The iron bridle itself is shaped to fit on the top side of the
arms and is kept square by two brass pins coming up from the
fence on the inside of the arms. It has a threaded bolt which
fits through its center and proceeds through the fence where it
threads into the iron plate affixed to the bottom. The brass
thumb screw at the top is turned to tighten or loosen the bridle
on both arms simultaneously. In this way, the fence cannot be
wracked, and always stays parallel to the planes skate.
This plow plane is a model without the handle. More expensive
models included integrated handles and fancier arms made in
ebony or even solid brass. A common feature of the earlier
models was to have a knob style handle threaded into the rear
right side of the plane body. McGlashan chose a solid ebony knob
for this plane. It fits extremely well and makes the plane comfortable and
easy to control.
Like many plow planes, this model features a depth adjustment.
In Part 1 of this mini-series, I showed a sash fillister plane
by John Manners which featured a simple depth stop made of a
beech wedge fitted into the body of the plane and adjusted by
The McGlashan plow plane has a more advanced adjuster. The brass
screw is attached to an iron and brass fence, which adjusts up
and down to set the depth of cut. The fence is morticed into the
underside of the plane body and can be adjusted to be flush,
allowing for full depth of cut, or right to the bottom of the
skate, giving a very shallow cut.
In the photo below we can see McGlashan’s maker mark. The plane
is also stamped seven times by the
owner, a Mr. G. Adams, who was certainly proud to be one of the
owners of this plane.
Here is the McGlashan bridle plow plane at work.
John McGlashan passed away in 1849 from typhoid fever, and David
Malloch took over his business.