I have two shoulder planes made of bare, non finished or oiled beech. Both are
new Nooitgedagt brand and I goofed, jammed the wedges in too tightly. Have
you got the right method of freeing them?
Then you're hitting it too hard.
Put down the big mallet. Get a small, light hammer (about 4oz) and tap
it _quickly_. It may take some goes, but I've never met a plane this
wouldn't unstick unless the iron was actually rusted in.
If you're recovering a junker, then you may need to be brutal to the
wedge. But this is very much a last resort.
Making new wedges isn't that easy either - they need to be an
excellent grade of stable well-seasoned timber (beech) that's already
a few years old. Then you need to get the angles to fit the body
accurately. A sloppy wedge is one that won't hold its adjustment in
I was given a very odd wooden plane a couple of years ago.
it's small and high angle, and the blade is fairly thin steel, but
takes a good edge. the body is nicely carved with some tasty ornament.
the mouth is large at the sole but narrows down in the throat, so it
packs up quickly with shavings. the toe has a couple of grips carved
into it but no obvious place to apply the mallet for setting and
adjusting the cutter. the heel, OTOH does.
the body of the plane is something hard, dense and light colored-
beech or hornbeam or something like that- with a few layers of dark
stain and or age. the wedge obviously went missing some time back and
someone had made an attempt at a replacement. the attampt at a wedge
was in mahogany- a decent piece of mahogany, but still too soft. I
spent some time (probably too much, really) trying to make it work. no
matter how well I fit it I can't seem to keep it from chattering and
dropping the wedge. I'll have to keep my eye out for the right bit of
it's not a plane that I need too badly- I have several metal body
block planes that work just fine and are about the same size. none of
them are as high angle as this mystery woodie though and frankly it's
a cool enough thing that I do want to get it up and running.
If the iron extends beyond the wedge AND the wedge end of the iron is
narrower than the cutting end - it should be - then put the palm of one
hand over the top of the plane and hold the wedge tightly with thumb and
index finger while Gently tapping on the wedge end of the iron. The iron
should come free out of the mouth. Be sure that the iron has a soft place
I have successfuly used this method on a couple 18th century planes.
So, holding it that way while tapping on the top of the iron, not on the cutting
edge, I'll try that too. Sounds good, thanks much.
Other stupid answer from my misunderstanding:
That sounds good too. But the cutting edge is (as I keep it) "up" in there so as
not to protrude out, causing damage. Donwanna damage the mouth either.
I did think about that too but couldn't think of tapping on the cutting edge, as
one side thought.
Alex <<< HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!!!!!
If (unlikely) the iron is tapered (thicker at the bottom), simply
drive the iron DOWNWARDS. This releases the lock.
OTOH, if tapping (inertia) won't free the blade, hold the wedge
in a vice, gripping the WHOLE exposed portion. and tap the plane
off the wedge.
Try to generate forces in the line of the wedge if possible.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.