Tools for sale 

British Metal Planes

Nigel Lampert

Collectors and users have been passionate about British metal planes for many years. Their very high quality and elegance is valued by collectors, whilst users respect the fine cabinetwork capabilities of these unique planes. Individual planes can almost have a personality in many instances as, unlike the American cast iron planes, they were always hand-made, and individual orders were actively encouraged.

In its time, the British metal plane was expensive and elegant yet without any mass sales charisma. Today this historic lack of market appeal is rapidly becoming an advantage as we revalue the products of the hand production era. Ironically as a result, the British metal plane is now prized far above its successful American competitor for the very characteristics which originally made it unsuccessful: its stubborn but skilled hand manufacture, fine materials, elegance and restricted application.

No other country developed such planes, despite some very limited copying in the United States and even the Australian colonies. Unfortunately, the development of these exceptional planes was not well-catalogued or patented, and scarcely 200 years since the first British metal plane emerged, there is conjecture rather than fact available about their makers, inventors and users. Numerous questions thus remain such as the following:

Unravelling the development of these planes is a marvelous challenge made more interesting by the existence of numerous quite individual planes, these resulting from the unique capacity of hand production to respond to individual requests. Catalogue information, and details of dated, double-marked, early and unusual British metal planes is most eagerly sought. Interested readers should contact Nigel Lampert, F 0. Box 658, Pascoe Vale, Victoria 3044. Australia.

Appeared 1996 – Toolshop Auctions Catalogue

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