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PaulR

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All,

Hoping for some wisdom from the collective on this. My step mum had a handplane that was her grandfathers that had been on a shelf for 40 years.
At a recent craft show she saw a stall which had hand planes which had been converted to lamps.

Here comes the problem

Then she asked my father, who is by far the least competent woodworker / diy enthusiast the world has ever seen, to see if he could convert it.

The photos below show the travesty that unfolded.

So I want to repair the plane, and will then fit a surface mounted lamp fitting that leaves the plane alone as much as possible.

Question is, how would you repair this plane? Filler won’t match the colour / grain? So do I need to identify the wood and then cut something in ??

Any help appreciated, this plane has a lot of memories for my step mum so I’d like to help if I can







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Hattori-Hanzo

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You could try to cut away the damaged part and glue a new piece of wood in its place.



Cut away the red area and carefully fit and glue a new bit in its place.
Looks like the wood is either oak or beech.

Other than that you can buy these planes for pennies at a car boot but I'm assuming this has sentimental value to you.

Good luck with it, I'd like to see the finished article.
 

profchris

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I'd buy a similar plane at a car boot and use that to cut the donor piece from. Almost certainly it's beech.

Glue the insert on over size and then trim back to match the profile.

Your big problem will be matching the colour and patina. I think you'll need to experiment with stains (on the remains of the donor), then apply linseed oil and dirt until you get a good match.
 

AndyT

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As above. Definitely beech.
The stark fact is that the damage has been done. The original colour was achieved by use and slow darkening of linseed oil over a century or so. You can imitate it but not reproduce it.

And please, if it has sentimental value as a tool great grandfather used, just put the iron and wedge back and leave it as a plane.

In its long life as a tool, conversion to a wobbly lamp is just a little blip of a silly fashion, best forgotten, not spoken about or shown in public.
 

ED65

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Ouch!

First off, 99% chance this is beech just because it's a coffin smoother. And the side pic I think takes this to 100%.

I think patching in solid wood is arguably the best fix here but getting a really nice grain and colour match could prove a Herculean task. The grain match will be difficult alone, but getting a good colour could require a lot of experimentation. This sort of thing is more art than science, and the straight boundary lines (especially a 90° at the top of the escapement) would make this even more difficult.

Because the plane is so dark though a dark epoxy fill seems like a decent possibility, and this would be structurally more than strong enough, but flushing the epoxy to one or all of the wood surfaces would remove the dark skin and could take you back to beech that's surprisingly light. I've restored a number of woodies and some are quite remarkably fresh under the skin of filth.

Cleaning the plane back to closer-to-new condition gives you an easier task in terms of colour matching, but you may feel it makes the grain match more critical. But let's be honest, we're a lot fussier about this than regular folk tend to be :D
 

That would work

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Beech 100% definitely.
Why worry so much about making the repair un-noticeable though, you would be lucky to do so... it's common for old planes to have bits let in as repairs anyway. And it would serve as a memory to the clownery of someone.
 

ED65

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Elephant in the room: there looks like there may be some worm in this, I think for safety that needs to be addressed first.

Instead of a donor plane for a patch would a replacement plane perhaps not be the ideal thing here?
 

sunnybob

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My eye instantly went to the worm holes. Find a similar one at a car boot, BURN that one, and tell your step mum you have invisibly mended the original. =D>
Woodworm take no prisoners, they will spread to any other wood in your home.
Yes, this is the voice of experience talking (hammer)
 

That would work

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ED65":33ubpc3v said:
Elephant in the room: there looks like there may be some worm in this, I think for safety that needs to be addressed first.

Instead of a donor plane for a patch would a replacement plane perhaps not be the ideal thing here?
A few of my wooden planes have worm holes... most likely they moved out years ago :D
 

PaulR

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Thanks both, I think my neighbour had some spare beech off cuts so that should help. I’m keen to minimise the cut away as much as possible to retain as much of the original as I can, but I can see this will make the repair a lot harder than cutting straight through.

The top I think will be covered by the lamp fitting (surface mounted) so in effect mainly it’s that side hole that needs to be fixed.

Matching the patina as you say is likely to be a right pain, not helped by the fact I have zero experience in doing such things!

Any other tips / handy hints ?


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Simon89

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Re the woodworm, put in the freezer for a couple of weeks and you should be fine. As previously said, the Beatles are most likely long gone :)
 

oakmitre

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Another alternative is not to patch the wood. 1mm thick brass sheet is <£5 for 100mmx100mm on Ebay.

Turn the plane upside down,trace on the brass and take your time working towards the line with files/small sanding blocks.

A hole can be drilled in the brass and a kit with a metal earthed two piece screw in brass fitting purchased.The brass can be treated or left outside until a nice patina develops.

The side hole could be angled away from the viewer or simply filled with a very dark filler.
 

sunnybob

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Simon89":3mmxnnlj said:
Re the woodworm, put in the freezer for a couple of weeks and you should be fine. As previously said, the Beatles are most likely long gone :)
SHOULD and M0ST LIKELY
Now thats an optimist =D> =D> =D>
 

John Brown

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There's a shop in Stroud that has a couple of plane-lamps. I get mildly upset by the idea.
So I've started getting hold of old table lamps and converting them to planes.
 

Bod

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ED65":3ayesy4h said:
Elephant in the room: there looks like there may be some worm in this, I think for safety that needs to be addressed first.

Instead of a donor plane for a patch would a replacement plane perhaps not be the ideal thing here?
+1 and say nothing about the replacement.
The old one does it have a name stamped on it?
Should be the manufacturer, but likely to have previous owners as well, which could be a problem, if known about.

Bod
 

PaulR

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Thanks again everyone, the idea of a brass plate sounds very good and as you say a dark filler could then solve the problem.

I had considered replacing it in the old “all goldfish look the same” style, but my conscience won’t allow it :)





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profchris

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Or even put brass strips along the sides as well, matching the length of the brass plate on top. Hole completely hidden, no filler needed.
 

TheTiddles

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First, burn it. It’s broken and got worm.

Then, look on Facebook marketplace etc... as people can’t give planes like that away, then you will have an unbroken one to make into a lamp and probably a few spares to practice on for nothing

Aidan
 

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