It’s late in the year 1875, and Justus Traut and the men in his shop at Stanley Rule & Level Company are still diligently working on a cutter adjustment mechanism for the Stanley #110 block plane. Traut and Henry Richards, one of the “mechanics” working in Traut’s shop, produced the block plane prototype shown in Figure 1. [i]
This plane came from the estate of a granddaughter of a Stanley employee. It was found in a box containing several other early Stanley Model Shop tools. This intriguing block plane carries a Stanley Model Shop number that appears to be “1522”, although the 3rd digit in the number is very faint (See Figure 2).[ii]
The plane body is 7 and 5/8ths inches long and 2 and 1/16th inches wide. The plane body’s configuration is very similar to that of the #110 Type 3.[iii] However, it lacks the reinforced handrails on the side walls and the raised lug at the heel of the plane seen in #110 Stanley block planes of a similar vintage. The front knob is turned fruit wood and is friction fit into the cylindrical raised receiver on the toe of the plane. The shoe buckle lever cap with its two piece lever cap adjusting screw helps to date the plane to late 1875. The slotted cutter has no trademark stamp.
A machine screw has been filed to a square head with a slot that is designed to fit over the raised nib on the bronze portion of the cutter adjustment mechanism (See Figure 3 and Figure 4). This screw is held in position in the slotted cutter with a hexagonal nut. The location of this screw and nut in the slot can be changed to accommodate repeated sharpening of the cutter (See Figure 5).
The triangular cutter support ribs hold the cutter at about a 16-degree cutting angle (See Figure 8). Only the interior of the plane body is japanned. One of the most appealing features of this Model Shop plane is the evidence that this plane was a “work in progress”. On the right sidewall of the plane where there is a layout line scribed just above a plug that has been placed in the casting where a hole had been initially drilled (See Figure 6), and file marks are present on the adjusting lever and other parts of the cutter adjusting mechanism providing evidence to all the hand work that went into making this Model Shop prototype.
Traut and Richards submitted a patent application on December 27, 1875 for the compound lever cutter adjustment mechanism seen on this plane. They were granted patent #176,152, on April 18, 1876, for a “…device for holding and adjusting the cutting iron.”[iv] However, the patent drawings don’t show a block plane but instead show a bench plane utilizing this compound lever cutter adjustment mechanism. In my next blog post I’ll tell you how this patented cutter adjustment mechanism came to be used on the “Liberty Bell” series of bench planes, but for now let’s get back to what was to become Stanley’s #120 adjustable block plane. Figure 7 shows one of the patent drawings for this patent showing the compound lever cutter adjustment mechanism.
While not identical to the patent drawing, the compound lever mechanism on this Model Shop block plane operates using the same principle but with a modification of the location of the fulcrum points of the levers compared to what is shown in the patent drawings (See Figure 8).
The mechanism consists of two interconnected levers, “A” and “B”. Lever “A”, the primary lever, moves through an arc of 1¾ inches from its bottom most position to its top most position, while the raised nib “C” on the secondary lever “B” simultaneously moves through an arc of only 1/16th of an inch. This 28:1 difference in motion means that a ¼ inch movement of the primary adjusting lever “A” results in the cutter moving only 9 thousandths of an inch. This creates a very sensitive cutter adjustment mechanism .
With a few minor modifications, this plane became the Stanley #120 adjustable block plane and was first offered for sale by Stanley in 1876. The first production model of the #120 Stanley Block plane is shown in Figure 9.
There are differences between the Model Shop prototype and the first production model of the #120 adjustable block plane. Most notable are modifications made to the cutter adjustment mechanism. Figure 10 illustrates the changes made to that compound lever cutter adjustment mechanism.
The compound lever cutter adjustment mechanism was modified to reduce the number of parts and make production easier. The end of the primary adjustment lever “A” was redesigned to fit into a socket in a short cross rib that was part of the plane’s body casting.[v] The primary lever “A” is connected to a short shaft on lever “B”. Lever “A” and lever “B” would be assembled first and then the compound lever would have been inserted into the plane body and supported on a pin that enters through the right sidewall of the plane and projects through both of the cutter support brackets. The cutter adjustment lever “A” is shorter than the one seen on the Model Shop prototype and the cutter support ribs have been modified slightly and the angle changed so that the cutter is now bedded at about a 23 degree angle as opposed to the 16 degree angle seen on the Model Shop prototype. The plane is 7 and ¼ inches long, 3/8ths of an inch shorter than the prototype plane. The interior and exterior of the plane body are japanned except for the sole of the plane. The number “157” is stamped in the casting near the heel of the plane (See Figure 11).
The toe of the plane has the raised cast cylindrical receiver similar to the one seen on the prototype. It is ½ inch tall and 13/16ths of an inch in diameter. The turned fruit wood front knob is again friction fit into this receiver. The rounded cutter has an early Stanley Rule & Level Company logo stamped on its upper end, along with the April 18, 1876 patent date (See Figure 12).
A machine screw with a wide slot cut in the head is held in place in the slotted cutter by a brass barrel nut. The wide slot in the head of the machine screw fits over the raised nib on the cutter adjustment mechanism in a similar fashion what was present on the prototype (See Figure 13, Figure 14, and Figure 15).
The modifications in the compound lever adjustment mechanism reduced the mechanical advantage of the cutter adjustment mechanism from 28:1 to 12:1 As a result, a ¼ inch movement of the adjusting lever resulted in a 2/100ths of an inch movement of the cutter at the mouth of the plane. While not as sensitive as the prototype, the production model’s adjustment mechanism was still adequately sensitive. And finally, the rather fragile “shoe buckle” lever cap was abandoned in favor of a much easier to use side in lever cap with a cast iron adjusting screw bearing a five-pointed star in honor of the nation’s centennial which was being celebrated when the plane was released in 1876 (See Figure 16).
In 1876 when the #120 block plane was introduced, it sold for $1.00 compared to $2.00 for a Stanley #9½ adjustable block plane with Bailey’s cutter adjustment mechanism. It’s important to remember that Stanley was not trying to decrease the sale of Bailey’s block planes, but were looking to reach a broader audience with the introduction of the lower cost #120 adjustable block plane. Bailey’s planes had become widely accepted by carpenters and cabinet makers and Stanley certainly wanted to maintain and grow that market. With their lower cost, the #110 and #120 block planes were designed to appeal to the home owner and amateur woodworker. From the outset, these planes met with success and widespread acceptance. Stanley sold a lot of them and the #120 adjustable block plane became a staple in the Stanley lineup and remained in production until 1947(See Figure 17).[vi]
Next time I’ll tell you about how this same cutter adjustment mechanism came to be used on the “Liberty Bell” series of bench planes.
by Paul Van Pernis
[i] Henry Francis Richards was one of the “mechanics” who worked in Traut’s shop at Stanley. He was born on September 13, 1824. He died in 1912 at the age of 88. Census records list him as a “mechanic” or “machinist”. His residence in New Britain was in walking distance from the Stanley factory. He was the co-patentee with Justus Traut on at least three other patents between 1875 and 1876.
[ii] The adjustable Model Shop #110 block plane discussed in my last post carried two Model Shop numbers, #51 and #52. If this plane followed that one chronologically, one would assume that it would be labeled #53, or #54. But instead it’s got a four digit Model Shop number. As I’ve said before, the Model Shop numbering system is a mystery to me!
[iii] An excellent type study of the early Stanley #110 non-adjustable block planes by John G. Wells entitled, “Early Models of the Stanley #110 Block Plane 1874-1887”, can be found in Antique & Collectible Stanley Tools, by John Walter, pp. 750-756.
[iv] Traut and Richards on June 28th 1876, just two months after receiving this patent applied for and were granted a reissue patent #7,565, for this same adjuster on March 20, 1877. Once a patent is issued, the patent holder(s) may request a “reissue” of the patent to correct mistakes in the issued patent or make additional claims regarding the patent. Traut and Richards initial patent claimed only the compound cutter adjustment mechanism. In the reissued patent, they also claimed the inclined brackets on which the cutter rested, the slotted cutter, and the fastening nut used with the slotted cutter.
