Plane Shavings Blog

If you have been around many hand planes then I’m sure you have seen a handle/tote that looks like the one above. When I first began seeing these broken totes I just assumed the cause was a dropped plane. As time went on I kept seeing this condition, but began to take note that the planes were almost never broken. How could this be? These early planes were cast from gray iron. This is ordinary iron with little or no alloying materials added. It contains a lot of carbon, in the form of graphite, and is very brittle, as can be seen in this video. The question became, how could all of the broken totes that I have seen occurred without breaking the brittle plane body or the frog? The answer……….they could not! So there had to be another cause, or more likely causes.

Recently two people have come to…

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