you'll want to address are any mechanical defects. There are
simple ways to "fix" general problems. Missing parts can be
or created. Keep your eye out for a box or can of plane
I've seen them at flea markets and if you plan to end up with more
one or two planes, they may be worth the
money. Lost toe adjustment knobs can be replace by knobs
hardware stores. The eccentric lever that moves the
and out can be replaced with a washer that's been filed to shape
like this. The lever on the quick release cam, located on
is sometimes broken. You can drill it out and replace the
with a hex screw from the same hardware store. I put a hex
my cap for additional support. I filed a "V" in one side of
so it would fit flush against the bottom of the cap, then tapped
from the bottom side, so the threads would line up. I don't
it really adds much more than a little piece of mind, but I like
can be simple or complex, depending on the problems. If I
a few scratches on the bottom of the plane I just level the sole
it go at that. Deeper scratches, in critical areas, require
of more surface and can take a lot more time. Here are some
that I DON'T recommend.
Using a belt sander. Unless you can find a belt
than 120 I'd skip the belt sander. You can end up with
as deep as the ones you're trying to remove. If you
a belt sander don't keep at it for long periods of time.
can heat up and you run the risk of deforming the sole while
and having it change shape when it cools.
Files. If you're going to file the sole down, be
I've put extra scratches (some of them deep) in the sole
of a plane,
being careless with a file. Once again, you can remove a
lot of metal
very quickly but you can also remove to much. If you're
to use a file, use it across the sole, not along the sole.
any scratches will create less problems.
Orbital sanders. If you have one on which you've
the rubber pad with a steel or Plexiglas pad you might be
the rubber won't flatten the sole. It will just remove
Again, if you do use an orbital sander, don't use grit that's
120. Go for 220 or finer. You can end up removing a
material and still have to remove as much by hand!
Ask me how I know all this.
I finally ended up using a sanding disk that fits in my 1/4 in
drill. It'll remove material quickly and I have a lot more
over it than the file. There are some rules I've learned
-Only tighten the plane in the vice enough to hold it
Excess pressure on the sides will push the center up and
I'll end up with
a concave sole when I take it out of the vice.
-Keep the sander moving at the same speed.
Don't slow down, don't
speed up. If I do I'll introduce low spots or
leave streaks in the
-Make a number of passes. Only work on a strip
about 1/4 to 1/2
wide at a time. Don't use a lot of pressure or
I'll be creating work
for myself later on.
-By this time it should come as no surprise that I
recommend using medium
grit sanding disks. (120 or finer.)
-I work both from the front and from the back of the
will keep me from creating a set of ridges. Most
planes have a convex
-After I think I'm through with the grinding, I take
the plane out of
the vice and make a few swipes over my flat
surface and look at the
sole. If there are places that are higher than
other places, they'll
have telltale scratches on them. I go back to
the disk sander and
remove extra metal in these areas. I repeat as
don't want to over do it, or I'll end up having to
remove metal from places
that were originally too low.)
|When I get through I should see fine scratches
in the sole. When
I remove these by lapping the sole will be flat.
You may find that using a file or a stone or a belt (or
works for you. If so, more power to you. The above
works for me.
Chips, scratches or a concave toe at the mouth are some of the
problems to fix. Examine the area. How deep is the
If it's fairly shallow, grinding, then lapping the sole may
that's needed. If, on the other hand, it's deeper than I
go with a grinder, my only answer is to re-create the
When I do this, I want to go slow. I expect to spend a
of time on this area. Correcting both problems with the toe
back of the mouth will result in the mouth being slightly larger
was when I started.
The red arrow points to a problem you
can have if you
don't watch what you're doing.
If you don't hold the file parallel to the work
area., you'll round
the mouth so that it won't support the
blade. The only way
to cure this is to take off MORE metal, making the
If the toe can't come within a few 1/32 of the blade
you've lost a bit
of the usefulness of the plane.
|If the problem is in the back of the
mouth, then I have
no choice but to file it down. I use a small fine
I can take off a lot of metal in a short amount of time
with a basted file.
I start by disassembling the plane. You can leave
the Iron adjustment
lever if you like, but everything else has to come
off. (You'll have
to punch, or drill the little axle out of the
plane body if you want
to remove the lever. Then you'll have to replace
it when you're done.
Be careful when you're doing this, you're working with
cast Iron and can
damage the frog. I'd follow the Doctor's motto, "first
do no harm.")
I put the file in a bench vice, tilted, back end
down, at about a 20
to 25 degree angle. I make sure I've got
I work from side to side keeping everything
square. I take my time.
The blade support at the back of the mouth has to line
up with the top
of the adjustment lever. While I'm at it,
I watch that I don't
remove the little fingers off the top of the
adjustment lever. The
end result has to be flat. If it isn't, then
I'll have a blade that
isn't supported at the back of the mount. This
lack of support can
allow the blade to bend in the mouth, causing it to
grab and pull out fibers.
The toe is much easier to work on. If enough material wasn't
in flattening, then I remove the toe from the body and carefully
back side on my flat surface. I keep the back
square. You can
remove about 1/16 of an inch this way. More than that may
in a mouth that can't be closed as far as you would
use this technique for chips, nicks and a toe that's been worn
If the toe doesn't want to move freely, I remove it from the
I examine both the sides of the toe and the slot that the toe
Look for debris and rust. I clean this area with a
some WD-40. If this doesn't cure the problem, I use a small
file to carefully file along the inside of the plane.
the toe over my lapping surface a few times on each side.
want the toe to slide but not be lose.
The overwhelming theme of this entire process is take your
Don't try to hurry the process. Once you've removed
can't put it back. Too much is too much and may make a bad
Almost all the cleanup and fix up is done by hand. Power
ruin a project by to quickly removing material. Before you
used plane with the idea of bringing it up to standards, make sure
have the time to spend doing it.