The Stanley Rule & Level Company was always interested in providing its customers with the tools they wanted. They were very adept at bringing to market variations of their tools to satisfy the demands of as many workmen as possible. They listened to their customers and often incorporated their suggestions into the tools they produced. This resulted in the Stanley line of over 250 different models of woodworking planes. As any Stanley plane collector can tell you, trying to collect all of the almost infinite versions and variations of these planes is a near impossible endeavor. A surprising number of these planes (over 40) were designed as rabbets and filletster planes.
Before we begin discussing the Stanley #278 Rabbet and Filletster plane, its time for a bit of digression! The woodworking world’s use of the words rabbet (rebate if your English) to describe certain woodworking planes and filletster (fillister if you’re English) to describe other woodworking planes has over the years created understandable confusion and some controversy. So, here’s my attempt at enlightening you as to the difference between these two types of planes.
The English word rebate is derived from the Old French word rabbotre which meant to beat down or beat back. It gradually changed to rabbat in French which was defined as a recess in a wall. The English adopted the word as rabbet in the late 14th century and at some point in the late 18th century the word became rebate in England but remained rabbet in the United States. The French still use the word rabotage to describe the process of removing wood from a board with a plane, i.e. planing. If you think in more modern terms, when you receive a rebate from a manufacturer or sales person, a portion of the purchase price is removed or given back. A rabbet is simply put, a recess or step along the edge of a board. So when you make a rabbeting cut with your rabbet plane, you’re removing a portion of the board to create a rabbet (rebate).
Rabbet planes characteristically have a cutter whose cutting edge is just slightly wider than the sole of the plane. This slightly wider cutter allows the cutter to produce a sharp corner in the rabbet. This wouldn’t be possible with a bench plane because the cutter in a bench plane fits inside the body of the plane. The cutter in a rabbet plane may be skewed or straight and the gracefully designed side escapement hole of the plane allows the shavings to escape without clogging the plane’s throat (See Fig. 1). Rabbet planes do not have an integral fence, although woodworkers often tacked or screwed a piece of wood to the body of the plane to create a fence.
Figure 2. Image of a Filletster Plane from A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, Emil & Marty Pollak, 4th Edition, Revised by Thomas L. Elliott, 2001, p. 466
The etymology of the word filletster is a bit more complicated. The word fillet meant a narrow band of fabric used on a hat in 14th century France. It was derived from the Old French word filet meaning “thread”, which was derived from the Latin word for thread, filum. The word fillet moved into the English language and has several definitions still very much in use including; a narrow band or ribbon worn around the head to hold the hair in place, the vertical strips between the flutes on the shaft of a column, or any narrow band or strip of metal or other material.[i] The addition of the suffix -ster to fillet led to the word becoming attached to a woodworking plane. Originally a feminine suffix in 14th century English -ster eventually became gender neutral and indicated, “a person associated or being something specified by the prefix attached to -ster. Think youngster, spinster, gangster, etc.[ii]
A filletster plane is then a plane associated with producing a stepped cut along the edge of a piece of wood. In effect a filletster plane also produces a “rabbet” (See Fig. 2). However, the filletster plane is a different animal than a rabbet plane. Filletster planes always have an integral fence that controls the width of the cut. The sides of the cutting iron do not extend beyond the edge of the plane body. The cutting iron in a filletster plane is always skewed and the escapement throat is straight rather than curved. Filletster planes may or may not have nickers and/or a depth stop. So, while both planes produce a rabbeting cut, there are subtle differences between the two planes. And there will always be planes that are exceptions to the characteristics described above. I’ll let you decide whether this digression was of any help![iii] Whether helpful or not, let’s move on to the topic at hand.
Stanley decided to blend a rabbet and filletster plane and came up with the production model of the Stanley #278 Rabbet and Filletster Plane (See Fig. 3). It was based on Christian Bodmer’s patent #1,201,433 granted on October 17th, 1916 (See Fig. 4). Stanley actually introduced the plane in their 1915 No. 34 catalog, a year before the patent was granted. The plane cost $1.75 when introduced in 1915, and it was in production for 38 years from 1915 until 1943.
The plane is small at only 6 and 13/16ths of an inch long and 1 inch wide. Both sides of the plane are ground flat to allow it to lay flat on either side. The plane is made of two cast iron pieces secured with a single large slotted pan head machine screw ( See Fig. 5).
The nose piece has a rather unique circular portion which Bodmer describes in his patent as a “finger or thumb hold”. When the nose piece is removed the plane can be used as a chisel plane. The cutter is seated bevel up at a bed angle of 20 degrees (See Fig. 6).
There are a series of grooves machined into the back of the cutter. These grooves engage two teeth on a stamped steel adjusting lever that is held in place in the rear casting by a pin. Raising or lowering this lever moves the cutter forward or back, controlling the depth of cut. A groove cast into the uniquely shaped lever cap engages a similarly shaped rounded projection cast into the body of the plane which loosely holds the lever cap in place.
Tightening the nickel plated adjusting screw tightens the lever cap down onto the plane cutter and at the same time wedges the lever cap tightly against the triangular projection cast into the body of the plane. The Stanley “Sweethart” logo and “Made In U.S.A.” is stamped into the face of the lever cap adjusting screw (See Fig 8).
The fence rod can be screwed into either side of the plane. The adjustable fence is 6 inches long with the hole for the rod positioned in the center of the fence. The fence is secured to the rod with a thumb screw (See Fig. 9).
The plane also has a small depth stop that can ride in a “V” shaped groove on either side of the nose piece. It’s held in place by a small thumb screw and washer. Spurs are present on both sides of the plane and can be rotated into place for working across the grain.
