Were these Kits? Iron Soles on Coffin Planes

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D_W

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I have been on an absolutely shameful spree lately - one of the things I've gotten is this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/331955063576?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Most people wouldn't turn to look at it given that it appears it's user made or at least cheaply made, and the replacement wedge (I can replace that with no issue) and bent iron (no problem to fix that, either).

Question for you guys, though - the iron sole that's on this plane - were these sold by ironmongers for people to modify their own planes? I wanted the plane for two reasons - one to see how well the steel sole works, and two, if the plane had some attribute that made it a no-no overally, I'd just harvest the steel sole and put it on another plane. (I think it's cast, I shouldn't say steel).

The plane arrived last night, and the cast front sole is incredibly heavy. I wouldn't be surprised if this coffin smoother is 4 pounds. I can't imagine the weight of the similar setups that address the entire sole.

(not to self...focus, focus)...so the quesiton is, were the metal bits sold as a catalog item?
 
Yes, they definitely were, and stayed in catalogues into the 20th century.
No pics for the moment but I'm sure they are in the Preston catalogue for starters.
 
http://www.toolemera.com/bkpdf/MarplesCat1938.pdf

At least until WW2, wooden smoothing planes with iron fronts, and wooden smoothing planes with steel soles could be bought - page 79 of the above catalogue, which also lists the iron fronts as a separate 'kit' item on page 83. It's doubtful whether all ironmongers would carry them as stock items, but they could certainly be ordered through the better specialist tool sellers.
 
Cheshirechappie":2pdn2d2k said:
http://www.toolemera.com/bkpdf/MarplesCat1938.pdf

At least until WW2, wooden smoothing planes with iron fronts, and wooden smoothing planes with steel soles could be bought - page 79 of the above catalogue, which also lists the iron fronts as a separate 'kit' item on page 83. It's doubtful whether all ironmongers would carry them as stock items, but they could certainly be ordered through the better specialist tool sellers.

Thanks! I'd like to be able to buy the depth stop hardware next to it, too.
 
I don't understand the logic
If you want a steel soled plane buy a nice record and do it up.

A plain woody has its attractions as my large collection will attest, but why try to make an apple out of an orange
 
lurker":2csgi0hf said:
I don't understand the logic
If you want a steel soled plane buy a nice record and do it up.

A plain woody has its attractions as my large collection will attest, but why try to make an apple out of an orange

I have some wooden ones, including self made. Just curious of the type because one of the curators at Williamsburg (I think it may have been Jay, but maybe someone before him) had said that this type of plane was their favorite. they were using only single iron planes, though, and the virtue may have been keeping a tight mouth in those, something that is not quite as useful to me.

The other reason I wanted to give one a shot is that in hardwoods, my lighter all-wood smoothers are a bit harsh in a heavy cut. A bit of weight would be nice. I've built a large all-cocobolo smoother that works well, but I build these things as a hobby.

(I don't think, still, that any coffin smoother can equal a good stanley 4 - I have a record 4 and 4 1/2 on the way as part of the buying spree - you guys must not value them much because a perfectly good complete 4 1/2 from your side of the world finished at $22 for me. I have one record plane already, but no record smoothers, and the bailey design smoother that they copy is my favorite).
 
Both ?

I have a couple, look proffesionally done to me but only seen them advertised as kits though, will dig out the right catalogue tomorrow.


lurker":2ztnmy5l said:
I don't understand the logic
If you want a steel soled plane buy a nice record and do it up.

A plain woody has its attractions as my large collection will attest, but why try to make an apple out of an orange

Budget option ?

Think this option, full metal sole is also in my catalogue
g-h-buck-smoother-t77710.html?hilit=ebay
 
Going by the one I had, the iron sole was adjustable, to open or close the mouth.
They are not often seen now, even at carboots, those that are, the iron sole is very rusty, and the screw seized.
I have seen "kits" advertisied, as well as ready made planes. Always smoothers, never any other size.

Bod
 
It's easy to see that a flat steel toe piece could be filed to fit, but Preston, for one, offered a whole sole casting with an upturned rim. For this to fit, smoothing planes must have been very closely standardised, unless owners were expected to shave all round the body.
 
I got the sole of the plane completely trued with the rest of it, and the iron set up and cap iron set up in a total of about 15 minutes tonight. No pictures yet, not worth it, anyway.

It's a chatter machine. When I have more time over the weekend, I'll have to see if the chatter is wedge or bed related. Should be a nice plane to use with a new wedge.
 
Bod":3ekectxp said:
Going by the one I had, the iron sole was adjustable, to open or close the mouth.
They are not often seen now, even at carboots, those that are, the iron sole is very rusty, and the screw seized.
I have seen "kits" advertisied, as well as ready made planes. Always smoothers, never any other size.

Bod

I have only seen the smoothers, too. One of those catalogs above lists soles for try planes, which would be horribly heavy and make the plane vastly unbalanced on the return stroke.
 
Never mind, what's listed is actually a steel sole that fits the entire length of the try plane. one would assume that such a thing would be much thinner than the soles made for smoothers. I can't imagine the workmen would've had the modern fascination for heavy planes like the amateur market does.
 
A.T Murray & Sons Manchester (Oldham St :wink: ) and Liverpool
no front cover or date but thanks to Alf 1905 - 1913
a-t-murray-of-manchester-t5409.html

A T Murray pg 43.JPG


Page 7, item 27 shows a wooden coffin smoother with the metal fsole ront and unmissable screw at the top.

26 Smoothing plane in 5 sizes
27 Smoothing Plane with iron front piece (2 1/8 only)
with steel-plated sole (2 1/8 only)

Osborn & Co Southampton 1925
Osborn pg 234.JPG

Osborn pg 235.JPG


Page 228 shows a standard wooden coffin smoother

929 Smooth in 6 sizes
930 Ditto, fitted with improved iron front (2 1/4 only)
931 Ditto, fitted with iron sole (2 1/4 only)

In the top and bottom picture you can see the EP intials clearly, so both Preston as Andy T said.
 

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The full sole makes sense to me now, I have not seen one off of a plane before and wondered how thick they were. It looks like not very thick compared to the front assembly in the first picture you show.

I look forward to (just for experimentation) getting a good wedge into the plane that I have and then putting it through it's paces in some dimensioning. I couldn't tell enough from trialing it last night.
 
The plane I got has some other shortcomings other than the sole and the wedge. It's made neatly enough that I'm not sure if it's amateur or professionally made, but it has some strange flaws, like the abutments are cut with very little taper, which makes for a lot of wedge travel and chance of affecting the cap iron set. And the cap and iron are not the same make, and they don't quite tighten completely - easily solvable.

The well used wedge that was in the plane was not remotely close to fitting the right taper, but the wear on the wedge and abutments show that the two were used together for a while. The fingers near the bottom were where the problem was - they were too narrow with no grip. Someone who was into self torture made the wedge out of oak, poorly fit, and then used the plane enough to really get the wedge and abtuments to smash each other into submission.

I'll widen the abutments, fix the iron, fit it with a wedge with reasonable taper, and expect it will be a nice plane to use. I have to say that after truing the sole, there is a lot less resistance from the metal when it's only on the front. It's not half, it's more like almost unnoticeable other than the weight. It must be the metal on the back of the plane that does most of the friction making.
 

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