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American Wooden Plane Maker

Ckenney's picture

Hey gang,
I just got my latest ebay acquisition, a fairly pristine coffin smoother by the Chelsea (Boston) maker, Thomas Appleton. Does anyone have any info on him? This is my first vintage wooden plane, so I haven't yet invested in any resource materials. (Such as "American Wooden Planes") Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris

chuckh's picture

(post #104263, reply #1 of 10)

Chris,


I'm sorry I don't know anything about the maker of your plane, but that looks very much like one that I had my eye on.  I think it is even on my "watch list".  I was tempted to place a bid on it, but there are too many other things I need at the moment.


That's a beautiful looking plane and obviously in great shape.  What also caught my attention was that it is a single iron plane.  A few months ago Larry Williams made a most interesting post on the Handplane Central forum regarding such single iron smoothers.  You'll enjoy what he has to say: http://www.handplane.com/Forum/forum_entry.php?id=247


Congrats on the buy.


Regards,


-Chuck 

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
Ronaway's picture

(post #104263, reply #2 of 10)

Chuck,

I whole heartedly agree with everything Larry says in that commentary on single and double iron planes. Even though it's not a wooden plane, my latest infill plane features a 1/4" parallel iron bedded at 55 degrees and with a mouth of .004. I have found no timber that it can not plane. So it occurs to me, "why aren't more people making middle pitch planes"? Planes made at this bed angle are a bit harder to push and that would be a factor in wooden planes, but in infill planes the mass that is require to power that pitch is present and I can tell little difference between York and Middle pitch.

The stats about the cap iron settings are quite interesting as well. A tight mouthed plane with a double iron and the cap iron set at .008 to .010 from the edge is a clogged plane waiting to happen. The two just do not mix and like Larry I believe the greater benefit lies in the tighter mouth, in fact all my experimenting with bed angles and mouth openings indicates that this is in fact the case.

Ron

If you're too open minded your brains will fall out.
If you're too open minded your brains will fall out.
chuckh's picture

(post #104263, reply #6 of 10)

I whole heartedly agree with everything Larry says in that commentary on single and double iron planes.


Ron,


Thank you.  I found Larry's post to be very interesting and would have thought it would generate much discussion.  But the times I have referenced it, here and elsewhere, there was little response.  I got excited when I saw Chris' plane or one very similar to it on ebay and I thought it may have been an example of the SI smoothers that Larry made reference to.  In the case of Chris' plane, the obvious 45 Deg BA should have been a tip-off. 


Those brass beauties you make are hardly a fair comparison.  It's my understanding that your planes cause shavings to just fly off a board, like... leaves before a leafblower, or some other horrible analogy.


Anyway, I won't further hijack Chris' thread.  He's looking for information about a planemaker and hopefully someone will be along to help him out.


Regards,


-Chuck


 

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
Ckenney's picture

(post #104263, reply #3 of 10)

Chuck,
Actually it is a double iron, with a quality Moulson Bros. iron AND cap.

Yes, it is in great shape, with no checking or splits. I'm still debating wether to actually use it, or to keep it as is. I'll sharpen the blade and see how it cuts as is. It has a 1/16" gap when extended, which is probably what it had originally.

Ckenney's picture

(post #104263, reply #4 of 10)

The iron is bedded at 45°, btw.

chuckh's picture

(post #104263, reply #5 of 10)

Double iron?  Ida bet money....  


Although I'm still not certain that's the same plane I'm thinking of.  My typical ebay experience is spending an evening browsing through old tools and bookmarking a bunch of things.  Then I don't get back for several days and meanwhile my email is filling up with notices about the auctions I missed. :-(


Never the less, that's still a sweet looking plane.  You don't often find them that clean.


 Regards,


-Chuck

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
shopteacher's picture

(post #104263, reply #7 of 10)

CKenney,


American Wooden Planes, 4th Edition lists Thos. L. Appleton as a "prolific" plane maker and dates it between 1878-1879.  Depending on the imprint, rarity can range from "Frequently Found" to a five star plane (T.L.APPLETON in an arc).

Ckenney's picture

(post #104263, reply #8 of 10)

Thanks for the info. I'm guessing that the arc has to be T. L. Appleton, not Thos. L. Appleton to be a rarity. (see pic)

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Appleton_AS536-1_Sm_6.jpg
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shopteacher's picture

(post #104263, reply #9 of 10)

That imprint is the "B" mark rated at one star (meaning it is "(uncommon) denotes between 250 and 500 examples" known).  Thomas L. Appleton is listed as making planes in a number of locations and over a period of time under a number of different imprints (Appleton & Whitney, Tucker & Appleton, Gladwin & Appleton, and others).  The "T.L.Appleton" in the arc is the same maker, just a different imprint.  Looks like you have a nice plane.  Treat it well.

Ckenney's picture

(post #104263, reply #10 of 10)

Thanks again, Teach. I'll try to be good to it.