I bought this shoulder plane from Axminster Power Tools  a while back, and whilst setting it up I snapped the blade hold down in two. As can be seen from the picture below the hold down is a fairly crude casting, and apparently breakage is quite a common problem with this model.   I have used Axminster for many years and knew that their customer services would gladly send a replacement, but rather than go down that route and end up with a large pile of broken castings in the corner of the workshop, I decided to make my own upgrade.

This is the original hold down casting with part-shaped steel replacement behind. This has been cut out of the steel blank with a hacksaw and drilled and tapped to take an M6 bolt. The original bolt was steel but I had some spare brass ones which always look better.

Axminster Shoulder Plane Upgrade 1

The shaft was then filed round and the front end marked for final shaping.

Axminster Shoulder Plane Upgrade 2

Here is the final shaping completed.

Axminster Shoulder Plane Upgrade 3

Then a quick trial fit.

Axminster Shoulder Plane Upgrade 4

I spent a bit of time smoothing out the machining marks on the grip recess, and then honed the blade in to the same width as the body as, like most shoulder planes, the blade is supplied slightly over sized.   All assembled and good to go.

Axminster Shoulder Plane Upgrade 5

At work with its big brother, a Record 778 rebate plane replicating rail and stile sections on a window repair job.

Axminster Shoulder Plane Upgrade 6

For around £30 the plane is a useful addition to the site toolbox if you are prepared to spend a bit of time making a replacement hold down.

I hope you found this interesting, and as always feel free to share and dont hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments.