Old Wooden Plane

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Forum topic by panamint posted 04-19-2013 09:40 PM 1830 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 3328 days

04-19-2013 09:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wooden plane

I have an old wooden plane that was given to me and I am looking for info on it. It has been repaired with a patch on the bottom with a wood dowel holding the patch, but it has come loose. I want to make sure I am not going to ruin it by cleaning it. It is 30” long and a little over 3” wide with a 2 1/2” iron made by Buck Brothers.
What type of plane is it?
Is it worth anything?
Should I fix the patch and repair the broken handle/
What to clean it with and what to put in it after its clean/
Thanks Scott


7 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19728 posts in 3454 days

#1 posted 04-19-2013 09:50 PM

you won’t ruin it by cleaning it. I’d reglue the patch. It was put there to shorten the mouth gap. Either repair or rebuild the handle.

It looks like its missing the diamond button on the front as well. That’s there to tap with your hammer to move the blade back. Make one out of some good hard wood.

Buck Bros was a good source of irons in those days.

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

View JayT's profile


6413 posts in 3097 days

#2 posted 04-19-2013 10:01 PM

A wooden jointer in that shape is not worth a lot as far as money, but could be made into a decent user. It would take some work, but you would have a nice tool and story when done.

For the process, Dan has a several posts in his blog that might be useful. One on adding an inlay to close the mouth should be able to help with reworking the patch. Or you could add a sole plate to get a similar result.

I’ve wiped down my wood bodied planes with mineral spirits to clan off the dirt and crud. You could then do more with very light passes on a jointer for the sole and sides, if necessary or just a light sanding. For a finish after you have it ready to do, boiled linseed oil is usually the choice. Someone had a pic of actually standing a wooden body on end in a tub of BLO thinned with mineral spirits and allowing it to wick up as much as possible for a day, then turning it over and doing it for the other end, in addition to wiping it down. That might have been DonW, but I don’t recall for sure.

For the tote, I’d say you could try to patch it, but I’d probably just cut off the broken parts, smooth it out and end up with an open tote instead of a closed one.

There will surely be others along with suggestions and advice, as well.

Good luck and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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444 posts in 3144 days

#3 posted 04-19-2013 10:39 PM

I wouldn’t recommend the tub of BLO. If the oil is old or of low quality you could have oil leaking out of that thing forever! Plus it will make your plane quite heavy. A plane that long is plenty heavy. I usually finish my woodies with some amber shellac and call it a day. Most bench woodies have little value as a collectors item. If you want to get more info on the plane look at the very ends at the end grain and look for a stamp. That will tell you who made the body of the plane. Back in the day one company would make the blade and another would make the body.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10724 posts in 4534 days

#4 posted 04-19-2013 10:57 PM

Not worth a lot but it looks like a good user. My jointer
is wood and about the same size. I made it.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2848 days

#5 posted 04-20-2013 12:03 AM

Dave from these forums saw a guy recommending Mendota plane polish, 3 equal parts mixture of murphys oil soap, BLO, and paste wax, to clean wooden planes with. Here's his video on cleaning some planes from the show your restoration thread. Yours doens’t look too grimy, but you have a couple spots you might want to try that or mineral spirits or turpentine on.

As mentioned above if you can find the maker’s mark you can confirm whether this is a valuable plane, but it looks well used so it’s unlikely to have collectors value anyway.

Oh, and here's some good information on wooden planes well.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2848 days

#6 posted 04-20-2013 04:12 PM

Forgot to mention, what’s obvious to some. If you have a real collector’s plane or tool, you really shouldn’t clean it unless you thoroughly know what you’re doing. Pretty much any cleaning short of what a museum curator would do will reduce its value a lot. Of course, you’re unlikely to happen on that rare of a collectors item. Does happen though.

View panamint's profile


46 posts in 3328 days

#7 posted 04-20-2013 05:08 PM

Thanks for all the info.


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