Saving the #5!

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I was looking through my broken plane pile for some inspiration. I came across a #5 with some issues.

I set it on the bench for a better look. There has to be a way to save it. A little comparison to a #604, and away we go.

A way to use the original thread even though I haven’t sprung for a tap and die yet.

I decided to leave it sandblasted and clear coated. I like the greyish “gunmetal” look”

— Master hand plane hoarder. –


A #4 infill Smoother. Shop made

I built this out of a Stanley #4 base. The base was broke at the rear handle bolt. Its bedded at 55 degrees. It has a SW cutter.

The wood is locust (stained with ebony) and bloodwood.

The cap bolt is through the wood with 3 countersunk nuts on the back side. Don’t ask why 3, I don’t really know.

The finish is a quick coat of blo with a few hours to dry and a few coats of Shellac.

At this point I’d estimate I have about 12 hours into this project with the 2 days I have into it.

Thanks for looking.
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The Beast. A 36" wood bodied Jointer Plane

With a little motivation from Mos I decided to build the wooden jointer I’ve always wanted to build. I’m not sure why, I guess just because its there, but I’ve restore a lot of wood bodied jointers and always wanted to build one.

I had some reclaimed oak that fit the bill fine. This is the same stock I built my deadman out of.

Since it was already semi clean it was just a matter of running it through the planer and cutting it to size. Its just about 1/2” wider than the iron/chipbreaker.

I had found a perfect 2 5/8” Moulson Bros vintage iron and chip breaker.

Next up was the layout. Its marked for a 50 degree bed. I was kind of copying another jointer which had a 50 degree front face as well, so that’s what I used.

Cutting was fairly simple with the layout done. Just remember where to not cut to deep.

A little chiseling and rasping and it was ready for a trial fit.

With close to a perfect fit, I glued it up and left it for the night.

While the glue was drying I did a rough out of the wedge.

Not wanting to go much farther on the wedge, I turned my attention to the tote. I marked out a piece of oak a little over an inch thick, cut it out on the band saw. Drilled the center in a couple places and finished hogging it out with the jig saw.

I then hit the appropriate areas on both sides with a 1/2” round over bit. From there it was multiple rasps to get it into shape.

That was it for the day. The following day I turned my attention back to the body. A little hand plane work, and some belt sanding, it was really starting to take shape.

It was then time to clean up the mouth area.

And of course cut the groove for the chip breaker screw.

Final fitting and shaping on the wedge

And back to see where the tote looks good

I then drilled it out with a forstner bit and chiseled as needed.

A little more fitting on the handle and fit it to the plane.

I just couldn’t go any further with testing it.

I’ll call it a success I think.

And I tested it out on oak as well. I was really just playing at this point.

Just a bit more sanding and a coat of BLO.

Final length is just a little under 36”. 36” is quit long and a little hard to handle. I just couldn’t bring myself to cut it. It will be great for flattening big bench tops. And I like to just stand back and admire it.

I had to reshot some of the pictured when I realized the plane swap plane was in the picture. Almost gave it away!

Thanks for stopping buy.

A Brass Upgrade for a #2.

So I purchased a Stanley #2 with a crack in the side. The crack was bad enough that I knew if it got used it would continue and eventually break. In a moment of weakness, I decided to try to weld it. And weld it I did. The weld worked to the point it would have allowed the plane to be used, but I just couldn’t get rid of the pot marks.


I filled the pits with JB Weld and was going to leave it at that, but…..

I went to plane B…….

I’ve wanted to try this for a while now and theoretically it shouldn’t be that hard. Unfortunately,  this project was meant to add layers to my graying hair. I broke more drill bits, buried more taps, and created more work for myself than all other plane builds I’ve done to date. Its almost like I angered some plane god with my shenanigans.

But, the frog is bolted directly to the base with holes drilled and tapped, very similar to what it was like in the original base.

The frog, iron, cap and lever cap are what was on the original #2, along with the knob and tote.

The lever cap looks like its was replaced at one time. It looks more like it was one of the painted type. Its a lot courser than most stanley lever caps and the lever hits the cap, there is no spring under it. I may build a new lever cap. I was thinking brass, but I’m afraid it will be to much brass. I like the idea of a cap screw type like I put on my infill’s.

