W. & S. Butcher

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Spear & Jackson


Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Some Block Planes 1 of 2  

Sometime ago Jim Hendricks pulled out some wonderful block planes for a post on our Unplugged Woodworkers forum on the Facebook and in the comments he urged me to post photos of some of mine. Here they are...

For beginner woodworkers a block plane is plane with a low angle blade with the bevel up. Folklore tells us they are called "block planes" because they were used to level the tops of butcher blocks that became uneven for slicing and cleaving cuts of meat.

These block planes are mostly English in origin and are some of the finest
tools made in Sheffield. The one on the far end is an Irish pattern block plane.

They have been used by joiners for approximately 300 years to plane end grain and are not to be confused with shoulder and low angle infill rabbet planes which have bevel up blades that extend all the way across their soles and were used to cut gains. Block plane blades do not have fully open mouths and you cannot see through their throats from their sides.

This is another view of the block planes described above.

These are miter planes which are simply big block planes. The one on the left is an 18th-Century plane with a faggoted wrought iron body. The central plane is a cast iron specimen probably made by a craftsman from a rough casting he tried and infilled. The specimen on the right is a Spiers of Ayr miter plane and a hard one to find.

This photo illustrates the Cupid's bow on the cross bar.

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English Chisel


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