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New tools from old. Don’t let those old planes just sit and gather dust – the parts can be used to make some clever new tools (clockwise from left): a sanding block, a simple string inlay thicknesser, an adjustable string inlay thicknesser, a dowel-making jig and a chisel plane.

The box arrives in the mail and the new plane you’ve been yearning for has finally arrived. You spend a few minutes admiring the workmanship, then get to work flattening the back of the plane iron and honing a razor sharp edge. You take a few whisper-thin shavings and feel contentment.

Later comes the unsettling question: What do you do with your old handplane – the one that never quite cut the way you wanted it to? Or what about that just “plain awful” plane you picked up at a garage sale or on eBay, or the one that fell off a bench and broke? I’ve had quite a few planes over the years that fell into each of these categories, and rather than toss them or sell them off I’ve been able to make very productive use of many of the parts.

What kinds of planes? And what is actually useful? Almost everything has some part or other that can be re-
purposed (well, maybe not the stamped sheet metal block plane a friend once gave me).


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