Norris A5 smoother
I just have to share my joy.
This is the fellow it is all about.
Norris A5 smoother.
Infill plane beech – post war model.
54 mm blade width 2 1/8”.
(No 4 Stanley = 2” – 50 mm. / No 4,5 Stanley = 2 3/8” – 60 mm.).
Weight: 1.8 kilo – 4 lbs.
(No 4 Stanley = 3 3/4 lbs. / No 4,5 Stanley = 4 3/4 lbs.).
This was a surprise since I heard so many people argue that the infills were better since they are much heavier than the Stanley’s…
I gave myself this plane as a ‘leaving the old workshop gift’.
Got it at a fair price I think, 150 British pound / 230 US dollar.
(I have been waiting a long time to find a plane of this quality at this price so I am happy).
The wood is ‘infilled’ into the body of metal.
As you can see the plane iron rest on a bed that are also the handle, inside this is the adjuster.
This gives a really strong construction, together with the front handle that is also adding mass and stability.
It’s a legend of British plane making, the famous Norris Company and the patented adjuster for lateral and vertical movements 1913 that made it possible to adjust the plane iron up and down with a screw and not a hammer.
My A5 is a post war user plane, it has been restored and I might work some more on this since I bought it to be a user and not a collection item.
(The later Norris planes can be bought at reasonable prizes).
The adjuster is grabbing the cap iron screw, and the blade moves like this.
A close up of the adjuster.
And a wonderful closed mouth in mint condition.
So no more excuses, I need to set up a place for sharpening.
I have not had a place since the move.
First the Japanese stones in water so they can suck as I get organized.
After a little setup, sharpening begins and what a pleasure it is to see the iron get to life.
The first shaves gives me the goose bumps.
To set up the plane is really easy, in fact more easily than a Stanley I feel.
The shaves are crisp and wonderful.
Now I back up the blade a little and look how the shaves change.
Rough to smooth.
Look how this wonderful old smoother brings life to this wonderful piece of Hungarian locust tree / Robinia.
That is why it is called a smoother, no need for more finish.
Look how it brought life out to the surface – yabadabadoooo.
So what can I say to this…
I have no doubt that this will be the plane I reach for when I need to make a superb finish, it brings me more than just a beautiful surface, it brings me joy, joy from the way it seems to stay on the wood even the weight is not much more than a Stanley.
The extremely thick iron that cuts with no effort but also its history and its beauty that made me wish for it in the first place.
Yes I should have bought it years back when I started, some say you got to deserve a good tool, I say I don’t care. This plane deserves me, and I will make my outmost effort to use it the best I can.
I am one happy user of a Norris A5.
The Norris story: http://www.antiquetools.co.uk/articles/norris.htm
Compare Stanley’s and Norris: http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan1.htm
Tune and setup: http://infillplane.com/
If you win the lottery: http://www.holteyplanes.com
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.