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Norris Plane ID Help

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parvum

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I have been lucky enough to acquire a Norris infill plane, I am curious as to its age and designation I have achieved nice wispy shavings but I have been unable to find its like on the interweb! I have seen written descriptions describing some of its features, "unbreakable" stamped on the front of the curved closed front and the lack of an adjuster pointing to pre 1913. I would be most grateful for any information on this plane that more learned forum readers may supply, Thanks in advance to any responders. Paul
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Orraloon

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Has it got Norris stamped on it anywhere. I see from the pics that the iron is sorby. A lot of makers made infill smoothers. The shape of that one is unusual. Some unhandled smoothers were that cut back shape at the back. Maybe the handle was added by a past owner.
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John
 

toolsntat

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Quite possibly a No 15
Closed handles model with rosewood infill, with your front likely to have been replaced.
Look for a matching number on parts.
Cheers Andy
 

Democritus

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Why do you think it is a Norris? It has a Sorby iron, but is it marked Norris on the cap iron?
Best wishes
D.
 

toolsntat

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Not all NORRIS production is marked so can sometimes be difficult to say for certain. They would supply their products to the public and trade alike.
All parts were available in the catalogues.
If I remember correctly late production irons were often found marked NORRIS on the front and Rob`t Sorby on the back.
Cheers Andy

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parvum

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Thanks guys, yes it has Norris stamped on the lever cap and on the chip breaker, there seems to be a repair to the horn, so the front knob may well be a replacement . It is as good fit, as good as the closed handle and has faint bash marks on top. The iron is a parallel Sorby Iron with the Kangaroo trade mark, does this give any clue as to its age please?
Thanks Paul
 
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parvum

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Hello again, Been over the plane with a magnifying glass, only one number apparent, only on the iron bedding surface, stamped into the wood a clear 8 with a faint 2 alongside. All the Norris planes I have seen pictures of with a closed front seem to be straight, this one is distinctly curved, with unbreakable stamped in small upper case letters,does this mean it is one of their malleable iron planes?
Thanks Paul
 

D_W

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The lever cap is unusual for norris, but i'm not a historian. Prewar planes without adjusters usually have a flashier lever cap with the more cheaply made later adjuster models having kind of a flat bland lever cap.

But if it's marked in the brass that it's norris (presuming you mean lever cap and not cap iron), then noris.

Robt sorby made the later irons, anyway.

The lever cap does look a lot like the later type, so my lack of exposure could explain not seeing that type on many adjusterless planes (more the type in the catalog picture shown above).
 

barryvabeach

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Paul, I am not familiar with that model, I am more familiar with 5's and A 5's, so take my comments with a grain of salt. While the overall shape looks like a 15, the lever cap, and the lever cap screw don't look the same as in this example, early 15
I have some non adjuster Norris's and the norris stamp is similar to the one in the link. Here are a variety of Norris stamps from 5's , and I don't see anything similar in the photo that you posted.Norris stamps on lever cap

Also, it is hard to tell from the few photo's you posted, but the lever caps in the 5's appear to have more curve in the neck than the photo you posted.

As Andy says, Norris sometimes sold their planes unmarked to other sellers, like Buck. Also, the plane is likely over 100 years old, so who knows whether some of the things that look odd to me are replacements to the original. Finally, as some have suggested, it is hard for us really have firm understanding of how things were made back then. While there are some things that would have been standardized, the actual end product may have looked different on different days depending on the workman, and conditions, of the shop on the day it was produced and even what the customer asked for.
 

parvum

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HiBrry Thanks for your response and the link, which does look more like my plane.I have apicture below of the lever cap which is clearly stamped Norris London as is the chip breaker, The screw on the lever cap lacks the little pimple I have sen on other Norris planes, but does appear original. It does seem I have an early malleable Norris A15 smoother, with a possibley new knob and a grafted on horn on the tote! It does work fine, as well as my precious pre war Record 4 1/2,
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but prettier!
Thanks again to all of for taking the time and triouble to answer my questions
 

barryvabeach

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Sorry, i couldn't see the stamp in the first set of photos. The looks like the early prewar stamp to me. Very nice looking. Glad it works well
 

parvum

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Thanks Barry,It seem I have a prewar malleable Number 5 not sure where I got A15 from! one day my skill level may enable me to fully realise its potential. In the meantime I shall continue to practice with my Records.
Paul
 

barryvabeach

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Actually, i think it is a 15. The A is used for planes with an adjuster. Since yours does not have one, no preceding A. The 5, with or without the A, is referred to as a coffin shape, though it actually has curved sides and a different shaped tote. The sides of yours are in a straight plane , though it tapers in as you go to the rear, which is the shape of the 15. The tote on the 15 at the front is fairly high and narrow, on the 5, it has a curve from side to side and is highest in the middle. So definitely not a 5, most likely an early 15
 

parvum

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Thanks again Barry, You have clearly answered my original question, I am most grateful
 

barryvabeach

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Glad to help. When I was first interested in buying a Norris as a user, I read that prewar were better than post war, but I had no idea how to tell the difference . Getting help from others is how we learn.
 

IWW

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....The screw on the lever cap lacks the little pimple I have sen on other Norris planes, but does appear original.....
Very little doubt you've got a 15 there, parvum. The 'Turk's cap" style of thumbscrew disappeared somewhere early in the 20thC and most (all?) later Norrises have the plainer heads on their thumbscrews.

barryvabeach - you say, "The sides of yours are in a straight plane , though it tapers in as you go to the rear, which is the shape of the 15.", but in fact the 15 has parallel sides from the toe to the back of the square 'hump', then tapers (like the OP's). I'm going by pictures, never held one in my hands! I have seen an old infill that tapered from a point closer to the toe, but can't remember what breed or model it was.

It's not very practical to start the rear taper too soon, because the sides will interfere with lateral adjustment. I discovered this the wrong way with one of my early infills. Fortunately, I was using a Veritas block plane blade which has a pronounced taper on the sides, and a bit of rounding of the lower corners gave me enough wriggle-room. :oops:
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It's possibly the least attractive infill I've made (looks a bit long & 'gangly' in the metal), but it's one of the sweetest I've made - it has a beautiful action. Occasionally the gods smile on the naive....

Cheers,
Ian
 
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