Introduction: How I Restore an Old Hand Plane

About: I am a student in industrial engineering who likes to work with his hands in his spare time. I like working with wood, metal, electricity and do mechanics stuff.

To adjust my doors I had the idea of using a hand plane. I had a gift an old hand plane. It is not in good condition and before using it I'll repair it. Here's how I made it.

Step 1: Initial State

He is dirty. The paint has deteriorated. It is worn. It is broken on one side, but it is not critical.

The first step is to disassemble it.

Step 2: Disassemble (1/7)

Remove the nut to release the knob.

Step 3: Disassemble (2/7)

Remove the bolt.

Step 4: Disassemble (3/7)

Release the nut, this step was very difficult because the nut was very tight. With a screwdriver I wasn't able to remove the nut. I used penetrating oil and an manuel impact driver. After this, remove the two pieces.

Here is the link for the impact driver, it's a tool very handy :
If you don't know how to use an impact driver : use the impact driver as a screwdriver to hammer blows to its end and try to occasionally turn the driver impact.

Step 5: Disassemble (4/7)

Now remove the two bolts. I needed to use a bolt and a hammer to carefully help me to unscrew the bolts.

Step 6: Disassemble (5/7)

Remove the handle.

Step 7: Disassemble (6/7)

Unscrew the bolt. I needed to use again the impact driver.

Step 8: Disassemble (7/7)

Everything is now disassemble and we can see the repairs to make.

Step 9: Cleaning

All parts are dirty. Before any repair is a good idea to do a wash.

First I used brake cleaner because I used the very oily penetrating oil.

Secondly I used dish soap. It gives a good result!

Step 10: Restore the Wood (1/2)

Depending on the damage you have this step will be different.

In my case, I have to restick the handle. I used clamps to hold up the assembly.

Then I sanded all parts. As the seal around the glue is not perfect, I used wood putty to remove dents and sanding once all dry.

Please use the instructions of your glue and your wood putty.

Step 11: Restore the Wood (2/2)

I used a red tincture and a polyurethane polish to preserve the finish. If this tool was used a lot heat and sweat of hands would damage the tincture. Feel free to use any color you want.

Step 12: Restore the Steel

This step is by far the longest. The files are effective but it's really take time.

I passed the superior speed with the dremel. I could clean and sand the parts more diffcult access.

Always use protection when rotary tool!

The small wire brush is really convenient to clean grease that remains and sanding dust.

Sand each piece as best you can. Rust is difficult to remove. Ultimately if a rust grain remains the piece will come back infected. A good way to slow down this process is to paint the parts.

Step 13: Paint Job and Sharpen the Blade

As it is difficult to sand all to perfection, I decide to use a rust treatment for all parts. I then lightly sand the pieces. I applied a primer. Finally I used the black paint. As I am a big fan of Subaru I used my paint cans for repair my car.

Follow the specifications of products and paints.


The following paragraph is not true. I made a mistake sharpening the wrong part. You can see from the photos the comments I made.

(Wrong "blade" : For the blade, sharpen the tip with a stone and hide the end of with paint tape. If you do not want to paint the rest of the blade, skip this step. I could also have bought a new blade. In my case I do not think a lot use. I think sharpen the blade will be sufficient.)

Step 14: Finishing

The paint is finish. Take the time to check your parts. Are they are painted? It has no excess stain? ...

I took the opportunity to polish the screws and bolts with the metallic brush. I also sanded a little above them and break the cutting tip that I had fractures on one of the screws in the disassembly.

Step 15: Taking Back Together and Fine Tuning

It's time to take back together the hand plane. Do step of disassembly in reverse.

The tricky part is to well place the blade. This took me several test.

Note that the first picture is the right set up. For the others I had not well positioned the hook which serves assembly.

For the correct set up, I found this picture a good help :

Step 16: Test

Now the hand plane is restore, but does it work ?

I tried it on a door that's need attention and the result : it's work! Hurra!

The surface of the door is really uneven due to multiple layers of paint. I'll need to spend several strokes.

EDIT : With the right blade, I was able to do a lot better :)

Step 17: What I Have Learned

I spent many hours on this project. I have not counted, but several hours in time lost for 1 month. Did I could have taken a shorter way to adjust my door, yes! The restoration was gratifying and now the tool looks great. It's a nice way to thank those who gave it to me.

For those who would engage in the restoration of a tool, here are some tips:

- Always use protection !

- Take your time Take pictures, it's easy to forget how to assemble the tool.

- By going too fast, you should take more time to fix errors. The fact did not sandblast rust after treatment cost me some time to sand, repaint the primer and then paint.

- How far would you go? I could have taken even more time in the sandblasting of metal and paint. At the same time, it is a tool and the goal is to use, so it is acceptable if it is not perfect. The details takes time ...

- Enjoy the moment if you do not have fun forget it. It is the fastest and most efficient methods to restore an old tool.

- That I'm always learning, thank you to Bongmaster helping me!

I hope you enjoy reading my instructable! Do not hesitate if you have any questions or comments.