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Moon try plane c 1840

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condeesteso

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(As a reminder it works like this: Jim finds them and I buy 'em)
So this popped up recently. A Moon try plane in fine condition, some repairs but well executed.
m1.jpg

One interesting thing is the maker - (research credit: Jim) - Ann Moon, 4 Little Queen Street, Lincolns Inn Fields. Ann Moon is listed as Toolmaker, 1837 - 1846 at this address.
No sexism at all intended, but go find me another female plane-maker back then... ever even.
m7.jpg

The blade is Ward, Sheffield and is of the period - hard to date exactly but almost certainly 1830s. Ward became Ward and Payne in 1843.
m4.jpg

The cap also has a simple 'Ward' mark on it, and the whole assembly is hefty
m5.jpg

m6.jpg

The tote (with repair) is offset right, and is a really nice shape.
m3.jpg

m2.jpg

Question re offset tote - if this was for a right-hander why is it offset to the right. I would have expected it offset left to help project the force towards the blade centreline. Any insight on this please?
Jim was over yesterday and spent some time removing a thin shellac finish that someone added to it - we call it unrestoring. I was on sharpening / honing duty.
To think it was made only 20-odd years after the Battle of Waterloo.
Basically it's a beauty, works a treat and deserves to be used - it will be. Oh, and the woodie collection is growing :shock:

p.s. the infill repair ahead of the strike-plate looks like it may be inappropriate restoration, that could be thumb wear under there but I doubt I have the nerve to remove the repair piece.
 

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Scouse

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Lovely old plane, Douglas. As Jim and I have both pointed out at one stage or another, it's the history and research required with old tools such as this which add greatly to their appeal, and a female plane maker in the 1830's must be unusual (although women were often at the sharp end of industry in the 18th and 19th centuries; chainmakers in Cradely Heath, for example).

Try as I might (no pun intended!), however, I just can't seem to get up a head of steam when it comes to woodies. Don't know why. Maybe the worm infested ones I have come across in the past have tainted my judgement! I might have a look at the bootsale on Sunday and see what I am missing. Having said that, that lovely closed handle does give it a sense of substance and authority, if you know what I mean.

El.
 

Corneel

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Another very beautifull plane. I am really fond of the English designs. The Dutch planes were decorated more, but the English ones have such clean well proportioned lines.

Regarding the offset handles. Back in the days, the handle on continental planes were set all the way on the right edge. Often let in to the side with two dovetails, or they were morticed into the top with drawpins from the side. You can see one example here: http://www.openluchtmuseum.nl/index.php?pid=372&item=3978
The idea is not to grip the handle with the whole hand, but letting the fingers dangle over the side and pushing with the web between thumb and fingers.
 

dickm

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Scouse":1eqcjsqt said:
(although women were often at the sharp end of industry in the 18th and 19th centuries; chainmakers in Cradely Heath, for example).
Didn't know that Cradely Heath was a hotbed of feminism at that time! (SWMBO is from near there) But have been intrigued to see the "Eliza Tinsley" name on brassware was still extant only a few years ago
 

Cheshirechappie

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dickm":2c6voefk said:
Scouse":2c6voefk said:
(although women were often at the sharp end of industry in the 18th and 19th centuries; chainmakers in Cradely Heath, for example).
Didn't know that Cradely Heath was a hotbed of feminism at that time! (SWMBO is from near there) But have been intrigued to see the "Eliza Tinsley" name on brassware was still extant only a few years ago

Eliza Tinsley are still in business - www.elizatinsley.co.uk - but it looks like their product line has changed a bit over the years.
 

jimi43

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Another bit of research Douglas...

In 1854, 4 Little Queen Street was a printers and the printer was made bankrupt in April of that year. So assuming that he was in business a few years before he bit the dust (or is it his ink dried up!)....she would have left or perhaps died about the time we said...1851.

Given the WARD (crossed hammers over the anvil) mark is for David Ward of Portobello Street Sheffield...which dates from 1824 and 1859 and Henry Payne had not come along to partner him giving rise to this mark:



...with a P for Payne added...I would say it dates the iron from between 1830 and 1851 as original. This is unusual as the iron has a huge amount of cutting steel left on it and clearly the plane has been well used in its life.

There is a beautiful little astragal plane for sale at Old School Tools CLICK (Hope you don't mind me posting your pic Gary...).



It has a shellac finish so maybe that was "right"...but for the run...I would think it might be. Maybe it was touched up a bit during the "restoration" to try to sell it...we may never know.

Scouse...I too was not that taken by woodies after my first experiences of them but once you get to tune them and play with them a bit...they are beautiful little things. I am not about to substitute my infill collection for them but some are rather gorgeous. The research behind them and their relative cheapness make them irresistible though.

I would say get a load at bootfairs...most would be rubbish but go for old ones...nicely finished ones...interesting rare makers like the mysterious Ann Moon....and then tune them up. I think, like me, you may change your mind! :mrgreen:

OK ALF...I'm hooked...now what? :oops:

Jim
 

soulboy

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jimi43":31jldqld said:
OK ALF...I'm hooked...now what? :oops: Jim
I thought it was awls, i've already started :roll:
chris
 

richarnold

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It would be nice to think Mrs Moon actually worked at the bench, but it's more likely that she was a widow just carrying on her late husbands bassness. One of the first commercial plane makers was Robert wooding, and when he died his wife Ann was listed as a plane maker, but again Idoubt that she worked at the bench. Regarding the offset handle, I don't think we will ever know the answer to that one unless someone fancies the challenge of spending a week planing up boards with an offset example, then another with a central one. I have recently made some copies of some early 18th century bench planes just to see how they would look, and perform. I myself am left handed, and i have to say the offset for me is most uncomfortable. My own view is that it has something to do with the geometry of working over the bench, but I'm not clever enough to explain why. Idon't buy in to the theory that it was just a left over from the Dutch influence. I always think there was good reasoning behind what these early craftsmen did. It's us that have lost the reasoning why. There are some images of the planes i made on my web site, and a bit more info about them http://oldwoodplanes.co.uk/latest-news- ... -11-03-12/
 

dickm

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Don't know about women planemakers, but according to SWMBO women NAILmakers were actually quite common in Cradely Heath; she's got a book of old Black Country images showing that most of the workers in at least one shop were women.
 