In 2006, a pre-production Stanley Model Shop version of the #278 came to auction. Shown in Fig. 10, it differs in several ways from the production model.
The casting is a bit rougher on the Model Shop version but the most obvious difference is the shape of the rear portion of the body of the plane which does not have the peaked arch seen on the production model. This lower arch makes the plane more difficult to hold in your hand and the production committee no doubt asked for a change in its design. The Model Shop version is 6 ¾ inches long and has only one spur located on the right hand side of the plane while the production model which included a spur on both sides. Stanley accommodated this second nicker on the production model by lengthening the front casting slightly making the production model of the #278, longer at 6 and 13/16ths inches in length.
There are no marks on the cutter or the lever cap adjusting screw in the Model Shop version and there is no model number cast into the plane as that had not yet been decided at the time this plane was produced. There is a small remnant of white paint on the top of the rear casting which is all that remains of the Model Shop number (See Fig. 11). The production model is identical to the plane shown in the patent drawing, so we can surmise that this plane was produced prior to the patent application. This would date it to late 1914 or early 1915 prior to the release of the 1915 Stanley catalog and before Bodmer applied for his patent.[iv] As opposed to many of the Model Shop planes I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, this one made it into production with minimal changes and was part of the Stanley line of planes for almost 40 years.[v]
The next time you’re at a tool show look for one of these interesting little planes and see what you think. They’re somewhat scarce, and often are missing the depth stop and fence. Sometimes the fence has been replaced from a Stanley #78. It’s easy to tell the difference if you remember that the fence on the #278 had the hole for the rod in the center, while the #78 fence has the hole for the placed asymmetrically. When properly sharpened and tuned up, they’re fun to use and great if you’re making delicate rabbets for window glass in cabinet doors.
Paul Van Pernis
[i] The word fillet (filet in France) was also used in the 14th century to describe a thin cut of boneless meat or fish that was prepared by being tied up with a string. Thus “filet mignon”.
[ii] Spinster originally meant a “female spinner of thread”. Spinning was commonly done by unmarried women. The word was used in legal documents starting in the 1600’s to denote an “unmarried woman” and by the early 18th century was being used as a derogatory term to described a woman who was still unmarried and was not likely to ever be married. The suffix -ster has come down to us as well in many English names such as Webster (a weaver), Dexter (a dyer), Foster (a saddletree maker), Brewster (a beer or ale maker), etc.
[iii] Gary Robert’s did a good job of highlighting the differences between rabbet and filletster planes on his Toolemera Bog site. You can read it at http://toolemerablog.typepad.com/toolemera/2012/04/rebate-rabbet-fillister-fillitster-and-why.html.
[iv] Bodmer applied for the patent on June 2, 1916 and the patent was granted on October 17, 1916
[v] While part of the Stanley line of planes for several decades, for Stanley collectors the #278 is relatively rare. When found they are often missing the fence and or depth stops. Most of the examples seen are from the “Sweethart” era suggesting that Stanley made a limited number of casting runs of these planes primarily between 1920 and 1935.
The Early American Industries Association Eastfield Historic Trades Sampler, is scheduled for Thursday, July 28th through Sunday, July 31, 2016, at Historic Eastfield Village, East Nassau, New York. The program includes making domed wooden boxes, carving fish decoys, blacksmithing iron utensils, tinsmithing, decorative painting, flint knapping, making an atlatl* and black power shooting. Each project is led by an experienced tradesman including master tinsmith Bill McMillen, blacksmith Olof Janssen and woodwright Bill Rainford. The name Eastfield Historic Trades Sampler reflects what we actually offer—a sampler of various trades with an opportunity to learn about them while completing a small project related to the craft. Learn not only how things are done, but how to do them!
There are two different workshops each day. The classes start at 9 A.M. and there is a lunch provided in Eastfield’s historic tavern from noon until 1 P.M., at which time the afternoon session of the workshops resume. The workshops end around 5 P.M.
In addition to the lunches provided each day, which are included in the registration fee, two nights are accented by games and drinks in the tavern, and on Saturday a terrific dinner is cooked over a wood fire in the tavern kitchen. Helping with the preparation of the dinner is a fun and educational experience in itself. On the other nights, the group generally goes to a local restaurant for dinner at their own expense.
Eastfield is a village of historic buildings that Don Carpentier brought to the east field of his father’s farm in East Nassau, New York, over a period of forty years. Students are welcome to stay in several of these buildings which have been restored to their 18th and 19th century appearance; however there are hotels and other accommodations nearby. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this year; the dates are Thursday, July 28, through Sunday, July 31, 2016. Registration information and a full schedule is available on our Web site. EAIAinfo.org
Seating is limited so classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $485 for the four days and includes the daily workshops, morning coffee, & lunches. Some of the workshops will have a modest materials fee.
Send your payment to:
Early American Industries Association
PO Box 524
Hebron, MD 21830
Or contact us by phone at (703) 967-9399 or email EAIA1933@verizon.net
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A spear-thrower or atlatl (/ˈɑːt.lɑːtəl/ /ˈæt.lætəl/; Nahuatl: ahtlatl Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈaʔ͡tɬa͡tɬ]) is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing, and includes a bearing surface which allows the user to store energy during the throw. It may consist of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. The spear-thrower is held in one hand, gripped near the end farthest from the cup. The dart is thrown by the action of the upper arm and wrist.
The throwing arm together with the atlatl acts as a lever. The spear-thrower is a low-mass, fast-moving extension of the throwing arm, increasing the length of the lever. This extra length allows the thrower to impart force to the dart over a longer distance, thus imparting more energy and ultimately higher speeds.
