how do you store your TS /MS blades and hand planes?

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Forum topic by rustedknuckles posted 11-25-2009 03:16 PM 3990 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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160 posts in 4725 days

11-25-2009 03:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

Thinking back to my early years in the trades; I remember something my boss told me about storing TS blades. I was changing a blade in the saw and had set the old one down on the table, he came along with a small block of wood, picked up the blade, set the block on the table then laid the blade on the block. He told me that this would prevent chipping the teeth, and make it easier to pick the blade up when I was done. I never forgot that and to this day I always do this.

When I was in trade school it was drilled into our heads to never set a plane down on it’s shoe, always lay it on its side. We were also drilled on storing the plane with the blade fully retracted, once again I never forgot that lesson. I now tend to judge a craftsman on these two things (perhaps wrongly so). The care he/she lavishes on his cutting edges has a direct correlation to the quality of work they produce.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

9 replies so far

View Timberwerks's profile


373 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 11-25-2009 03:22 PM

I set my plane down on it’s side but it’s not always the safe thing to do. It’s real easy to brush against the blade and get a bad cut.


View rwyoung's profile


412 posts in 4446 days

#2 posted 11-25-2009 05:09 PM

opening can of worms…

Table saw blade – I agree, set the blade down on a piece of wood so you don’t bang the carbide on the table top. And sliding a blade on the cast metal (or even granite) top of the saw is bad. The block of wood trick pretty much solves both problems.

Plane blade – If you are in control of your own benchtop and keep it clean (I don’t mean surgically clean, just that it doesn’t have a bunch of crud ground into it or 100% covered by other tools, 80% covered in tools is fine…) then setting the plane down on its sole on a wooden bench won’t hurt the plane. However, I try not to STORE the plane long term this way. Instead I do two things, one I have a bunch of sheet magnets cut so I can stick them to the sole over the blade and two I prop up the toe a little bit. The propping up isn’t so much for protecting the blade (the sheet magnet – think cheap refrigerator magnet) is doing that, the propping up seems to help keep a little air flow around the sole so it doesn’t rust in humid conditions (summer time for me). The rust prevention issue may be a non-starter, just never tested the theory. And I’ve moved up the building of a wall hung plane till on my to-do list.

To me, retracting the blade fully is a waste of time. I already had it set, why mess that up? Unless I’m planning to work on the plane or pack it with some other tools to go somewhere I leave the blade set where it was.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View PurpLev's profile


8642 posts in 4622 days

#3 posted 11-25-2009 05:57 PM

I store my TS blades on a hook/screw on the wall – teeth are not touching anything.

I store my handplanes on their sides on a small shelf (per plane) that has a 1/8” step in the back which keeps the plane 1/8” away from the back of the cabinet so the blade does not have contact with anything:

storing handplane

I blogged it here:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dano46's profile


86 posts in 4143 days

#4 posted 11-25-2009 05:59 PM

I never retract the blade on my planes because I am naturally lazy, however without thinking they always end up on there sides. The board under the saw blade is a good idea. Never would have thought of it.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 4725 days

#5 posted 11-25-2009 06:01 PM

Perhaps I should clarify the plane thing, we were taught to store the plane, blade retracted, when you were done for the day or done using the plane. You lay it on it’s side if you need to set it down for a moment. Oh BTW my work bench is at that 80% point right now and it never seems to get much better, but thats my style I guess. I guess my instructors would disagree with you that setting it on its sole does not hurt the blade, since I’ve gotten into the habit of doing that I couldn’t say one way or the other. I really like the magnet idea.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 4725 days

#6 posted 11-25-2009 06:28 PM

Barry, I’d say you’ve got a substantial investment in your planes and take very good care of them. Without looking at pictures of your shop I would bet you have the kind of set up people like me could only hope to acheive. I used to have a basement set up and I don’t think your rust prevention is over kill at all. My current shop is quite dry but I still have Silica bags every where. I make them from paper towel and that silica gel cat litter. They work great.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 4581 days

#7 posted 11-26-2009 05:21 AM

I store my TS blades in a cheap plywood holder with 45 degree kerfs cut in it that’s screwed to the wall. Nice and handy, and I haven’t beaned myself on the blades yet anyways.

Planes are either kept on their sides, or in cubbies that have small slats at each end to keep the blade off the surface.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4500 days

#8 posted 11-26-2009 07:36 AM

I use a magnet from an old speaker with a drawer handle attached to pick up and move my TS blades. I also use two old record racks, (ya got to be a bit old to remember records) and store my extra blades as the records were stored.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 4725 days

#9 posted 11-26-2009 03:37 PM

Barry, the stuff I use is a store brand, just check out the pet supply section of your grocery store.
Dylan, I use the exact same storage system for my blades too, I inherited it with the shop when we bought the house, worked for him for 60 years, and it works for me.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

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