Refurbishing A Traditional Wood Moulding Plane

I would like to share my method of refurbishing a traditional moulding plane. This was purchased from eBay for $19.99. I think I got a fair deal for the condition that the plane is in.

traditional wooden moulding plane

  • Inspection. Break the plane down and inspect the body, wedge and iron. You are looking for bad checks, cracks and general damage on the body. I cover heavy damage on my coffin smoother post. Look at the iron for damage from rust, chips and poor sharpening methods. Look at the wedge for missing parts, damage from metal tools being used to clear the throat.
  • Refurbishing. Take time and care to return the iron to a useable state. Remove rust, square it back up and sharpen properly. Clean and repair the body being sure to treat the starving wood. Finish as needed.
  • Reassembly and testing. This is when you get to put your hard work back together and test it out. Testing will tell you if you have missed any thing or the plane has an inherited problem. Most problems are from miss use and pore storage over the years.
  • And one of the most important things that has cost me the most time. You have to watch out for miss matched parts on planes. People will mix and match to get a whole plane put together for sale. Sometimes the wedge may not be the best fit and the iron is not as wide as it needs to be. I have been bit by this a few times. And most of them you could not tell from the picture offered. Its the risk we take.

In my video I go through the steps of disassemble, iron sharpening, body conditioning, reassembly and then use.  I also used Flexcut Slip Strop and I do like it. The gold compound works well.

Pictures say a thousand words so a video should speak millions. This is one of my longer video’s, I hope I don’t loose your attention.


Opinions and questions are welcome, good or bad. Leave a comment, like my page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh and if you ever had a wish this would be mine.

The Mother load of Planes

Please be careful. Some of the things I do are dangerous. It is not my fault if you get hurt. Use your brain, be safe.

23 Responses to Refurbishing A Traditional Wood Moulding Plane

  1. Sandra Christopher says:

    Hi Dave, Great video. I have a few wooden planes waiting for me but haven’t got the nerve up to try yet. I’ll be watching more of your videos in the process. Thanks

  2. Pingback: Molding Planes

  3. dw says:

    Getting pretty deep in metal work now Dave. Not your kind, but metal work none the less.

    • David Bardin says:

      Don we have to use metal to work the wood. And some of the stuff we need causes us to learn to manipulate metal. We manipulate wood to get a finished product. It is just another form of creativity. Some of the stuff I want they don’t make anymore. I have seen the work you have done and it looks great.

  4. My wish would be pretty similar to yours Dave.

  5. Adam says:

    Hey Dave,

    I have just acquired a number of moulding planes and on a few of them, the blade continually slips. I’m not sure the wedge fits as it should anymore, but I don’t know. What could be the solution? Thanks!

    • David Bardin says:

      Adam I would use candle soot or oil lamp soot to mark the bottom and top of the wedge. Seat the wedge with the iron in and do a test shaving. Remove the wedge and inspect it for where the soot rubbed off. Look in the plane and check where the soot has marked the body. You are looking for even displacement of the seating of the wedge. I would only modify the wedge for adjustment of fit. There is a good chance of a ( frankinplane ). This is where parts are mismatched to get a whole plane ready for sale. Now if you bought a few planes in one lot there is a possibility that they were taken apart and mixed up in the reassemble. Good luck and let me know if I can help any more. I hope this helps.
      Google search
      Logan cabinet shoppe episode 30 bedding a plane iron
      That might help as well.

  6. William says:

    HEY! I have a pattern for a round tuit I made up a long time ago for my scroll saw. Maybe it’s time to break it out and make all you guys some roud tuits so ya’ll have no excuses.

    Great video, as always, Dave.
    I also see you included a photo of your pretty purple fancy stick.

  7. Randy Nash says:

    What’s so special about a plane wall!!!Lol.
    I woodn’t mind having you rehab all them planes for me. It ain’t like I wood ever get aroud tuit!!!

    It sounds like you are getting a little more comfy with dialog. Well done!

    • davidbardin says:

      Randy you buy em. I’ll fix em. And we will split em.
      The dialog takes a lot longer to produce. It is a lot easier just doing Images. But I wanted to get a few points across.
      We will get round tuit!
      Thanks 😉

  8. Ted says:

    I always wondered what’s a strop and I finally now I know. I had a similar plane some years ago but I don’t know what ever happened to it. Now that you showed us how to restore one, I’ll have to keep my eyes open for another one, or two, or five…. 🙂

    You put a lot of work into the iron. How much time do you figure you spent on it?

    Your site is lookin’ great!

    • davidbardin says:

      Hello Ted!
      My first experience was my uncle (who was a barber) was dragging that straight razor across the same strop that tanned my hide.
      There fun Ted. When you use a moulding plane on you project, you get a bit of satisfaction that a router doesn’t give you. Look around they are not hard to find and a fun project themselves.
      I have about three good hours in the iron and it could use a bit more. I am stingy with the steel and it needs some more work. But from the natural sharpening process I will get it down to where it needs.
      Thank you I try to work on it a little each day. I add, then I look at how busy I make it, then I take away. I like it to change it a bit so it doesn’t become dull. I also tuck things in the corners for people to find.
      Thanks for the kind words Ted. Come again.

      • says:

        Just checkin in to finally read the reply, but I’ll have to come back later to check out the interview with the dancing woodworker and discover what you’ve got tucked in the corners. 3 hours on the iron… you’ve got way more patience than I do. I’d probably have taken it to the sharpening wheel after the first half hour. Hmm.. but a molding plane – that would require the Dremmel grinder, hee hee. Peace out!

        • davidbardin says:

          Nooooo not a dremmel. Oh my. Well Ted good to see you again. Come back and hang out a while. I know you have been hard at it. Ted take a break and hang out with the guys. Your work will still be there.

  9. eddieantley says:

    Dave that was a very very good video ,i learned a lot from it ,you instruction was great even i got it , video shot were well shoot too very clear and to the point.thanks for sharing but then i know thats what you love doing ,thanks my friend

    ps at around 2:38 you applied some thing to the disk, the block of something,before you started the sharping what was that ,

    • davidbardin says:

      Thanks Eddie I am glad you got something out of it. Now when you see one of these for sale and its not to much, buy it and give it a try.
      I was using a belt sander eraser. It cleans the debris from the sandpaper and freshens it up. Those are 3 of 4 bucks at Harbor Freight.
      Eddie I am glad you stopped by. Come again.

  10. roger says:

    You are the plane master dave. Appreciate all the how-to.

  11. JL7 says:

    Hey Dave – now that is a great video for the “plane challenged” folk such as myself. I assume you made those contoured sanding sticks yourself? Very cool. I’ve never seen the process of sharpening the moulding plane before so this was right on…….

    I need to get off my butt and start sharpening some tools – cause the stuff you can do is incredible…

    Thanks for walking through the whole process……I watched it twice so far – but I’ll be back…..


    • davidbardin says:

      Jeff I tried hard this video to go step by step. I usually get excited when I am making them and don’t put everything in. And thank you for the complement. Planes can be frustrating. But just stay after it and it will come. The complex irons always scared me on sharpening. But the sticks make it a lot easier. I picked that one from a knife maker off of the internet. And you can put a quick edge on your pocket knife.
      Jeff as always, come again 😉

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