[v] This small raised cross rib was also cast into the Stanley #110 block planes of the same vintage. This allowed the same casting to be used for either the #110 or the #120 block plane. Please note the accompanying photo which shows a circa 1876 Stanley #110 block plane. With a few machining changes and the addition of the cutter adjusting mechanism this #110 block plane could have been easily converted to a #120 adjustable block plane.
[vi] The Stanley #120 block plane continued to evolve. For more information on the evolution of the Stanley #120 see, “Early Models of the Stanley No. 120 Adjustable Block Plane 1876-1947” by John G. Wells, The Gristmill, September 2006, No. 124, pp. 14-19, and “Stanley #120 Adjustable Block Plane, Early Development” by Paul Van Pernis, The Fine Tool Journal, Volume 48, Number 4, Spring, 1999, pp. 9-12
You may have looked at the 2017 Annual Meeting on the events section of the EAIA website or on the blog and wondered what is included in each of the workshops, tours and presentation as you try to determine which of them many activities you’d like to sign up for. So we’ve put together the summary below: a fairly complete albeit brief description of the activities, the leaders, and the capacity limitations.
But before you read on, consider the great contribution you could make by exhibiting pieces of your collection….or equally important….demonstrating a particular skill that will engage our participants during the Saturday morning activities. Old Sturbridge Village has an amazing number of crafts being demonstrated by their interpreters. However the membership of EAIA also has a great passion and expertise in trades and individual skills. You can sign up for tables or let us know what space and support you may need for a demonstration. Please let us know. YOU can contribute to the overall knowledge and excitement that will be generated by this meeting! Please do!
Now for the activity descriptions.
Tinsmithing Workshop (Capacity – 6 workshops @ 5 people/workshop)
This workshop will give the participants the opportunity to use a variety of 19th century tin machines and hand tools. The mysteries of the burring machine and pan swedge will be revealed! Each participant will make and take home a tin sconce.
Workshop Leader: Phil Eckert, Program Manager of Tin Production
Blacksmithing Workshop (Capacity – 4 workshops @ 8 people/workshop)
This workshop will introduce the participants to the basic tool and elements of blacksmithing. They will be able to apply their knowledge to forge a basic early American utilitarian object which they will take home with them.
Workshop Leader: Derek Heidemann, Coordinator of Men’s Crafts
This workshop will give you the opportunity to try out a variety of tin, iron, and ceramic cooking tools to prepare authentic 19th-century recipes. Working with skilled hearth cooking experts, you will learn a variety of hearth cooking techniques that utilize the bake oven and open hearth. Enjoy an afternoon snack together and walk away with a recipe booklet to use at home.
Workshop Leader: Emily Dunnack, the Director of Museum Education
Museum Education Tour (Capacity – 2 tours @ 15 people/tour)
Tour our unique Museum Education Center with Emily Dunnack, the Director of Museum Education. Learn about how the building is used for both kids and adults for workshops and other hands-on activities. Spaces include a blacksmith studio, wood shop, printing press, three large looms, four open hearths, and other surprises.
Workshop Leader: Emily Dunnack, the Director of Museum Education
Collections Tour of 19th Century Tools (Capacity – 6 tours @ 10 people/tour)
The groups will visit the extensive collections of OSV in the Collections Building. Some of the tools have been reproduced for use in the living Village, but most are not normally on view. In addition to commentary from the group leaders, the EAIA participants are urged to provide their own expert insight into the tools they view.
Tour Leader: Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts
Mills Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 25 people/tour)
Sturbridge has 3 operating mills: a gristmill, a saw mill and a carding mill. The tour will start with a general discussion of the importance of water power in New England in the 18th & 19th centuries. Visits to each of the working mills will include discussion of the operation as well as viewing the water-powered machinery that provides their power.
Tour Leaders: Justin Kennick, Program & Exhibit Lead, Mills & cooper Shop; Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts
Village Craft Tool Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 15 people/tour)
The tour will visit all of the active craft locations in the Village including the Print Shop, Shoe Shop, Tin Shop, Blacksmith Shop, and Cooper Shop. Expert craftsman interpreters and the tour leader will be available to describe the processes, and as appropriate to their work, demonstrate aspects of it and answer questions that the EAIA participants may have.
Tour Leaders: Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts; Derek Heidemann, Coordinator of Men’s Crafts
Machinery Storage Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 10 people/tour)
This is a behind-the-scenes tour through the Machinery Storage building in which a large pieces of the collection are stored. They include mill, metalworking, agricultural, agricultural and transportation items, some which were intended to be included in a more expanded “mill village” which would demonstrate other water powered processes.
Tour Leader: Tom Kelleher, Curator of Mechanical Arts
Farm & Garden Tools Tour (Capacity – 5 tours @ 15 people/tour)
OSV is a living rural New England village and as such includes agriculture as a focus, including fields, orchards, kitchen gardens, an extensive herb garden and livestock. The tour will go through the various agricultural structures and be introduced to their use, structure and the tools that were employed in and about them. Included will be the Fitch Barns, Salem Towne Barn, Freeman Farm Barn, and the associated fields and gardens.
Tour Leader: Dave Hruska, Coordinator of Agriculture; Amy Murray, Coordinator of Horticulture
Textile Collections Tour (Capacity – 3 tours @ 12 people/tour)
The art of quilting represented many things to a 19th century woman – a useful skill needed to make warm bedding and garments, an expression of skill and taste, and even an opportunity for social enjoyment. Learn about quilts, quilted garments, and quilt-making in the early 19th century New England.
Tour Leaders: Rebecca Beall, Collections Manager and Curator of Textiles; Jean Contino, Coordinator of Households and Women’s Crafts
Research Library Tour (Capacity – 4 tours @ 12 people/tour)
The Research Library contains more than 35,000 volumes and focuses on the history and material life in rural New England from the years following the American Revolution until the Civil War. The collection includes textbooks, juveniles, advice books, periodical literature, maps, broadsides, diaries, account books, letters, as well as copies of manuscript census schedules, property deeds, probate records, and town directories.
Tour Leaders: Caitlin Emery Avenia, Curatorial Director; Amy Hietala, Library Assistant
This will be the first Annual Meeting during which there will be daily activities and a reserved room for the Fiber Arts Group use throughout the meeting. In addition to the daily tours, the Fiber Arts Group participants will work with OSV Textile Staff on a traditional yarn sewing project. They will begin to stitch a yarn sewn piece suitable for a footstool cover, table mat, or doll-house rug. This practical and decorative technique was commonly used in the 18th and 19th centuries to make hearthrugs, coverlets and mittens. All materials will be provided. We will be using woolen yarn, dyed at Old Sturbridge Village with natural dyes.
Workshop Leader – Jean Contino, Coordinator of Households and Domestic Crafts
Plenary Presentation – “Color and Comfort: Textiles in the New England Home”
Presenter: Jane Nylander
Jane is an OSV Trustee, OSV Curator of Textiles and Ceramics 1969-1986, author of “Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home 1760-1860”, President Emerita of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England), and former President of Strawbery Banke Museum. Jane will provide a look at textiles used for both clothing and household furnishings during the years 1790-1840: what they looked like, how and where they were made, and how they were cared for during a period of innovation, industrialization, and continuing tradition. It is drawn from years of research and illustrated by contemporary prints and paintings as well as examples from the unparalleled collections of Old Sturbridge Village.
Plenary Presentation – “The Importance of Preserving the Skilled Trades in the 21st Century”
Presenter: Norm Abram
Norm, an OSV Trustee, master carpenter and host of PBS’ This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, many other TV appearances, and author of 8 books on carpentry, will speak on the critical importance of skilled craftsmen in the building trades. Norm is has been a great advocate of craft training for increasing the skill and capacity in the building trades. He is currently is using his reputation as both a skilled craftsman and a TV personality on This Old House to promote Generation Next which will help raise money from companies and trade associations serving the home construction and renovation industry to support scholarships for students pursuing careers as carpenters, electricians, roofers, masons and plumbers. There will be a question and answer period after the presentation
Plenary Presentation – “19th Century Cabinet Making: the Samuel Wing collection at Old Sturbridge Village”
Presenter: Tom Kelleher, OSV Historian and Curator of Mechanical Arts
Tom is skilled in a variety of historical trades including blacksmithing, coopering, gravestone carving, and timber-framing. He’s president of the international Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), and a long-time member of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills and EAIA. Samuel was a cabinetmaker in the early 1800s and OSV is fortunate to have a collection of his tools, patterns, unfinished furniture parts, and manuscripts, which all remained in the Wing family for 150 years. Participants will have the opportunity to closely view a selection of those items which are not normally available.
