Reply by riven_oak

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Posted on Mystery plane?

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3 posts in 1963 days

#1 posted 01-11-2013 03:59 PM

I’ve got an update—- Over on another forum somebody sleuthed out that it was a ‘Fales Patent Variable Plane’. Brandon is essentially right, it’s an early combination plane. It was first patented in 1882, so I think this preceded the Stanley 45 (but not sure). In any case, Stanley’s massive marketing engine pretty quickly knocked this one off the market.

There’s a neat description of the Fales plane, from a trade journal published in 1885:;cc=manu;rgn=full%20text;idno=manu0017-10;didno=manu0017-10;view=image;seq=0240;node=manu0017-10%3A38

I still haven’t figured out why there are two fences on this particular one. It could be that there’s some obscure carpentry task where it’s useful, or maybe it’s just a spare fence. I find the spare parts explanation a bit unlikely, as these things were apparently pretty expensive in the day, and it doesn’t seem like either one is broken. I haven’t managed to track down a manual for how to use this thing, so there are still a few mysteries to solve.

It could be that having two fences allowed one to push this thing sideways as joein10asee suggested. Maybe for narrow window sashes or muntins… I have no experience with that kind of work.

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