How To Restore Woodworking Planes? Things to know

How to restore woodworking planes? You need a few tools and follow some steps to accomplish the task. This article will show you the complete guide!  

The planes make the most considerable changes to your woodworking projects. Yet, when they malfunction, your project will turn out to be a challenging task.

How to restore woodworking planes to make the best of your job?

There are four steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Disassemble the plane
  • Step 2: Clean the components
  • Step 3: Sharpen the irons 
  • Step 4: Reassemble the plane

This article will explain what you need to do in each step. Let’s join us to discover more about this powerful tool!

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How To Restore Woodworking Planes?

There are some tools needed for the project, including:

  • Plane
  • Spray
  • Glue spray
  • Dust remover
  • Stiff brush
  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • Water stone

After you’ve gathered the necessary tools, follow the instructions step by step:

Step 1: Disassemble the plane.

Begin by disassembling the plane. Some places, such as the knobs or bolts, may be in poorer condition than others. Rust has stuck itself in these places. You may loosen them up with a bit of spray.

The brass adjustment ring on the front may have seized. Such a thing often happens to old planes.

In this case, slip the old gloves over the pliers to cover the brass while breaking it away.

This tip helps protect the knob, and along with the spray, it works well to release the wheel.

Start by disassembling the equipment

Start by disassembling the equipment

Step 2: Clean the components

Now, put all of the single components in a plastic tub, soak them in a rust remover for some hours. This step aids in the loosening of top rust on the items.

After that, take each component apart and clean it with a stiff brush and some steel wool.

Sharpen the surfaces when you have cleaned all the rust.

To flatten the soles of the plane, draw some lines across the soles.

After that, attach three different sandpapers on a micro-flat stone with spray glue. You can do this on any smooth surface.

Level the plane surfaces by working them across the different grits. Marked lines serve as a guide for your work.

You may want to paint your equipment. But remember that the layer will last for several years. Make sure that you want to keep this look for a long time before painting.

Clean every component carefully

Clean every component carefully

Step 3: Sharpen the irons.

The iron is an essential part of the plane. As long as it’s sharp enough, your equipment can function as intended.

Our recommendation is the Japanese water stone. It can give your equipment a sharp and glossy appearance.

Now, start from the low side, then work your way up. It’s best to use the ruler trick to level the back of your blade.

You can learn more tips for sharpening the blade via this video.

After sharpening, run the blade against leather to eliminate the final burr.

Sharpening the iron is an important step

Sharpening the iron is an important step

Step 4: Reassemble the plane.

The parts are now clean and sharp. Now, assemble them again. The assembly may be more complicated than disassembly.

If you have any trouble installing your equipment, follow the instructions in this video for a detailed explanation.

Finally, test if your equipment can work properly.

The equipment is now ready to work

The equipment is now ready to work

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How To Maintain The Woodworking Plane?

Restoration is an excellent way to guarantee your equipment’s performance. Besides, there are some other tips for the same purpose.

Sharpen the iron regularly

We have shared the tips on sharpening the blade. It would be best to do it on a regular basis.

There are several methods for this task. Consider carefully and opt for the one that fits your requirement most.


Don’t ignore the importance of storing your tools after each usage. You have spent much time fine-tuning and setting your plane. Hence, make sure you carefully keep it in a cabinet or toolbox.

You may get the rust-inhibiting paper to wrap the equipment in or even little cartridges to keep in your drawer for corrosion protection.

The goal here is to retain the attention you gave your equipment when you first got them.

How to restore woodworking planes

Keep the components on their sides.

If you’re going to set your equipment down while the blade is expanding, ensure it’s on the right side.

Otherwise, you risk ruining the iron’s cutting edge, especially if you weren’t sure that something really hard was on the workbench, such as another instrument or a bolt.

The chip breaker rests behind the blade and supports it while it is cutting. Hence, the breaker must make great contact over the rear of the blade and be as flat and square as possible to be considered a “great fit.”

The flat and square section isn’t millimeter-perfect, but it should suffice for your purposes as the user.

A cap iron stays on the front of the blade, sandwiching it between the breaker and the blade. Strengthening contact components here will help to sustain the blade while it works and, as a result, give the best outcome.

Retract the iron

Before storing your equipment, it’s a good idea to withdraw the blade. Turn the iron depth adjustment counterclockwise until the cutting edge of the blade vanishes inside the opening.

If the plane does not have a depth adjuster, you can release the lever cap and manually lift the blade. Then, retighten the cap afterward.

With a touch on the back of the stock, you can withdraw the blade.

Alternatively, you can also retract the iron using one or two taps with a mallet on the back of the stock.

Final Words

Restoring the woodworking plane can help polish its performance. The process is not complicated, so do it frequently to do your woodworking projects at ease.

We can follow the tips we have explained to maintain your equipment. Iron plays a vital role in the whole function of your tool. Hence, pay more attention to it.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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Lisa J. Thompson

Hello, my name is Lisa Thompson and I’m the Founder of Daily Home Insider, your go-to resource for all things home security and home improvement. In this day and age, security should be your top priority, and that’s exactly why my dedicated team of writers and I offer reliable information pertaining to gun storage, home safes, and so much more. When I’m not running the blog, I enjoy gardening and homesteading. As an avid nature lover, I also love going on camping trips. Currently, I happily reside in the heart of Los Angeles.

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