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Woodworking hand planes
maintenance and care

Shop for Woodworking Hand Planes

Using a metal jointer plane Apart from setting up planes as described in Wonkee’s various step-by-step guides, there are a few things you can do to keep your planes in excellent condition so that they give many years of service.

Keep them on their side

Place plane on its side when not in use If you put a plane down when the iron is projecting, be sure to put it on its side.

If you put it ‘sole down’, you can damage the cutting edge of the iron, particularly if you hadn’t realised there was something very hard on the bench such as another tool or a screw.

Keep rust at bay

Applying light oil to hand plane can help preserve it If you have metal planes, rub a little light oil onto them if you’re putting them away for a while, to avoid any risk of rust and corrosion.

Linseed oil

Applying boiled linseed oil to a wooden plane If you have a wooden plane, to preserve the wood and keep it looking like new, apply a thin coat of boiled linseed oil to the stock with a cloth or rag.

If you drop your plane

Crack in side of hand plane If you drop a plane, check it extensively for damage, including cracks. Repair, replace or resharpen accordingly.

Keep it clean

Debris in frog area of plane Keep your planes clean. In particular, check the frog and throat areas for any debris.

Sharpness is vital

Sharpness of a hand plane's iron is vital Remember, sharpness is vital – follow Wonkee’s step-by-step guide, How to flatten and sharpen bench plane irons

Retracting the iron

Hand plane iron retracted It’s good practice to retract the iron before putting a plane away.

If the plane has an iron depth adjuster, turn it anti-clockwise until the iron’s cutting edge disappears inside the mouth.

If there is no depth adjustment on the plane, loosen the lever cap or wedge and move the iron upwards by hand, re-tightening the cap or wedge afterwards.

Retract iron with tap on the rear of the stock With most wooden planes, a tap or two with a mallet on the rear of the stock will also retract the iron.

Storing your planes

Hand planes kept in cabinet If you have several planes, you could invest in a cabinet to keep them in, or perhaps even make your own.