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How to restore a hand planes

2 planes, before & After

Most of us have one or more old bench planes sitting on shelves gathering everything but sawdust. Recently, hand-tool expert and Contributing Craftsman John Olson took it upon himself to rehab one such plane -- a turn-of-the-century knock-off of a Stanley No. 5 jack plane. Its design makes a nice compromise between a smoother and a jointer, and a great starter bench plane. And the No. 5 remains one of the best-selling models in history, making parts easy to find. Even if your plane isn't identical to ours, these steps improve many planes -- including new-in-the-box models.

2 planes, before & After
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