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ac445ab

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Ciao :D ,
I just rehabbed this infill plane.


It comes from Dundee and is about 8 inches long. The blade si 2 1/8" large. There are not maker marks on the plane so I thought it was self-built but I am not sure.
On the blade says: HEARNSHAW BROS-CAST STEEL SHEFFIELD.
What do you think about? Could it be attributable to some Scottish planemaker?

other pics here:
http://woodworkingbyhand2.blogspot.com/ ... plane.html

Giuliano
 

jimi43

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Nice plane Giuliano

Great find!

It looks like it has a dovetailed sole in which case it is probably one of the many makers....Spiers....Slater...

Without a name it is hard to tell as many companies made them for other companies to rebadge or not and sell.

It looks in very nice condition...how does it shave?

Jim
 

condeesteso

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Very nice one indeed. That cap iron looks very familiar to me, near exactly like the one I have on an old coffin (not infill) which was marked GLASGOW and is a Mathieson cap, and it too had a Hearnshaw blade - but I'm not saying mine is a Mathieson plane.
Look closely for any mark on the cap iron (maybe upside-down) and also very closely at the toe of the plane as there could be a makers mark there (BB taught me that). Don't know why but I suspect this may be from Scotland...
 

OldSchoolTools

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condeesteso":2059p0t2 said:
Very nice one indeed. That cap iron looks very familiar to me, near exactly like the one I have on an old coffin (not infill) which was marked GLASGOW and is a Mathieson cap, and it too had a Hearnshaw blade - but I'm not saying mine is a Mathieson plane.
Look closely for any mark on the cap iron (maybe upside-down) and also very closely at the toe of the plane as there could be a makers mark there (BB taught me that). Don't know why but I suspect this may be from Scotland...

I agree that the steel work looks that of a Mathieson plane however the brass knurled nut does not, Mathieson stamped a lot of their planes on the front bun but sometimes previous owners stamped over the makers mark you may have to look closely as they very often where faint at the best of times, Spiers would have stamped the lever cap but again the brass screw does not look like that of a spiers plane.

Gary
 

Tony Spear

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Hearnshaw Brothers were "edge tool manufacturers" founded in the 1860's and I believe survived through to the 1950/60's.

Interesting to note that their address was Sorby Street, Sheffield!
 

ac445ab

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Thank you for your replies.
I searched the plane for any marks. The following pics show the results:



In the first I believe A.Mc NAIR could be the name of a precedent owner. The second pic shows the back of cap iron. 10 or 01? A foundry mark?
I looked at sole very carefully but I did not see dovetails.
However, after a first blade honing session it seems to shave well. Unfortunately the blade is almost expired (about 1 cm remaining); so I will search for a new blade in order to replace the actual or for using it with a back bevel.




Ciao
Giuliano :D
 

jimi43

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It may be the light Giuliano but I could have sworn I could see dovetails in the first picture where the sides join the sole.

It looks it from the front too.

Some are almost invisible...a sign of a superb maker...they can clearly be seen on this one of mine but only because of the way the corrosion has affected the slight variation in the metal of the sides and the sole:



That Mr Nair didn't want his plane stolen did he!!!?

Jim
 

condeesteso

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But that's McNair... a fine Scots name I'm sure. I still reckon a fair chance this originated in Scotland. Nothing visible at all on the front of the cap iron then??
 

jimi43

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condeesteso":gftvx5ep said:
But that's McNair... a fine Scots name I'm sure. I still reckon a fair chance this originated in Scotland. Nothing visible at all on the front of the cap iron then??
Indeed! Forgot that bit...I agree..probably one of the many Scottish makers.

And it came from Dundee...so it really all fits in...given the low level of travel in those days...almost certainly made locally and sold as such.

The "British" infill plane story is an interesting one...

Jim
 

ac445ab

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jimi43":2qe5fpa2 said:
It may be the light Giuliano but I could have sworn I could see dovetails in the first picture where the sides join the sole.

It looks it from the front too.
You are right Jim!! Is very difficult to see but dovetails are there!

condeesteso wrote:
But that's McNair... a fine Scots name I'm sure. I still reckon a fair chance this originated in Scotland. Nothing visible at all on the front of the cap iron then??


jimi43":2qe5fpa2 said:
Indeed! Forgot that bit...I agree..probably one of the many Scottish makers.

And it came from Dundee...so it really all fits in...given the low level of travel in those days...almost certainly made locally and sold as such.

The "British" infill plane story is an interesting one...
A McNair Plane? Wow! But.....why to write his name for four times in the same point? It seems to me a user mark.....

Giuliano
 

condeesteso

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sorry Guiliano - I didn't mean he was the maker. I think you are right he was an owner (I have tools with the owner name stamped several times, sometimes in very odd places :lol: ). But it is a Scots name, and there is some evidence in your plane I think to suggest it was made in Scotland... no bad thing at all as 2 of the best hail from Glasgow and Ayrshire. Just keep looking for marks, but otherwise enjoy what is obviously a very good one.

(edit) and by the way, report back on that blade please. The Hearnshaw I have in a coffin is really very good indeed, maybe 150 years old and cuts a dream.
 

ac445ab

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condeesteso":bmhv83ix said:
(edit) and by the way, report back on that blade please. The Hearnshaw I have in a coffin is really very good indeed, maybe 150 years old and cuts a dream.
I took a video of shaves. The blade cuts very well and seems to keep long a sharp edge.

http://youtu.be/o758y4RCP8I
 

condeesteso

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Guiliano - brilliant plane, nice video. Very funny... for a short moment I thought you did that for me (caption douglas comes up), then a bit later 'cherry' comes up. So who's cherry then (probably the wife)? Then I clocked it, eventually and really quite slowly. It's the woods you are planing, right? (sorry this is casual English.) Trust me, it was funny.
A decent infill is a truly amazing plane - and yours is a vintage Alfa.
 

jimi43

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Thanks for the video Giuliano

I must say you have a fairly interesting way of using an infill....but effective!

