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Plane of the Week with Ryan Sparreboom

  Preston Patented 2500P Router Plane 2 of 3  

The adjustable plate is moved by loosening the two screws on either side of the threaded pin and moving the “mouth” to the desired position. The plate could be adjusted to provide an incredibly fine mouth, and thus improve the ability to take fine shavings, as a smoothing or miter plane would do.

The third feature which was an improvement of the No. 1399P was the adjustable fences. My example of this tool is missing one of the fences, but when originally sold, it came with two. The fences allow for the router to be used in a straight line at a pre-set and precise distance from the edge of a workpiece.

The cutting irons on the 2500P are secured similarly to other router planes. A knurled adjusting nut fits into one of two slots milled into the back side of the cutter. Depending on the depth of work, the cutter has a large range of adjustability by using either of the two slots.

The nut adjusts up and down on a threaded post attached to the casting to adjust the depth of the cutter. A cast securing ring holds the cutter firmly in place with a screw tightened on the opposite side of whichever post the cutter is attached.

Another feature that was first included on the 1399P and carried over to the 2500P was the multiple attachment points for the cutter. The primary position, as shown in the photo above, would have been in the center of the plane with the cutter facing inwards. In fact, this is the only position in which the adjustable front and pin would be useful in forming a mouth in front of the cutter.

From this same position, the cutter could be moved 180 degrees to face the outside of the plane, thus creating an “open-mouthed” router plane, and perhaps allowing the cutter to reach areas not attainable when the cutter is facing inwards.

Also, the fine beech handles on this plane could easily be removed by unscrewing them, as they have threaded brass inserts. The cutter assembly can then be moved to either of the two outside handle positions, creating a narrower tool with even more reach. The cutter could be mounted to either the inside or outside of these handle positions, creating six different possible cutter positions. The fences become obsolete in either of these outside cutting positions.

Showing the plane set up with the cutter assembly moved to the left side,
and the left handle moved to the center.

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