This project is a perfect example that hiding mistakes is just as important in metal work, as it is in wood work. As of this writing, I’ve handed it off to a mechanic friend to extract a 10-24 tap that is in a particular spot I MUST have a bolt.



This next picture is a cross section before starting to fasten things together. Its kind of a “here’s where I’m headed with this” shot. 


The bottom is a piece of 3/8” cold rolled steel I picked up at tractor supply. I’ve used it in a couple of planes now. I like the precision ground better, since my lack of metal working equipment makes it harder to square things up, but I had this piece, so it got used.

The sides are 1/8” brass.

I took a bolt, drilled and tapped it for a receiver for the tote screw. Its beveled to match the Stanley angle and welded in place.



The tote bolt is a piece of 1/4” x 20 threaded rod.



The nut is a piece of 7/16” brass rod, drilled and tapped for the 1/4 x 20 rod. I cut the slot with the dremel cut off wheel, which was another disaster. I had to take my dremel apart and “work” over the switch to get it to work again!



The knob and tote are Bloodwood. The knob bolt and nut were made similar to the tote’s. For the receiver I simply welded a 1/4” x 20 nut to the base.




The sides are pinned with 10 – 24 stainless steel bolts.


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I could have sworn I had some money shots, but maybe the plane gods got to them before I did.

I hope you enjoyed the adventure. All comments and thoughts welcome.

Making the dw infills: Let do some tapping and peening.

So another way to attach the sides is tapping and peening. I thought I’d give it a try on a small smoother. I decided on aluminum sides and hot rolled steel for the sole. The aluminum is 1/8” x 2” and hot the rolled steel is about 3/8” x 1 7/8”. I wanted to use a 1 5/8” block plane iron.

Infill is cherry.

Lever cap is brass.

This time I cut the sole in 2 pieces. I found this technique a lot easier. The I drilled the sides. And tapered them with a reamer.

Next I used the counter sink to give the holes a countersink. I figured between the taper and the countersink, they should tighten up nice.

The holes were the tapped 1/4×20

And the bolts tighten in. I really don’t think it would be necessary to use epoxy, but for the price of a tube of JB Weld, everything got welded.

Here I’m checking the depth to make sure I’m deep enough for the bolts.

bolt heads where cut off.

Then the bolts pened over.

I have about 6 hours in it at this point.

And a quick test run

Day 2

About another 4-5 hours.

I didn’t have a piece of metal for the cap iron (I may eventually just get a thicker iron) so I wound up using an old badly pitted #120 iron. It will be replaced.
The rest of the time was spent shaping the lever cap, making the chip breaker and sanding and finishing the plane.

Thanks for looking.


The full size #4 dw Infill


Making an infill has been on my bucket list for quite some time now. Making tools to me is more of a hobby than the actual woodworking.

If you are looking to build an infill, you’re welcome to follow me along. I’ll try to keep the blog as up to date as time allows and would love feedback from others taking the same path.

The metal work of the infill intimidated me a bit and I’m not really sure why. I can weld, I’ve done my share of body work, gunsmithing and tin work, but the finish type metal work seems beyond my capabilities, which is why my first few I made from existing plane bodies.


But I’ve come to the realization that fitting the infill into an existing body is a lot of extra work you don’t have when you make your own body. And the metal work…….well it doesn’t need to be that intimidating.

I’ll work through some of my issues, some of my mistakes, and some of the processes I’ve dug up. I spent a lot of time researching and looking at infill planes.

So first, if you’re thinking of following along, let’s talk tools. I’m still basically (for the hobby part of my life) a woodworker. Almost all of my tools are woodworking tools with a few exceptions. So let talk about the exceptions.

I have a horizontal metal bandsaw. I’ve had it forever and just discovered I can also use it vertically. In my defense, until now I’ve never had a need to use it vertically, so there’s my excuse for that bit of foolishness.

Almost everything online tells you you can do the cutting with a hacksaw, and I guess theoretically it’s true. Even some of the professionals who have how-to blogs say they cut the planes out with a hack saw. I say bull crap. I think they are telling us that so we don’t find better ways to make our own. If I had to cut them all with a hack saw, I’d be back using the existing blanks.

Files. You’re going to need files. Because of all my other hobby’s, one of which is buying box lots of crap, I’ve got a pail full of files. Flat ones, round ones, triangles shaped ones, some that work well, some that should become tent stakes, but you get the idea. If you’re new, and don’t have a pail full of files, plan to buy quit a few.

A good hack saw, sanding equipment, good epoxy, countersinks, drill bits, drill press, and metal marking tools.

Taps. You’ll need several sizes for the cap, depending on how you plan to attach it.

A way to polish. Shiny is good in the infill world. This can be done with sandpaper but for brass, you’ll really need a wheel and compound.

You can use a sharpy to color the metal to scribe with, but layout die is >$4 for a bottle. And if you smart enough to not dump half the bottle all over your bench (yes I did) it will last a very long time.

A metal scribe. Again, I paid $3 something with a mcmaster carr order. Spend the few bucks. It’s easier to use a metal scribe on wood, than the other way around.

Pick your size. I recommend staring with a smoother or jack. Something mid-size. Don’t go to small or too big to start.

Pick your bedding angle:

Pitches and uses:

20° and under — Used for low angle planes such as mitre planes, shoulder planes and block planes. The blades for these planes are used with the bevel up, which has the effect of increasing the overall pitch by the amount of the bevel angle. As these planes are usually used for end grain work, having a lower angle with the blade supported right to the tip and a fine mouth opening is a major advantage.

45° (Common Pitch) — Used for most bench planes, from wooden bodied ones to Stanley/Bailey type. A bedding angle set at 45° is optimum for most softwoods and straight grained hardwoods and the blade is used with the bevel down, requiring a chipbreaker in most cases (especially when using a thinner blade). Japanese style planes don’t need a chipbreaker because the blades are usually quite thick.

50° (York Pitch) — Used for hardwoods and is especially useful for highly figured and interlocking grain. Also used for rebate (rabbet) planes and some grooving planes.

55° (Middle Pitch) — Mainly used for molding planes for softwoods. I’ve found my 55° works very well even in some hardwood.

60° (Half Pitch) — Used for molding planes for hardwood.

70° to 90° — Used for toothing planes, side snipers and side rebate (rabbet) planes.

90° plus — Scrapers and scraping planes.

Have some JB Weld on hand. It’s like wood putty for covering up your metal mistakes.

And if you need to buy the metal, figure out what you want.

There is a lot of information about what to get, so here is a recap. Note none of this is set in stone, and slight variations are of little consequence.

For the sole you can use anything from 3/16” up to 1/2”. Go with the 3/16” or so if you are going to dovetail, go with 1/2” if you are going to pin or screw. As for the kind, it doesn’t seem to matter. Grab the hot rolled your local box store has, or order some low carbon, O1 or 1018 online. Remember if you’re going to dovetail to add in the width.

Sides. I’d suggest 1/8” or 3/16”. This can be Metal, brass or bronze. I’ve read Bronze 464 or Brass 220 is good, but again, it seems lots of guys use lots of different material with very similar results.

Use 1/8” for the chip breaker.

I’ve been using Hock Irons. First they are exceptional, second Ron Hock will answer your questions, 3rd he doesn’t make planes, so your plane won’t be mistaken for a Ron Hock plane.

Pick a style.

—Dovetailed metal. Cool to look at, and a solid base.
—Pinned. Again, cool to look at and you’ve got some choices depending on your metal and your style. You can match the pins to the metal and make them virtually invisible or use contrasting pins.
—Screwed. You can tap the base and screw the sided. Again some choices. Countersink and level them showing (actually one of my favorites) cut the heads and peen them over and make the flush. Again with like metal to make them invisible or contrasting to make them stand out.

Welded. You can weld the sides to the base. Here you’re limited to metal all the way, but it’s an option I plan to at least try.

Next we’ll talk about dovetailing the metal. I’ll bet you’re right on the edge of your seat!

So lets dovetail…………………………

As I stated in the first part, there are several ways to connect the sides of an infill to te sole. In this plane I’ll try my hand at dovetailing.

There are numerous videos, instruction and blogs about cutting the dovetails. I suggest you watch them all. I am pretty sure I did.

For the woodworking folks around here, the layout isn’t really any different than wood. Add some layout fluid, and use the same tools you use for a drawer. A straight edge, layout guide and dovetail marker all work. I used 12 degrees.

I cut the sides first, then the bottom.

