Restoration of an Old Jointer Plane




Introduction: Restoration of an Old Jointer Plane

About: I pursued my technical interest and found myself a job as a product development engineer. In my spare time I keep spending time on DIY projects to upgrade my stuff to my own preferences.

I picked up a old jointer plane. The  jointer plane is about 65 cm (about 25,5 inches). This would be a nice addition to my woodworking tools, but it needed some work first. 

I'll show you what I did to restore the jointer  plane to former glory.

I used: 
- Belt sander
- Sanding paper
- Awl
- steel brush
- Wood oil
- 2-3 hours time

Photo 1: The beginning
Photo 2: The end result

Step 1: Disassembly, Sanding and Sharpening

As you can see in te first picture, there are several problems to be dealt with. 
Rust, stains and inperfections mostly. And very importent, sharpening the blade.

To remove the stains and inperfections I used a belt sander. Be very carefull that you don't sand the bottom of the block plane. If this becomes wobbly your restoration process becomes much harder.

The parts you can't reach with a belt sander need some hand sanding. I used grit 100 first and finished with grit 180 sanding paper. The wood is very hard, so don't bother trying a grit 200+, it will take hours. 

Sanding the wood took me about 1.5 hours, so don't be hasty if you wan't a nice result. 

Using a steel brush I removed most of the rust from the metal parts. T0 give it a nice and shiny surface the belt sander (grit 100) is used again. To sharpen the blade grit 150 sanding paper is used. Be carefull not to change the angle of the blade while sharpening. For me the blade is sharp enough. If you need it even sharper, please read

Step 2: Reassembly and Oil Finish

I used a awl to add some detail to the top for extra character, this is optional.

The last step is applying some wood oil to revitalize the wood and grains. 
I used a piece of cloth and some pledge wood furnishing oil. 
You don't need much, I used about 15-20 ml, the wood was very dry.

Reassemble and compare the photos, I was very satisfied.

So next time you see a old wooden tool lying around, the outside may look wasted, but it might be very usefull if you are up for some restoration.



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest
    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest

    8 Discussions

    I think that kind of plane you have is called a jointer. Block planes are usually much smaller. You did a great job cleaning it up.

    6 replies

    Thank you for the correction, I had some trouble translating from Dutch to English. I'll make some corrections in the instructable shortly.

    You are welcome. I was just watching a video about Dutch wood craftsmen last night. Those old timers knew their stuff!

    I fixed up some old wooden planes. The one I have sort of like the one you show in your article was in really sad shape when I got it. It was missing its handle and everything.

    When I got it going again I found it surprisingly useful. I think someday I am going to have to make a throat insert for it though. I did not sand mine, I only washed it with cleaner, then I applied a tung and linseed oil finish to it. Thing was like black with age when I got it though.

    Let me see if I can find a picture of it. Oh, and a picture of a more European kind of plane I have too. It I just cleaned up a little. It appears I only have the before picture of it. I guess it doesn't look too bad for being about 150 years old.


    These are indeed nice tools. If you don't use them in the workshop you can build a display case and enjoy some nice old craftmanship.

    I use them. I keep them in a drawer along with some more of my planes out in my garage workshop.

    I'd rather have tools I don't need, than need tools I don't have.


    I've never taken a picture of my whole collection. That is just one drawer.

    The black patina on old tools, especially European tools, is often mutton tallow or beeswax. See here: