Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's been a story around for years that Edwin Hahn a plane maker in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Was basically so poor when started his business, that he had to hand make the screws for the handles and totes of his planes
by using old nails.
One version of the story even has him making the screws by candlelight in his attic.

It is true that Hahn planes do have the modified nails as screws.
But it seems more likely that he either acquired them with parts he purchased from Jacob Siegley, after Siegley had sold
his Company to Stanley in or around 1901. Or Hahn simply purchased them from the same supplier as Siegley had previously.
It's not uncommon to find screws made from modified nails, in many things made from around the turn of the twentieth century.
But it is unusual to find the same ones being used by two different business'.

It's well known that Hahn had purchased a lot of the stock that remained after Siegley had sold the rights to his Company
name, and Patents he held to the Stanley company.
Hahn planes are pretty much dead-ringers of the ones previously made by Siegley, minus the Patented features which Stanley
now held the rights to.

These are two of my Siegley Bench Planes, both quite late.
The one in front is a No.3, type 10 made between 1899-1901.
At the rear is a No.8, type 13 made in 1901.

Plane Smoothing plane Jack plane Shoulder plane Block plane

When you remove the screws from the handles you find this.

Cue stick Gun barrel

Both have the modified nails which are attributed to Edwin Hahn.
On the face of it there would seem little doubt that Hahn acquired the screws from
Siegley, with the inventory he purchased.

Revolver Metalworking hand tool Tool Surgical instrument

But all of this does raise the question, of what a plane maker like Siegley was doing
with these screws?
It's hard to imagine that it was financially better to make the screws, rather than
just to purchase the right ones.

One reason maybe that although Siegley was a well known plane maker, he didn't
produce the volumes of stock that the larger company's did.
Making the production of the screws a financial benefit.

It just seems odd that the story has lasted so long.
But I think there's little doubt that Edwin Hahn wasn't sitting in his attic, making screws
by candle light.

Either way it makes for a great little mystery!

If anyone has anymore information about either Jacob Siegley or Edwin Hahn I'd really like to hear it.

455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not a member of either of those groups mate.
Just a mad keen collector of Jacob Siegley planes and early Hahn (as an extension of Siegley's work in Wilkes-Barre).
My emphasis is mainly on Siegley.
I have quite a few of John's planes as well,
My pride and joy is the no.2 that was the plane on the cover of his book.
At the moment I have around 35 versions of the no.2, 25 bench planes and 2 of his block planes.
I've got 10 of Hahn's earlier planes.

It sounds like you have a great collection of Hahn planes, we should compere notes at some point!.

Cheers mate
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.