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Project Information

I recently acquired a 1980's vintage Stanley #5. That means the icky plastic totes! :( And I have a second older #5 with a broken rear tote (probably dyed maple). So time to break out the rosewood and start to work.

Lee Valley tools have basic patterns for the Stanley totes on their web site. However because there have been so many variations on the planes over the years, they are really only starting points. It is best to take some critical measurements off the original tote and sole if possible.

A little drilling, a little milling, some cutting, a lot of rasping, filing and finally sanding to create a replacement tote! I'm right-handed so the angle/radius around the right side is a little less than that on the left as my fingers wrap around. This feel more comfortable. On the back edge, the radii are pretty equal. I've also changed the radius at the toe and the wing. My hand fit better if I opened them up just a little bit from the original. My plane, my comfort! :)

Since this is rosewood, it is naturally oily. For a finish I'm just going to slop on a couple coats of "magic Maloof" (equal parts beeswax, BLO and turpentine) with buffing in between. Tomorrow or the next day I'll do the second coat. The whole point of replacing the plastic tote was to get a nice, warm wooden one. Why seal that with varnish or lacquer?

So next up is to make the front tote (knob). But I need to experiment a little bit to decide if I want the short style or the tall style and get some ideas on diameter. Then after that I can make totes for my other #5. One #5 will have a straight blade (just clipped corners) and the other I will probably set up more like a scrub plane with a slightly more aggressive camber to the blade.

Gallery

Comments

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Good Job they look super.
 

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Great looking tote. I was studying Lee Valley's web site and couldn't find the patterns. Could you give me a little better idea what they are under?
 

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165 Posts
I just picked up a new handle for my 4 at a flee market. Dont look as good as yours.
 
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