The Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 11Likes
  • 3 Post By Repliconics
  • 1 Post By Dave Paine
  • 1 Post By cms83
  • 1 Post By MasterSplinter
  • 2 Post By Repliconics
  • 1 Post By timetestedtools
  • 1 Post By fougassefilms
  • 1 Post By Jig_saw
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 455
View Repliconics's Photo Album My Photos
The Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder.

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.

The Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder.-img_0767.jpg

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 Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder.-img_0765.jpg The Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder.-img_0766.jpg

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.

The Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder.-img_0761.jpg The Howkins Plane, Engineering Wonder.-img_0762.jpg

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
grab one.
35015, Jig_saw and Ted Cole like this.
Repliconics is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Repliconics For This Useful Post:
35015 (05-20-2017)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 07:17 PM
Senior Member
 
Dave Paine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 7,222
View Dave Paine's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for posting. This is the first time I heard of this plane maker.

Very interesting plane. I can see the engineer rather than woodworker.

I will be now looking to see one for real.
Ted Cole likes this.
Dave Paine is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 08:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: new jersey
Posts: 212
View cms83's Photo Album My Photos
I like the curves of the plane and I really like how "mechanical" it looks.Its very different as well.was this the only type of plane he made?
Ted Cole likes this.
cms83 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 08:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Springfield,Ma
Posts: 899
View MasterSplinter's Photo Album My Photos
WOW! Cool plane. I have never seen one before.
Ted Cole likes this.
MasterSplinter is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 09-17-2013, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 455
View Repliconics's Photo Album My Photos
Howkins Patent & Advertisement.

These are the drawings from Howkins orginal Patent, as you can see by the time the plane was put into manufacture the
only part's of the patent in use were the blade adjustment and the thumb rest.
All of the rest had been changed, even the handle had been removed.

Name:  GB191315336-7.jpg
Views: 627
Size:  75.3 KB Name:  GB191315336-8.jpg
Views: 583
Size:  63.2 KB

Name:  GB191515336-9.jpg
Views: 593
Size:  50.2 KB

Howkins made Three versions of the plane A,B & C.
In the advertisement below there are listed Models D & E, but their only combinations of the first three models.

Name:  Howkins Ad.jpg
Views: 611
Size:  82.0 KB

The Howkins very rarely comes up for sale, as I said it took me three years to find one.
But they really are the most fascinating little hand plane.
35015 and Ted Cole like this.
Repliconics is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 09-18-2013, 07:07 AM
Senior Member
 
timetestedtools's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 699
View timetestedtools's Photo Album My Photos
interesting plane. It amazes me how many unique planes were made in the last 100 years or so and how little information can be found on them.
Ted Cole likes this.
timetestedtools is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 09-24-2013, 04:12 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1
View fougassefilms's Photo Album My Photos
Howkins Plane

I have an original printed spec of this, made available to me by the grandson of the inventor - 2nd Lt Francis Howkins of 253 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers - who served in France during the Great War of 1914-18. (Perhaps his war service meant he didn't get the chance to follow up his design.)

I am a Project Manager for the Durand Group - currently investigating the tunnels that Howkins actually dug during his time in France - and we are about to start excavations to uncover some of these in the next two weeks. Howkins left a detailed manuscript of his time in the tunnels. His grandson will be joining us on our investigation.

email me for more info
Ted Cole likes this.

Last edited by fougassefilms; 09-24-2013 at 04:23 PM.
fougassefilms is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to fougassefilms For This Useful Post:
MasterSplinter (09-24-2013)
post #8 of 11 Old 05-19-2017, 11:35 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
View Ted Cole's Photo Album My Photos
Hi, I've just bought a Howkins Model B patent 15336/13 (online) from an auction house in England. .. When my new plane arrives from the auction house and I can see the true state of it, I'd dearly love to be able to ask for your advice on it. ..I doubt that it's complete.
Attached Images
 
Ted Cole is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Ted Cole For This Useful Post:
Scipio (05-19-2017)
post #9 of 11 Old 05-19-2017, 11:47 AM
Senior Member
 
Jig_saw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 861
View Jig_saw's Photo Album My Photos
The best thing about this plane appears to be its small size. It can fit into the palm of the hand, and therefore it is much easier to make rabbets with than say Stanley No.78 or 92. The blade adjustment being also finer might give good control and accuracy. Wonder why it was not a success.
Ted Cole likes this.

Keep thy axe sharp.
Jig_saw is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 05-20-2017, 06:28 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
View Ted Cole's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by fougassefilms View Post
I have an original printed spec of this, made available to me by the grandson of the inventor - 2nd Lt Francis Howkins of 253 Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers - who served in France during the Great War of 1914-18. (Perhaps his war service meant he didn't get the chance to follow up his design.)

I am a Project Manager for the Durand Group - currently investigating the tunnels that Howkins actually dug during his time in France - and we are about to start excavations to uncover some of these in the next two weeks. Howkins left a detailed manuscript of his time in the tunnels. His grandson will be joining us on our investigation.

email me for more info
Hi, it would be great to images of those 'original specs', and any other info in your possession, is that possible? .. Also, how may I look up information on the results of your excavations? .. Sounds absolutely fascinating!
Ted Cole is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 05-20-2017, 06:40 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
View Ted Cole's Photo Album My Photos
I really had no idea that the plane was so small. .. The images posted by the auction house seemed (my eyes are dim, just like the rest of me) to be of a plough plane type size. .. The original box was included with the lot.
Attached Images
  
Ted Cole is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need engineering advice for pumping water Sleeper Off Topic 25 10-07-2012 08:37 PM
German Motorcycle Safety Engineering cabinetman Off Topic 1 05-14-2012 08:50 PM
Limited budget.... Set of engineering squares... worth it? SteveEl General Woodworking Discussion 22 04-29-2012 09:49 PM
New Episode of Blue Collar Woodworking: Da Plane! Da Plane! StumpyNubs General Woodworking Discussion 10 04-04-2012 11:13 AM
extreme lego engineering jstange2 Off Topic 1 01-20-2012 10:30 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome