When Stanley’s bench plane patents expired in the late 1920s a number of tool makers rushed to grab in a share of the immensely successful Bailey design by launching their own copies. At the same time many manufacturers attempted to improve the design to differentiate themselves from Stanley who were, by then, well established in … Read more The Millers Falls 2-part Lever Cap
Leonard Bailey’s eponymous plane design was so good that bar a few minor tweaks by J A Traut1)Traut was a prolific inventor who worked for Stanley – you can read a bit about the tweaks he made to the design after Bailey sold the patent rights to Stanley in the 1860s: Record Bench Planes – a … Read more The Record Stay-Set Cap-Iron
Right, that’s quite enough about plane irons. Here is a summary: Sharpening bench planes – preparing the iron bench planes – grinding bench planes – sharpening angles bench planes – honing History bench planes – tapered or parallel blades? bench planes – thick or thin irons? Bench planes – blade steel choices bench planes – … Read more All about plane irons – a summary
Following the previous articles about iron, steel and plane cutters it may be tempting to view laminated cutters as an historical curiosity from a forgotten era of wooden planes, wrought iron and crucible steel. However, modern manufacturing companies like Record and Stanley chose to use laminated irons in their metal planes right up until the … Read more Laminated plane irons – Stanley and Record
An earlier post, bench planes – laminated vs steel blades, asked why manufacturers went to the trouble of making plane irons by welding a steel bit on to a backing of wrought iron and this in turn led to a brief review of the history of steel and steel making: Iron and steel – part I … Read more laminated plane irons revisited
If you pick up a wooden bench plane from the the last century (there are lots of them about still!) the chances are it will have a ‘laminated’ cutting iron1)we are going to touch on some basic metallurgy with many mentions of iron in this post, so I will refer to them as ‘blades’ herein. … Read more bench planes – laminated vs steel blades
Makers of edge tools, including plane blades, need to be concerned about several different properties of steel: Toughness: This is the ability of the steel to deform without breaking, cracking or chipping. Materials that lack toughness are said to be brittle1)sharpening angles have an effect here – the narrower the angle the less metal … Read more Bench planes – blade steel choices
From the time they were introduced in the 1860s by Leonard Bailey until quite recently, metal bench planes were supplied with thin irons. On paper this is a good thing: thin irons are an improvement on thick ones in as far as they are cheaper to make – since they use less material – and … Read more bench planes – thick or thin irons?
This article is about blades used in wooden planes but there is an interesting parallel between the blade choices available to wooden plane users at the start of the 20th century and the choices facing metal plane users at the start of the 21st (the contemporary choice is between thick vs thin irons, rather than … Read more bench planes – tapered or parallel blades?
We already read about the importance of sharpening angles, camber is the other consideration when sharpening a plane cutter. It is common to add a slight curve or “camber” when preparing a cutter to take off a lot of material – the curve means only a small section of the blade enters the wood initially … Read more bench planes – blade camber