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Any valuable old coffin smoothers?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 08-10-2011 09:22 PM 1935 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

660 posts in 2143 days


08-10-2011 09:22 PM

Coffin smoothers are one of the few types of old hand planes that I come across with some regularity in north central Texas (which makes sense, given the nature of the Texas economy until 50 or 60 years ago). Are there any makes that have value that I should keep an eye out for?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


13 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2153 days


#1 posted 08-10-2011 09:50 PM

I should probably know this but I don’t. I LOVE coffin smoothers. The biggest problem I run into with them is a giant mouth. I’ve never tried correcting one but I’m sure it can be done. I love them anyway, big mouth and all.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#2 posted 08-10-2011 10:04 PM

Look for marks on the irons. The bodies may be craftsman-made or made
by factories other than the irons. You could buy them separate through
Sears, et al.

I don’t think coffin smoothers as a general rule are worth much.

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 2482 days


#3 posted 08-11-2011 03:40 AM

That’s a tough question to answer easily. You’ld need a copy of American Wooden Plane Makers and even the British Plane Makers books to check all of them. There are thousands of makers. Or post a question here to find out what and who and when a plane was made.

Exotic woods like lignum vitae, boxwood, live oak, rosewood and ebony bring a premium. I have a thing for boxwood smoothers. It’s a sickness.

The mouth is easy to fix. There are a number of online directions on how to do this or just ask here. It all comes down to the cheeks can’t be split, the sole should be fairly flat and none or as few as possible splits in the body. Blades can always be replaced. If you can find a handled smooth plane, it’s a keeper and worth fixing.

-- Gary Roberts, http://toolemera.com

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mvflaim

183 posts in 2551 days


#4 posted 08-13-2011 11:50 PM

Coffin smoothers are very common in the wild so they don’t commend high prices. The only ones that would be considered valuable are the ones that are made from exotic woods like Gary Roberts said and really old ones with no chip breaker. Those date back to the 1700’s and are rare to find.

-- http://mvflaim.wordpress.com/

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Brett

660 posts in 2143 days


#5 posted 08-14-2011 04:32 AM

I’ve come across a few coffin smoothers with no chip breakers. Are they definitely as old as that?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 2482 days


#6 posted 08-14-2011 07:39 AM

Not necessarily. If it’s a low angle smoother, it’s actually the equivalent of a block plane or a miter plane.

-- Gary Roberts, http://toolemera.com

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jusfine

2405 posts in 2386 days


#7 posted 08-14-2011 08:08 AM

So, you are saying my little plane is not really worth very much?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#8 posted 08-14-2011 08:13 AM

Lol – think the discussion is driven more towards wood smoothers and not infills…. Nice Gloat. : ^ )

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

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Gary Roberts

140 posts in 2482 days


#9 posted 08-14-2011 08:45 AM

Nope, it’s worthless. Send it to me and I’ll send a nice little smoother to you in exchange. True, the cheeks are split, the toe is banged up and it needs to be resoled, but it’s a smoother.

-- Gary Roberts, http://toolemera.com

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Brett

660 posts in 2143 days


#10 posted 08-15-2011 12:33 AM

How do you identify boxwood? What are its distinguishing characteristics?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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Gary Roberts

140 posts in 2482 days


#11 posted 08-15-2011 03:48 AM

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jusfine

2405 posts in 2386 days


#12 posted 08-17-2011 07:32 PM

Thanks Wayne, I really like the English made planes!
Gary if you send me your address, I will get one in the mail to you. :)

I have a project Spiers handled infill if someone is looking to construct a handle for it, it has been sitting in my shop for so long, and it really should be used. I bought it from England with the intent on putting a rosewood infill in it and using it, so far that hasn’t happened. It is the same as the parallel sided plane pictured, but the tote/handle was broken. will try to get an actual photo tonight.

I will need a little bit of money for it though…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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jusfine

2405 posts in 2386 days


#13 posted 08-17-2011 07:34 PM

oops, doubled up…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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