Wednesday, September 26, 2007


And thus we proceed to the smoother and thence to more esoteric parts of Salaman's Dictionary.

Look, Ma, dinky smoothers! And yes, she did indeed go "ahhh, isn't it sweet?". Oh well, she got me a can of Renaissance wax yesterday so not all bad... ;) Anyway, top to bottom again:

A dinky smoother that may possibly be by one of the Bucks - a Tottenham Court Road one I think. Another London maker, eh? 1 1/2" iron that appeared to have a lion? holding a torch? and might have possibly says "Bedford-something"? Yay, BPMs sez there's a Bedford, Burys & Co, Regent Works, Penistone Road, Sheffield. Never heard of 'em. 1860-1880 eh? Starting to get a bit of a date bracket developing here... Regrettably it's got the inevitable split in the cheek, but a nice little plane, pleasant to the hand.

Next, its brother? Nope. This one's got a slight but noticably convex sole - wouldn't like to place any bets, but doesn't seem to be accidental. 1 5/8" iron by Ward & Payne and a Marples cap iron; so far, so wide a date range. More squinting and we have the "notable five line" J Leist, Planemaker, Something-illegible-on-both-plane-and-in-book, Near Fye Bridge, Norwich mark. Norwich?! If I interpret British Planemakers correctly that address would put James Leist at St Simons around 1851. If he continued to use it when he moved the date could slip to 1875, and if his wife(?) used it when she carried on it could be as late as 1896. But would you still use it, with such a precise location, if you weren't there any more? Well you might for a while, so it'd tally with our tentative date range, would it not? 'Nother split in the cheek and the iron's pretty far gone alas.

Thirdly and we come to the real specialist stuff. James Leist again, this one with a 1 5/8" I & H Sorby iron. But what is it, I hear you ask? It's a Coachbuilder's Door Check plane, s'what. In this case a "Coach Door Smooth" for cleaning up rebates - for some reason called "checks" by Coachbuilders. As it's curved it can do concave rebates curving in the horizontal plane, which is nice. The cap iron gives it a finishing advantage over dodgy grain that the subjects of tomorrow's post just don't have.

On which teasing note...


  1. Oh, I like 'em.

    But this isn't me...If it were, I would say I had been on the web ordering supplies, and on the phone. Hence while on hold...

    Here's my door check plane. One straight side and one convex side...

    who is enjoying all this emmensely...

  2. Fascinating stuff, Alf.


    Paul Chapman

  3. Ooohh.....nice!
    I say, Al. All this blogging from you is catching me out ;)
    Got a terrible urge to get in the workshop and build one of these......:)


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