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Sorby Tools


Plane of the Week with Ryan Sparreboom

  Flooring Raglet Plane by Ryan Sparreboom 1 of 3  

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 about 1822 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 found here>>>

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 fleck.

1 of 3  


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