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Wood Plane Identification

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by primetime, 18 Feb 2020.

  1. primetime

    primetime

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    IMG_20200218_130904.jpg IMG_20200218_130917.jpg IMG_20200218_130938.jpg

    Does anyone know anything about these?
     
  2. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    To me they look like versions of elderly 'coffin planes', 1900's or earlier - used for general smoothing and made from beech.
    John :)
     
  3. primetime

    primetime

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    Cheers John. Next question, any value in them?
     
  4. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    The first one is what was usually called a "Bismarck" plane on account of the style being like the standard bench/smoothing plane that is still made today in Germany (Google E C E Emerich, Primus or Ulmia for modern examples). UK made ones were generally fairly narrow with a blade around 35 to 40mm wide and were generally supplied with a single iron. The main use (in the UK) was as a scrub plane for the initial fast preparation of solid timber before switching to a jack or sometimes a fore plane. Body is usually beech on English examples. Yours is missing the wooden wedge which holds the blade in place

    The lower plane is a coffin(-shaped) smoothing plane, beech body, English. Certainly nowhere near as old as John says

    Both are in very poor condition and neither appear to have maker's marks, so probably worth very little (under a fiver, possibly nothing).

    These planes were hardly uncommon and were manufactured up until the late 1960s with William Marples being the last firm to have a wooden plane making department. Yours look to be late-ish "generic" tools so are generally of little interest to collectors, and even less Interest to users, I'm afraid

    When I apprenticed (early 1970s) some of the older guys still used wooden planes which they preferred as they allegedly glided across the wood better than metal planes did as well as being lighter and less easily broken when taken out on site. AFAIK the switch to metal (Bailey) planes only really started in the UK in the 1920s (when Stanley and Sargent planes both arrived) but craft apprentices would often still have been required to learn the use of wooden planes as late as 1970 (they were still use in school woodwork shops in the 1960s because they were cheaper that metal planes as well as not breaking if dropped onto a concrete floor!). I can recall Marples BB wooden planes still being available at our local ironmongers in the early 1970s along with replacement blades from Hearnshaws, Marples and others
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2020
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  6. primetime

    primetime

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    Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response.
     
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