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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wooden Plane - Restore or Retire

I've recently gotten into collecting and using old hand tools and I've gotten most of my tools from estate sales, but today I got my hands on some tools that were passed down in my family. My great-grandfather was a stone mason and at one time I remember seeing a chest he had made that contained his masonry tools along with some carpenters tools - one of which was an old wooden plane I remember playing with as a kid. My grandparents passed away a few years ago and most of the tools were either given away or thrown out but after doing some digging my dad and I found a few of them - the old wooden plane, a try square, and a rawhide hammer.

I was hoping to tune up the plane and put it to use - but now that we've found it I don't know if it is worth fixing up or it is better to put on the shelf as a decoration. From what I can find out it is an Ohio Tool Works #3. I've recently put a few old rust-bucket Stanleys back into service - but they were in overall decent condition after a soak in evaporust - this one looks a bit worse for wear. The body of the plane appears to have split badly at one point and was nailed back together and there are a few other cracks in the body. The iron itself looks ok - but it looks like the screw holding the cap iron on is pretty much gone - I tried to turn it but it didn't budge and I'm afraid if I force it it will break. Is this too far gone, or would it be worth a soak in evaporust? Its hard to see in the pic but it doesn't look like the threads are left - I wasn't sure if there'd be much left after a soak.

If I do put it back into service - is the cap iron supposed to be so far back on these planes? The iron is tapered and much thicker at the business end than the Stanleys - so I didn't know if these typically sat further back on the blades.

Any info is appreciated!
-John
 

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Evapo-Rust or Wood bleach (oxalic acid) would be good to clean up the present surface rust, but they will not penetrate into the threads for the cap iron screw.

You need to use a rust penetrant for the screw. The best on the market is Kroil by Kano Labs. Useful to have a can around.

http://www.kanolabs.com/google/

You can get the Kroil into the top and bottom of the threads, so good chance of removing the screw.

I have Kroil and will be happy to try this for you if you want to send me your blade and cap iron.

To put this into service as a user plane, you may be able to use 2 part epoxy to attempt to repair the crack. If this does not hold then you would be looking at making a new body.
 

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What brand oxalic acid do you use? I spent sometime at hd this weekend and found 1 product that was less than 10% o a. I will try the hardware store but thought a brand name may help with the search.
 

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The container I have says "SAVOGRAN" on the side. Purchased at a local True Value hardware store. It is a 12oz container of powder which I then mix with water.

I expect other brands available. I have not looked in the big box stores, since the local hardware store was closer.
 

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If you've got something solid to set the iron on (like an anval, railroad tie or similar) a few love taps with a hammer may break the bolt loose as well. I have often fastened the iron in a vice and put vice grips on the bolt. They will come loose that way. I've never had one break.

If your interested here is some Ohio Tools history.

It looks like you may have some work to get the back of that iron flat again. And to answer your question, no the chip breaker shouldn't be that far north. Set it just like you would a Stanley smoother. Polishing the end of the chip breaker helps a great deal as well.

I'm not a fan of the coffin style planes as users, but if you have a fell for them, they can be made to work very well. I've restored quite a few, but they act as decoration in my house and shop. I can however, grab any one of them and use it, if the mood strikes.

Good luck with yours. Knowing it was your grandfather's surly adds some vaule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the information. I will try picking up some Kroil and then try to get the screw out with a pair of vice grips. If that doesn't work I'll have to take it over to my parents and put it in his machinist's vise and try to give it a few taps with a hammer. If I can get the iron and cap iron separated then I'll focus on the body.. if it doesn't work it will go up on the shelf as an decoration - either way its a better use for it than sitting in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket in a shed.

I'll probably stick with the Stanleys as my go-to planes.. but thought it would be nice to have this one as an occasional user since I know at least part of its history.

Thanks!
-John
 

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The crack is from the body shrinking around the blade, if you're going to fix the crack you will have to file the sides of the blade so it moves freely.
 
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