The trouble with hand planes is that, in using them, they invariably
get dirty. The consolation is, keeping them looking like new is pretty
The bodies of our Veritas® planes are ductile cast iron and come
treated with rust preventative. Remove this with a rag dampened with mineral
spirits. Clean all machined surfaces, including the area under the nose
and the toe itself, as applicable to your plane. Other plane manufacturers
may ship their planes with lacquer on the blade, sole and cheeks. If this
is the case with your plane, you should take it off.
We recommend that you initially, then periodically, apply a light coat
of paste wax to seal out moisture and prevent rusting; this also has the
added bonus of acting as a lubricant for smoother planing. Wipe off any
wood dust from the surfaces that you will be waxing, apply a light wax
coating, let dry, then buff with a clean soft cloth. At the same time,
the solvents in the wax will remove any harmful oils left from your fingers
that can lead to corrosion. This is especially important with planes that
are gripped on the machined surfaces, such as block planes and shoulder
If storage conditions are damp or humid, planes should ideally be wrapped
in a cloth or stored in a sack, such as a plane sack. This precaution
will also guard against dings and scratches. Keep in mind that both paste
wax and a plane sack contain silicone that, if transferred to your workpiece,
could cause finishing problems such as "fish eyes". To avoid
this problem, use silicone-free products, such as Waxilit® sliding
agent and glue release or TopCote® table and tool surface sealant,
which are excellent alternatives to regular paste wax. However, before
treating a plane with TopCote® sealant, wipe off any fingerprints
with a cloth dampened with a small amount of light machine oil. Remove
any residual oil, then apply TopCote® sealant to the plane's sole
Every so often, take the plane apart to clean and lubricate it where
necessary. Remove the lever cap, blade and adjustment mechanism and, where
applicable, also remove the frog from the body and the cap iron from the
blade. For block planes and shoulder planes, remove the toe from the body.
Clean all parts with a cloth dampened with a dab of light machine oil.
The blade bed, cap iron and machined contact surfaces between the body
and frog or toe, as well as the adjustment components (pivot, threaded
shaft and traveller), will benefit from a light coat of oil to keep them
working freely. For corroded plane bodies, we recommend you first remove
the rust with a fine rust eraser, then treat as described above.
The bright finish on the brass components can be maintained as above.
If a patina finish is preferred, simply leave the brass components unprotected
until the desired level of oxidation has occurred, then apply a sealant.
If you want to make them bright and shiny again, you can revitalize the
surface with a brass polish.
The rosewood knobs and handles have a lacquer finish and should require
nothing more than a wipe with a clean cloth from time to time.