FUN, FRIENDS, AND LEARNING AT PLEASANT HILL SHAKER VILLAGE!
The 2016 Early American Industries Association Annual Meeting was held at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. 150 EAIA members registered for the meeting and despite some rain, everyone had a good time, including EAIA President Pat Lasswell and EAIA Executive Director John Verrill (see above!). We stayed in restored Shaker buildings, ate delicious food, explored the wonderful exhibits, went behind the scenes in the collections area, and learned some new skills in the Shaker Hand-held Broom , Shaker Herb Bundle, and the Shaker Spirit Drawing Workshops. We increased our understanding of the Shaker way of life and worship. The displays were outstanding and our banquet and Silent auction were a great way to end the meeting. Enjoy the pictures that follow. Although not everyone in every picture is identified, look and see if you can find yourself in one of the pictures if you were there! We look forward to another great Annual Meeting at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts next year on May 17th thru May 20th, 2017. Come join in the fun!
We hope you had a great time at Pleasant Hill! It’s a place well worth the visit! Thanks again from your meeting c0-hosts, Paul and Eileen Van Pernis and Denise and Rodney Richer.
by Paul Van Pernis
Here we are….. a group photo of those who came to the very first EAIA’s Fiber Interest Group meeting. We had 28 people who attended and brought items to share with the group. Below are photos of items that were brought to the meeting for show and tell. Members brought hand made items and textile tools. It was a great response to this newly formed group. If you would like to have more information about this group, join our EAIA Fiber Interest Group Facebook page, or read about what this group is doing in The Shavings. If you spin, weave, knit, quilt, sew, dye, collect textile tool, rug hook or any other fiber related interest…….we invite you to join this group. Our mission is to create an atmosphere in which the fiber and textile related industries will be promoted and shared. Our goals are to research, teach, demonstrate and have fun!
As I walked around I found the Shaker village a lovely place. The grounds, old buildings, the furnishings were so interesting to look at. Lots of the artifacts have been moved to the main Center Building where it is easier to get to see things. There are a couple of rooms that has fiber related items in it. Here are a few photos of what I found.
In my last blog post I talked about two Stanley block planes with rosewood buttons on their knuckle joint lever caps. In this post I’m going to discuss two more block planes from the Stanley Model Shop that are variations on that theme. And these two planes appear to have been made at least a decade earlier than the two I featured in my last post.
The first one (See Figure 1) has all the characteristics of a Stanley #9½ block plane, Type 5, which would put its dates of manufacture between 1875 and 1879. It’s 6 ¼ inches long, 1-7/8ths inches wide and has a 1-5/8ths inch wide cutter. “L. Bailey’s Patent Aug.6.67 Aug 31,58 EX’d.” is stamped on the cutter in an oval shape and helps to date the plane to somewhere between 1875 and 1879 (See Figure 2).
The unique and interesting feature of this plane is its lever cap. The lever cap is cast iron and similar in shape to those seen on Stanley bench planes. The front of the lever cap is japanned and has a recessed arched area on the front with the typical key hole. The edges of the casting are polished on the front while the back and sides of the lever cap are also japanned (See Figure 3).
A 1-3/8ths inch by 5/8ths inch piece of tempered spring steel acting as a flat spring is pinned to the back of the lever cap with a single rivet (See Figure 4). An eccentric cast iron lever that bears against the flat spring is pinned into a slot in the upper end of the lever cap.
The 1-7/8ths inch rosewood button on the lever cap is screwed onto a coarsely threaded post on the eccentric lever. Pushing down on the rosewood button pushes the eccentric lever against the flat steel spring and locks the cutter tightly in place. The plane is in unused condition with Model Shop #53 painted on the toe of the plane and on the rosewood button (See Figure 5).
Fine machining marks are still visible on the sides and sole of the plane and there are no blemishes in the japanning. The rosewood button on this attractive block plane provides a very comfortable resting spot for the heel of your hand when you’re holding the plane in the working position. Despite its attractive appearance, producing the lever caps on this block plane would have been expensive and the Stanley Production Committee decided to put this plane back on the shelf in the Model Shop.
The second plane, #58 from the Model Shop, is a steel bodied block plane. It has a lever cap very similar to the one seen on plane #53. The lever cap on plane #58 is polished cast iron with a ¾ inch by 1-3/8ths inch piece of spring steel with an arched top riveted to the back of the lever cap with two small rivets(See Figure 13). The rosewood button on this plane is attached to the small eccentric cast iron lever by three wood screws (See Figure 14). The 1- 5/8ths inch wide cutter has the trademark which dates the plane to about 1876 T.he body of this plane is made from folded steel (See Figure 7).
Justus Traut and Henry Richards had applied for a patent on June 15th, 1875 describing the production of planes with a “wrought metal stock” and were granted patent No. 168,431, on October 5th, of that same year (See Figure 8). This plane is made using that method. It has a folded steel body that is 6-7/16ths inches long and 1-13/16ths inches wide. The two side walls are held together by a threaded rod. The cutter adjusting mechanism is welded to the back portion of the plane.
The adjustment mechanism is a modification of the mechanism shown in patent #176,152 which was also granted to Traut and Richards on April 18, 1876 (See Figure 9 and footnote 3) .
This adjustment mechanism was used by Stanley on a number of their planes for many years. While this plane never made it into production, Traut and Richard’s folded steel plane body and cutter adjustment mechanism were put to use in the #104 Liberty Bell smooth plane and the #105 Liberty Bell jack plane which were introduced by Stanley at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition and remained in production until 1918. It may be that this block plane was meant to be a companion to the #104 and #105 Liberty Bell Planes (See Figure 10).