Tony Spear

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dickm":2igoa44o said:
Don't know about women planemakers, but according to SWMBO women NAILmakers were actually quite common in Cradely Heath; she's got a book of old Black Country images showing that most of the workers in at least one shop were women.
There were women nailmakers all over the Black Country. Lots of them were back yard operations. (hammer)
 

Tony Spear

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Along with Netherton and Old Hill, Cradely Heath was also the hub of chainmaking, many of those being backyard operators employing as few as 2 workers.

In 1910, HUNDREDS!!!!!! of women chainmakers from the area went on strike for a minimum wage and got their wages doubled! (hammer) (hammer) (hammer)
 

condeesteso

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Many thanks for the feedback. I am happy with the offset tote anyway, was just wondering. It needs using for a while now, although it isn't an everyday plane.
There are 2 things I like about woodies generally, but I know it's down to personal preference: the low mass, and the absolute simplicity - a fat old iron held firmly in a block with a mouth... that's it. It would surely be impossible to make a plane any more simple? I need to practice more at the blade setting but getting there, slowly.
If there are any good videos out there of experts setting a woodie, I need to take a look. I want to start looking like I know what I'm doing :lol:
 

Corneel

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richarnold":14zuktgv said:
... Regarding the offset handle, I don't think we will ever know the answer to that one unless someone fancies the challenge of spending a week planing up boards with an offset example, then another with a central one. I have recently made some copies of some early 18th century bench planes just to see how they would look, and perform. I myself am left handed, and i have to say the offset for me is most uncomfortable. My own view is that it has something to do with the geometry of working over the bench, but I'm not clever enough to explain why. Idon't buy in to the theory that it was just a left over from the Dutch influence. I always think there was good reasoning behind what these early craftsmen did. It's us that have lost the reasoning why. There are some images of the planes i made on my web site, and a bit more info about them http://oldwoodplanes.co.uk/latest-news- ... -11-03-12/
Well, I didn't write Dutch influence. I wrote Continental! And I didn't use the dreaded word "influence". I know anything from across the see is regarded with disgust in England :wink: . But when you look at old paintings you will see that all these stylish jointers had offset handles. In the Netherlands you can see how the jointer plane slowly evolved from the handle on the right edge slowly to the middle. Even in the early 20th century you could still buy a plane with offest handle. I GUESS that something similar happened in England. Just a bit quicker.

The reason why the handle was offset is indeed lost in time.
 

dickm

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Tony Spear":2q46lbcb said:
Along with Netherton and Old Hill, Cradely Heath was also the hub of chainmaking, many of those being backyard operators employing as few as 2 workers.

In 1910, HUNDREDS!!!!!! of women chainmakers from the area went on strike for a minimum wage and got their wages doubled! (hammer) (hammer) (hammer)
Apparently in the local dialect "ommerond" (hammer-hand in RP) and "roddond" (rod (-holding) hand) were the usual terms for "right" and "left". Though whether they would actually hold the (presumably?) hot iron rod in a bare hand while hammering the other end seems implausible!
 

Richard T

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Dick - the thing about nail making is holding such a thin rod. Fiddling about with small tongs all day every day just isn't on so the rod would be welded to ... another rod. About a foot for the "handle" is fine; it's amazing how short a rod one can still hold I've found.

Lovely plane Douglas.
 

Tony Spear

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dickm":3f7vxp82 said:
[Apparently in the local dialect "ommerond" (hammer-hand in RP) and "roddond" (rod (-holding) hand) were the usual terms for "right" and "left". Though whether they would actually hold the (presumably?) hot iron rod in a bare hand while hammering the other end seems implausible!
I well remember my Dad (and his Dad) saying "give it some 'ommer"!
 

Tony Spear

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jimi43":12ov0dx7 said:
Another bit of research Douglas...

In 1854, 4 Little Queen Street was a printers and the printer was made bankrupt in April of that year. Jim
Well he didn't have to travel far to Carey Street!
 

jimi43

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Tony Spear":3mkaab3c said:
jimi43":3mkaab3c said:
Another bit of research Douglas...

In 1854, 4 Little Queen Street was a printers and the printer was made bankrupt in April of that year. Jim
Well he didn't have to travel far to Carey Street!
=D> =D> =D>

Some of our brethren may not be as old as us Tony to get that gem!

But as always..Google should sort that out! :wink:

Jim
 

Tony Spear

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jimi43":s8dm7l7i said:
Tony Spear":s8dm7l7i said:
jimi43":s8dm7l7i said:
Another bit of research Douglas...

In 1854, 4 Little Queen Street was a printers and the printer was made bankrupt in April of that year. Jim
Well he didn't have to travel far to Carey Street!
=D> =D> =D>

Some of our brethren may not be as old as us Tony to get that gem!

But as always..Google should sort that out! :wink:

Jim
Why thank 'ee Sir! I thought it was one of my better efforts! :mrgreen:
 
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