W. & S. Butcher

Stanley Planes

English Braces


Plane of the Week with Ryan Sparreboom

  My Favorite Infill Plane by Ryan Sparreboom 2 of 2  

We know by the amount of finely made Scottish style castings that show up, that someone, likely several people, were casting these plane bodies in Scottish foundries.

Many of the largest makers of the time, Slater, Marples, Preston, Norris, Mathieson, and Spiers advertised castings available for purchase, but none that Iíve seen recorded are in the Scottish style as this plane is. So who made them and why are they never marked? I suppose it remains a bit of a mystery.

I have always preferred the heavier smoothing plane like the Stanley # 4 Ĺ size, over a # 4 or # 3 sized smoother. I like the weight and the ease in which such a plane will push through the more difficult wood grain. This plane takes everything to the next level.

Itís massive and finely honed, 3/16Ē thick, parallel Marples iron allows me to tackle even the most gnarly of wood grains with ease. There is no chatter or skipping with this plane. I have it set to take a very fine smoothing cut, and it does so with ease.

Here I am planing some Lyptus wood (a plantation grown Eucalyptus species.) Itís not a particularly difficult wood but just what I was working on at this time. This Scottish plane takes beautiful shavings and leaves a fine surface, ready for a finish.

This planes rear handle fits my hand wonderfully. There is a reassurance felt when the top horn wraps over the hand between the thumb and back of the hand. A sure grip is giving confidence when wielding this heavy plane.

This plane holds a special spot in my till of infills. I purchased it several years ago from renowned tool dealer Jim Bode and had appreciated the purchase ever since.

Scottish made planes are some of the finest, and this plane has to be among the finest Scottish planes I own. It is cherished and appreciated every time I pick it up and make shavings with it. It truly belongs on my bench.

Ryan Sparreboom
February, 2018

Ryan Sparreboom

Ryan Sparreboom is a 39 year old hobbyist woodworker and tool collector living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

He enjoys building fine furniture and small wood crafts of all types. He began woodworking about 14 years ago with some simple projects for his home. Since then, his woodworking skills have improved and his work has been featured twice in Canadian Woodworking Magazine.

Ryan has expanded his woodworking to include turning fine bowls, vases and other turned wood items.

His craft has expanded in recent years to collecting woodworking tools, primarily hand planes, focusing on British and Scottish made infill and wood planes. He finds great joy in the history of the tools and in honoring their heritage by continuing to restore and use them in his own work.

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