My Collector’s Room

Tool of the Week Winner
This project won Tool of the Week at HomemadeTools.net

These are views of my Collector’s Room where I store my prized hand planes and tools.

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The fourth photo shows my recently completed Lough Sheelin Smoother ensconced in its rightful position in one of the glass cabinets. I will post some of the more interesting hand planes and tools from my collection shortly on this page. There will examples of my own tools, those of other makers and some nice antique specimens as well.

The other photos also show the dedicated dovetail bench that I made earlier this year. The room is an ante-room to my workshop. It is one of my favorite spaces.

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The glass cases act as a safe, dry and dust-free storage environment for my favorite and prized tools and also as an interesting display for visitors. I use the bench for doing hand work (such as cutting dovetails) and for such, this is a lovely area to work in. There are tubular cupboard heaters at floor level behind each case so that in winter the area is kept free from moisture and dampness.

 

Here are some on the tools (mainly hand planes) in my collection.

 

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I have just purchased and am awaiting delivery of this magnificient plane.

It is Jim Leamy’s exact replica of the Mongomery Presentation Plow Plane 1857.

This plane is one of only 5 made by Jim Leamy; a real collector’s piece.

When it arrives I will take some more detailed photos and post them here.

And here they are:

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Amazing work from Jim Leamy.

 

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Spiers Ayr Panel Plane

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Clifton Block Plane with original Box

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Lie Nielsen (front) & Veritas (rear)  Spokeshaves

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The Big Book: David Russell’s Antique Woodworking Tools; a great reference.

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Marples BB Grooving Plane with Moving Fence in original Box

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Small, unmarked Mitre Plane in perfect working order.

I have used this one many times.

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Set of Beading Planes circa 1860. The one on the extreme right was the plane I used

for cutting beads in my dedicated Dovetailing Bench.

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Set  of Hollows & Rounds

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One of my prized pieces; a Henley Optical Mitre Plane.

Only 150 of these were ever produced and this example

has the original box and original sales note from the manufacturer

dated July 1976.

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Norris No 17 in gunmetal with open front.

 

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Two Norris Smoothers.

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This is one of my early smoothing planes based loosely on the Norris but with an extended toe. I personally do not favor the short toe of the Norris as there is the tendency for the plane to drop off the end of the work when one pulls back between strokes. I reshaped the body a bit and redesigned the front bun.

This plane was also the predecessor to my Lough Sheelin Smoother which moved further away from the Norris in that I introduced more design modifications;

  • The toe was rendered more delicate in appearance by putting in 4 steps instead of 3.
  • The blade bed was made of brass. The purpose of this was two-fold. Firstly it meant that the plane no longer depended on the wooden tote to support the blade. This means, in theory, that in 100 years time this plane should perform just as well as when it was new as movement, shrinkage or warping of the wood will not effect the plane’s utility.
  • The second advantage of the brass blade bed is to free up the design of the tote so that now one can have fun with its design, leading to a more attractive plane overall.

At this stage my Lough Sheelin Smoother’s design roots in the Norris are no longer apparent; it has become a design unique unto itself.

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Two views of The Lough Sheelin Smoother

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Calvert Stevens CS88 Smoother

The CS88 had the shortest production period of any Record plane, being produced only between 1988 and 1990. It is now a favored collector’s item. This example is in pristine condition.

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Close examination of these photographs will reveal that they are not two pictures of the same plane but two different examples of the Spiers Improved Pattern Mitre Plane of the early to mid- 19th Century. Stewart Spiers was a prolific hand plane maker in Ayr, Scotland. The plane in the LH picture is an example of the screw-sided version.

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Spiers Mitre Plane. You might have guessed that I have a particular interest in the hand planes of Stewart Spiers; and you would be right. For anyone else with a similar interest there is a fascinating book on the subject written by Nigel Lampert (Australia). See Picture below.

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Not only is this book an intriguing history of Stewart Spiers, his planes and his plane-making company, it is also an interesting snapshot of life in the 19th Century. Well worth a read.

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Sandusky Centre Wheel Plow Plane. The Sandusky Tool Company (founded in 1869) was one of the largest industries in Sandusky, Ohio, producing 70 dozen planes per day and employing 200 men. In 1924, the company’s factory was hit by a tornado and within five years it had closed.

Some years ago an ebony & ivory version of a centre-wheel plow plane made by The Sandusky Tool Company in 1876, sold at auction for $114,400. No, I’m not sitting on a fortune; my example is not worth anything like that but I love having it in my collection all the same.

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Stanley No.5

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Gerd Fritsche A6 Smoother. This plane is clearly a Norris reproduction.

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Gerd Fritsche A31 Block Plane in the style of the Norris A31 Thumb Plane.

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An example from Ron Brese’s Winter Smoother range. This one

is the Special Edition Willie Davis. This beautiful hand plane

regularly catches the eye of visitors to my shop.

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A gem by Wayne Anderson.

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A Stanley No. 78 Rebate Plane

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A very clean and lovely Spiers Panel Plane. I love the lines of this plane;

they remind me of waves and the wide open sea.

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A nice clean Norris A5 with its original box.

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Another Spiers Ayr Mitre Plane

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Veritas Router Plane & spare cutters

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Veritas Scraper Plane

2 Comments

  1. Bernard Brown

    June 3, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Brandon, being from Ayrshire and as i have recently acquired an interest in the history of spiers planes. How could i obtain the above mentioned book .
    Have any of the wonderful planes made by yourself involved dove tail joints between sole and sides ??
    .

  2. Bernard Brown

    June 3, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Brandon the spears plane reminding you of waves is splendid, is it possible that the sides are stainless steel or is it a reflection of the glass ?? it most certainly is a fine example of craftsmanship from this Ayrshire master Toolmaker.

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