Even though the Model Shop numbers on the body of the plane and on the rosewood button on the lever cap appear to match, the lever cap doesn’t stay in place very well when slid under the rod which holds the two side walls together and compresses the flat spring on the back of the lever cap. The lever cap has a keyhole, which suggests that there was thought given to using a lever cap screw to hold the lever cap in place, but it obviously didn’t get done. The #58 is very clear on the body of this plane, but portions of the “8” are missing on the lever cap.
It’s hard to say with absolute certainty that this plane body and the lever cap belong together, but the light wear marks on the cutter correspond to those on the lever cap, and the style of the “8” on the body of the plane matches the partial “8” on the rosewood button on the lever cap suggesting that the two parts have been together since they were made. The cutter is stamped April 18, 1876, the date of Traut and Richard’s Patent No. 176,152, which dates this plane to 1875-1876.
A second piece of steel with a coarsely threaded upright rod is welded to the front portion of the plane to hold the front knob and also provides a rib on the front edge of the mouth of the plane (See Figure 14). The lever cap will stay in place when the spring is compressed, but would tend to slide back out when any pressure was applied to the cutter. So this block plane was also relegated to a shelf back in the Model Shop. But, it may have been pulled back off the shelf and possibly served as the inspiration for the Stanley #118 steel frame block plane. Introduced in 1933, fifty-seven years after the #58 Model Shop Steel Block Plane was made. Stanley advertised that the #118 block plane was unbreakable and encouraged it’s use in school shops. The similarities between the body of these two planes is striking (See Figure 15).
The rosewood button lever caps on these two planes with their eccentric clamping lever were produced several years earlier than the two shown in my last post. In some ways they could be viewed as the precursors to the “knuckle joint lever cap” which was based on S.D. Sargent’s patent No. 355,031. The knuckle joint lever cap was first introduced by Stanley on the #18 block plane in 1888 more than 10 years after these two block planes were made. No doubt, Justus Traut and Henry Richards were intimately involved with the production of these two Model Shop block planes. For me, a big part of the allure of Model Shop planes is that they can give us a bit of a peek at some of the thought processes of the early inventors at Stanley.
 Wells, John, & Schoellhamer, Jack, “One Hundred Years of Bailey’s Excelsior Block Plane, The No 9 ½ Family” can be found in Antique & Collectible Stanley Tools, by John Walter, Second Edition, 1996, pp. 686-701.
 Dood, Kendall J., “Pursuing the Essence of Inventions: Reissuing Patents in the 19th Century”, Society for the History of Technology, Technology and Culture, Vol. 32, No.4, Special Issue: Patents and Inventions, October 1991, pp.999-1017. “An Act Concerning Patents for Useful Inventions” was passed by Congress in July of 1832 stating “Whenever any patent…shall be invalid or inoperative, by reason that any of the terms or conditions prescribed in [the patent statutes] have not, by inadvertence, accident, or mistake, and without any fraudulent or deceptive intention, been complied with on the part of the [inventor], it shall be lawful for the Secretary of State, upon surrender to him of such patent, to cause a new patent to be granted to the said inventor for the same invention for the residue of the period then unexpired for which the original patent was granted.” The reissue 8 years into Patent #67398 gave Bailey and Stanley patent protection for this portion of Bailey’s patent for remaining 6 years of the patent.
 The adjustment mechanism on this plane was used on the #103 block plane, the #104 “Liberty Bell” smooth plane, the #105 “Liberty Bell” jack plane, the #120 block planes and the Type 1 #140 Rabbet and Block Plane. With slight variation, this adjusting mechanism was also used on the #122, #127, #129, 3132, and #135 wood bottom series of “Liberty Bell Planes”. Images below show the Patent Drawings for Traut and Richard’s Patent No. 176,152 date April 18, 1876.
The EAIA 2016 Annual Meeting is going strong this week at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village in Harrodsburg Kentucky. The village has sold out along with some additional folks staying at local hotels. After 5pm when the museum closes to the public we call it EAIA village as we see members strolling around the village, making new friends and catching up with old friends.
We’ve been having a blast exploring the exceptional craftsmanship in the buildings and many artifacts on site.
We also had a broom making workshop, stone wall building, shaker spirit drawing, her bag making and many other opportunities to try our hands at a new craft.
In addition to the events on site, I wanted to note there are more opportunities to explore crafts and meet craftsmen and women in the area. My friend Chris Schwarz, who you may remember from the 2013 annual meeting when he gave a talk on tool chests is opening up his storefront/shop this Sunday May 22nd from 10am-4pm.
Chris’ shop is located at 837 Willard St., Covington, KY 41017 which is about 110 miles north of the Shaker Village in Covington Kentucky which is in the greater Cincinnati area and on the way home for many EAIA folks. Chris is working on a Danish Modern chest of drawers in some incredible curly oak and will have that on the bench – not to mention his Lost Art Press books, T-shirts, posters, stickers and tins of Katy’s soft wax (The Anarchist’s Daughter).
If you are looking for a reason to tempt your spouse to make the trip, dangle Otto’s brunch before them. The Benedict Otto’s with a side of goetta is something I dream about. Get there early – it fills up. If you get closed out there, try the brunch across the street at Main Bite. Or at Keystone a few blocks away.
Chris is a skilled woodworker, author and blogger and all around nice guy and well worth the visit. I’ll be there along with a few friends. You can learn more about Chris, his work and the shop here on his blog.
Beyond the workshops it has been a lot of fun to wander around the village and farm.
The photos in this post are just a few from my phone, when I get home I’ll post some better pics from my camera.
