If you were to shape your own sole, you would need to draw the profile on both ends of your plane blank and then connect the lines across the sole of the plane. At times these details can seem tedious and unimportant, but a planes value can be greatly affected by these details. Judging by the number of planes I find with missing nickers, this happens a lot.
However, you absolutely do not need a full or half set of H&Rs to get started with molding planes – a couple of usable pairs will get you started, along with either a plow plane or a couple of rabbet planes. On this page are a series of pictures and information about types of vintage & antique woodworking tools and planes that I buy, sell and deal in. I will discuss different types of tools we are seeking and provide some information about their values.
You can buy one good new plane for a couple hundred, or two to four old planes for $75-$100 to get one or two good users. Soon planes were made by Samuel Doggett in Dedham, Henry Wetherel in Norton, John Walton and his sons in Reading, and Jonathan Ballou and Jo. Fuller in Providence, Rhode Island. As a user, I am mostly interested in building things with old tools, so this is less of a concern for me. I generally go looking for a matched pair of planes in a given iron width, rather than looking for a particular size number that is only meaningful for a given maker.
Boxwood Coffin Shape Smoothing Plane A nice looking all boxwood smoothing plane that has a great feel. You could buy either half sets (even numbers) or full sets from Arrowmammett, and you could choose to end either set at #18, #20, or #24. A half set consisting of the even-numbered pairs was also offered, as was a quarter set consisting of the 1/2 inch, one inch, 1 1/2 inch, and two inch. Some of these planes are useful in a modern workshop, others are not so useful today.
Being able to make a custom molding is distinctly gratifying—when the job calls for it. But keep in mind that this process is best suited for making feet and not yards of material! Together with a moving fillister and rabbet plane you can make almost any shape of molding. It’s probably not a good idea to try to use, and potentially ruin, an early American plane which could be worth the cost of an entire fleet of more ordinary molding planes. A molding plane blade is generally bedded at 45 degrees to the sole of the plane, though British planes commonly used 50 degrees (York pitch) or higher.
It is possible to match up T&G planes from different makers, it is unlikely that the resulting joints will fit perfectly. Before hardening, while it’s still easy to modify, plane a few feet to check the cutter’s profile. Testing will tell you if you have missed any thing or the plane has an inherited problem. While complex moulding planes have lots of limitations, they are great when you need to run a lot of moulding really fast. When you use a moulding plane on you project, you get a bit of satisfaction that a router doesn’t give you.
You are bidding on a molding plane This comes to you from my smoke-free and pet-free home. A larger and smaller radius plane used on the same curve will produce an elliptical shape. In fact, it was possible to buy a full set from Greenfield, consisting of pairs #1 through #24, although the size of a #1 plane was not specified. Thanks Eddie I am glad you got something out of it. Now when you see one of these for sale and its not to much, buy it and give it a try.
Then just scribe the plane profile on the iron, grind, harden (the fun part) and temper. There are some early American planemakers whose mark makes even an ordinary molding plane wroth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Wooden planes can be dated by the maker’s mark, the type of screws used for plows, and also the size—for example, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that American molding planes took to the 9-inch standard. These standard planes have a flat sole, a blade set at a 45-degree angle, and no side throat openings, so the wood shavings come out of the top.
I always tried to draw the profile and go about trying to convey the concept of the way the molding would look through a drawn picture. I have seen the authors of the books on this type of plane selling unmarked examples for $10.00 and less to move them along at antique tools show and auctions. Leach@ He sells some really good used wooden planes and his prices are reasonable.
Tony certainly has the pick of the good British planes (which I love) over there in England, but between the crummy exchange rate and the huge shipping costs, buying tools from the UK is tough. I made some pieces of replacement baseboard over the years with moulding planes when router and shaper bits just won’t do the job. The Canadian plane maker V. A. Emond, working in Quebec, offered planes with a very simple numbering scheme where the plane number is the iron width in eighths of an inch. A miter plane (with a 35-degree blade angle) and a toothing plane (with a vertical iron) are both designed to work on woods with difficult grains.
On the right are prime examples of patented metallic specialty planes offered by Stanley that continue to go up in value, slowly, but not much faster than inflation. I think the most important things to avoid are planes with significant dry rot, moisture damage (usually easy to tell by water stains in pictures), significant cracks in the body, bad warpage, super wide worn out mouths, and significant pitting in the back of the iron. There’s no need to run out and get a full set of H&Rs or every size dado right away. Their number one plane works a 1/8 inch circle, implying a 1/16 inch iron width.
Below Sleeper’s wedge is that found on the earlier planes by Timothy Tileston, of Boston, Massachusetts – it’s this style of wedge that was in common contemporaneous use throughout England and the mid-Atlantic states during the 18th century and early 19th century. I really wanted an even matched set”, which is a set that was all in an original set when it was made and didn’t get scattered over the years.
The Woodwright’s School is already hallowed ground for a lot of woodworkers, but hovering above workshop is Ed Lebetkin’s Antique Tool store…. This 12-20 tap and die set is for the bolt holes in the bed of Stanley planes and also for the knob and tote bolts. So rather than taking up precious shelf space and making me feel bad that they could be put to use in someone else’s woodshop I’m putting them up for sale.
You can get away with using planes on slightly thicker or thinner stock as long as you keep careful track of the working faces of the boards. Once you get your first experience with a properly tuned molding plane- and whiff of that distinct smell 100year old beech makes when it heats up in use, you’ll be hooked. Most vintage moulding planes I buy are about $10 and don’t need much (if any) work. It’s possible to find a set once in a blue moon at an estate sale or a flea market, but it’s rare.
Today I was moulding the aprons for a table I’m building and took some video of how long it takes to form the edge, from the time I picked up the jack plane until the time I put down the moulding plane. There are other subtle differences found only on New England-made 18th century planes. And my entire set was from one woodworker, had always been together, and were well cared for.
Planes from the 18th century mid-Atlantic makers scream England, while those from the free-thinking and fun-loving New England makers scream rugged individualism. For a plane to be identified as a metal” plane, the body and at least part of the sole must be metal, whereas the knob, handle, wedge, fill, and part of the sole can be wood. These days you will find plenty of ogees, fillets, astragals, quirk beads, thumbnails, and ovolos in my work but I still rely on mainly a few sizes of planes. The width of the plane iron would be the same as the distance between two adjoining points on the circle.
A larger cousin to the Sloyd Tool Cabinet — this Hammacher Schlemmer tool cabinet was home to a large set of tools targeting a high end home user market. Japanese and Chinese planes different from Western planes in that a user pulls the plane toward himself. It is not unusual to have two planes with identical size stamps but completely different widths. Molding profiles can also be dated if you match them to the style of architecture that was popular during a certain period.