Many years ago on a distant UK woodworking forum someone
posed a question: "what is the most dangerous thing in a
My favorites answer - "a sheet of sandpaper!"
Well, today I am able to show this. I managed to win a very rare
and old moulding plane on eBay UK for a mere £8. Why? Because
some previous abuser decided to clean all the history off with
Ok, it was theirs to do what they wish and thankfully they were
lazy. They couldn't be bothered to ruin the toe with the maker's
mark nor the glorious wedge.
After my soapbox beginning the good news - just look at the
mark! Beautifully hand-cut stamp, almost certainly another,
unrecorded member of the DARB(E)Y family of Birmingham, England.
Probably the missing Darby who spelled his name without an "E"
and partner later to John Cox of Darby & Cox.
The wedge, the toe, the heel and the escapement were saved
but both sides were abraded to a "new" wood.
John Jennion on top, lovingly preserved by Richard Arnold and
The stunning hand-cut mark.
Even the iron did not escape the disc sander.
Fine cut and perfect cove.
So if you get an old woodie, clean it gently, wax it, and admire
the history. And leave the abrasives in the drawer, please!