Bristol County Documents Part Two
This fifth post of documents and deeds relating to Early American woodworking trades and craftsmen covers Part 2 of Bristol County, Massachusetts. Middlesex and Essex counties of Massachusetts were covered previously and Plymouth County will be next. As with Bristol part 1, most of these Bristol County documents are court records. All provide a name, a profession, a place and a time. It seems like these craftsmen were actively engaged in lawsuits….both as defendants and as plaintiffs. I have to wonder about Mr. Gallap being sued by a widow though.
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 ( ).
|1743||William Gallap, NS||joyner||Bristol||Bristol||MA|
|1744||David Burr, NS||houswright||Rehoboth||Bristol||MA|
|1745||Ebenezer Cobb, NS||joyner||Taunton||Bristol||MA|
|1791||Joseph Burt, NS||shop joiner||Taunton||Bristol||MA|
|1791||Cyril Peck and Miles Shorey, NS||house rights||Rehoboth||Bristol||MA|
|1798||Isaac Drake, S and William Davis, NS||joiners||Taunton||Bristol||MA|
Table Note: NS denotes “not signed” and S denotes “signed”.
1743 Judgement against William Gallap of Bristol, in Bristol County Massachusetts, Joyner in a suit brought by Hannah Walker, widow for 3 pounds 11 shillings owed. Witnessed by Seth Williams and signed by Timothy Wales, clerk.
1744 David Burr of Rehoboth, Bristol County, Houswright recovered judgment against Claudia Dillis of Groton, New London County, Connecticut for 2 pounds 11 shillings and 3 pence. Witnessed by Seth Williams and signed by Timothy Wales, clerk.
1745 John Marshall of Freetown, Shipwright lost case against Ebenezer Cobb of Taunton, Bristol County, Joyner. 20 pounds old tenor is owed. Witnessed by Seth Williams and signed by Timothy Wales, clerk.
1791 A memorandum documenting Joseph Burt of Taunton, Shop Joiner as principal and Edward Burt of Taunton, yeoman as surety for 42 shillings. Complaint by Jacob Babbit of Taunton, Silversmith, charging that a silver bar worth 14 shillings had been taken by Joseph. Signed by Seth Padelford, Justice of the Peace.
1791 A complaint against Cyril Peck and Miles Shorey of Rehoboth, House rights and William Doggett of Rehoboth, yeoman. It is charged that they interrupted the public worship of God, and with force and arms assaulted John Ellis of Rehoboth, minister of the First Precinct Meeting House. This is almost as bad a being in a suit against a widow.
1798 Isaac Drake of Taunton, Bristol County, joiner with 40 dollars paid by William Davis of Taunton, Bristol County, joiner sells a small lot of land in Taunton. Signed by Foster (Levis), Joseph Swift and Isaac Drake with a seal. Signed on reverse by Foster (Levis) JP and James Williams Reg. Also mentioned: Robert Crossman, Gershom Holmes, Isaac Washborn and Esq. Fales. 12 3/8″ by 7 7/8″.
The EAIA Eastfield Historic Trades Sampler will be held on Thursday, July 27th through Sunday, July 30, 2017, at Historic Eastfield Village, in East Nassau, New York. The Eastfield Historic Trades Sampler offers a sampling of trades with an opportunity to learn about them while completing a small project related to the craft. The program includes making domed wooden boxes; carving fish decoys; crafting iron utensils in the blacksmith shop; decorative painting ; molding, painting and firing 19th century pearl ware plates in the pottery; rigging with pulleys, levers and gin pole to move heavy objects; and black power shooting. Each project is led by an experienced tradesman.
This year our instructors include Billy McMillen, domed boxes, decorative painting & black powder shooting; Bill Rainford, rigging & engineering; Scott Penpraze, ceramics & pottery; Olof Janssen, blacksmithing; and Joseph Brien, fish decoy making.
Each day begins at 9 A.M. with classes running until noon when lunch is served in the Yellow Tavern, at 1 P.M., the afternoon sessions resume. The workshops end around 5 P.M. The group generally goes together to a local restaurant for dinner at their own expense. The evenings are accented by traditional drinks, games of dominoes, and lively discussions of history, and perhaps some music at candle lit gatherings in the Briggs Tavern in front of a cozy fireplace.
Eastfield Village is not a museum open to the public. Its creator, Donald Carpentier, assembled the twenty or so buildings and the thousands of architectural elements, tools and artifacts specifically to serve as a study collection; the Village itself is an educational tool. Combine this unique preservation laboratory with gifted instructors who are eager to share their expertise and the result is a level of detail and depth to the program that only Eastfield can offer.
Students are welcome to stay without cost in several of these buildings which have been restored to their 18th and 19th century appearance, but they must bring their own bedding & 10 ten inch white candles. The experience is unique and immersive in that the buildings function as they did when they were new, so lighting is with candles; beds have rope supports, and straw & feather ticks; and out houses serve their original function. For those who rather have modern conveniences there are hotels, B & B’s, and other accommodations nearby. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this year; the dates are Thursday, July 27th, through Sunday, July 30, 2017. Registration information and a full schedule are available on our Web site.
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. Follow this link to register.
As I told you in my last post, Stanley Rule & Level Company introduced the #110 non-adjustable block plane sometime in 1874. The plane was derived from Justus Traut’s patent No. 159,865 granted on February 16, 1875. Traut had sent in his patent application on November 13, 1874 at about the time Stanley started advertising the #110 block plane for sale. Traut’s patent shows a plane with the design characteristics of the first production model #110 block plane and a cutter adjustment mechanism. The cutter adjustment mechanism was the major claim Traut made in his patent (See Figure 1).
Stanley was already selling the#110 non-adjustable block plane when Traut sent in his patent application. The #110 non-adjustable block plane was based on Birdsill Holly’s block plane as noted in my last web post which is available at http://eaiainfo.org/2016/12/26/copy-cat-blocks-and-one-from-the-model-shop/. Holly never patented his block plane and Traut was free to essentially copy Holly’s design and sell the block plane without any fear of complaints or legal threats from Holly. So Traut’s patent claim did indeed apply to the cutter adjustment mechanism described in the patent. However, this cutter adjustment mechanism was never used on a production model of this plane. I suspect that there may be one out there somewhere from the Stanley Model Shop with Traut’s cutter adjustment as shown in his patent, and if so, I’d love to hear about it and see some pictures! Figure 2 shows the image found in the 1874 Stanley catalog of the #110 non-adjustable block plane. It is interesting to note that the image is of a Type 2 #110 block plane and not the Type 1 version as seen in the patent drawings. This suggests that the Type 1 version was made for a very short time, possibly only one casting run, and that Stanley may have been producing these planes in early 1874 and started selling them several months before Traut applied for his patent.
Figure 3 is an example of a Type 1 Stanley #110 block plane. The tapered boat shaped body is 7 3/8” long and 1 15/16” wide at the mouth. The “shoe buckle” lever cap is held captive by a steel rod that passes through the right sidewall of the plane (when viewed from the heel of the plane) and is screwed into a threaded hole on the left sidewall.
The lever cap has a delightful filigree design on its upper surface. The lever cap adjusting screw is a steel screw with four wings (some examples are seen with a brass four wing adjusting screw). When the lever cap adjusting screw is tightened it secures the cutter in place and simultaneously applies pressure to the leading edge of the cutter via the front edge of the lever cap. The unmarked cutter with its semi-circular top is 1 and 5/8ths inches wide and is supported on a cross-rib cast in the bed of the plane (See Figure 4). A fruit wood front knob is friction fit into a raised cylindrical receiver which is cast onto the toe of the plane A raised lug rests on the heel of the plane and extends just a bit beyond the end of the plane bed.
