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Identify these plough blades?

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Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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This is a long shot but I must ask whether anyone here can identify these plough plane blades from the UK?

They are a set of 8 (numbered 1 through 8 ) that I purchased for a plough plane I am about to build, and run from 3/16" through to 5/8". The blades are tapered and laminated. There are no maker's marks and the only markings are the number and "Warranted Cast Steel". The grooves are nicely done (clean and straight), so these are not likely to be shopmade. They have the look of cared-for vintage steel that were made by a known blademaker.







Regards from Perth

Derek
 

jimi43

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Hi Derek

As you probably know...the plough plane was a very common tool back in the Victorian and Edwardian times.....here are a "set" I found...



However...mine are all marked with various makers names....Ibbotson....



Ward....



Hilddick....



...and this strange...and yet to be identified one....



But without a maker's name...yours could very well be generic steel from a supplier like Tyzack perhaps...who sometimes bought from regular makers and sold them with either their name or no name at all.

That would be my closest guess.

I take it you know the geometry of the "frog" etc...and the need for the iron arc in order to ensure a correct fit. The slot fits on the rear skate thus....



This one just happens to be a Tyzack and I am sure would have come with a set just like yours...



I was just lucky to make a good marriage...apparently this is not always possible.

I take it the wood that you will be using for yours will be Jarrah?!!!! :mrgreen: :wink:

They really cut lovely clean grooves if tuned right...



Cheers my friend and don't forget to post a WIP in your inimitable style!

Jim
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Jim

The letter style does match any of those you have.

Say more about the geometry of the "frog" etc...and the need for the iron arc in order to ensure a correct fit.

My plan includes a 50 degree bed. All the irons have the same geometry and width (the reason for getting this set), so I assume that they will fit with the same wedge. While I thought I know how to build a plough - this is to be a "bridle plough" - I am not aware of an "iron arc"?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

jimi43

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Hi Derek

If you look at the irons from the side against a straight edge there should be an arc..i.e. they are not flat.

When the iron is set in the bed the end nearest the edge sits on the rear skate with the groove resting on it.... and when the wedge is driven home the arc of the iron and the wedge push the iron hard against the skate thus preventing chatter and ensuring a tight fit. The groove geometry and the skate geometry along with the iron arc should match to ensure a highly tuned mating.

Therefore people who buy the body with say one iron and get another set assuming that they would fit are disappointed.

Does this make sense or am I teaching a grandmother to suck eggs...?

Jim
 

Cheshirechappie

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Hi Derek,

As I'm sure you're aware, Sheffield had for many years a mixture of largish, smallish and tiny toolmaking concerns. There were a great many 'little mesters', self-employed hammer-men, grinders and hardeners. Several 'manufacturers' were nothing more than a guy with a namestamp and a frontroom. He bought some barstock from one of the steel stockholders, took it to a hammerman, then a hardener, then a grinder, then sold to dealers. Ashley Isles describes it all very well in 'Memories of a Sheffield Tool Maker'.

Looks like your manufacturer couldn't afford a namestamp! However, the 'Warranted Cast Steel' mark is all the assurance you need. They look like a matched set, too.
 

jimi43

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Cheshirechappie":mrtogtpb said:
Hi Derek,

As I'm sure you're aware, Sheffield had for many years a mixture of largish, smallish and tiny toolmaking concerns. There were a great many 'little mesters', self-employed hammer-men, grinders and hardeners. Several 'manufacturers' were nothing more than a guy with a namestamp and a frontroom. He bought some barstock from one of the steel stockholders, took it to a hammerman, then a hardener, then a grinder, then sold to dealers. Ashley Isles describes it all very well in 'Memories of a Sheffield Tool Maker'.

Looks like your manufacturer couldn't afford a namestamp! However, the 'Warranted Cast Steel' mark is all the assurance you need. They look like a matched set, too.
CC is quite correct there Derek...and I have just checked my selection and three of them are unbranded too.

One is marked Tyzack which is fairly similar and I would still think that the set would have been made for a distributor rather than a maker but there is even a possibility that the original plane that would have gone with the irons would have been made in a small workshop and set to match perfectly.

I have a Slater infill smoother which was sold by Tyzack but is clearly a Slater...and indeed they bought from Norris and put their name on these bodies.

