I would like to introduce
an interesting plane from my collection, made by
one of the most prominent Scottish plane makers
of all times, Alexander Mathieson.
He started making planes
in Glasgow and named his business the Saracen Tool Works. The
company claimed an “Established date” of 1792, but this is
likely traced back to John Manners, whom Mathieson may have
worked for in the early years.
Alex Mathieson would later become
the most successful tool maker and dealer in Scotland, having
bought out many other well-known plane makers. By 1899 Mathieson
had shops and retailers in his name expanding into Edinburgh,
Dundee, and even Liverpool. More of the interesting Mathieson
history and acquisitions can be
The plane is called a “flooring raglet” plane. In Kenneth
Roberts’ reproduction of Mathieson’s 1899 catalog, he indicates
that “raglet” was a Scottish term for “dado,” so this is just a
dado plane. It is made to cut a 3/8” wide groove alongside a
wall, into already laid flooring.
This groove would allow for insertion of wall paneling or
wainscoting, seamlessly fitting into the flooring.
The plane shown here (listed as a #785 in the 1899 catalog)
featured a metal plated “sole” which was an option costing 1
shilling and 6 pence more at the time. That was equal to
approximately 43 cents US in 1899. The plane is made of
fantastic quarter-sawn European beech and has a wonderful ray