Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trying the Wooden Plow

I kindof love the spelling "plough" for a plow plane, but its a bit much even for me.

Anyway, yesterday I was able to borrow this rig from a neighbor:

I asked permission to clean, tune and try it for a while.  With his blessing, today I got it looking a little better and operating rather smoothly:

I really should have taken a better "before" photo showing the condition of the metal.  It was solid, with no pitting, but totally covered in a thin layer of rust.  You can get a slight sense by looking at the brass screw on the top of the first photo.

After cleaning it and sharpening the iron,  I tested it on what I thought would be a difficult material, some curly maple.  It worked astonishingly well!  I am having trouble getting the backmost part of the cut (where only the toe of the plane is on the board) as deep as the rest of the cut, even tilting the plane a bit.  I am sure there are a whole host of techniques to learn, but this thing is great.

I hope to find one of my own someday.  In the meantime, I do have a metal one which is what I will use on the bulk of my projects.  This has been a ton of fun, though.  I really enjoy cleaning old tools and seeing what lies underneath the nasty exterior layers.


  1. Rob-

    Nice job on the plow plane. It looks like rosewood to me, not beech. Is there a maker's mark at the toe?

    Keep up the good work,


  2. Josh- It does look much more like Rosewood than Beech. Its a deep, dark brown with slightly reddish tone, not at all honey-colored like the beech I have seen. No makers mark is visible, though I did look.

    I did find a mark on the Try plane that was with it, looks like E. Parker & Sons (might be R or F or K instead of E). These tools all came from the same chest.

  3. Looks great! I'm sure the owner will be grateful... unless they are one of those that want to keep the patina--- I like the 'user tools'.