• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Material for a plane handle/tote?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Beanwood

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
208
Reaction score
46
Location
Bristol
I've recently taken the plunge into planes, and purchased two old Stanleys - a 4 1/2 from this forum, and a 5 1/2 from that well know auction site.

The 4 1/2 is every bit as nice as I hoped it would be - and after a light sharpen has allowed me to experiment, practice and produce lovely shavings already.

The 5 1/2 arrived today, and I was slightly concerned with the crack on the main tote but other than that it was in fine fettle. After a few strokes, the inevitable happened - and a full split opened up.
Initially slighty miffed as I'd paid a little more for one with a handle than one without, and not wanting to spend £20+ for a new one - I now consider this an excellent mini project opportunity.

I have already downloaded a template from Lee Valley, so I know I need a roughly 4 3/4" square, 1" thick piece of wood, but I don't have much choice of stock right now. I have some Beech block (Worktop), or some bits of oak.

So - finally the I'll get to my question - Would the oak be suitable as a rear handle? Or am I better with the beech block? Or should I just wait until I can try and get hold of something more suitable - if so what would that be?

Thanks.
 

Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
Joined
18 Jun 2006
Messages
2,672
Reaction score
778
Location
Saskatoon, SK., Canada
Oak or beech will be fine and down the road you can make other handles/totes if you come across nicer wood and feel the urge to replace. Or you might find another plane with good wood that is otherwise damaged for parts.

Pete
 

Bod

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Nov 2013
Messages
1,073
Reaction score
58
Location
Wiltshire.
Practise with the beech block, being a wood worker, gluing the 2 old bits back together should not be difficult. Care with lining up and smoothing the handle when dry, worked for me a few times.

Bod
 

Beanwood

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
208
Reaction score
46
Location
Bristol
Thanks Bod - yes, I've glued the original, but I'm still keen to change, as it appears to be some type of bakelite/plastic.
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
579
Location
North West
use a stable wood whatever it is, make sure it's well seasoned, I used sapele which works well and looks good, it has recently shrunk slightly after 3+ years, it's an easy fix however just remove a washer inside and tighten the beast down, hopefully this is the last season of movement. Also use a drill press if you can, I used a brace and bit but having a drill press will make things 10x easier.

nice woods to consider:

american cherry
pear
walnut
rosewood
 

Pete Maddex

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2005
Messages
9,172
Reaction score
125
Location
Nottingham
They are tricky things to make, I have made a few.
You will need to drill the counter bore first (11mm) then the recess in the bottom of the tote, before drilling the through hole, I have a long 6mm sharpened as a brad point bit that I use from each end of the tote.
I draw a line on the side of the blank for the through hole and line it up with a square in a machine vice, and drill with a pillar drill.

Or you can buy them from ebay tool supplyers etc.

Pete
 

Bod

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Nov 2013
Messages
1,073
Reaction score
58
Location
Wiltshire.
Beanwood":tcmt7045 said:
Thanks Bod - yes, I've glued the original, but I'm still keen to change, as it appears to be some type of bakelite/plastic.
5 1/2 with plastic handles, thats unusual, what is the front knob made from?
Is this an old USA made Stanley, there was a time when "school" grade planes had non wood handles. But it's more likely that the handle has been replaced at some time.

Bod.
 

Hornbeam

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2017
Messages
644
Reaction score
167
Location
Cheshire
Both the 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 Stanley planes that I bought new in about 1988 had plastic handles, All other planes have wood.
American cherry makes very nice handles I think its what Lie Neilson use
Ian
 

lurker

Le dullard de la commune
Joined
2 Mar 2007
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
179
Location
Leicestershire
I have made a few.
I tend to make them a bit thicker and slightly oblong along the plane length axis if you see what I mean.
As others say the hole is the most difficult part.
Also ensure that the grain runs right.
Somewhere on the internet there is a useful drawing.
Someone here will know.

Edit. Google plane handle template....... it’s the lee valley one
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,158
Reaction score
671
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
lurker":2q6zn7ii said:
........Somewhere on the internet there is a useful drawing.
Someone here will know.

Edit. Google plane handle template....... it’s the lee valley one
True, and indeed useful, but no-one makes a plane handle in isolation. They're always copying a broken one, or they have a collection of other planes. Taking a pattern off an existing handle is no more complicated than drawing around it and noting the position of each end of the holes.
 

Beanwood

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
208
Reaction score
46
Location
Bristol
Thanks all

The front handle appears to be wood, so I suspect the rear has been replaced.

Yes, I have the Lee Valley plan - and it indicates grain direction.

The hole does look like the trickiest part - I have a drill press, but I don't have a long enough bit at the moment. Still - no urgency - I can take as long as I need. I can try one - then try another.

It's all part of the learning.

Then last evening I realised, I won't want a mismatched front knob, so I'll have to finally get my pre-owned lathe put together and have a go at that as well.....

Oh it never ends :lol:
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,158
Reaction score
671
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Beanwood":196pdmy1 said:
....... - I have a drill press, but I don't have a long enough bit at the moment. .....
You only need to be able to drill a little over half way. You should have something that does that pretty easily.
 

Beanwood

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
208
Reaction score
46
Location
Bristol
MikeG.":2wxoxdvw said:
Beanwood":2wxoxdvw said:
....... - I have a drill press, but I don't have a long enough bit at the moment. .....
You only need to be able to drill a little over half way. You should have something that does that pretty easily.
I admit to having missed the obvious on that one :oops:
 
Top