I know I am a different kind of
old tool guy when
I find an old tool and show it to my collector or user friends
and watch them
roll their eyes and snicker.
Such was the case with this plane,
a razee jointer, 23 inches in length, that some past craftsman
made from the body of a manufactured plane.
I get excited by tools that are
mundane and even repulsive to most collectors but exhibit some
feature I have never seen before, a testimony to the ingenuity
of a craftsman long deceased. In the case of this plane, a past
woodworker had a mental template of what he thought a jointer
should look like and it was not satisfied with what a commercial
Thus, he customized a plane to fit
his hands in the posture he struck when he was jointing boards.
In this case he carved a depression in the top front where his
thumb rested and one on the left front side in which his left
forefinger curled in order to hold and guide the plane more
He used this plane lots because the sole was worn
away so much that I had to make an insert ahead of the blade to
give it a narrow mouth again. He also carved a shallow
depression in the left side of the rear handle in which his
right thumb rested.
These modifications make sense to
me. They make a jointer plane much more ergonomic than an
unmodified one. Yes, I like it, and I do not care if my tool
friends deem it amusing and of little value.
This image shows a detail of the grip depressions.
This is an image of the depression for the left forefinger.
This image shows the configuration of the thumb hole.
The plane has an I. Sorby iron in it.
And, another view of the thumb hole.
Note the depression at the top of the tote for accommodating a
James E. Price