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Trevanion

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I was having a bit of a clear-up today and to be honest it's got to the point where I don't even know what I have anymore, I found this little plane (about 3-4" long) in the back of the cabinet and gave it a bit of a clean by rubbing it with a bit of raw leather to remove the very light surface rust and burnish the cast iron. No idea who made it, it's got a Marples laminated Iron and it was owned by a T. Jenkins in its life but aside from that, it's a complete unknown to me. I think the wedge and infill are some kind of mahogany but I'm not exactly sure.












Any ideas of provenance?
 

AndyT

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None at all. Chariot planes seem to be even less documented than infill planes. I'd be interested to learn more, if anyone else can help.
Lovely little plane though!
 

Trevanion

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I bloody knew who would answer the call... Thanks, Batma- I mean Andy ;)

Also, an interesting little tidbit is that the mouth opening is skewed a tiny bit, just over half a mil or so when checked with a square referencing off the sides of the plane. I know back then they probably weren't too fussy with super accuracy but it does seem like the iron has to be ground slightly skew also to make it project evenly.
 

IWW

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None at all. Chariot planes seem to be even less documented than infill planes. ....
You're not wrong there, Andy! I have been unable to discover any good information on what chariot planes were actually used for. They were obviously considered a necessary part of a well-stocked toolbox at one stage, then along with infill shoulder planes, just dropped off the radar. Many have much shorter toes than the one above, so obviously, they are useful when you want a bullnosed plane, wider than the typical bullnosed rebate, & without the ability to cut against an edge. Which of course doesn't help when I can't think of any regular situation where that applies! :confused:

From the pics, I would suggest this might be a plane made from a bought casting, or one made by a patternmaker. It looks to be well done, but not to the level you'd expect from a major maker (who would have applied a stamp somewhere, surely).

I'm intrigued as to how the mouth and toe have been done. The soles of these planes are normally made from two pieces, since you can't get a file through that skinny mouth like you can when making a bevel-down-blade plane. But I can't see any joins for a separate toe-piece from underneath. Then there is that odd glob of metal against the front - has a whole chunk of metal been soldered in the front to fill in the toe after the bed was filed???

An interesting little plane on many levels!
Cheers,
 

Trevanion

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I've done a little of my own research on the blade since I thought that would be the easiest thing to date, according to Marks – William Marples and Sons, Ltd. Marples used the single shamrock mark on their blades from 1862 to 1875.


I'm intrigued as to how the mouth and toe have been done. The soles of these planes are normally made from two pieces, since you can't get a file through that skinny mouth like you can when making a bevel-down-blade plane. But I can't see any joins for a separate toe-piece from underneath. Then there is that odd glob of metal against the front - has a whole chunk of metal been soldered in the front to fill in the toe after the bed was filed???
I can take more detailed photos of the sides if you'd like, but I think it's a singular casting.
 

AndyT

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One of the few old references I know to the use of a chariot plane is in "Modern Cabinet Work Furniture and Fitments" by Wells and Hooper (1909). They include it in the fairly comprehensive list of tools but all they say is

"A small thumb plane with single iron and mouth near the front as in the "bull-nose" but the sides are not open. Used for smoothing and finishing small work."

I guess the superior block planes from Stanley and others ousted them.
 

AndyT

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Noodling about to see if I could find anything new on chariot planes, I found a new-to-me personal site from a retired American piano technician, Martin Shepherd, with a deep interest in the old specialist tools of his trade. It's well-reasoned material, clearly drawing on his own experience of using the tools and understanding how they were supposed to perform. I've not read all of his detailed, research but I suggest you start at this page, where he looks at thumb and chariot planes including some by named makers such as Spiers, Buck, Norris, Mathieson and Holland.


Also look at this page.


That covers the 'Irish Pattern Chariot Plane' and includes a tiny advert from the 'Illustrated Journal for Mechanics' around 1900, where John Thackeray is offering a wide range of castings for sale by mail order - a little bit of evidence that many anonymous planes were put together by their users who could buy the casting they needed.
 

Trevanion

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Why?
(genuine enquiry.. is it value related etc?)
Maybe I'm being over-cautious but I just don't wanna do something that might harm it, hence why I was rubbing the casting with a piece of leather rather than a bit of scotchbrite, fine sandpaper or even wire wool. The woodwork had a very light clean with a mix of pure turpentine, methylated spirits and boiled linseed oil mixed in equal parts with a light scrub with 0000 wire wool just to remove the surface grime and leave the character behind.

Although it does look like the secondary bevel was done with a hollow grind at some point so I suppose I wouldn't be harming it much more than the grinder before me.
 

Steliz

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I've done a little of my own research on the blade since I thought that would be the easiest thing to date, according to Marks – William Marples and Sons, Ltd. Marples used the single shamrock mark on their blades from 1862 to 1875.
That's very interesting as it rang a bell related to one of my woodcarving gouges which has a single shamrock. It gives me a warm feeling inside to know that I have a tool that is that old!
 

David C

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I refer to the slight out of squareness of the throat and blade as azimuth error.

This means that the bed is slightly twisted relative to the sole.

I would advise keeping the out of sq ness when you sharpen the blade.

Azimuth error is often found in dovetailed infill planes, because of the bashing with a big hammer.

Best wishes, David
 

Bm101

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Maybe I'm being over-cautious but I just don't wanna do something that might harm it, hence why I was rubbing the casting with a piece of leather rather than a bit of scotchbrite, fine sandpaper or even wire wool. The woodwork had a very light clean with a mix of pure turpentine, methylated spirits and boiled linseed oil mixed in equal parts with a light scrub with 0000 wire wool just to remove the surface grime and leave the character behind.

Although it does look like the secondary bevel was done with a hollow grind at some point so I suppose I wouldn't be harming it much more than the grinder before me.
Fair enough mate. I too think it deserves a little respect but if you are going to use it it needs sharpening. Or sell it. *whispers* Otherwise you're a.... tool collector! *Gasp!*
:whistle:
As pointed out, if you grind in keeping with the skewed mouth you might even gain a small advantage no?
 

Trevanion

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Fair enough mate. I too think it deserves a little respect but if you are going to use it it needs sharpening. Or sell it. *whispers* Otherwise you're a.... tool collector! *Gasp!*
I do desperately need to have a clearance sale of all the things I just simply will never use, If it weren’t for the fact I’m not too keen on going to the post office at the moment a few things would get listed to go to a better home where they’d hopefully actually get used. I mean, who really needs 6 No 04 planes?
 

Bm101

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:ROFLMAO:
I've got three 4 1/2s by accident. I had four. It really was by accident too. One went to a good guy on here, I need to sell the other two. Want to buy them?
I ain't being funny but they are 'Vintage'. Sooo... £300 each. And I'm cutting me own throat there mate.
 

Trevanion

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I ain't being funny but they are 'Vintage'. Sooo... £300 each. And I'm cutting me own throat there mate.

I've got some real junk lurking around in the cabinet...

Hardly used Record 071 Router Plane in the box with all the bits
A Record 405 Multiplane with a large number of cutters
Hardly used Record 078 Rebate plane in the box
A Record 073 Shoulder Plane
A bunch of No 04s by various manufacturers such as Marples, Millers Falls, Sargeant VBM, Record, Stanley, Original Bailey...
This paperweight
A hundred or so chisels
A couple of comprehensive sets of auger bits and braces

I might just chuck them all in the skip to be honest, who the hell uses hand tools anymore?
 
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