These planes often came in pairs, a
right and a left, but in your searches you are apt to find only
one since molding plane sets were scattered when when chests
were emptied and the tools sold.
Snipes bill planes were used in at
least two applications in cutting moldings. First, they were
used to cut a narrow groove for hollows and rounds to follow. It
is best to start with a saw kerf for the snipes bill to follow.
The kerf is widened and deepened with the snipes bill and
hollows, rounds, and molding planes without fences are then used
to complete a molding.
The other use is to more sharply
define a line between two elements of a molding, say two rounds.
The subject plane is in near mint
condition with no mallet dents on the body and wedge. It was
made by Edward Preston and the imprint is crisp and vivid.
A view of the right side shows the fine line
of the boxwood boxing
that forms the sharp sole.
This is a view of the left side showing the
configuration of the sole
and the minimally exposed boxwood boxing.
The Edward Preston imprint is large, bold, and
This view of the end shows the boxing strip.
This photo is a close-up of the mouth of this
snipes bill plane.
James E. Price
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