the various projects I carry out, I often restore old tools. It means I
can purchase tools I couldn't otherwise afford, and it is good
to bring back otherwise unloved ones back into use.
of the tools are generally rusty when I purchase them, so a common
process is to use citric solution to do this. I will create a seperate
page on the process of this.
Restored October 2023
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Plane-
Some plane detective work and repairs
I bought this plane as a project of potentially dubious
provenance and condition. It was listed under Railwayana tools on ebay, with
the description "Lancashire Yorkshire railway Wooding Plane", but as
it was going cheap (about £30), seemed to be of age and is an infill plane I
thought it worth taking a punt despite my doubts.
Firstly I am confident it can't be a 'Wooding' plane- Robert
Wooding worked between 1706 & 1728 and this plane is definitely not old
enough to be one of his.
Whilst there is no makers mark discernible on the plane
body, both the iron and the chip-breaker are marked Mathieson, Glasgow. The
adjuster screw seems to match that used by the Mathieson company, and the
general shape also seems to match. I think that on balance of probability this
is a Mathieson Infill plane
When I received it, the handle wasn't attached. Prior to
purchase it had become clear that the handle didn't seem to be 'correct'-
Mathieson seemed to always use a saw style handle. It is obvious the handle has
been replaced at some point in the plane's life- it is of a different timber to
the rest of the plane, possibly beech. Under where the handle was attached was
a rusty stub of screw that doesn't have a corresponding hole in the handle. The
repairs had been effected with hide glue, with the timber well aged, so this
replacement has evidently been done a significant time ago. In my restoration I
therefore chose to refit the existing handle, as it is part of the history of
the plane even if it is not original.
The L&YR mark, supposedly identifying it as owned by the
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway is on the front tote and obviously stamped
in using metal punches. A few things make me wonder if this is genuine as it is
known that fakes of railway related items have been made by marking up
otherwise un-noteworthy items.
Firstly & most importantly, the stamping appears to have
been carried out after the tote was painted. In some places the paint in the
impressed areas has flaked out- it would seem most likely that this would occur
after the paint surface has been damaged by the stamping. If painted after
stamping, one would expect the deeper sections to be filled more with the new
The paint appears to have been applied to the plane,
certainly at the rear, after the handle repair has been made.
Similarly the top of the tote is damaged by use, scratched
and dinked, but the stamped letters appear to be over the top of these, again
suggesting the stamp was added later in life.
Whilst not definitive, if the L&YR were regularly
marking their property, I would have expected a proper touch mark/ stamp to be
used rather than individual stamps- The top of the tote would also seem to be a
poor place as it would be easily removed, and the metal body would therefore be
likely a better place to mark it.
All of these together suggest that this has likely been done
purposely to add fake provenance to it. I do not suggest that this was done by
the person I bought this from though. Ironically, this has probably meant I
obtained the plane for significantly less than it is worth as it was listed
under railwayana rather than with the other infill planes on ebay, similar
condition Mathieson planes needing restoration have recently sold for over £100
and a good restored one would be well more than this.
Other than re-gluing the handle and applying some black
woodstain to the repaired part, I have done nothing more than clean-up, sharpen
and wax the plane to get it back into working order
vintage draw knife was part of a job lot of tools and was in a pretty
terrible state, The handles were riddled with wood worm and the blade
was very rusty. The blade was cleaned and sharpened and new handles
were fitted, bringing the tool back to life. It has been used much more
than I would have expected.
Restored Draw Knife
Restored April 2021
I found a large box of rusty files at a bootfair, along with a couple of other items. £10 later I had over 50 files.
were sorted with the most damaged immediately scrapped. The rest were
put through a clean and de-rust using citric acid to clean and sharpen
them and a brass wire brush to remove 'pinned' metal.
After cleaning a few more files were disposed of as they were too far gone. In total, I ended up with about 30 useable files.
Finished Files Some Files as Bought and in Citric Acid
Wood Plane Restoration
I have been using for years an old Whitmore plane that had seen better days, and have
finally decided I wasn’t getting good results from it, so I started looking out
at the local bootfairs for a better plane or two. After a while of finding
nothing, I turned up several. The two pictured here are a Record No4 (with
Stanley pressure iron) and a Stanley Bailey No5. The No4 was in a pretty poor
state with extensive rust and some seized bolts, the No5 was in better (usable)
condition. Both have been through a process of dismantling and thorough
cleaning followed by repainting. The soles have been flatted, blades sharpened,
and exposed metal waxed. They have then been reassembled to make a nice useable
pair of planes.
No 4 & No 5 Planes
is a Union Manufacturing Company of Conneticut block
plane.This was in quite a poor state when I bought it but sound underneath
the muck and rust. Union was bought by Stanley in 1920, so it is 100
years or more old.
Union 139 Block Plane
The 78 rebate plane was bought at a bootfair and just needed
a clean of a few light rust patches and a sharpen to put back into use This was
finished, like most of my tool restorations with Liberon lubricating wax- I
highly recommend this for protecting tools.
The Stanley number 6C (corrugated base) is a later model as
it has plastic handles. It was a cheap Ebay find as it was dismantled. It
needed a thorough clean and sharpen before being put back to use.
The Millers falls plane is a number 15, bought in an unloved
state from an autojumble, again very cheaply. It is the equivalent of a 5 ½,
and from info available on the web dates between 1929 & 1961.
The plane needed a comprehensive de-rust, carried out by my
usual method of a citric acid bath. The black paint wasn’t in a great condition,
so this was repainted, and the broken handle repaired. The handle looks to have
been American beech originally, but as I didn’t have any, I used a piece of
English beech. The damage was cut off, the new wood glued on and the handle
re-shaped and refinished. The blade was sharpened and the whole lot
Millers falls planes are relatively unusual in the UK, but
this has proven to be a very nice plane- the original machining and finishing
is certainly nicer than the contemporary Stanley and Record offerings.
Restored Planes Millers Falls No 15 as purchased
Stanley No 20 compass plane was found in a pile of junk ready to be
thrown in a skip. Whilst the sole is heavily pitted and it needed a
through de-rust I have got a very usable plane for nothing! Plane as recoveredRestored Plane
linisher I restored to working order and mounted on a frame with a new motor
after I destroyed a warco one in a few months. This one is lasting much
Edwards guillotine manufactured in 1945 and rescued from a scrapyard a few years back. It was
missing a couple of parts including the springs and the treadle to blade links. I've repaired this
with springs salvaged from a commercial dishwasher and some steel bar, also found in the
(C) M.Pantrey 2020-23