If you have more photos you’d like to share and show on the site, please email me (Bill Rainford), John Verrill, Pat Lasswell or Paul VanPernis and we’ll get them up on the website.
The Ice Cream Social and Whatsis session last night was popular as always.
Today folks are preparing for the tool auction. Tomorrow we’ll have more talks, tool trading, displays, the silent auction and the dinner banquet. It’s going to be a busy weekend.
The 48th Brown Tool Auction was held at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Reading, Pennsylvania on April 2, 2016. Prices realized in this article include a 13% buyer’s premium. A 3% discount was available for cash or a good check. The condition of the items was taken from the auction catalog and does not reflect the author’s opinion. Numbers shown in parentheses [ ] indicate the bid estimates printed in the catalog. All photographs are courtesy of Brown Auction Services. Photography by Cami Foley.
Selected Auction Items:
The Beech Ultimatum Brace in lot 121 was much rarer and more valuable than a comparable ebony brace even though ebony is a more valuable wood species; at least twenty ebony braces were made for every beech brace. This brace is also a little longer than the b race in lot 117. It was rated Good + [$275-$550]. It opened at $75 and sold for $186.45 in the room.
The Stanley Veneer Scraper, Stanley No. 212, in lot 173, having the script trademark(1910-19140, with light surface rust, not pitting, and 90% of the japanning was rated Good+ for condition [$400-$800]. It opened $565 and sold for $638.45 to an absentee bidder ($565 opening bid plus 13% buyer’s premium).
Lot 193, the boxwood four-fold Wantage Rod, by J. Buck, ca. 1850, was marked in firkins (one-quarter of a barrel of beer) and kilderkins (one half of a barrel of beer). It was boxwood, had brass tips and was rated Good+ [$250-$500]. It opened at $160 and sold to an absentee bidder for $180.80 ($160 opening bid plus 13% buyer’s premium).
The Stanley six-foot No.7366 advertising tape measure, lot 195, called “Bundles for Britain” (A U.S. based organization providing non-military aid to British World War II citizens), was in an immaculate brass case and had only a couple of small nicks in the tape. It was rated Good+ [$125-$250]. It opened at $120 and sold for $180.80 in the room.
The superb ebony try square with German silver trim and escutcheon and a level vial in the stock, in lot 206, (labeled lot 675 in the auction centerfold) was 9½ inches high, had an unruled blade and was rated Good+ [$400-$800]. It is a beautiful tool. It opened at $610 and sold for $689.30 to an absentee bidder ($610 opening bid plus 13% buyer’s premium).
The Millers Falls No. 4, four-inch triangular level in lot 248 is among the rarest collectible levels. It has the original vial, nearly 100% of the original japanning and was rated G00d+ for condition [$300-$600]. It opened at $350 and sold for $536.75 in the room.
The Type 1 Miller’s Patent Plow Plane in lot 430, Stanley #43, (See Walter Jacob, Stanley No. 41, 42, 43, 44 Miller’s Patent Plow Planes type Study in John Walter’s Antique and Collectible Stanley Tools, pp. 717-725; Roger K. Smith, Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America II, pp. 202-206) had the important curled up hook at the top of the body casting where it enters the rosewood handle. It came with a complete set of the original cutters in a reproduction wooden box and had almost 100% of the original japanning. It was rated Fine, noting only one very fine crack near the lower pin on the plane’s tote [$5,000-$8,000]. It opened at $3,100 and sold on a bid of $3,955 in the room.
The Stanley No 42, Type 4 in Lot 431 (see references for lot 430) Miller’s Patent bronze plow plane has a wrap around fence, a filletster bed and a japanned cast iron straight fence, the later lacking the two fence clamping screws. It included a complete set of eight original plow cutters and a tonguing cutter in a wooden box. The tote has a couple of cracks and a small chip and is fastened with three pins, two of which may be later additions. It was rated Good+ [$1500-$2500]. It opened at $175 and was an excellent value selling for $847.50 in the room.
The rarely seen 9 inch version of the Challenge bench plane in lot 432, patented by Arthur Goldsborough and manufactured by Tower & Lyon (patent No. 284,732, September 11,1883; see Roger K. Smith’s Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America, Volume II, p. 168, fig. 255) was rated Good for condition and had a small bit of light pitting on the metal and the typical light wear and touch up of the original finish on the handle and the front knob. [$1500-$2500]. It opened at $550 and sold on a bid in the room for $1582.
The very rare James Silcock, 1¾ inch bronze bodied filletster plane in lot 433 lacked the usually attached metallic plane identifying it as a British patented plane (There were a number of concurrent French patents). It came with a set of nine original marked cutters in a reproduction wooden box and was a beautiful plane in fine condition [$2500-$5000]. it opened at $800 and sold to an absentee bidder for $904 9$800 opening bid plus 13% buyer’s premium). It was an exceptional value.
The Walker Plow plane (Patent No. 318,331, May 19, 1885) Type 3, in lot 434 came complete with eight sliding plates that make up the body and adjustable sole of the plane and is the only known example to come in the original wooden box (see Roger K. Smith’s Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America, Volume II, pp. 54-56). It included 14 of the original cutters and was from the collection of Aron Hower, the great-grandson of the inventor. It was rated G00d+ for condition [$3000-$6000]. It opened at $1700 and sold on a bid in the room for $5,424.
