Peter McBride

Antique and Old Tools
3rd August 2010  -  Uupdated Nov, 2017

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 click on the pictures for a larger image

New light on a couple of unmarked infill planes in my collection.
Two dovetailed Steel Infill Planes, a steel rebate and a smoother made by
George Fraser
Wellington, NZ c1940

g_fraser1.jpg (24756 bytes) g_fraser2.jpg (27395 bytes) g_fraser3.jpg (29531 bytes)
g_fraser00a.jpg (71433 bytes)  g_fraser00b.jpg (85691 bytes) g_fraser00.jpg (65439 bytes) g_fraser04.jpg (99153 bytes)

I purchased the unmarked rebate plane in 2000 from an antique dealer in Auckland, New Zealand. It is 12 1/8 inches long and 2 1/16 inch wide. The blade set is by Charles Taylor, and the cutting iron is marked with a dealer stamp, Henry Osborn Ltd. Newcastle-on-Tyne. The infill looks looks Australian Blackwood. Some time later I bought the Smoother, also in NZ.

Fraser didn't mark his planes, but sufficient numbers of them have been found, and research in New Zealand has revealed that George Fraser made infill planes in Wellington, New Zealand during and soon after WW2.
It is believed this pattern of rebate plane was a later one in the working life of George Fraser.
 He would visit workshops on a Friday, taking orders for planes that he would complete through the week and deliver the following Friday. The price was about 10s/6d which he apparently would spend on whiskey. My contact in NZ has a neighbour who went to school with Margaret, the Daughter of George. The neighbour tells a tale of seeing him staggering home on Friday nights with a large red nose.
Click on this link  to New Zealand Vintage Tool Collectors Club to see more pictures of George Fraser Planes.
image 1image 2image 3, image 4

More information on George Fraser, published in 1993.

In the December 1993 journal of the HTPAA, "The Tool Chest", Rex Goddard, Wellington, NZ writes that George Fraser, known as Scotty, made planes in the 1930s and early 1940s, and was said to have drunk a bottle of whisky a day. He would use off cuts of timber for the wooden parts of the planes, and he sometimes made laminated wooden handles and also used some Australian timber for his infills.
George Fraser was a cabinet maker, working for Jensen Cabinet Makers of Wellington, NZ. Jensens made radio and sewing machine cabinets, and ammunition boxes during the war. At that time Fraser had retired and his son, who also worked for Jensens, took orders for planes made by George up until 1943.

 Copyright Peter McBride 2010, 2017