On one of my plough irons...there is a V(CROWN)R mark indicating the 18th Century so I guess of the original Tyzack irons...only one remains...or is it four! ? I guess I will never know.

Whatever the historical origin...all my irons match the skate and wedge and so work perfectly.

If you want me to dismantle my body and photograph key elements and measure it just ask.

Cheers

Jim
 

Pete Maddex

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jimi43":4u3dnvsr said:
Hi Derek,

If you want me to dismantle my body and photograph key elements and measure it just ask.

Cheers

Jim
I for one would like to see that. :wink:
Pete
 

AndyT

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Pete Maddex":10y1e44o said:
jimi43":10y1e44o said:
Hi Derek,

If you want me to dismantle my body and photograph key elements and measure it just ask.

Cheers

Jim
I for one would like to see that. :wink:
Pete

=D> =D> =D>

Excuse me while I clean the spit off this laptop! Priceless!
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I thought this was a family website? :lol:

Hey Jim, pics of the depth stop - upper and lower - would be helpful. Also, check the angle of the bed, the width of the body, and the positioning of the bed. Thanks.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

AndyT

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Hi Derek,

Jimi is generally right, but I think on the question of plough plane irons being interchangeable, I think he is overstating things a bit. I've just popped down to the workshop to make some notes.

I have two ordinary English pattern wooden ploughs to use, and an assortment of irons. I also have two more beaten-up bodies from a box of planes and bits that I bought very cheap in the hope that it would have one or two interesting moulding planes amongst the junk. (It did!) I have just been swapping irons about in all four bodies, and I would say that all the irons would be usable in any of the planes.

The key point seems to be to not make things too tight. So the breadth of the mortice is generally 5/8" or 9/16". The lower end of the irons is ground down to about 1/2" or 17/32" on a no 8 iron, which is the widest size. The iron is only ever a sloppy fit on the side to side measurement. This allows for a bit of variation in overall width, and the placing of the groove, which is central. The iron is held by the sharp edge of the front of the rear skate locating in the groove, with the wedge holding it back against that edge and the slope of the mortice, and need not even touch the sides.

The overall sizes of the main stocks vary - but not much.
Width - 1 3/4 or 1 5/8.
Length - 7 1/4 to 7 1/2
Height - 2 1/2 to 2 7/8.

I hope this helps.
 

jimi43

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I thought this was a family website? :lol:

Hey Jim, pics of the depth stop - upper and lower - would be helpful. Also, check the angle of the bed, the width of the body, and the positioning of the bed. Thanks.

Regards from Perth

Derek
No problems Derek.

Give me a mo and I will measure everything up for you.

Jimi
 

jimi43

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Agree Andy...but it is important to realise that these planes were often designed together with their set of irons and compatibility is not always guaranteed. It is not important to Derek however, since he is building the body to fit the irons. From what I understand (and I bow to greater experts on this)...is that the groove to skate bedding is important and should fit well to avoid poor action.

One can see how this would create a possible twist if loose and possible poor bedding if the groove is far smaller than the skate thickness.


Ok Derek...first the dimensions from the side (click to enlarge):



Next the dimensions from the end:



Now the detail for the depth stop....



...from the side....



I can confirm that the bed angle is indeed 50 degrees.

...and the top...



Now a picture of the other side...



...and below....



Just for fun I shot the old distributor's stamp...



....and the one matching iron...



...contemporary and on the cusp of them changing location...a great story by the way...

Hope this helps your build but don't hesitate to post if you want further dimensions.

Cheers mate

Jimi
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Jim

Many thanks for the pics.

I will probably start the plough build next week - after I have made some floats. I don't have Beech so am planning to use some She-oak. This build will push my limits.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

AndyT

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Derek, I'm sure you'll be aware of this, but in case anyone else is thinking of making a plough plane too, this article from 1908 explains how to make a plough plane.
The first line is "Ploughs are generally made in lots of from three to six" - so if you do end up with a few spares, I'm sure we can rustle up some volunteers to help tidy them away!
 

Corneel

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Good luck with the plough, Derek. I'm anxious to see the results.

My plough has a very mismatched set of irons, from all corners of the UK. But they all fit and are bedded very well, except one which has a different taper. So I guess it isn't so bad as feared. There was some standardisation going on in plough plane blades back then.
 
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