Douglas tried out my panel plane....



....and put lots of pressure on it too...I think this is from using other planes like Bailey style etc....

The weight of an infill should be enough to cut very well with hardly any pressure at all and it takes a while to get used to this.

Try just steering the front bun with light pressure from your thumb and drive with the rear handle let the weight do the work.

You will probably find this is most satisfying. Then use the thumb inside and behind the front infill (bun) with fingers just around the front.

This is the way I use them but of course that is just me....try it...you may like it.



Infills have a very small following....I guess you have to be nuts to get excited about these things... :mrgreen:

Jim
 

jimi43

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condeesteso":1iqh5i9l said:
Guiliano - brilliant plane, nice video. Very funny... for a short moment I thought you did that for me (caption douglas comes up), then a bit later 'cherry' comes up. So who's cherry then (probably the wife)? Then I clocked it, eventually and really quite slowly. It's the woods you are planing, right? (sorry this is casual English.) Trust me, it was funny.
A decent infill is a truly amazing plane - and yours is a vintage Alfa.
Me too! Only I thought Guiliano had named it after you mate! Good Scottish name too!

Jim
 

ac445ab

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jimi43":3kwmgzc1 said:
Thanks for the video Giuliano

I must say you have a fairly interesting way of using an infill....but effective!

...I think this is from using other planes like Bailey style etc....
Yes, I naturally put my hand (it is fairly big) in that way. The bun is small and there is not place for all my fingers around the front.
I need a larger plane? My Stanley #3 too, is almost every day on the shelf.

p.s. sometime I name my wife "Chèrie". :mrgreen:
Moreover she dislikes cherries :roll:
 

alan2001

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ac445ab":2a6l5q3m said:
Ciao :D ,
I just rehabbed this infill plane.
condeesteso":2a6l5q3m said:
... there is some evidence in your plane I think to suggest it was made in Scotland... no bad thing at all as 2 of the best hail from Glasgow and Ayrshire. Just keep looking for marks, but otherwise enjoy what is obviously a very good one.
as someone who moved to Ayrshire last year, this is interesting to me. I was at an antiques fair in Ayr last week and there was a plane very similar to that one on sale for £275!!! the seller said it was made in Ayr, but I was so shocked by the price I didn't think to take note of the manufacturer or ask for a photo.

i just found this, dunno if it's helpful or interesting but i'll pay closer attention next time i'm at an antiques fair or car boot:

http://www.spiers.net/stewart.htm

Collectors of hand tools will be aware that iron woodworking planes were once made by makers such as Limond, Miller, McLauchlan and Rutherford in the town of Ayr, Scotland. Stewart Spiers was also a maker and an excellent book on the subject was published in 1998 by Nigel Lampert, Through Much Tribulation: Stewart Spiers and the Planemakers of Ayr, ISBN 0-646-36426-X. Only 1000 copies were printed so in order to more widely publicize Stewart’s family to genealogists, the author provides the following information about the family. He thanks Mr Lampert, who lives in Australia, for kindly giving permission to use his book as the source of much of this article.

Stewart, like his father, was a cabinet-maker and no doubt his need to smooth the wood on which he was working led him to manufacture hand planes of his own. He became a great innovator, using materials available from local founderies, such as iron and brass. He also had a large family to feed and no doubt he saw an opportunity to increase his income, so making and selling planes would seem an obvious choice. He was also an amateur violinist and member of the Ayr Musical Association which later became a member of the Ayr Choral Union. Apparently he became a plane-maker almost by accident having purchased a rough casting, finishing it himself at home and selling the completed plane to a local cabinet-maker for a large profit. His business had started. Obviously a very intelligent man. His cabinet-making business remained his main trade for some years until plane-making started to become a full time occupation from about 1864. His journey from Ayr to London in 1851 to visit the Great Exhibition would have been expensive but no doubt he was looking for ideas to improve his planes. At about that time the family moved to 11 River Street, Ayr, the Spiers business being at 12 Garden Street. The latter street was redeveloped in the 1960’s, but 11 River Street remains much as it was. In 1862 he still recorded himself in trade publications as a cabinet-maker and it was not until 1871 that he described himself as an iron plane maker. At that point he moved the family to a larger, grander house in Ayr, named Firth View.
 

dickm

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Looks very similar to a rusty Spiers coffin picked up locally for a tenner a couple of years back. Three differences, firstly, mine has an open handle, not the closed one shown and it has a Sorby iron. It also has Spiers engraved on the brasswork. But as the OP says, they are fantastic tools to use. For smoothing, it probably equals my fettled Record No5 with Holtey iron. And cost a lot less.........................
 

LENPAM

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Not a Spiers or Slater or any maker I'm aware of though the plane has some similar style attributes of different known makers. I'd say it was made by an individual who was fairly adept at plane making like a patternmaker. The lever cap and screw are not one of the well known makers work,but again made from someone with a descent knowledge of casting brass and turning which either points to a experienced person who has made infills or even a small cottage industry of which hundreds sprang up in Scotland in the heyday of infills as well other places. It'll be impossible to trace who unless you have some direct proof from when it was made and being dovetailed sets it back a ways. Either way I wouldn't worry about it's pedigree as much as how well it works.I have a couple walls full of infills and maybe 30-40 % of those are from known makers like Norris or Spiers or Slater,most will be admired as well made with no name.Len
 
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