The gently flared side walls include raised vertical ribs to aid in gripping the plane. The lever cap and both the inside and outside of the body are japanned. There are no marks on the plane or its cutter which would identify it as a Stanley product. This version of the #110 block plane was probably in production for less than six months.
By mid-1875, the boat-shaped body was replaced by a plane with parallel sides (See Figure 5). This is the version of the plane shown in the 1874 Stanley catalog. The “shoe buckle” lever cap remains but the winged lever cap adjusting screw has been replaced by a coarsely knurled brass adjusting screw. The vertical ridges on the side walls are gone and replaced by reinforced ribs on the upper edge of the side walls. The cross-rib cutter support has been replaced by two wedge-shaped ribs that run parallel to the long axis of the plane (See Figure 6).
The plane is slightly shorter at 7 and 5/16ths of an inch in length and slightly wider at 2 and 1/16ths of an inch. The cutter is still 1 and 5/8ths inches wide and has a semicircular top, but “Stanley Rule & Level Co.” has been stamped on the upper end.(See Figure 7). The raised lug on the heel of the plane is also slightly shorter than on the Type 1 version.
Leonard Bailey left the employ of the Stanley Rule & Level Company on June 1st, 1875 to start his own competing plane manufacturing company. All the plane patents he’d licensed to Stanley in 1869 remained by contract with Stanley, so Justus Traut and the men in his workshop were free to make any improvements or modifications to Bailey’s planes or their own planes without fear of any arguments from Bailey, and they didn’t waste any time doing so! The plane shown in Figure 8 is from the Stanley Model Shop and is one of Traut’s attempts to create an adjustable Stanley #110 block plane. This appealing plane is in superb condition. The japanning is bright, the cutter has never been honed, and the sole of the plane looks as if it has never been run across a piece of wood. Curiously, it has Model Shop #51 painted on the toe and Model Shop #52 painted on the lever cap (See Figures 9 & 10).
In my experience, Stanley Model Shop planes are labeled with only one number while this one has two consecutive numbers. We know that the Holly Block Plane I discussed in my last post carries Model Shop #47. We also know based on an article in The Fine Tool Journal that block planes #48 and #49 exist. The Model Shop tool #50’s whereabouts is not known and it might be a model of the plane shown in Traut’s patent drawing (Again, I’d love to see this one!). So, it is a mystery as to why this plane got two consecutive numbers instead of one, but the lever cap appears to have always been together with the body of the plane.
This plane has all of the same dimensions and characteristics of the Type 2 Stanley #110 block plane except for the ingenious cutter adjustment mechanism that’s been added to the heel of this plane (See Figure 11) and the use of a slotted cutter from a Bailey #9 ½ block plane. The style of the lever cap adjusting screw and the early Bailey cutter help to date this plane to mid-1875 to early 1876 which supports the premise that Traut and his workmen immediately started experimenting on adjustment mechanisms for the #110 block plane as soon as Bailey left Stanley. The front knob is missing and in fact there are no wear marks inside the cast cylinder on the toe of the plane which suggest that this plane may have never been fitted with a front knob. The cutter adjustment mechanism consists of a large 1½ inch diameter steel wheel which rotates freely on a partially threaded filletster head machine screw that is threaded into the sole of the plane (see Figure 12). This steel wheel has a coarse thread cut into its finely ribbed edge. This coarse thread engages a cylindrical gear that is supported on a pin placed between the two wedge-shaped ribs that support the plane’s cutter. A small groove has been filed into the right sideboard of the plane to allow the insertion of the pin and the cylindrical gear.
When the wheel is turned teeth on the gear are engaged in the coarse thread on the edge of the wheel while another of the gear’s teeth engages one of the slots cut into the back of the plane’s cutter. This combined motion of the wheel and the gear will either advance or withdraw the cutter (See Figures 13 and 14).
It’s a very elegant cutter adjustment design and works very well, but would have required a significant amount of precision machining and in the end offered no significant advantage over the cutter adjustment that was already in use on Bailey’s 9 ½ series block planes. There is no known patent associated with this cutter adjustment mechanism and it never made it into production. Instead, this fascinating plane was relegated to the shelves in the Model Shop until it made its way into a tool auction many years ago.
There is one more #110 block plane from the Model Shop that didn’t find its way into my collection but also demonstrates another interesting attempt at a cutter adjustment mechanism. It is shown in Figure 15 and is discussed in Clarence Blanchard’s Fine Tool Journal article I mentioned above. Although the Model Shop number is unreadable, the lever cap adjusting screw is a four wing screw (made of brass) which suggest that this plane probably predates the one discussed above.
The cutter adjustment mechanism consists of an “L” shaped bar and a vertically positioned wheel at the heel of the plane. The short arm of the “L” engages one of the slots cut into the back of the cutter. The long arm of the “L” is attached to the wheel that is fixed vertically to the heel of the plane. As the wheel is turned, the bar moves up or down moving the cutter in or out of the mouth of the plane. This too is an interesting method of cutter adjustment, but there is no known associated patent and this plane also spent most of its life in the Model Shop until it too found its way into a tool auction.
All of these cutter adjustment ideas were “food for thought” in Traut’s workshop. It is conceivable that these two planes were experiments in designing a cutter adjustment mechanism but were discarded in favor of the mechanism shown and described in Traut’s patent. Justus Traut appears to have been intent on producing an adjustable block plane of his own to rival Bailey’s #9 ½ so that he too could reap the economic benefits associated with an adjustable block plane. Traut persisted and next time I’ll tell you how later in 1876 his Stanley #110 non-adjustable block plane was adapted to become the Stanley #120 “adjustable” block plane.
by Paul Van Pernis
 Some of the early versions of this plane for a very short time (early to mid-1875) had a lever cap adjusting screw that consisted of two pieces, a filletster head machine screw and a circular brass disk locked onto the filletster head screw. See adjacent photograph.
 Other cutter seen on these early versions of the #110 block plane have a semicircular trademark stamped in them which reads “Stanley Rule & Level Co.” The Stanley #110 continued to evolve. For further information look up the excellent type study put together by John G. Wells entitled “Early Models of the Stanley No. 110 Block Plane: 1874-1887”. It was first published in The Gristmill, Number 81, December 1995, pp. 10-14.
 Blanchard, Clarence, “Birdsill Holly and the Stanley Rule & Level Co.”, The Fine Tool Journal, Volume 57, No. 2, Fall 2007, pp. 20-23.
 The numbering system used over the years in the Stanley Model Shop is a mystery. At times, it appears logical and sequential, at other times it appears totally random. I look forward to the day when someone can make sense of it all!
 Sales figures for 1876 indicate that Stanley sold 7,000 #9 ½ and 1,406 #9 ¾ Bailey block planes in 1876. Royalties were paid to Bailey based on the number of planes sold so Traut would have had a strong financial incentive to create a plane that could compete with Bailey’s so his royalty payments would increase.
Plymouth County Documents
This post presents documents and deeds relating to Early American woodworking trades and craftsmen and covers Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Bristol, Middlesex and Essex Counties of Massachusetts were covered previously. These documents cover nearly 100 years, from Queen Anne to King George the 2nd to President George Washington.
Each of the documents provides a name, a profession, a place and a time. Take note of the 1740 Stetson document as it probably links to the family of the planemaker Jonah Stetson. Also, two of the documents, while relating to court cases, provide contract details of barn and house construction … one as early as 1702.
1. The original spelling and capitalization is retained if possible.
2. If the spelling or interpretation of a name is questioned, that entry is set apart using (parenthesis).
|1714||Thomas Lambert, NS||house carpenter||Sittuat||Plymouth||MA|
|1731||Richard Church, NS||House carpenter||Rochester||Plymouth||MA|
|1737||Joseph Blackmer, NS||millwright||Rochester||Plimouth||MA|
|1738||Zebadee Chandler, S||house write||Plymouth||Plymouth||MA|
|1738||Richard Hill, NS||House wright||Hanover||Plymouth||MA|
|1740||Jonah Stetson, S||House wright||Scituate||Plymouth||MA|
|1755||Abiel Brettun, S||Joiner||Middleborough||Plimouth||MA|
|1795||Aseph Hayward, NS||Cabinet maker||Bridgewater||Plymouth||MA|
Table Note: NS denotes “not signed” and S denotes “signed”.
