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
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
This is another view of the block planes
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
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