Not often seen is the Howkins Plane. Made for a short period after the First World War.
The plane was invented by John Howkins a British engineer. He first Patented the plane
in 1913. The patent itself has little resemblance to the plane that went into production.
But the main feature of the blade setting mechanism can be seen.
It's thought that the time lapse of over a decade between the patent and the planes
production, was due to the First World War and the lack of raw metrials there after.
This is a Howkins Model B.
As you can see to say it's a little different is an understatement.
The hole thing is not much larger than the palm of your hand.
But it is surprisingly comfortable to hold.
The two photos above show how amazingly precise the blade ajustment is.
To raise the blade the distance shown in the two photos, took 22 turns of the
of the adjuster at the top of the plane.
Although it looks a bit like theres two blades, the top one acts as the spurs.
They travel just in advance of the blade, which is underneath.
It's easy to see that the plane was designed by an engineer and not a carpenter.
Maybe thats part of the reason it didn't take off.
Howkins made three versions of the plane Models A,B and C.
Howkins claimed the plane was suitable for Dado, Rebating, Ploughing, Matching, Moulding, inlaying,
Chamfering and Dovetailing.
With Howkins being an engineer, I think he was looking at the idea of working the timber more like
he would a piece of steel.
Trying to make a plane that work like a lathe or milling machine.
He was probably the only person who ever really new how to use it.
He could think outside the square, thats for sure.
I use the plane quite alot, it makes for a great little matching and rebating plane when doing light cabinetry work.
It takes some time to set, and there's alot of planes that can do the same job faster.
But where's the fun in that.
When the plane first came on the market the instructions on how to use it, were handwritten on a swing tag
tied to the plane with a piece of string. "No Joke".
I wish I had one, it would make for some interesting reading.
Although the plane itself is quite well known to a lot of collectors.
It seems odd that there is so little known about how it all worked and the man who made it.
After all it was made less than a hundred years ago and in London.
In the end it's a great little talking point, and if you ever get the chance