Car boot (trunk US) sales (bit like a combo garage/flea market or neighborhood garage sale US) are hit-and-miss venues for tool finding, but each week, in about an hour or so, I can find a handfull of good, old tools to restore and use. My apprentice, John Winter, was asking me about a plane in my tool chest and I told him it was a featured article in a recent issue of The Woodworker magazine. In the article, I restored a car-boot-find jack plane just like this one, which is the one I found last weekend and gave to John for him to restore and use.


£2 worth of history past

A man’s good eye no more to cast

Upon the warped wood to gauge

Its twisted shape and make it true


And ne’er again ‘is sweated hand upon the beech

To jerk into a stretching reach

Nor shavings rising from the throat

To fill the ground beneath his trampling feet


It’s amazing to me to see in such a short time how John can now restore a plane he never used before and whisk off perfect shimmering shavings just like an expert. All of this came from my training him to set up and use the basic Bailey-pattern smoothing plane. This older plane was made by ECE plane makers and has an Hearnshaw Brothers cutting iron. Here the results are evident, and all for just £2. Imagine!



  1. Stephen P on 28 June 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Paul I sometimes see wooden planes for sale for not much money. I want to pick on up but I am not sure how to know if they are any good. I supposed if I put a straight edge on it and the sole is okay then it should be good to go. Can you flatten the sole of one that way you can a #4?

    • Paul Sellers on 29 June 2013 at 10:01 am

      Easier! You plane them flat if needed with a flat plane. If they are cheap enough you can’t really lose on this.

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