The very rare (three currently known) Henry B. Price plane, lot 435, having a frog that can be set at four different pitches, i.e. 45 degrees or common pitch for soft wood, and 50, 55, and 60 degrees also known as York, Middle and half pitch for hard woods. Henry B. Price’s patent No. 216,698 was granted June 17, 1879. The example offered in this auction has a laminated front grip as shown on the patent drawing rather than a front knob. There is a small chip missing from the rear end of the left sideboard but otherwise it was rated Good+ [$3000-$6000]. It opened on an absentee bid of $1,200 and sold to that same absentee bidder for $1356 ( opening bid of $1200 plus the 13% buyer’s premium). Another example of this plane having a front knob rather than the laminated grip and rated Good+ sold in the 28th Brown Auction on April 8, 2006, for $7,700 including the premium. Not to embroider rarity with abundance, but, I received my copy of The Tool Shed, the March 2016 issue of the journal of Crafts of New Jersey on Monday March 14th. To my surprise there was an article on the H.B. Price adjustable pitch plane on pages 6 and 7. It had been purchased from Craig’s list by a young man who wanted to acquire a set of low-cost tools for a course he was taking at the North Bennett Street School in Boston. He saw a picture of the Price plane on the cover of The Fine Tool Journal and was lucky enough to find Andy D’Elia who appreciated the rarity and value of the plane and purchased it at a fair market price for his Antique Tool Museum in Scotland, Connecticut. Now the young man can afford a good set of tools for his planned trade.
The Miller’s Patent 1872 combination plow plane, lot 436, (No. 50 in the Russell & Erwin Catalog) patent No. 131,376, granted September 17, 1872(see Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America Vol. II, pp. 202-203) was the brightest star of this show and was shown on the front cover of the auction catalog. This little gem had 50% of the copper wash on its original cast iron finish. The photograph fell a little short of bringing out the beauty of the sculptural modeling of the planes fence as seen in PTAMPIA II, p. 203. It had one of the original cutters and was rated Fine [$8000-15,000]. It opened at $4,100 and was hammered down in the room for $7,232. It was an exceptional value.
The 22 inch long rosewood jointer lot 494, was made by Henry G. Stilley who started working in San Francisco as a shipwright in 1864 and moved across the Bay to Oakland in 1877 where they were still making and repairing wooden boats for fishing and shipping. He worked there until 1900. This example had a 1¾ inch Buck Brothers cutter and a strike button in a hexagonal plate in front of the mouth. It was marked “H.G. Stilley Maker”, which was a new mark. See T.L. Elliott, American Wooden Planes, 4th edition. It had a couple of minor chips at the heel and was rated Fine [$200-$400]. It opened at $450 and closed at $508.50 from an absentee bidder (opening bid of $450 plus 13% premium).
Robert “Bob” Baker, the world’s finest plane smith passed away in 2010, far too young for such a talented man. One of his admirers, Kari Hultman, has a fun web post on Bob. Two of his most important pieces were offered as full size reproductions in this auction: lot 526 his reproduction of Falconer’s Coach Maker’s plow plane and lot 533 his reproduction of the H. Chapin no. 239¼ Bridle plow plane. Lot 526, the Thomas Falconer Coach Maker’s plow plane, Society of Arts, 1846, was made of solid ebony with a red mahogany wedge and a spring steel fence.(See John Moody, The American Cabinet Maker’s Plow Plane, p. 97, fig. 121, Proudfoot & walker, Woodworking Tools, p. 32, fig. 24, and Holtzappel, Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, Vol. 2, p. 979, note “AJ”). It was in a custom-made display case from the John “Jock” Moody collection and was rated Mint for condition. [$1000-$2000]. It opened at $1650 and was an excellent value selling at $2712 to an absentee bidder.
Lot 533, The H. Chapin No. 239¼ Bridle plow plane, based on the Chapin-Rust March 18, 1868 patent No. 76,051 was made of apple wood with lignum vitae arms and a cast iron and brass adjustment (Kenneth D. Roberts, Wooden Planes in 19th Century America, Vol. II, p.231 and color page 252M, Roger K. Smith, Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America, Vol. II, p. 65 plate 13). It was a beautiful plane in Mint condition [$1500-$2000] It opened at $1,650 and was a very good value selling at $2034 in the room.
The L.L. Davis No. 45 cast iron 15 inch jack plane in lot 590 has a moveable frog to adjust the throat size, patent NO. 167,311, dated August 31, 1875. (see Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America, Vol. II, page 135). You will need a magnifying glass to see the scallops in the plane’s cross rib above the screws for the frog. The plane has a little shallow pitting on its sole, a small chip in the tote, lacks one small screw, and was rated Good+ [$1000-$2000]. It opened at $350 and sold for $452 to an absentee bidder.
by John G. Wells
Bristol County Documents
This fourth installment of documents and deeds relating to Early American woodworking trades and craftsmen covers Part One of Bristol County, Massachusetts. Middlesex and Essex counties of Massachusetts were covered previously. It is interesting to note that most of these Bristol County documents are court records. The previous documents were primarily deeds, none-the-less, much of the same information ends up being recorded…a name, a profession, a place and a time.
1. The original spelling is retained if possible.
2. If the spelling or interpretation of a name is questioned, that entry is set apart using ( ).
1725 Edmund Ingals, carpenter, Rehoboth. Court document related to a debt. Also mentioned; John West, Azzikam Birce and Henry Mackintosh. Signed by Timothy Fales, clerk.
1730 Timothy Barden, joyner, Rehoboth. Document acknowledging a debt. Also mentioned: Christopher Phillips. Signed by Timothy Barden, Tho’s Peckham Jr. and Sam’l Brown Jr.
1731 Israel Peck, Inholder and Joyner, Rehoboth. Court document in which Peck owes Hugh Beatty 20 pounds. Also mentioned: Seth Williams. Signed by Timothy Fales, clerk.
1733 Eleazar Luther, house carpenter, Swansey. Court document regarding a debt recovery. Also mentioned: Thomas Reed. Signed by Eleazer Luther, Charles Church and Timothy Fales, clerk.
