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Working with Hands - James E. Price


Snipes Bill Planes



I was getting some molding planes out for a project today and rediscovered one of my snipes bill planes.

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 deep.

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
April, 2016

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