

Here is the current state of my collection:

Some are restored, some are partially restored, and some just cleaned up and sharpened. All are working.

So far I have a few Stanley-Bailey’s, Miller Falls, a Winchester and Craftsman. I’m looking for a 4 1/2 and a #2, but who knows what I will find next. I’m also hoping to stumble onto a 60 1/2 and a 9 1/2.

I haven’t decided whether to keep using the A5. Its in reasonable shape and #5’s are pretty cheap. I may start a “Just for show” set.

I have this week off before starting a new job next monday, but I have 2 projects to finish up. One is a set of drawers for my new bench, and the other is a rolling cart for my mechanics tool box. A new shop has needs you know!

Back to the shop for now.

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

8 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4307 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 10:18 PM

Nice collection.

We get a lot of 4 1/2s this side of the pond

Welcome to LJ’s

Jamie in a wet rainy midge infested Scotland

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4539 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 10:38 PM

Looking good.
Yes we are more than one here with that infection…
I don’t even want to count my planes anymore.
Best thoughts and good luck on the new job.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4447 days

#3 posted 05-17-2011 04:42 AM

Nice collection. And I am with Mafe “we don’t want to count how many we have”
When someone asks I just say >1<800.

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

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5237 days

#4 posted 05-17-2011 02:14 PM

Nice collection and story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4739 days

#5 posted 06-03-2011 12:42 AM

Have you ever thought of getting new blades like hock or something like that?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

20378 posts in 4018 days

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

I’ve thought about new blades, but the originals seem to be working just fine once sharpened.

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

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4333 days

#7 posted 08-20-2011 05:37 AM

Don, when you start lapping the soles of the planes, do you use a handheld belt sander or a stationary one? Does it matter? After spending hours trying to lap the sole of a plane today with 60 grit sandpaper on a granite tile, I’m ready for a quicker method, at least to get the plane into rough shape.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

20378 posts in 4018 days

#8 posted 08-20-2011 01:26 PM

I have a stationary. I would say it wouldn’t matter but would think it would be harder with a hand held. To be honest, I’ve only had a few that were bad enough to resort to that.

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

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