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Is this a Preston plane?

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AndyT

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Here's an oddity. Just sold on eBay for £40 as a rare collectible infill plane by Preston. Ok to talk about it here, now we know nobody's hoping the price doesn't get pushed up by fevered discussions!

Can anyone with a Preston catalogue comment on whether they ever offered anything like this?








I reckon it's an old Bailey style plane (which has been broken at the toe) converted to an infill style by replacing the frog with a block of wood, putting in a screw lever cap - which needs a spare nut to reach the blade - and another lump of wood at the front. But the lever cap is Preston, isn't it? And the blade is Preston.

EBay link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160682381775
 

Alf

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Can't see anything like it, nope. Surprisingly enough. It's... different. Actually, I see it's even different one side from the other! And the rear handle is giving me blisters just looking at it. *shudder*
 

Richard T

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I guess the shell and lever cap might belong together - not much else by the look of it.

Any one know if there is any significance to the piercing? Is it a maker's mark or just a decorative lightener/bronze - saver?
 

AndyT

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Richard T":2u2nfyci said:
I guess the shell and lever cap might belong together - not much else by the look of it.

Any one know if there is any significance to the piercing? Is it a maker's mark or just a decorative lightener/bronze - saver?
I was assuming it meant Preston, as the top part resembles the two-circles-joining-at-a-point Preston trademark - but I don't know much about the company or its history.

Trademark in its usual form:

 

toolsntat

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Definitely not seen any EP like that in the Sales or trade catalogues...

You could suppose it started as an EP infill and been played :roll: with but it has a dovetail key holding the handle on the casting (Spiers ?) that I have not seen on a Preston....

Shape wise it has a vague resemblance on the side to Chaplin who did at some point hold handles on with a d/t slot??? Peter has a great study on these here http://www.petermcbride.com/chaplin/

I think I have seen some pierced caps on EP :? Must check up.....

Andy
 

AndyT

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Thanks for that interesting link Andy.
I agree, the profile of the sides is very unusual. I have had a quick flick through pictures but not found anything with that double curve at the back. The shape at the front must have been too delicate to survive.

If it does have a dovetailed mount for the handle, that makes it very unusual (remember the odd one that Dangermouse showed us in July).
 

OldSchoolTools

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Hi Andy,

you have the answers from other members, most definately not by Preston, the preston style would be more like the Mathieson profile or Norris, with the brass lever stamped,
I have the Preston catalogue here in front of me if you wish me to photograph the page some time let me know.

Gary
 

matthewwh

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Looking at the way the back of the infill follows the curve of the sides I'd guess that the back end is original. The front looks like it has been replaced without an awful lot of thought. That and the plumber's fitting holding the iron in place and I reckon you've a sensible restotation candidate. Just because you can't find it in a catalogue doesn't stop it from being a beautiful piece of work and someone clearly loved it enough at one time to put a top notch iron in it.

Well worth cleaning the crud off, or alternatively send it to Jimi and buy yourself a box of tissues for when he posts photos of the 'oversuffed with desert ironwood' treasure he has made of it.
 

AndyT

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Just to clarify - I haven't bought this plane - I was just wondering if it was an original or something with a more unusual history.
 

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