handplane tote crack - 'not dead yet'

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Forum topic by livewire516 posted 05-18-2019 01:57 PM 279 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 374 days

05-18-2019 01:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vintage plane handplane hand plane repair

There is a partial crack in tote of a Sargent 414 jack plane (no. 5 equivalent). It’s going to be a user – I’m not really trying to restore it.

Part of me says leave it – fix it when it breaks, and use it to make things in the meantime. The other part of me says I’ll be cussing myself when it breaks during a project and I’ll wish I had just taken care of it in the beginning.

If I fix it now, should I complete the break or try and glue it while it’s still in one piece? I appreciate I’ll be better able to have a complete surface if it’s in two pieces, as well as clean it because it’s an oily tropical wood. At the same time, I worry I might it break into more than two pieces!

I appreciate anyone’s input, especially if they contended with something like this before. I know someone started a thread with a similar incomplete crack in their plane handle, but I’ve been unable to find it since through the search function, despite trying a bunch of different search terms.

3 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2281 days

#1 posted 05-18-2019 02:03 PM

Looks like it will make a clean break. If you can open the crack and see the space, then put a wedge in there and either use air or vacuum to push/pull the glue into the crack. The wedge can also help split the wood.


View AdmiralRich's profile


8 posts in 3040 days

#2 posted 05-19-2019 02:09 PM

When I rehab totes, I’ve found the best thing to do is make it a clean break, and use a good quality quick set epoxy, as no matter how much I’ve “de-oiled” rosewood, I’ve had failures over time, and I’ve repaired other glue failures as well. I must have done a hundred of these over the years, as well as horn repairs where I use epoxy as well. I apply a thin coat to both surfaces, not too much to avoid squeezeout.

-- Elvem ipsum etiam vivere

View BlasterStumps's profile


1435 posts in 953 days

#3 posted 05-19-2019 05:04 PM

Unless it is just holding by a small fraction of the wood, I just superglue the crack. The crack in the tote in the OP’s pic is more on the leading side of the tote, I would guess it has been there almost since the tote was made. If I were to question the strength, I would blow it out with an air gun and add some superglue, clean off any excess and clamp it in the woodworking vise until dry. Just my 2 Cents.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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