On this plane I cut the hole for the mouth into a solid piece. I will not do that again. I’ll make the sole in 2 pieces.

Lay out all pieces, at least roughly before cutting anything.

Once you have the sides laid out, cut as much as you can with the hack saw or bandsaw. A good metal blade in a sawzall should work as well. Then file away. Pay attention to your lines, and make sure you use files with a safe edge were required.

I made a angle piece of wood as a guide for the bandsaw. I cut as much as I could from all angles. The very outside cuts of the bottom I made with a hacksaw to keep accuracy.

Once the sides are cut, scribe the bottom. Cut them out as well. I kept the sides with me all the time to match up.

I constantly put thing together to test it. The was a design as you go project. Also keep the parts marked. You need to constantly remark because the marking wear off quick.

Next I marked out the side pattern and cut it on the bandsaw.

Then put it back together again.

I then cut the holes by placing the sides together. I had a problem with this and wound up moving the hole. When I cut the dovetails I wasn’t concerned about them being exact from side to side. That wasn’t an issue other than it moved the hole on one side when I lined it up. When you drill through, make sure you’ve got a good reference.

Then I filed the secondary bevels. This is to allow for the lock to work in all directions. Its the same angle as the primary bevel.

Next I made the peening rack.

And took to peening. I wound up using the largest peening hammer I had. It was a combination of the hammer and a large punch.

I also added a mouth extension. (more pics to come)

And of course I had to try it.

I apologize for the lack of pictures. More will come.


On to the infill……………………………………..


So making the infill wasn’t so bad. Its so much easier when make a base. When you make the base, its square and true, unlike the inside of the cast vintage planes, so making and addind the base is much easier.

I choose walnut for this, and after some help from my friend over on the HPOYD thread, I decided to ebonize it.

Most of this is just normal woodworking, at least for the first part.

And marking and laying it out,

I decided to make this one in 1 piece. I’m not sure it’s really important and the others I didn’t. I don’t see much difference in the outcome. I used the router to cut it out.

I drilled the center, cut it with a scroll saw and shaped it with some rasps and files.

constant fitting to ensure it was going right.

Once it was formed and sanded, It was time to darken it. I had some issues with the ebonozing. I took some white vinegar and stuck some steel wool in it. After several days nothing had happened. I made sure i was using real steel wool. After some reading and some help from the guys over on the HPOYD thread, I threw some rusty nails in it and put the heat gun to it. If your doing this it is advisable to keep the cap loose and be in a well ventilated area.


I then gave it several coats of dark walnut danish oil.
Its not ready, but lets try it out anyhow.

ahhh, some sweet shavings

Now to fasten it in. I drilled the side hole just a little smaller than some #12 brass screws, and used a reamer to give it a slight taper, along with a countersink to give the holes a little countersink. I then drove the screws as tight as I could into the countersink. Note, you need slotted screws for this. With Philips head screws, the Philips cut out goes to far down into the shaft.

I then took the grinder to the screws, sanded the sides with my ROS, from 80 grit up through 320, and buffed it out.

The the knob and tote got a couple coats of wipe on poly.

I also realized I didn’t take any pictures of making the cap iron or lever cap, so next plane for sure.

The cap iron is 1/8” O1, drilled and tapped, given a slight bend into the iron, the end ground at an angle and polished up.

I’ve estimated I have between 30-40 hours in this plane.


So the question often asked, “Is there a benefit to infill planes? Do they perform better?”

1. its just cool!!
2. Mass. Its heavier.
3. Infills are typically bedded at 50 or 55 degrees. (this one is 50)
4. Steel. A drop means a dent, and maybe some wood damage which is repairable.
5. they are cool!
6. Brass is shiny.
7. You get the more solid, vibration dampening, blade bedding of a wooden plane with out the sole wear issues.

A #3 Size Infill.

Here is a my latest masterpiece.

This is a #3 size. Donor sole is a defiance #3.
Wood is epoxied into the sole with the rear piece pinned as well.
Wood is wenge. Accent on front is Ash.
Bedded at 55 degrees.
Hock iron.
I made the chip breaker.
Finish is 1-1-1
Cap is brass.


So here is the start of the chip breaker.



This one didn’t make the cut. I opted for a single DW on the cap screw. I’ll save this for future use.


