vinegar solution

#5 Hand Plane Restoration

The 2nd hand plane for restoration is a #5 hand plane, this plane is in very bad shape with a lot of surface rust and a broken tote (back handle), I also think a previous owner tried restoring it at some point because I feel like he/she used parts from other planes because after looking up all the parts for this plane I didn’t recognize some of the plane parts, primarily the frog and other solutions were improvised with common parts. The plane was also broken on the side which went right through the side and also on the underside of the plane near its mouth. A repair was attempted by brazing the crack and I am not too sure how strong the weld is.

So although I am excited to start rehabbing the plane I am unsure at how good I can get it looking and performing.

Plane Problems

  1. A crack on the plane side that has been brazed.

  2. The frog doesn’t sit flush with the plane bed

  3. Severe rust and a little pitting

  4. Chip Breaker has broken edges

  5. Lever Cap has broken edges

  6. Broken tote

  7. Sole needs to flattened

  8. Plane blade needs to honed

This #5 is in really bad shape, I am hoping I can pull this off

This #5 is in really bad shape, I am hoping I can pull this off


I am using the same method as the last time, I took the plane apart and put all the parts in a white vinegar bath and left it soak over the weekend and again the results speak for themselves, I also need neutralize the white vinegar so as that the parts didn’t rust when I removed them from the solution, I did that by soaking the parts in a water and baking soda.

Look at the color of the vinegar , that should tell you how rusty this plane is.

Look at the color of the vinegar , that should tell you how rusty this plane is.

So after I left the parts in the vinegar over the weekend I took them out today and using several rust removal methods I cleaned up primarily today. My 3 methods were

  1. Used a wire wheel in my drill press to remove most of the rust

  2. Used various grits of sandpaper to primarily remove the rust and also to flatten the sides and the plane bottom

  3. Used steel wool to remove the rust in places I couldn’t reach with the drill press and wire wheel

  4. Tomorrow I will do some more as I want the sides looking a little more polished, but below you can see some of the results of today’s cleaning exploits

Plane Tote

Although I didn’t take any pictures I worked on the plane tote (handle) I used my wire brush in the drill press to remove all the old finish and I also used regular wood glue to glue the two parts together, I used the the mounting screw to keep everything aligned while the glue set in a clamp .


Tomorrow I need to polish the plane sides and work on flattening the base of the plane and if I have time I will work on grinding down the lever cap so as that it sits flush on the chip breaker.

Until next time