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HALL OF FAMER
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine (my oldest friend actually) dropped by last week to say hello. He said he had a present for me. This is what he brought over. The wood in the coffin is still in great shape and the metal at the toe is also in great shape. The blade needs to be re-ground and sharpened because it has been sharpened too many times by hand and it is in poor shape. Everything else seems to be in great condition on this plane and there were still wood shavings in it when I took it apart.
Although I don't know much about it, I do know that I like it a lot. Any insight into this plane and its use?

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That's a very nice gift Ken. I don't know about the maker of the iron, I've never heard of them. However, I am not well versed in wood planes either. The sole looks good, and the toe in front of the blade is either re-done to close the mouth or, given the screw on the top, an adjustable toe? Can you confirm it or is the screw just a strike button? Looks cool though, glad you are going to get her back going again.
 

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HALL OF FAMER
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a very nice gift Ken. I don't know about the maker of the iron, I've never heard of them. However, I am not well versed in wood planes either. The sole looks good, and the toe in front of the blade is either re-done to close the mouth or, given the screw on the top, an adjustable toe? Can you confirm it or is the screw just a strike button? Looks cool though, glad you are going to get her back going again.
I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of the screw is. I've never seen a coffin plane with a steel toe on it. I haven't played with that part yet but I will be sure to find out the next time I'm in the shop.
 

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I'm pretty sure it's an adjustable mouth. Have you loosened the screw and tried opening/closing the throat? It is strange.
 

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In History is the Future
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Is hasn't been mentioned yet so let me just say it's a smoother. The last bench plane in the sequence of work.

Looks quite serviceable, which is great! I'm very doubtful that the mouth is adjustable - to do that with out a screw slot would be intricate bit of engineering / manufacturing.

Sharpen that baby up and get to work! It appears to be bedded at Common Angle so for soft woods and general smoothing a bevel of 25-30 on the iron would be great. Fire up the stones!
 

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Did he mention where he got that plane? I was looking at one exactly like it at the Stormville flea market a few weeks ago. I almost bought it but the asking price was just a little to high and I am not a huge coffin plane fan. I was thinking of buying it just because it was a little different.
 

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Gentlemen,

I spotted this thread in a return link to my blog, posted earlier by Manuka Jock. In it I detailed a traditional mouth repair that I did to a coffin smoother, like this one.

I should state that coffin planes of this sort are quite common in the UK on the second-hand market. They were made in hundreds of thousands in the19th and 20th centuries and whilst most are plain-soled in varying states of repair, some do sport some metal work.

UK plane makers offered a variety of wooden plane shapes right up to the inter-war years in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of the more expensive ones were fully soled (an iron shoe arrangement that fitted right round to sole and was secured with screws through the sides), some were half-soled (an iron patch in front of the mouth, screwed from below) whilst the most expensive was fitted with an adjustable throat, like Kenbo’s.

The Astragal Press reprint of Edward Preston’s 1909 catalogue explains it all, with pictures. Preston had a range of smoothing planes is available. One like Kenbo’s with an adjustable mouth is available in three widths (page 81). Coach-maker’s planes are shown on page 88, with a choice of plated or plain soles.

The adjusting ironmongery is shown as spare parts on page 93. A choice of metal adjustable mouths like Kenbo’s was available in four widths, part numbers 1375, cast iron and 1376 for the malleable iron one.

There is no trace of B Hobson of Sheffield in any of the usual reference works. Sheffield had thousands of one-man-band foundries for hundreds of years. As he made the blade, it is unlikely that he made the plane.

Hope this helps.


Best regards from Wales
 

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HALL OF FAMER
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did he mention where he got that plane? I was looking at one exactly like it at the Stormville flea market a few weeks ago. I almost bought it but the asking price was just a little to high and I am not a huge coffin plane fan. I was thinking of buying it just because it was a little different.

The gentleman that owned this plane was Danish and came to Canada from Wales many years ago. I'm not sure if he brought this plane with him or not. There are two of these planes. One larger one, which belonged to my friend's father, was kept by my friend and this one, which was owned by my friend's god father, he gave to me. I don't know anything of the history of this plane but the more I hear you guys talk, the more I want to know about it.

I will be heading out to the shop, hopefully tonight, to do a bit of work and I will see if the throat is adjustable.

Thanks for all the input everyone. It's appreciated.
 
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