1714 A court document to the sherriff of Barnstable County commanding the attachment of the goods of Matthew Fuller, Barnstable, in a case brought by Thomas Lambert of Situatt, Plymouth County, house carpenter. The case references the summer of 1702 in which Thomas “gott the frame of a barn”, transported it and set it up for the defendant along with a stable. The barn frame measured 20 feet by 20 feet and additional “bords” and shingles were provided by Lambert. Witness John Cushing. Signed by the clerk William Little and the sheriff Shuball Gorham.
1731 Richard Church of Rochester, Plymouth County, House carpenter the defendant and Henry Barree of Newport, Trader the plaintiff for 200 pounds. In 1730 Henry had contracted with Richard to “procure and deliver a frame for a Dwelling house and other materials”.
1737 Another court case! Joseph Blackmer of Rochester, millwright and John Blackmer of Tiverton, husbandman in a case of 270 pound debt decided in favor of Christopher Almy of Newport, merchant. Witnessed by Seth Williams and signed by Timothy Fales, clerk.
1738 Zebadee Chandler, of Plymouth, house wright sells a tract of land in Barwick in the County of York to Thomas Gooden of Barwick. Edward and Ezrah Arnold are mentioned. Signed by Zebadee, Joshua Loring, Edward Thomas, Joshua Cushing JP and Jer Moulton Reg.
1738 deed in which Job Otis of Scituate, shop keeper, sells 6 acres plus of land in Hanover to Richard Hill of Hanover, House wright. Mentioned in the land description are Mitchell Wanton and Richard Bowkers. Signed by Job, Joseph House, Caleb Torrey and Elijah Cushing JP.
1740 Jonah Stetson of Scituate, House wright, agreement with William Stetson of Scituate, Cordwainer, that the line between their lands be clearly identified and access to a spring specified. Lemuel Dwelles is mentioned in the land description. The deed is signed by Joshua Jacob, James House and Jonah Stetson. In AWP 4th edition by Thomas Elliott, planes made by Jonah Stetson are thought to have been made by the Jonah born in 1722 and / or his son born in 1761. Based on the 1740 date of this document, the Jonah born in 1722 was probably not the signatory. Instead, it was probably his father who was born in 1691. It is interesting to note that another deed from the 1690’s surfaced about the time this one was found and it is signed by Samuel Stetson, the father of the 1691 Jonah. 9 3/4″ by 8 5/8″.
1755 Abiel Brettun of Middleborough, Joiner has obtained a judgement against Benanuel Leach of Bridgewater, Husbandman for the sum of 5 pounds 12 shillings and 10 pence. Witnessed by Nicholas Cotes and signed by Edward Winslow Cler. Sheriff Gideon Bradford and Abiel Brettun sign on the reverse. 12 1/4″ by 7 3/4″.
Note the Massachusetts 3 pence pine tree tax stamp. The colony of Massachusetts imposed a tax on certain documents by the Act of January 8, 1755 and the tax was in effect from May 1, 1755 to April 30, 1757. Stamps were issued in 1/2d, 2d, 3d and 4d denominations … with the 3d tax rate applying to court documents including writs requiring the officer to take defendants into custody. (Massachusetts tax stamp information from the dalessandris website.)
1795 Joseph Hayward of Bridgewater, yeoman sells land in Easton to Aseph Hayward of Bridgewater, Cabinetmaker. Signed by Joseph Hayward and witnessed by Desire Drake and Seth Smith. Also signed by Issachar Snell JP.
“What hobbies are you interested in?”
When I’m asked about hobbies and responds with “weaving” or “spinning,” there is usually a silence and/or a quizzical look. Recently, someone tried to explain to me that I could buy dishtowels at Walmart and wouldn’t that be easier? A response to “spinning” is usually, WHY? OK. There is a disconnect there and I am used to dealing with that. A new response I’m hearing, especially to “weaving,” is “How do I get into that?” and “When did you get started?” This is the stepping off point for anyone who enjoys sharing their particular interest and, especially, getting someone else started on the path.
So how did I get started? Lots of weavers and spinners got started in the 70’s in the “back to the land” movement. Yeah, I was there but my avenue to the “land” was cooking and assorted housekeeping things. Not artsy or creative for the most part. Eight years ago, when our daughter was expecting our first grandchild, I had a desire to knit for this baby. I had learned to crochet as a small child from my grandmother but had only accomplished a few afghans (in the 80’s) and put it down. Now I really wanted to learn to knit. I went to classes (most important for beginning in a craft) started to hang out in a knitters group. I was fascinated by the variety of yarns and wondered how this was done. That led into spinning and joining a weaving/spinning guild. Spinners there got me started with basic instructions and the guild rented me a wheel. I was hooked immediately. Creating anything is a big deal for me. Writing a story, baking a perfect pie, crafting a garment….something out of bits and pieces, folded around an idea and shaped into a new object. Wow. Soon a free loom came into the guild and eventually to me. Now I was weaving rugs and fabrics. Knitting scarves and sweaters. Out of yarn. MY HANDMADE YARNS. This was getting down to the essence of crafting and creating.
How d0 you get started? The nuts and bolts of it is really in seeking out both equipment and teachers. Some of my teachers were just friends who generously gave me their time and showed me the steps as I was ready to accomplish them. Guilds and organizations usually have both instructors and rental equipment so you can get started without the big commitment of buying a wheel or loom. Reading books and surfing the internet are great but the support and contact of crafters and hands on instructors is what continues to pass me on through the steps of learning. I participate in a local spinning/weaving guild and take classes at my favorite yarn shops. I even do demonstrating at fairs and shows occasionally. I meet lots of folks who are interested in fiber arts and, hopefully, I can spur one on to putting a hand in.
Lastly, to quote (unfortunately) a sports equipment provider……”Just do it.” Yes, you can ponder and think, plan and shop forever, but the final step over the line is to just do it. Go to a knit shop and PAY for the lessons (you are committed). Go to the next meeting of a weaving or spinning group, introduce yourself around as a “newbie” and wanting to learn. You will be inundated with suggestions and offers to help you. I’ll be starting a new project soon. Until then I’m,
Hangin’ by a Thread.
On July 6, 1852, Birdsill Holly was granted Patent No. 9,094 for a cast iron bench plane. In addition to his cast iron bench planes he produced and sold two models of a cast iron block plane. There are no individual patents for these block planes and they were manufactured for only about 8 years probably between 1851 and 1859. Two versions of his cast iron block plane are known. One of the variations on the Holly block plane is shown in Figure 1. This 7 ¾ inch long plane is probably the first version of Holly’s block plane.
Figure 2 shows the second and more commonly seen version of Holly’s block plane. This unused Holly block plane is from the Stanley Model Shop and has the Model Shop number “47” painted on the toe and the lever cap. It too is 7 ¾ inches long like the first version and is 2 and 1/16ths inches wide at the mouth. It has an attractive “boat tail” shape and is more narrowed at the heel of the plane than the first version. The captive “shoe buckle” lever cap is held in place by a pin driven through two holes in the sidewalls of the plane. The unmarked cutter has squared off corners and is supported on a raised casting 2 ¼ inches from the heel of the plane. A cast iron “horseshoe nail” wedge is placed between the upper surface of the cutter and the under surface of the captive “shoe buckle” lever cap. There are the remnants of a copper wash on the surface of the “horseshoe nail” wedge.
On many examples of these block planes, the metal wedge has been lost and had been replaced by a wooden wedge. The cutter’s depth of cut is adjusted by hand and the wedge-shaped pin is then pushed into position wedging the cutter in place and at the same time causing the front edge of the lever cap to apply pressure toward the front edge of the cutter (See Figure 3). The wooden front knob would have been simply pressure fitted into the round raised boss on the toe of the plane, but unfortunately, that is missing. The casting is of high quality and about 80-90% of the japanning remains on the plane. It’s a mystery how this unused version of a Holly block plane came to reside in the Stanley Model Shop more than 10 years after Holly stopped producing planes.
