Old Birmingham (Batwing) Jointer Plane, Restored

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Forum topic by Brett posted 07-24-2011 03:55 AM 2297 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2103 days

07-24-2011 03:55 AM

A couple months ago I came across this weird-looking old plane at an antique store. One of the sides was broken, and it was rusty and dusty, but I coughed up $27 for it anyway:

Here is is under the brighter light of a digital camera:

Note that there are only six parts.

A little research shows that this plane was made by The Birmingham Plane Co. (Conn) in 1884 to 1889.

The plane is slightly longer and narrower than a Stanley Bailey No. 8.

The plane was in such bad shape that the original surface was completely covered with rust and dust. I like to preserver the patina of my old hand planes as much as possible, but this one needed a little more TLC. I soaked the parts in a weak citric acid solution and this is the result:

Note that the double-stamp makers mark on the iron:

The black surface on the underside of the blade is piece of hard steel that was bonded to softer metal to create a sharp, but less fragile, plane iron.

This piece is not broken; the tab on one side is used by the lever to advance the cradle that holds the plane iron.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

2 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3518 days

#1 posted 07-24-2011 03:59 AM

Looks like it cleaned up fairly well. Are the sides design as shown in the photo or was there an issue with them?

I see…. Broken.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2103 days

#2 posted 07-24-2011 04:01 AM

One of the sides was broken long ago, probably in a fall. Apart from that, it’s in very good condition. The iron could probably be sharpened and used, if someone were so inclined. There were only scraps of japanning left, mostly around the handle, but enough to show that it was there originally.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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