No-name hand planes in antique malls

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Forum topic by Brett posted 03-10-2011 01:02 AM 2136 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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660 posts in 2652 days

03-10-2011 01:02 AM

I’ve come across a lot of antique hand planes with no manufacturer’s information on them anywhere. Were they made by local, one-man shops or perhaps imported from somewhere? What’s the story behind these plane?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

2 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10281 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 03-10-2011 01:23 AM

If cast metal, some may be copies made by workmen with foundry access.

Wood planes were sometimes craftsman-made, but most I’ve encountered
have some sort of maker’s mark stamped on them. I believe they were
inexpensive enough that most tradesmen would buy them rather than
make them. Back in the day, wooden bench planes would in fact get
worn out and discarded, though irons would be kept and fitted to a new
plane body.

I’ve encountered enough no-name iron planes to conclude that they were
probably knock-offs of name-brand planes or perhaps lower-priced lines
made by the big plane makers which were left unmarked to protect the
parent brand’s credibility.

Quality iron planes were marketed as “warranted”. I suppose cheaper,
unwarranted planes were mistrusted by the tradesman who’d been
burned by bad experiences after the warranted planes came on the market.

This attention to quality allowed Stanley and a few others to dominate
a huge market for bench planes.

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2967 days

#2 posted 03-10-2011 02:01 AM

For the most part, they are made by the same makers but sold without branding so that merchants can have a house brand. The original OEM idea. Sears, Wards, etc, didn’t make planes. They bought enough to have their name on them, smaller merchants would just put stickers or have the iron stamped with their logo.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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