Tool Making for Restoration Work
When repairing the edge molding on an old dresser drawer, it became evident that the best course of action would be to fabricate a new piece. The photo below shows that an earlier repair attempt with a can of putty would not make the grade.
After searching for the perfect router bit or combination of bits to duplicate the molding, I soon realized I would be better off making a scraper plane. I had saved some steel strapping for such an occasion. Mild steel is good for making simple tools like putty knives and scrapers.
After removing the old piece of molding, I cut off one end at ninety degrees in order to trace the profile on some cardboard for a pattern. After transferring the pattern to the strap metal, I finished the bulk removal and shaping on a bench grinder with a small die grinder with diamond coated bits.
I made the body of the plane with some scrap poplar and a bolt with a wing nut. It took a little adjusting and a shim before the scraper plane decided to work the way I had hoped.
With a scrap of walnut clamped in the vice, shaping the profile didn’t take long. Though it is not clear in the photo to the left, I ended up layering a smaller strip of walnut to the top edge to accomplish the profile with less scraping.
I was pleased with the result and once again reminded of the fact that it takes a few tools to make a tool.
Browse CustomMade’s galleries to see examples of our artisans’ restoration work.