Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tuned-Up Tool - Antique Hand Planes

I spent most the day fixing up a couple of old hand planes. Both came from Threads of Memories in Brookings, SD. Of all the hand planes that I have tuned up, these were the easiest by far. They were very clean when I got them. They were obviously owned by a caring woodworker.

The planes are a No. 4 and a No. 5.



My plan for the No. 4 was to turn it into a finely tuned smoothing plane, with a high bevel angle and a small mouth opening. This plane, although it is old, is superior to my new No. 4 is many ways. The most important, IMO, is the "Bedroock" style frog assembly. I took the extra time today to tune the frog contact points with lapping compound, which makes the tool more solid.



I did already have a No. 5 plane and I really love the size of this plane for general work. The reason I bought this one, was to turn it into a "scrub" plane.


This simply means that the iron is ground with a 3/32" curve in the blade. This allows you to take deeper scalloped cuts, which can be left on the surface to show a hand-worked look, or easliy smoothed out with my new No. 4.



I feel that I have a really good set of planes at this time. My collection now includes the following, which are all Stanley, except the wood based plane.


Block Plane
Low Angle Block Plane
No. 4 (old)
No. 4 (new)
No. 5 (old)
No. 5 "Scrub" (old)
No. 6 (new)
Wooden No. 6 (oldest)







Other hand tools that contribute to the endless cycle of sharpening inlcude:

4 pc. set of Marples Chisels
4 pc. set of Irwin Blue Chip Chisels
Stanley Spokeshave
Small Trim Plane

That is a total of 17 blades to keep sharp, ranging in size from 3/4" x 1 1/2" (trim plane) to 2" x 8" (No. 6 plane).

I will showcase the sharpening system that I use in a future blog post, so stay tuned!

David J. Ulschmid
~ Wisp Woods ~

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