Bit Braces

Spear & Jackson

Bit Braces



English Hand Tools with Jim Hendricks


Overzealous "restoration" by Jim Hendricks


Many years ago on a distant UK woodworking forum someone posed a question: "what is the most dangerous thing in a workshop?"


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 abrasives.

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 Darby below.

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!

Jim Hendricks
My blog: KT Tools
Sevenoaks, Kent

, 2017




Preston Planes


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