Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Planes with Green Medallions

This weekend I was a lucky guy and was not.

Guess what made me happy.

The not so good part started on Friday noon. A cold caught me.
Man, that is like pestilence.
But I think I will survive.

Nevertheless, my wife said I had to get out. And so we went to the flea market on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday one of the last booths made my day. A big chest with old, rusty and mostly useless tools.
But something caught my attention. A little green medallion. I pulled out a wooden chisel rabbet plane.
Not the worst condition. Finally the seller was glad to get rid of it and I paid near to nothing for it.

Ulmia Chisel Rabbet Plane

It is a Ulmia chisel rabbet plane in fair condition.

Ulmia Chisel Rabbet Plane
At home I have dismantled the little plane. A few encouraged blows with a hammer and the wedge was becoming loose.


The wedge seems to be ok. Maybe a bit of sanding and it will be ready to get back in.
On the other hand the iron will need some maintenance.

A rusty blade

Because I'm impatient I gave it a sanding with 120 grit sandpaper and could get rid of most of the rust.

Seems to be the original blade

Could get rid of most of the rust with a bit of sanding

The sole of the plane body is somehow not straight. I think a few swipes with a plane will correct that.

I gave the blade some anti rust treatment with rust remover and this improved the result once more.
If I will grind through the different grits I think the iron will look pretty good soon.
At this point I left the shop on Saturday. Not good to handle sharp tools if you don't feel well.

The Next Day

I didn't felt much better on Sunday.
But how women are, my wife meant it would be good to have some fresh air. So we went to another flea market on Sunday.
I was strolling through the booths, not very motivated, but with an open eye. Actually I was searching for a frame saw but with no luck again.
But suddenly I was standing in front of a booth were a family was selling all they could find in their basement or attic. At least it seemed like that. In the middle of their tables an ECE plane in pretty good condition caught my attention.
I asked for the price and I had trouble not to grin like a Cheshire cat. I feel guilty - a bit.

ECE Jack Plane

So I found this ECE wooden jack plane. It is in fair condition from my point of view. Of course a bit of work. But nothing what couldn't be fixed.
It seems to be an older model because it has got the classic mortice and not the modern cross pin.

ECE wooden jack plane with double iron

A quick disassembly at home showed that the iron has got some rust. I think some sandpaper and rust remover will do it.

A rusty blade but with a sharp edge

The wedge has got a bit from the rust of the blade. So I will sand this of.

Dismantled plane. The cap iron is pretty rusty.

The plane body has got some small defects which I can can get rid of with some sanding too. But question is how the body has to be treated afterwards? All suggestions are very welcome.


It was a good weekend and even not. I dislike the cold and I guess I have to bear it for the next few days.
On the other hand I like my finds. Guys, I do not want to boast but we are talking about expenditures under five bucks. I think that's a real bargain.
The other good thing is that I could get an ECE jack before the prices will increase in the next weeks, after Richard's praise in his last posts.

This weekend finds

BTW, do you know the ECE Book of Woodworking Tools? No? Have a look, it is an interesting read.

That's it pretty much much for this week.
Guys, stay healthy!



  1. Nice finds. I do the same with my plane irons initially. Nothing compares to sandpaper for removing rust to bare metal. I usually start with 100 grit and work up.
    Being sick sucks and I feel your pain.

    1. Hi Ralph,
      after a week I start to leave the flu behind me.
      Yes, I recognized that I could have started with a coarser grit dring the makeover. Did so on the wider plane iron.

  2. I've got a similar wooden jack set up as my scrub plane. Being lighter than a metal plane, it takes less energy to shove back and forth repeatedly, so I usually have it set for a light and narrow scoop, which again makes it easier to push and reduces the chance of nasty tearouts.

    1. Hello Paul,
      thanks for your comment. That's a good hint and I checked the blade. But it is dead square actually and I guess I will let it as it is. Got some other plans regarding scrub planes.

  3. Great find on those planes. You asked about treating the wooden plane body after cleaning it up. I think it was fairly standard to use linseed oil or BLO to clean and protect the wood. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess and let it cure for a few days. Then wax the body, but not the areas where the wedge touches the mortise. I was never sure whether or not you should oil inside the mortise.

    1. Hello Matt,
      thanks for answering my question. I did some investigation at ECE and they told me that the plane bodies are clear coated when they will leave for sale.


  4. Nice finds. I like ECE planes I have a few, good steel.
    Before I do anything like sanding to the body, Ill gave them a good scrub, with your favourite wood soap (I used Murphy's Oil) once dry, treat with any penetrating oil, the old standby was BLO (caution with the oily rags). I would avoid any oil or wax in the frog and wedge mortise area.
    I would probably not bother with any sanding judging from the pics. I never try to make my old tools looking like new but rather making them good workers.


    1. Hello Bob,
      thanks for your hints and opinion.
      The plane body has got some paint on it which you can't see on the picture, but I want to get rid of. Don't know what they have tried to plane. Maybe a coated door or so. Maybe I try just to sand these areas.
      Due to ECE the plane bodies are clear coated. So does it make sense to treat them with oil?
      I'm glad that I've found the ECE jack. I hope I like it. I'm struggling with setting the blade in another wooden plane I have. But maybe that's just a matter of practice.

  5. To treat or not to treat with oil?
    Normally that advice is for old (about 100 years old or so) wooden planes which are often found in a very dry condition. In your case, these are 20 th century products, not likely to suffer from excessive dryness, then besides conditioning the wood, it would not do much.
    These were probably shellacked or varnished. If so just repair the finish.
    Old paint marks etc...sand away