A good few weeks ago I finally tracked down an old wooden halflong (fore) plane to replace the lost one that was my fathers. I got it on eBay after looking at the stuff on offer at car boot sales and a couple of local antique shops. I have been amazed a the prices being paid for wooden planes. Anyway, this one was a reasonable price, well used but well cared for and it took minimal sorting of the sole and iron. I used it in earnest for the first time at the weekend. What a revelation. It feels even lighter in use than when just handling it. It takes no effort to use, granted it was only planning 3″ x 1″ timber, even so it was a pleasure to use, and the shavings fairly flew out of the throat. I might need to sort out the wedge though. It has been subject to severe bashing at some time, looks like a hammer has been used rather than a mallet, which is strange as the rest of the plane is in really good condition. “Marples” is still visible on the heel and toe.
I’ll need to find a wooden smoothing plane now.
I really enjoy using wooden planes too! All the older planes I have have typical circular indents from being hit with a hammer. Plus the blades are dented around the edges from being hit by a hammer to make adjustments. I would imagine joiners used hammers quite often to adjust these planes. And I think we are more finicky with these planes because we use them for as a collection more than as a way to earn a living.
Congratulations on finding and getting to know your woody. I’d really love to see how a wooden plane (other than moulding planes) feels as it shaves some wood. I don’t have access to any at the moment. I’ll have to keep my eyes open to see if something becomes available. But I really, REALLY hate eBay – don’t think I have the patience for it.
@mattmcgrane try looking at wooden planes from England on eBay. Even though shipping is more, I think the planes from England are better quality and more reasonably priced.
My best up wooden jack plane is my favorite plane. It is set up to take thicker cuts and just glides on the surface. I bet you could make one out of hard maple or ash.
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Had a good look at the plane yesterday. ITs not a Marples after all. The iron is Marples. The stamp on the end looked like Marples. I mistook what I thought was a damaged V for an M and put this together with form other hard to see letters and read Marples. After a good look and a bit of a light scrape I could see its actually made by Varvill & Sons Ltd Ebor Works York. Its over a hundered years old!!! They stopped trading in 1904. I’ll take some pictures later and post them. There are some interesting and I think personal marks on the plane.
@dperrott. I enjoy it a lot! It’s light and comfortable in my hands. I have it set up to take super fine shavings and it works wonders. The lignume vitae sole just glides over the surface of the lumber. The only downfall is that the iron and chip breaker are bit finicky to take out and sharpen and replace. Its just something you have to get used too. Lateral adjustment I use a hammer to tap the edges. These planes show up on ebay from time to time and can be bought af reasonable prices. I actually have two and might be selling one.
I like these old wooden planes a lot, so I do have a coffin plane as well, but it cannot take nearly as a fine shaving as the primus plane. I think the mouth is to wide open and the blade needs to be reshaped. Maybe the previous owner used it for something other than a smoother.
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