1741 Israel Peck, joyner, Rehoboth. Another court document regarding a debt owed by Peck. Also mentioned: John Whitman and Seth Williams. Signed by Timothy Fales, clerk.
1742 Thomas Sayer, house right, Rehoboth. Document of indebtedness to Elzekiel Carpenter. Signed by Thomas Sayer, Samuel Smith and John Smith.
Additional Thomas Sayer genealogical information:
Worked: 1737 – 1742, as a housewright
Place of work:Tiverton and Rehoboth, Rhode Island.
reference: Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale University Art Gallery
Born: about 1685 in Hingham, MA
Married: Jerusha Eames on 11 September, 1711 in Marshfield, MA
Died: 6 May 1765 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts at age 80
Hingham birth record image
reference: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, courtesy of Ancestry.com.
1744 John Winslow, joyner, Freetown. Document recording a court judgement against John Winslow. Also mentioned: William Ellery, Job Almy and Seth Williams. Signed by Timothy Fales, clerk.
|1725||Edmund Ingals, not signed||carpenter||Rehoboth||Bristol||MA|
|1730||Timothy Barden, signed||joyner||Rehoboth||Bristol||MA|
|1731, 1741||Israel Peck, not signed||joyner||Rehoboth||Bristol||MA|
|1733||Eleazar Luther, signed||house carpenter||Swansey||Bristol||MA|
|1742||Thomas Sayer, signed||house right||Rehoboth||Bristol||MA|
|1744||John Winslow, not signed||joyner||Freetown||Bristol||MA|
EAIA’s 2016 Annual Meeting at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village on May 18th thru may 21st, 2016 promises to be a meeting filled with Shaker culture, architecture, crafts, and history. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to join us at this beautiful venue just a short distance from Lexington, Kentucky in the heart of Kentucky’s bluegrass, Bourbon and Daniel Boone country. The weather in May in this part of Kentucky should be pleasant with temperatures ranging between 50-74 degrees F. daily. The flowers should be in bloom, the trees leafed out and we’ll hope for sunny skies ans balmy days as we enjoy this beautiful historic site. The staff at Pleasant Hill have gone all out to help make this a great meeting for EAIA members.
They’ve assembled new exhibits in a dozen rooms of the Center Family Dwelling featuring Shaker furniture, artifacts, and vignettes of Daily Shaker life. The “Shaker Life Exhibit” in the Est Family Dwelling is also new. It describes the lives of the Pennebecker Siblings. These three orphaned children were taken in by the Shakers at Pleasant Hill and all three of them stayed as members of the Pleasant Hill community. There were some of the last inhabitants of Pleasant Hill before the community was dissolved in 1910.
The 39 restored buildings will be open for our members to view. These buildings house a wonderful collection of Shaker furniture and artifacts. We’ll get a chance to go “behind the scenes” in Pleasant Hill’s Collection Area which houses thousands of Shaker artifacts. We’ll take a narrated trip on the riverboat, The Dixie Belle, through the palisades of the Kentucky River and hear about its geologic history as well as how the Shakers used the river. Mike Urness and Sara Holmes of The Great Planes Trading Company have a wonderful antique tool auction planned for Friday night May 20th in the Meadow View Barn at Pleasant Hill. EAIA member Ross Gibson will teach us all about slate roofing with a “hands on” demonstration and presentation on Saturday afternoon, May 21st. You won’t want to miss Laurent and Betty Torno’s display of original Shaker made hand tools. Laurent and Betty have been collecting these rare tools for decades and have the largest privately held collection of these tools in the country! We guarantee that you’ll be educated, entertained, and intrigued by the EAIA 2016 Annual Meeting at Pleasant hill Shaker Village. Send in your registration form or sign up on-line today, it’s not too late. We’ll look forward to seeing you there.
Things to See and Do Near Pleasant Hill shaker Village
Pleasant Hill Shaker Village is situated near the middle of the state of Kentucky and there’s a lot to see and do just a short distance from Pleasant Hill. Here’s a short list of some of the things you may want to see and do either before or after attending the EAIA 2016 Annual Meeting.
Lexington is 30 minutes from Pleasant Hill and is the second largest city in the state It’s known as the “Horse Capital of the World”. It’s home to the Kentucky Horse Park (www.kyhorsepark.com) and the American Saddlebred Museum (www.asbmuseum.org). The Henry Clay estate, “Ashland” stands in one of Lexington’s most beautiful neighborhoods and is open to the public (www.henryclay.org).
Danville, Kentucky is just 12.7 miles from Pleasant Hill and is home to the Perryville Historic Battlefield Site (www.parks.ky.gov). This is the site of the 1862 battle of Perryville with a museum and self-guided walking tour of the battlefield. Danville is also the home of the Great American Dollhouse Museum (www.thedollhousemuseum.com) which showcases 200 dollhouses, miniature buildings and room boxes. You could also stop in and see the McDowell House & Apothecary Shop (www.mcdowellhouse.com) which is a doctor’s home and apothecary as it would have appeared from 1790 to the 1830s.
Kentucky’s capital is Frankfort which is 36 miles from Pleasant Hill. In addition to the capitol building (www.historicproperties.ky.gov) you can visit the Kentucky Military Museum (www.kistory.ky.gov) which is housed in fortress like buildings from the 1850’s that overlook downtown Frankfort. Frankfort is also the home to the Buffalo Trace Distillery (www.buffalotracedistillery.com), the oldest continually operating Bourbon distillery in America (they stayed open during Prohibition by making Bourbon for “medicinal purposes”) and is a National Historic Landmark.
