light on a couple of unmarked infill planes in my collection.
Two dovetailed Steel Infill Planes, a steel
rebate and a smoother made by
Wellington, NZ c1940
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
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.
this link to New Zealand Vintage Tool Collectors Club to see more pictures of
George Fraser Planes.
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
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.