Repairing a hand plane's split handle

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Forum topic by Hereswhatidid posted 03-20-2011 11:10 PM 4562 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Hereswhatidid's profile


1 post in 3225 days

03-20-2011 11:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane restore repair split handle epoxy

I picked up 6 old Stanley planes off of eBay and after verifying they aren’t especially valuable I’m taking a turn at restoring them to working order. One thing I noticed with two of the planes is that the handle has been split about halfway up. The original owner put a nail through the handle to keep it steady but it does wiggle a bit. I’d like to more thoroughly repair the split but I think I’d like to keep the nail where it is as it kind of adds some cool history to the tool. I was thinking I could possibly pull the split apart slightly and then inject some kind of epoxy in between the pieces to really cement them together. Any particular brand/method that works good for this? I’m very much a beginner so any advice is much appreciated, thanks!

-- Gabe, Minnesota,

6 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8351 posts in 3976 days

#1 posted 03-21-2011 12:18 AM

That looks like a fairly clean break. I’m no expert but I’ve repaired two handles successfully just using wood glue and some clamping pressure.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View HorizontalMike's profile


7804 posts in 3515 days

#2 posted 03-21-2011 02:35 AM

What knotscott says,but what I did was go ahead and make a complete clean break first. Then use the wood glue and clamps. Worked on the one I had to re-glue.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TheDane's profile


5724 posts in 4264 days

#3 posted 03-21-2011 02:55 AM

I had a similar problem with my Dad’s No 5.

To repair it, I made a clamping jig out of a piece of 1/4” threaded rod (about 8” in length), some washers and nuts, and a couple of scraps of oak.

I cut the oak on the bandsaw to match the profile of the top and bottom of the tote and give me parallel edges for clamping.

I used Titebond I, inserted the rod through the tote, and tightened the nuts to get clamping pressure. Worked like a charm.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Dave's profile


11434 posts in 3441 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 04:38 AM

After gluing, you could carefully dowel it from the bottom or through the existing nail hole. If you want to get fancier inlay a dutchman across the problem area.

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

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3481 days

#5 posted 03-21-2011 05:37 AM

You could make it even easier. What I have done is glue the broken area and then reattach the handle to the plane using the handle bolt as the clamp. The pressure from the handle screw is more then enough to fix the crack. I have done this on 3 of my planes and its worked out perfect. Its a lot easier then trying to clamp it another way.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View marcfromny's profile


45 posts in 3960 days

#6 posted 03-22-2011 02:42 AM

I would dowel it through the nail hole also. you can even sink the dowel lower or drill a tiny bit out and use some scrapings from the underside of the handle to fill the hole for color. Here is a link to my nail fix, the crack is visible too much but it is solid. MF 9

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