Holly’s block plane from the Stanley Model Shop captured the attention of two of the major inventors at Stanley in the years between 1869 and 1874; Leonard Bailey and Justus Traut. Both of them “copied” or maybe a better word is “appropriated” Holly’s design for their own block plane designs. Since there are no patents known that apply to Holly’s block plane and since he was no longer manufacturing them, and his 1852 patent had expired by 1869, both of these men could incorporate aspects of Holly’s planes into their own block planes without having to face any legal or economic consequences.
Leonard Bailey sold his plane business to the Stanley Rule & Level Company in 1869 and was hired by Stanley to manufacture his planes for them. He supervised the plane “shop” with his own group of employees. Justus Traut had been a Stanley employee since the mid 1850’s and was an accomplished inventor and mechanic like Bailey. He also ran his own “shop” with his group of loyal employees at Stanley . Almost from day one, Bailey and the management at Stanley had a contentious relationship, particularly in regards to the royalties he was being paid on his plane patents and his desire for total control of Stanley’s woodworking plane production. Bailey had developed his #9 ½ block plane in 1871 and Stanley first offered it for sale in their 1872 catalog (See Figure 4).
This first version of the 9 ½ utilized a lever and eccentric pin cutter adjustment based on Bailey’s June 22, 1858 patent No. 20,615. By 1875 Bailey had modified the 9 ½ block plane and incorporated a cutter adjuster that consisted of a right hand threaded vertical post with a brass thumb wheel and a forked wrench shaped adjusting lever. This adjustment mechanism is based on Bailey’s patent No. 67,398 of August 6, 1867. The plane worked extremely well and sold very well.
In an attempt to garner a larger share of the growing block plane market Stanley wanted to introduce a lower cost non-adjustable block plane for the casual user and hobbyist. They asked Justus Traut to develop this plane rather than Leonard Bailey. Traut proceeded to essentially copy Holly’s block plane with minor modifications. He filed a patent application on November 13, 1874, and was granted patent, No. 159,865 on February 16, 1875, which describes a cutter adjustment mechanism that is mechanically very similar to the cutter adjuster Bailey had patented on June 22, 1858 (See Figure 5).
Possibly because of this similarity in cutter adjustments Stanley decided not to produce Traut’s block plane as described in the patent, but instead introduced Traut’s block plane as a non-adjustable block plane, the #110 Block Plane in the fall of 1874 (a few months before his patent was granted). It cost 75 cents compared to two dollars for the Bailey No 9 ½ Block Plane. The plane shown in Figure 6 is an example of the #110 block plane as sold by Stanley in 1874. This plane is 7 3/8” long compared to the 7 ¾ inch Holly block plane and 1 and 15/16ths inches wide at the mouth. The 1 5/8ths inches wide cutter is unmarked and has a round top. The front knob is turned fruit wood and is friction fit into the round raised receiver on the toe of the plane. Traut added some vertical ribs to the sidewalls, a raised reinforcing nib at the tail, a nice filigree design to the lever cap, and replaced the “horse shoe nail” wedge with a winged adjusting nut, but, it is essentially the same plane as Holly’s.
The introduction of this plane by Stanley infuriated Leonard Bailey and contributed to his decision to leave Stanley on June 1, 1875, and strike out on his own. Bailey had been contemplating this move for some time and had been laying the ground work for his exit from Stanley and the establishment of his new business, Leonard Bailey & Company, in Hartford, Connecticut. Under his contract agreement with Stanley he couldn’t take his plane designs and patents with him, so he had quietly been working to develop a whole new line of planes. Bailey it appears, like Traut, looked at the Holly block plane in the Stanley Model Shop and also copied many of the features of this plane for his new line of Victor non-adjustable block planes. Figure 7 shows a Victor “0” non-adjustable block plane.
It is 7 and 1/16th inches long and 1 and 15/16ths inches wide at the mouth. The plane body is nicely boat shaped with the same raised nib at the tail as Traut’s version, but is a bit wider at both the toe and tail than the Traut or Holly planes. Bailey used a two-piece metal front knob, and substituted a slide in lever cap on these planes with a large lever cap adjustment screw at the top of the lever cap instead of the “shoe buckle” lever cap. The cutter has clipped corners and is unmarked.
When lined up next to each other, the similarities between these three planes are very obvious (See Figure 8). Holly would have no doubt been aware of both of these planes when they came to market and we can only wonder what he thought about all of this. He had no patent on his block plane so he had no real legal means to object. Little did he know that an unused version of his early block plane from the Stanley Model Shop would play such an important design role for these two inventors at a rather tumultuous time in the life of the Stanley Rule & Level Company.
by Paul Van Pernis
Next time I’ll introduce you to another interesting version of the #110 Block Plane from the Stanley Model Shop
 Birdsill Holly was born on November 8th, 1820 in Auburn, New York. His father died when he was only 10 years old and he was forced to drop out of school to help support his family. He became an apprentice in a cabinet shop and then apprenticed in a machine shop. By his late teens, he was a superintendent in a machine shop. He moved to Seneca Falls New York, in 1845 and became a partner in the Silsby, Race, and Holly Company which manufactured hydraulic machinery and steam powered fire engines. In 1851 he moved to Lockport, New York. The Holly Manufacturing Company was formed in 1859, so it may have been that Holly’s planes were made from 1851 until about 1859 in the years before the Holly Manufacturing Company was founded. His cast iron planes were a sideline business as his major focus was on cistern pumps, rotary pumps, fire hydrants and steam heating systems. He’s considered by many to be the inventor of the fire hydrant. He was granted over 150 patents in his lifetime. He was a personal friend of Thomas Edison and Edison asked him to become a research assistant at his Menlo Park laboratory but he declined, wishing to concentrate on his own business instead. He died on April 27, 1894. For more information on Holly’s cast iron planes see Roger K. Smith’s, Patented and Transitional Metallic Planes in America Vol. I, pp. 37-39 and Volume II, pp. 18-19.
 For further information on the Stanley #9 ½ block plane see John Wells & Jack Schoelhamer’s excellent type study titled “One Hundred Years of Bailey’s Excelsior Block Plane, The No. 9-1/2 Family”, in Antique & Collectible Stanley Tools, by John Walter, pp. 686-701.
 For more details on Bailey’s exit from Stanley and the beginnings of Leonard Bailey & Company see, “Leonard Bailey: The Years at Stanley Rule & Level Co., Part II” in The Gristmill, No. 136, September 2009, pp. 12-23, and “Leonard Bailey: In Hartford and Woonsocket, 1875-1884 Part I”, in The Gristmill, No 139, June 2010, pp. 10-22. Both articles are by John G. Wells and Paul Van Pernis.
 The non-adjustable Victor block planes were all the same size and were offered with two different finishes. The “0” has a japanned finish, the “00” has nickel plated trimmings.
It is with a heavy heart that I write about the passing of Don Taylor a long time EAIA and MWTCA member and avid tool collector earlier this year. (Details below) His son Scott Taylor wrote to me that he wanted to let the group know that he’s working to settle his father’s affairs and in doing so will be selling his tool collection. Information on the collection and how to connect with Scott is included below. Don’s collection covered a LOT of Early American Industries (See some of the photos below) . If you are in the mid-atlantic area and/or can get to Winchester VA I highly encourage you to reach out to Scott and pick up some great tools.
The obituary below was copied from this site: http://www.ompsfuneralhome.com/obituary/franklin-d-don-taylor/
Don Taylor, 83, of Clear Brook, Virginia, died Thursday, May 5, 2016 at his home.
