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Bronze Miniature Hand Plane - What Use?

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jcassidy

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Hi all

A local auctioneer has 3 of these handplanes, described as above and as being approx 3 inches wide.

What an earth are they for? Would they be worth a punt? I'm not a hand plane collector per se. This auctioneer doesn't usually have hand tools so I suspect these are a from a deceased estate and probably collected as an oddity rather than for using.
 

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Argus

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The appearance with a cross bar, suggests to me that they are oriental. The wide mouth and curved edge would indicate some sort of scrub-plane, but why that small? Having said that luthiers tools are even smaller in some cases.

However, looking at the size - about 3 inches long - I do have a small plane made by Mujingfang that I got from Rutlands about 18 years ago, it is about that size and shape as the one in the picture but there the similarity ends.
It was described as a 'Hong-Kong' style plane; in this case the mouth is very tight and has a brass liner in front. The blade is mounted at 60 degrees -quite a rarity and the reason for me buying it and a couple of larger ones in the same series. It's a little beauty at dealing with wild and curly grain. It can produce the finest shavings with very little effort.

However, if the price is right..... may be worth a punt, then wait for the right type of use to come up.
 

Droogs

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They look like chinese or japanese Hakone planes. Used to take veneer slices of parquetry patterns for boxes and inlay etc

If not expensive, i would defo get them and use them for making inlay patterns and edging
 

D_W

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I've not seen one cast before like that in chinese pattern (someone probably took a small chinese plane and just used it to create a pattern to cast).

guitar/violin/cello kind of size, or for trimming thin stuff (like veneer) .
 

jcassidy

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Well they're 3 inches wide, so I guess maybe 9 long?

Hopefully there won't be anyone interested in tools at the auction. Thanks for these tips and any more anyone cares to offer!
 

D_W

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goodness, my age is showing. I expected they'd be three inches long and read it as I expected it. If they are 9 inches long, they will be a load if they're solid or anywhere close to it. Can you get your hands on them?

The iron is very coarsely made and may just be decorative.

If they're solid bronze or brass, they'll be unusable as tools.
 

D_W

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(if they don't go for a lot, I'd buy them, anyway - you don't see something like that too often)
 

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Not luthier’s planes, at all, but copies of Chinese planes. They work on the pull-stroke, as do the similar (though un-handled) Japanese planes. All sizes of these come in wood, rather than bronze; I’d be inclined to check that the castings are properly dimensional, and the soles flat.
 

JohnPW

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I think it's 75mm in length not width. The proportions of the blade thickness and screw size don't look right if it's really 75mm in width.

75mm in width would make it roughly the same size as a 5 1/2 plane and that would be huge and very heavy.
 
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D_W

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These are not for violin making. They are too big.
see two posts above your post.

(looking at the mouth, the size and weight that would come with casting bronze that large, and the iron that doesn't really look like an iron, I think they're decorative).

Not that it's impossible that someone thought it might be a good idea and then found otherwise. My grandfather cut and split wood for income in his retirement (sold firewood). He had an axe for small work (pieces missed on the splitter or later thought too big, etc), and eventually got tired of abusing the handle below the poll, so after replacing the handle X number of times, he got bar steel and inserted a handle about 3 feet long made of bar stock. He used that axe the rest of his life - but nobody else would've. It doubled the weight of the axe, messed up the balance and it was bar stock so it was about as uncomfortable as you'd expect holding an axe to be (and transmitted every vibration, etc, direct to fingers).

My point, of course, if this smoother turned out to be 10 pounds or even 7, it would be unusable other than for play shavings.
 

JohnPW

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If a general auctioneer is going to give one dimension, it's not going to give its width but its longest dimension ie length.
 
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jcassidy

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Well unless they are going for pennies, I think I'll keep my money for another time. I'll let youse know what they go for. I think they're probably Chinese things, decorative or not, this auctioneer sells a lot of collections from deceased estates, carpets, porcelain, etc. I wonder how much of an edge they'd hold.

And I agree I think they're 3" long, rather than wide.
 

IWW

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From that very large mouth, & if they are 3" long, I suspect they are bottle openers. Not meant for planing wood but for taking the caps off beer bottles after the planing is done for the day..... ;)

Cheers,
Ian
 

jcassidy

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Sold for Eur55 and Eur60, in case anyone is interested.
I may have bought one. Oh dear. I do hope it's not a bottle opener.
 

jcassidy

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Proud owner of a teeny tiny Hong Kong style plane. No idea why.

Anyway... The iron was horrendous, a full 3mm diff between left and right. LOL. Not a problem as it seems to be mild steel, so it was easy to fix! But dulls straight off, so I doubt if it will be much use trimming tenons or dovetails. But sure we'll see with time.
 

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D_W

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I called out the iron being decorative ...whee! What's the prize. Tool steel generally doesn't look like the mealed up surface that was on the top of that iron.
 

jcassidy

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Yeah I have to agree. I did try to use this just now and the sharp corners on the iron make it a pain, pushing or pulling... I will stick a decent iron in it at some stage, I have a few from rabbit plane that might fit... otherwise it goes on a shelf as a lesson learnt.
 
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