Welcome to my blog Traditional WoodWorks

The purpose of this blog is to provide a resource tool for traditional woodworking practices, projects, tips and tricks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Well, did not do much with the planes today, so far no signs of rust on them. I did however order some more irons(cutters) for my Stanley 45 plane. Those should get here within the next few days.

Also, I have started looking at wood stock for my first two projects. The projects are an old school tool box, and a small table. I will fabricate both of these with my hand tools.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Johnson's paste wax update

So I just got back from my local retailer and purchased a tub of Johnson's paste wax. Pretty inexpensive, being about $7-9. The idea is to glob it on and let it dry to a murky look, and buff it out. Wow looks great. We shall see in a day or two if any rust returns. This out of all the other products is sopposed to last the longest, as well as be durable. Time will tell. It gave the handles a great revival as well. Very pleased so far.

Plane upkeep

So today I decided I am tired of my planes getting rusty just sitting. When I was in TN, I didn't have this issue. So, I was reading around the net last night and from what I can figure, johnson's paste wax is what I will be using. I am doing a Home Depot run in a little bit and going to start that process.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here is a pic of my smoothing plane

Here is my Craftsman Rabbet plane, unsure of age.

Here is my Stanley No. 71 router plane from 1901.

Here is my Stanley 45 combination plane from 1895 with original box and extras.

Here is my Sargent Jack Plane, 14 inch, from the 40's or 50's I believe.

Lapping the sole of a plane

I recieved an email the other day on how I lap the soles of my planes. Here is my technique.

To many woodworkers, the process of taking a brand new plane, or even an older one, and spending a couple hours on tuning it seems to be a waste of time. This is just not true. Whether it is brand spanking new, or 200 years old, a planes sole has to be lapped for it to work correctly.

A properly tuned plane will glide through the wood with remarkable ease. Even planning the end of a board will be successful. The shavings coming out of the plane will be fine enough to see through!

The first step in tuning any plane is checking the "sole" or bottom of the plane, for flatness. This can be accomplished with a steel straightedge. Lay it diagonally across the sole and look for any light between the straightedge and the plane. Take note to any hollows. Now lay it across the other diagonal corners and check that. Again, take note of any hollow areas. Using the same technique check the front to back flatness on both sides of the sole. The object here is to determine if the sole is dead flat. If it isn't, and most often it isn't, you'll need to flatten it.

Using a piece of 3/8" plate glass, wet it with some mineral spirits, and lay some wet / dry sandpaper on it. The mineral spirits will hold the paper tight to the glass. It will also act as a lubricant while flattening the bottom. The grit of the paper is determined by how bad the bottom is. I would start with 220, that is the way I work. Everyone will tell you something different, it just depends on the severity of flatness. Now you can buy a kit from Rockler for 33 bucks that will have everything you need to stat lapping, and honing irons.

Holding the plane firmly against the paper, rub it back and forth a few times. You will notice some spots are shinny, and some parts are still dull. They way I do it is sand until the whole surface is shinny, or flat. This really only has to be done when you first get it. Anything from here on out will have this flatness as its reference. This sounds harder than it actually is.

Once you have the sole flat, switch to finer sandpaper and start the polishing process. By working your way through the various grits of paper, going finer and finer, the bottom will become polished. I usually take mine to a mirror finish. The good news is once this has been done, restoring it to the same condition later will take only a few minutes.

Cleaning a Stanley 45 Combination Plane

I had a question on how to clean my Stanley 45 Plane. This reply came from knifel over at lumberjocks, of which I am a member.
My original question was this.

"I recently purchase a Stanley 45, and was wondering if there was a good way of sprucing up the nickel plating? I tried steel wool, which got off the .5 percent of rust that was on it. It has about 85 percent nickel still on it and just want a little bit of a shine for it."

The reply I got was as follows

" To answer your question Garrett, the lost plating is gone, however you could potentially visit you’re local coin shop and ask for a nickel cleaner (the indian-head nickels were nickel) and depending on the shop they may have it. Although I would suggest you just polish it lightly with a cloth, lest you loose some plating."

Now, my Stanley 45 Plane had .050 rust on it, which I cleaned with steel wool, came right off. As far as the plating goes, It has about 85% or so of the original plating. The plate is from 1895, and will be a "user" not a show piece. I am planning on going to the auto parts store to get some metal polish for the nickel and rub it in slightly. That will be that.

My new blog!!!!!!

Hello fellow bloggers.

This is my very first blog and I am very excited. This blog's intention is to provide a baseline for me, and hopefully for others, on my progress with using traditional woodworking techniques to build furniture, small cabinets, picture frames, and joinery boxes. I am relatively new to using hand tools, instead of power tools, seeing as I am home re-modeler, and house builder. ( two ICF houses under my belt.) My next blog posting will be my current tool list, as well as much needed additions. Stay tuned, more to come!!!!!