Mr. Taylor was born in 1932 in Cross Junction, Virginia, the son of the late Ethel Leone Luttrell and Arthur William “AW” Taylor. He was a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), where he received a Bachelor’s Degree and was a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps in preparation for military service. Mr. Taylor was a veteran, having served in the United States Air Force as a pilot during the Vietnam War, achieving the distinguished rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He retired from military service on December 31, 1978. After retirement he co-founded Liberty Realty in Winchester where he was actively involved in the community as a real estate broker/agent. Mr. Taylor was an avid collector of tools and antiques. He was fascinated by and well versed in the history and craftsmanship of things, particularly American tools and art. He also enjoyed reading about the Civil War and could always be found enjoying a good book. Mr. Taylor loved being outside in his yard enjoying his landscaping and gardening. Surviving are his sons, C. Scott Taylor, D. Michael Taylor, and Don Taylor and his wife, Laura; grandchildren, Susan Taylor, Nan Taylor, Travis Taylor; great grandchildren, Cade, Brooklyn, Chassy, Chandler and Trey Taylor; sister, Ellen Patton; brothers, John C. Taylor, Arthur “Skeeter” Taylor, and James “Dink” Taylor; many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, including his former wife, Brooke Taylor and dear friend Smahan Upson. Two brothers, Kenneth Taylor and Charles “Soak” Taylor, preceded him in death. The family will receive friends prior to the service on Thursday, May 26, 2016, from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at Omps Funeral Home, South Chapel. A funeral service will then be conducted at 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at Omps Funeral Home, South Chapel. Interment will be in Shenandoah Memorial Park, Frederick County, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Don to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 West Cork Street, Suite 405, Winchester, Virginia, 22601. They operate as a non-profit and treated him with dignity and respect while helping him through his final days.
Please view obituaries and a tribute wall at www.ompsfuneralhome.com.
October 29th, 2016, Radisson Hotel, Camp Hill, PA
By: John G Wells
Prices realized in this article include a 13% buyer’s premium. A 3% discount is available for cash or a good check. Prices enclosed in square brackets are pre-auction estimates taken from the Brown auction catalog No. 49. The condition of all items was taken from the same auction catalog and neither the pre-auction estimates nor the condition of items reflect the author’s opinion unless so noted. All photographs are courtesy of Brown Auction Services.
Selected Auction Items
Lot 82. The William Marple’s Ultimatum brace was made very special by being filled with Beech in lieu of the much more often used Ebony and by having an extra long nozzle. It has one chip in the edge of the Ebony head which was balanced by its original complete ivory ring. It had not been buffed or polished, and was rated Good+ for condition. It was valued at [400-800] and sold for $248.60.
Lot 86. The William Marple’s Ultimatum brace rarely seen with a Boxwood infill which increased its value over those with the more common Ebony infill, even though there was a crack in the front infill which had been repaired in 1983. It was rated Good for condition, and was valued at [750-1500]. The opening bid was $100 and it sold for $310.75.
Lot 121. The St, Johnsbury Tool Co., rare double bevel which can also be used as a try square was made under patent No. 125,617, dated April 9, 1872. It has an iron body with two 9 inch steel blades making it more durable although less attractive than the similar version that has a brass body. It is faintly marked with the patent date, was rated Good+ for condition and valued at [1000-1500]. It opened and was sold for $1325. The final price with the buyer’s premium was $1497.25.
Lot 174. This Stanley No. 444 Dovetail plane is in its original, cardboard box with a sweetheart label. This lot includes the fence, the original instruction booklet, a sample wooden dovetail, four original cutters in a wooden box, the original two spur blocks and a small screw driver. The cardboard box has a good label but its lid has four split seams that have been taped together. and it is in only poor to fair condition. The tool is complete; the nickel plating is nearly complete and it was rated near Fine for condition. It is valued at [500-800]. It opened at $350 and sold for $649.75.
Lot 176 The Stanley A45, Type 14 aluminum combination plane, made in 1922 and having a second sweetheart trademark on the skate included a full set of cutters in two labeled wooden boxes, both rods, the cam rest, screwdriver, and the original instruction booklet. It was packed in its original cardboard box in only poor to fair condition with most of a good label, noting some split seams in the lid that have been taped. See David E. Heckel: The Stanley “Forty-Five” Combination Plane. The A45’s are rarely found in Fine condition like this one. It was valued at [600-1,200]. It opened at $800 and sold for $1,921.
Lot 186. The Stanley No.72½ Chamfer plane with the beading attachment—the bull nose attachment was not added until 1909— had 90% of its original japanning on the planes body and 80% on the beading attachment. Only one of the beading cutter from a full set of six cutters with molding profiles cut on both ends was included in this lot. It was rated Good+ for condition, was valued at [400-600]. It opened at $250 and sold for $508.50.
Lot 187. The Gage Tool Co. block plane is exceptionally rare, and sought after. See Roger K, Smith’s Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America Volume I, pp 117-123, figures 130a-139b. Only three or four of the earliest examples made by Bridges, Gage & Co. are known to exist and they were not japanned. Three of them were displayed by Ron Cushman at a Mid West Tool Collectors national meeting at Camp Hill, PA, on June 5, 2010. As stated by Roger Smith in Patented and Transitional Metallic Planes in America, Volume I on page 123, in April of 1917, Gage sold the Gage Tool Co. to Philip J. Leavens who then sold it to the Stanley Rule & Level Co. in 1919. Stanley continued making Gage planes until 1941. A few of the earliest un-japanned original examples have been sold at Brown’s auctions numbers 19, 21 and 35 for $3,630 to $4,356. This important which is shown in Roger K. Smith’s PTAMPIA, Volume I on page 122, Fig. 137 has been japanned and has a wood front knob that has split and then wired together. It is very difficult to estimate the real value of an early Bridges, Gage and Co. or Gage Tool Company of Vineland, NJ plane which could have been made between 1880 to 1919 when Leavens sold the company to Stanley. The plane was valued at [300-600] which was significantly lower than the prices noted above. It opened on a bid of $450 and sold for $904.
Lot 188. This rare Stanley No. 11 bull nose rabbet plane with the Liberty Bell adjustment was made in the United States but was first and only offered for sale in London, in the Charles Churchill catalogue of American Tools; it was never offered in a US catalogue. It was featured in “Every Man His Own Mechanic” an 816 page illustrated volume for the amateur artisan published by Ward, Lock & Co., in London. The No.11 appealed to the UK home craft market and like the Stanley No.101-1/2 it is more often found in the UK than in the US. Three different upper body castings have been identified, suggesting there were three or more small production runs. An exploded isometric of the No. 11 is shown in Roger Smith’s Patented and Transitional Metallic Planes in America, Vol.II, p.215, fig. 335a. Sale prices and values have ranged from $2,000 to $6,000. This example in Good conditions opened at $50 and sold for a surprising $1,243.
Lot196. The Foss patent 1¾ x 8½ inch smooth plane lacks its adjustment mechanism, but has a rosewood tote and a rosewood knob. Foss offered block planes at a lower price with Beech totes and knobs and without the adjustment mechanism (Smith, PTAMPIA I, p. 700). The Rosewood tote and knob on this plane is an anomaly. The tote has been skillfully re-glued. It was valued at [300-600] and opened on a bid of $75 and sold for $237.50.
Lot 237. The F. Nicholson “Living in Wrentham”, molding plane has Dutch decoration partly covered by the fence. It was valued at [1500-2500], was rated Good+ for condition. It opened at $200 and sold on a bid of $678.00.
Lot 295. The Hammacher Schlemmer workbench made of Cherry wood, 48 x 19 inches x 40 inches high, has two working vices and was made for an amateur’s living room. It’s a really nice little bench and is rated Fine for condition. It is valued at [600-1200] and opened at a bid of $900 and sold for $1130.
Lot 298. The Trump Brothers, Wilmington DE, Fleetwood No. 2, foot pedal operated Jig Saw, patented July 23, 1872, is mounted on the original 40 inch high cast iron stand finished in blackish green with gold highlights. It was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [600-1000], and opened at a bid of $200 and sold for $678.
Lot 299. Roger’s Miter Planer, patent No. 264,766, September 19, 1882, with two 4 inch wide cutting irons, was manufactured by the Millers Falls Co. See the A. J. Wilkinson & Co. Boston Catalogue, ca. 1888, Roger Smith: P-TAMPIA vol. I, p.151 fig 181; and Plate 25 and Wm P Walter’s & Sons catalogue No. 11, ca 1900, page 62,. This example is lacking the two adjustable guides or fences—which would be almost impossible to find but serviceable fences could be made. It was otherwise rated Good for condition, was valued at [1000-1600] and sold for $480.25 after an opening bid of $400.