This is smoothing some Ash


A thicker take on some poplar


And some oak to make sure its working as it should.


Thanks for stopping by.

Building the infill Plane. Not so much metal work style.

A while ago I got a  Sargent #422 (Stanley #7 size) that was cut from 22” down to 18”, frog was broke, it had a Stanley iron and knob and tote was missing and it was missing most other major parts so it sat on my bench for a long time. I wasn’t sure what I was going to to with it, then this idea stuck me.

The infill is made from blood wood, the accent is cherry. Its epoxied to the base.

The knurled knob is made from 3/4” copper pipe with a 1/4” x 20- bolt and bloodwood epoxied into it. I used a file to cut the grooves.

The finish is Brush Oil.




I started with a Sargent #6 base. This was originally a 422 which had been cut down. The frog was broke, lat adjustment missing, no iron or chip breakers, so it became the perfect specimen.







I left the metal behind the frog intact. It seemed easier to notch the wood around it than grind it off. I think it would help hold the epoxy as well. I did grind the front rise where the knob screwed into however.





I made the knob separate. I wasn’t sure if I wanted some alternate wood in there or not. I chose a piece of cherry scrape and I liked the look, so I t became part of the plan.





I’ve been asked why I put the knob on perpendicular. The knob sat on the plane on the bench and I kept turning it. I just liked the way it looked when the grain was perpendicular so that’s the way it went together.










Looking through my parts pile I found a chip breaker the perfect size without the adjuster hole. This is still a Stanley iron. I haven’t decided if I’ll use something I have or order a new iron yet.


After some inspiration from the guys over at I decided to make a knurled bolt. I didn’t take many pictures along the way, I’ll try to remember next time, but its just a piece of wood stuffed in 3/4” copper pipe, and the bolt all epoxied together.



Then, on to the lever cap!!







Sanding blocks made from Stanley plane parts.

I hate to throw anything away. I figured someday I’d think of something to do with the broken hand plane pieces.

These are all from un-restorable bases. Most of the knobs and totes are from pieces bad enough I wouldn’t put them back on a plane. I’m glad I found a use for them.

The largest one has an Ash inlay and I added a Ash tip to the broken rosewood tote. The front can be held similar to a wood bodied plane and seems very comfortable to use.

On the first small one I made a 1/4” x 20” brass nut out of some barstock similar to the Stanley, but in using it I found I grab around the knob so the rest I just used a wing nut. My hand never rode against the wing nut.

Next is a cherry tote with some defects so I didn’t want to put it on a regular plane. I made a blank brass filler to fill the hole.

I probably could have also used this badley repaired (no it wasn’t my repair) tote, but while the real was glued up, I used this for its trial.

A front view before final sanding. The Ash inlay was epoxied into the plane.

Thanks for taking a look!

What will you ever do with that broom handle? A beader maybe?

This has been on my list for a long time. I have actually been hoping to pick up a Stanley #66 for a somewhat reasonable price (reasonable for me usually means cheap). With that not happening, the next step was to make one. I’ve seen a few shop made beaders, and they all work, but I decided to make mine slightly different.

First I grab a piece of broom handle I had left over.


Using the radial arm saw, I cut a flat spot to receive the cutter and holder pieces.

Next I found a piece of scrap steel. I got really lucky and found a piece the exact width I needed.



I cut it to length.



Cleaned up the edges.



and Drilled for the mounting bolts, which were countersunk in both the wood and metal.



I then sat that aside and focused on the blades. I found the old hand saw in the worst shape, and decided to use that to make the cutters.


Using tin snips, I cut a piece the right size and headed to the vice.


Some clean up on the DMT’s and good enough for a test run.

Next I found a piece of scrap oak. It the right size, so it will work. Drilled a hole for the dowel (ok, broom handle) and sanded to fit.


Yes sir, that what I was looking for.


Let take it for a test spin



Just a little rough, but as expected. I’ve still got some additional polishing to do on the blade, I knew that.

So let cut the fence piece, drill and tap for the retainer bolt.









So I don’t have any slip stone this small, so I wrapped some fine sandpaper around a screw driver of the right diameter.


which made it much better.





I stopped by my local Home Depot to pick up a threaded knob, and of course they didn’t have any, so it’s a shorter eye bolt.