Peter McBride

Antique and Old Tools

1st December 2017

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Two metal cutting rebate planes.
I have an interest in the "Smith's Planes" used to plane metal. Some were for brass, iron and steel that take the form as described by Holtzapffel with the vertical blade. 
Also planes of various forms were used to work lead based alloys like those used in organ pipes.
I know Organ Pipe Makers used a low angle infill mitre plane on lead from prior to the 1850's.
That information was from an interview I conducted with the pipe maker from Fincham's Organ makers (Richmond, Vic, Aust) following the purchase of tools at the close of the business in 2006.
They also modified Stanley block planes by closing the throat very tight with steel or brass inserts for the work of thicknessing and jointing the lead. He also had a user made wooden bodied plane. References I have also picture these Jack Plane size wooden planes with near vertical blades.
I have a reference from 1950's that has the distinctive Holtzapffel vertical blade type used for organ pipe work as well. Here is a link to my J. Cawdron vertical blade Smith's Plane for Metal in that style 

These two are about 7 inches long, made in cast iron and are very heavy at about 6 lbs (2.75Kg) each. One came with a 1 1/8 inch blade, and the other came without a blade or wedge. 
The throat opening in that one is 1 1/4 inch.

The only reference to this short rebate style that I have found was in a Tool Dealer's auction catalogue. That plane had a screw type lever cap.
There it was identified as used on the patterns made in lead for casting of iron lacework. 
Sounds possible, but I have spoken with old casters and have only got blank looks from them.

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Copyright Peter McBride 2017