Lot 316. This is the very rare Carroll Thomas patent No, 252,065, January 10, 1882, Lincoln Il, combination bevel, try square, marking gauge, rabbet plane and level mounted in the main stock of a cabinet makers square as shown in Roger Smith’s P-TAMPIA I on page 210, Plate 29b. It has one small screw missing from the level vial cover, but otherwise the finish is in better condition than the example pictured. It was rated only Good for condition, was valued at [900-1600]. It opened at $225 and sold for $621.50.
Lot 317. The Ebony octant in a Mahogany case made by E. & G. W. Blunt, working in New York from 1826 through 1866, has three filters, and an ivory scale with veneer graduations for correctly reading important dimensions and was rated Fine for condition. It was valued at [750-1500]. It opened at $1,125 and sold for $1,125 resulting in a total cost to the buyer of $1,271.25.
Lot 372. The Stanley No. 10¼ C Rabbet Plane has a corrugated sole and lateral adjustment but does not have a tilting handle or knob, is the rarest of the very rare. (See Schade’s Patent No. 707,054, date April 11, 1905 for the tilting handle and front knob. Also see John Walter, Stanley Tools, pp. 363-365). The cutter has 1907 and 1909 trade marks indicating that the plane was probably manufactured between 1912 and 1917. The japanning is about 70%, and there are a few scratches on the cheeks; it was rated Good for overall condition. The value reported in 1996 by John Walter, in Stanley Tools was $750-1500. The estimated value in this auction catalog was [400-800]. It opened at a bid of $875 and sold for $1073.50.
Lot 408. The three arm un-handled plow plane by Israel White, with out the fence bridge which was added later, has a Beech body, arms and fence, Rosewood boxing and Boxwood nuts. It is one of the very rare six examples that were made by White himself, rather than by a shop journeyman. It has an ivory tip on each of its two arms, an ivory scale along the front arm, and an ivory scale on the depth gauge. It has a few minor chips on the threaded arm and is really a super nice plane in Fine condition. It was s valued at [5,000-10,000] and it sold for $$7006.00 after an opening bid of $3000.
Lot 417. The L. L. Davis 23 inch jointer is of the type patented by Charles E. Torrance, patent No. 122,339, January 2, 1872, and shown in Leonard Davis’ patent No. 167,311, dated Aug. 31, 1845. It has a Buck Bros cutting iron, a lateral adjustment mechanism, a Rosewood handle and knob, and is shown in Roger Smith’s P-TAMPIA I, p.182 fig. 222, and Plate 27a on p. 179 and in Andrew D’Elia’s, American Wood and Metal Planes, pp, 196-200. It was valued at [2000-4000], was rated Fine for condition and it sold after an opening bid of $550 for $904.
Lot 425. The Phillips patent plow plane, with Mayo’s improvements, made by the Boston Tool Co. and shown in Roger K. Smith’s P-TAMPIA I pp. 85-90, and figure 95 on page 88 has a full length Rosewood runner on the skate. Also see Andrew D’Elia’s, American Wood and Metal Planes, pp, 316-318 and Lot 580 in this auction. This example has most of the pin striping and good wood and was rated Fine for condition. It was valued at [400-800]. It opened at $800 and sold for $1045.25.
Lot 426, The Union No. 44, 3/8 inch beading plane, is very rare. It was in Good+ condition, noting the loss of nickel plating on the lever cap, and was valued at [250-500]. See Roger Smith P-TAMPIA I, page 259, figures 329- 330. It opened on a bid of $450 and sold for $450 leaving the buyer a total price of $508.50.
Lot 427. The S. C. Tatum & Co. rabbet plane was patented by three workers: John M. Bennett patent No. 284,941 granted Sept, 11, 1883; Samuel E. Hilles patent No. 299,927 granted June 3, 1984 and John A. Keiser patent No. 305,602 granted Sept 23, 1884. See Roger Smith: P-TAMPIA I , p.143, fig. 173. The plane is very rare, was in Good+ condition, and was valued at [800-1600]. It opened at a bid of $225 and sold for $395.50.
Lot 428. The William Steer’s No, 304, adjustable smooth plane, has Rosewood strips let into “T” shaped grooves in the sole intended to reduce friction. It is very unusual to find these with the Rosewood inserts in excellent condition and this example just didn’t quite make it. It was rated Good+ for condition, was valued at [500-1000] and sold for $1017.00 after an opening bid of $650..
Lot 429. The earliest patented cast iron plane, Type 1, was patented by Hazard Knowles, patent No. 4859X, granted August 24, 1827, and was sold in Brown’s 44th auction. This example is a Type 2, 7-1/2 inch smooth plane, probably cast by Savage, ca. 1845, having an upstanding knob on each end but not having a cusp on the top edge of the sideboard above the mouth and is therefore not Type 1. Type 1 would have had an upstanding cusp in the sideboard just above the mouth; these are extremely rare with only two or three examples are known to exist but this Type 2 is still very scarce.. It has a Butcher iron, was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [8,000-12,000]. It opened on a bid of $2000 and sold for $4068.
Lot 430. The Challenge 9 inch smooth plane was patented by Arthur Goldsborough, and was made by Tower and Lyon in the smooth and jack sizes only. See Roger K Smith, P-TAMPIA I, p166, figures 201 and 202. This example has a crack in the tote, some of the black paint has worn off, and otherwise it was rated Good for condition. It was valued at [1,000-2,000] and sold on a bid of $1,582.00 after an opening bid of $900.
Lot 467. The Stewart Spiers 18 inch dovetailed fore plane with a 2-5/8 wide cutter, has a beautiful Rosewood infill. It was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [800-1500]. It opened at $400 and sold on a bid of $706.25.
Lot 469. This 10½ inch dovetailed steel miter plane is rusty and corroded overall. It has a 2¼ inch Ward & Payne iron which is rusty and worn down by use. It has a dark Rosewood infill, a super tight mouth. It was rated Good for condition, was valued at [400-800] and opened on a bid of $850 and sold for that same amount leaving the buyer with a total cost of $960.50.
Lot 549, This beautiful boxed set of twelve Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. No. 12N 10B nickel-plated bevel-edge firmer chisels, 2 to 1/8 inches wide and 14 inches long were rated Fine. They were valued at [125-200]. They opened at $350 and sold for $734.50.
Lot 580, This is a Phillips improved plow plane with a stronger and stiffer body than the Phillips plow plane in Lot 425. See Andrew D’Elia’s, American Wood & Metal Planes, pp, 316-318 and Roger K. Smith P-TAMPIA I plate 17, page 87, noting the plane with the Babson & Repplier No. 7 Doane St. oval stamp on the skate, and the M. C. Mayo’s –Improved – Jan. 1, 1872 stamp on the fence. It is finished with black japanning and high lighted with gold and red pin striping. It was one of the most attractive iron plow planes in this auction. It was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [400-800]. It opened at $750 and sold for that same amount leaving the buyer with a total cost of $847.50.
Lot 582. The third model of the nickel-plated Edwin Walker adjustable profile plow plane has eight adjustable plates used to create molded surfaces. It has a minor loss of nickel plating, a single miss matched replacement web screw and only one of the original cutters. It was rated Good for condition, and was valued at [550-1,000] It opened on a bid of $250 and sold for $508.50.
Lot 588. The beautiful solid Rosewood Mockridge & Francis self-regulating three arm plow plane was made by the Newark N. J. partnership of Mockridge & Francis. Its arms and the center adjuster are trimmed in brass as shown in Rosebrook and Fisher, Wooden Plow Planes, p. 206. It is in superb condition, noting that it has only one cutter. It is undoubtedly one of the finest wooden plow plane ever made, and was certainly the best one in this show. It was valued at [6,000-12,000]. It opened at $3,000 and sold for $6,780.
Lot 593. This is number three of a batch of ten re-productions of H. Chapin’s No. 239¼ self-adjusting bridle plow planes made by America’s most accomplished finest plane craftsman, the late Robert Baker. They have Apple wood bodies, boxed Lignum Vita arms and cast iron adjustment mechanisms. This one sits on a nice laminated wood display stand which like everything that Bob has made is first class. It is Mint, was valued at [1,500-2,500]. It opened at $400 and sold for $1,130.
by John G. Wells