Harrodsburg, Kentucky is just 7 miles from Pleasant HIll Shaker Village and is the home of Old Fort Harrod State Park (www.parks.ky.gov). It is a full-scale replica of the fort build by Daniel Harrod in 1775. Dedman’s Drugstore (www.kentuckyfudgecompany.com) is the place to get some great fudge in at an old-fashioned drug store with a soda fountain. They also serve lunch.
Berea Kentucky is 44 miles from Pleasant Hill and is the home of Berea College, Boone Tavern and the Kentucky Artisan Center (www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov). This center celebrates Kentucky’s artisans through exhibits and displays of their work, events, demonstrations, and information about open studios in Berea and other Kentucky communities. The Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea is a great place to experience Kentucky and enjoy its artisan products.
So, you can see there’s a lot to do in this part of Kentucky. If you want even more information go to www.kentuckytourism.com or check with the Lexington Visitors Center at 10800-845-3959, or www.visitlex.com. The special room rate of $95/night at Pleasant Hill is good for three nights before and three nights after the EAIA meeting, so you might want to come a little early or stay for a few days and explore a bit more of this part of Kentucky.
by Paul Van Pernis
“Begin today! No matter how feeble the light,
let it shine as best it may. The world may need
just that quality of light which you have.”
— Elder Henry C. Blinn
Canterbury, New Hampshire Shaker Community
The new year has arrived and it won’t be long before you receive your registration brochure in the mail for the 2016 Early American Industries Association Annual Meeting taking place on May 18th – May 21st, 2016 at Pleasant hill Shaker Village, Kentucky. You can download the PDF brochure and printable registration form (for those registering by mail) here. Located just 23 miles west of the Lexington, Kentucky airport and in the middle of Kentucky horse and bourbon country, Pleasant Hill will be a great venue for our meeting. Pleasant Hill is the site of a Shaker community that was active from 1805 until 1910. there are 34 original 19th century buildings on 3000 acres of land. It is indeed a “pleasant hill”. The restoration of these buildings was done in 1961 under the direction of James Lowry Cogar who was the man hired by John D. Rockefeller to be the first curator of Colonial Williamsburg.The property abuts the Kentucky River and has lots to offer anyone attending the meeting. We’ll literally be taking over the village for our meeting.
We’ll learn about Shaker culture, architecture, furniture, and crafts. Here are some of the activities we’ve got lined up:
And of course we’ll have our usual tailgating and tool trading on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning. Our yearly ice cream social (think Shaker lemon pie!) and “Whatsits” session will be held on Thursday evening. So start organizing those “Whatsits”! The always fun Silent Auction, Banquet, and our Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday. Please think about bringing something for the Silent Auction. All of the proceeds go toward supporting EAIA’s operating expenses and the amount received for items you donate is tax-deductible. The newly formed EAIA Fiber Arts Group will be holding a meeting on Saturday morning and The Great Planes Trading Company will be hosting an antique tool auction on Friday night, May 20th in the Meadow View Barn at Pleasant Hill. So, you won’t lack for things to see and do!
EAIA Member Displays
During your stay at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village you’ll be surrounded by the architecture, furniture, and objects that the Shakers used every day. Shakers saw their work as an integral part of their spiritual life. They are renowned for their industry and commitment to excellence in all that they did. Shakers embraced new technology and were engaged in a brisk trade with the outside world. So, the theme for our displays this year will Be, “The Shaker Work Day – Tools that the Shakers Might Have Used on the Farm, in Their Homes and in Their Shops. This broad theme for displays will allow you to get creative and put together a display to share with your fellow EAIA members.
In addition to all the tools the Shakers might have used, don’t forget about all those activities and crafts that Shaker women performed from butter making to lace making, hooking rugs, gardening, weaving, spinning, herb preparation and preserving food. The Saturday morning displays are always one of the highlights of our Annual Meeting so we hope you’ll bring a display to Pleasant Hill.
We’ll be staying in the restored 19th century buildings at Pleasant Hill. Don’t worry, they all have modern conveniences. But you’ll have to do some walking in the village and there are stairs. None of the buildings have elevators. There are accommodations for 146 people at Pleasant Hill so get your registration and room reservations made right away. 13 of the rooms are on the first floor so you won’t have to do stairs other than a step up into the building, but you will need to climb stairs in many of the buildings. There are 7 pet friendly rooms as well. Pleasant Hill staff will be accepting reservations starting February 15th, 2016. You can make your reservation by calling Ann Voris the Group Services Manager at 859-734-1548. If she is not there, please leave a message and she will call you back. Room rates are $95/night and are good for three days before and three days after our meeting.
If you are concerned about having to climb stairs or if all the rooms at Pleasant Hill have been filled, motel rooms can be found at the following motels in Harrodsburg, Kentucky which is 7.3 miles away:
Days Inn – 1680 Danville Road Harrodsburg, KY, 40330, (859)-734-9431, Room rates ≅ $70/night
Baymont Inn – 105 Commercial Drive, Harrodsburg, KY, 40330, (859)-734-2400, Room rates ≅ $65-$80/night
Beaumont Inn(Historic B&B) – 638 Beaumont Drive, Harrodsburg, KY, 40330 (859)-734-3381. Room rates ≅ $113-$180/night
May temperatures at Pleasant Hill average between 50-70 degrees. It will be Spring and the trees and flowers will be in bloom. So come and enjoy a great EAIA Annual Meeting from May 18th thru May 21st at Pleasant Hill Shaker Village May 18th thru May 21st, 2016!
— Rodney & Denise Richer and Paul & Eileen Van Pernis – 2016 Annual Meeting co-hosts.