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Stanley No. 71 Router Plane

Today’s antique is a Stanley Number 71 router plane.  These planes, and the later No 71-1/2, were used to level the bottom of a groove or other recess to a plane parallel to the surface. This particular plane is unique for a few reasons that I want to walk...

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Stanley No. 100 Squirrel Tail Block Plane

The Lilliputian sized Stanley No. 100 squirrel tail plane is a cute little tool that is actually quite useful.  Its diminutive 3-1/2″ length and 1″ wide blade are much smaller than most metal planes, but they are still properly designed to make shavings. I inherited the red tailed plane...

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Razee Jack Plane Owned by L. Ruggles

I love razee woodworking planes because they’re just a little different and their design is a little more advanced than normal wood planes.  Razee is taken from the French words vaisseau razé which means a “razed” or cut down ship with fewer decks, and razee planes are cut down...

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Adjustable Spokeshave

This week’s antique is a 10″ wide, straight handled, cast iron spokeshave that bears no maker’s mark (“unmarked”).  It has an adjustable mouth plate with decorative scrollwork details.  The slotted screw secures the 2-1/8″ wide blade.  The “straight knurled” thumbscrew adjusts the mouth opening. As shown below, it is...

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I. Guest/James Cam Nosing Plane

This week’s antique is a beech nosing plane made by I. Guest with a laminated blade made by James Cam. Nosing planes were used to round off the front edge, or nose, of a stair tread.  These planes were sometimes referred to as forkstaff planes because they were also...

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Hilger & Sons Hand Vise

Marked “H&S”, this Hilger & Sons hand vise is 4-5/8″ long with a 1-1/2″ jaw.  These small vises were sometimes call jeweler’s or gunsmith’s vises.  A simple web search turns up many old and new examples of vises this size. Similar to a blacksmith’s leg vise (though on a...

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Edward Preston & Sons Spokeshave

Edward Preston’s tools are famous for their ornate design and this week’s antique is no slouch in the design department.  This cast iron, flat bottom spokeshave is covered in Victorian scroll work. This scroll work covers the top, the back, and the cap. Probably the most unique part of...

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An Antique Machinist Level

This small, seven inch machinist’s level is a fascinating bit of history.  It has a cast iron body with a glass vile topped off with a brass plate.  The alcohol bubble is still intact.  It has a heavy coating of black Japanning. There is no manufacturer’s name.  It’s unmarked...

Sargent 5206 Block Plane

Sargent 5206 Block Plane

The Sargent 5206 block plane is a beautiful and somewhat collectible artifact produced at the end of the industrial revolution.  It was made during both World Wars with production beginning in 1912 and ending in 1947.  The Sargent 5206 block plane was finished in nickel plate, cadmium plate, black...

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Davis Patent Level

The antique for this week is a one foot long, cast iron Davis Patent Level.  “Davis” levels are very ornate and command high prices on the antique market. Note in the picture above that there is space within the iron casting on either side of the center vial for...