Antique Stanley, Record, Preston, Spiers, Mathieson And Norris Planes


at Stagtools

The A13 smoother is another classic dovetailed infill plane, in the style of Norris. Dunno why it would be more difficult than on a Stanley…except for the important frog adjustment, the blade adjustments on metal planes are too coarse and pure eyewash, IMO…they all need to be tapped into perfection when set with a brass hammer just like a woodie. I have found that the Veritas style Norris adjuster is awkward to use for lateral adjustment of the blade. As you progress in your skill level you’ll encounter projects that require specialty hand planes (or may just make a project easier), and you can conduct further research at that time.

I’ve also seen an iron de-laminate; look them over around the bevel for this flaw (Stanley did equip their bench planes with laminated irons up to about WWII – click here to see the company’s propaganda for laminated irons). Because both students had the same problem with the same newly designed planes I put this down to teething troubles with the new design. First of all, the boards were flat to begin with, so comparison with the shorter planes was not applicable. Catalog includes hand planes, chisels, gouges, augers, bits, bevels, vises, screwdrivers, axes, hammers, squares, saws, etc.

In other words, this website has been installed to support owners and collectors of Norris Planes to establish and study more concerning the planes in their possession. There are a vast amount of other special-purpose hand planes that I don’t have the time to mention in detail here. Planes made of yellow birch date before 1800, whereas plans of ebony, boxwood, rosewood, and lignum vitae came much later. Now if you are simply after a low angle woodie, that is one that planes at the same low 38 degrees that a BU metal plane (such as a LV LA Jack) can do, then that is very doable.


Often, the bodies of these planes are boat or coffin shaped, and do not have the feel or narrow throat of a modern plane. Stiff adjuster hence sold as seen so take good look at pictures no damage to planes body or blade just adjuster turns but stiff. In the main his planes are based on traditional Spier and Norris infill designs with ingredients of steel, brass and Rosewood, such as this Norris A13 below. These are Chinese copies of Lie Nielsen planes and they managed to make the same mistake.

Advertisements for Norris planes can also be found in other catalogues as far back as 1912 and possibly beyond. Shoulder planes are used for trimming & improving cut joinery (e.g. shoulders, tenons, grooves, & rabbets). This is a great improvement to the original infill planes where the lever caps were permanently captive. Tim, the LN and LV planes are made of ductile iron, which is different to the grey iron of yesteryear. In basic terms, this is why card scrapers, cabinet scrapers and scraper planes are the last word in battling tear-out. We improved the lateral adjustment lever and added a traditional style bearing for better control of the blade.

Stanley planes – Unless you are into serious woodworking, chances are good that you only need a couple of these at most along with a good block style plane. When we didn’t have very good bevel up planes made by both Veritas and Lie Nielsen this was valid information, now it’s not, it’s very confusing information. Also, the frog, and its mating to the bottom, only underwent one redesign during its production, which is far less than the redesigns the larger bench planes had done to them. Until the mass-production techniques of the Industrial Revolution, wooden planes with iron blades were the dominant form.

If you’re interested in working difficult figured wood grain, planing a lot of end grain (like on butcher blocks), or using a shooting board to true your ends & edges, then this simple hand plane should move to your urgent list. Well, the difference is that the Veritas (and some other block-plane-like tools such as the Lie-Nielsen No. 164 ) work with the cutter’s bevel facing up, while traditional planes cut with the bevel facing down.

Here you will find reprints of old catalogues, brochures and advertisements for Norris Planes, various articles, drawings and information on Norris Planes and thousands and thousands of pictures of Norris Planes in all their glory and from all angles. However, in a professional workshop I think the option of having the carbon steel blade makes the Veritas planes extremely attractive.

The name Norris was carried on as Norris Planes Ltd from 1944 until 1946 when it was changed to Norris Planes & Tools Ltd, a subsidiary of Aeronautical and General Instruments Ltd based at Croydon. I take my hat off to Rob Lee and everyone at Veritas for helping to make better hand tools. The A5 round sided models were also based on the original Norris design but of one width only having a 21/8th inch iron and, in my opinion, made in three pieces, the round sides presumably welded in some form. That is why a Norris A5, the most common infill smoother, does not have a particularly tight mouth.