British Infill Plane ID...

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Forum topic by drfunk posted 01-11-2012 08:27 AM 3508 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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223 posts in 2913 days

01-11-2012 08:27 AM

My friend from work gave me this one – he said his father-in-law dropped it off (and several other planes in a box) in his shop some years ago and he was getting sick of tripping over it.

The blade says Clegg (Uxbridge Rd) which I was able to identify as a British plane manufacturer – but I can’t verify they made infill panel planes. I need to double check the box to make sure there aren’t any other blades in amongst the primitive coffin planes that might be more correct than this, but this sure seems correct. Any panel plane experts out there that can confirm for me?

The wood is definitely beech and the side panels are dovetailed to the bottom. It’s definitely full of rust, but should clean up nicely – I hope. The overall length of the sole is 7 inches and the blade width is about 2 3/8 inches.

The most interesting thing to me is the presence of what looks like a primitive depth adjustment. There has to be a piece missing because it doesn’t work as-is. When comparing with various versions of Norris adjusters I think I may be able to reverse engineer it. It seems to me the slot in the knurled screw should engage a notch in a long-missing piece that would then engage the screw-head of the chip breaker. The slot-notch method is very similar to the Lie Nielsen 62 adjustment method. Has anybody seen anything like this? I’d like to remake the missing part to the original design spec if possible. Was there a provision for lateral adjustment? I might be able to figure out a way to incorporate one.

Another mystery is that there is no screw hole in the wood behind the counter sunk hole in the adjuster. The adjuster was never fully installed!

Thanks in advance to anyone who can shine some light on this mystery plane of mine!

12 replies so far

View ksSlim's profile


1290 posts in 3126 days

#1 posted 01-11-2012 09:12 AM

Dr—did you get makers info from the planemakers database?

apparently Preston’s catalogue handled their planes.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#2 posted 01-11-2012 11:08 AM

Probably the iron and chipbreaker came off another plane.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3016 days

#3 posted 01-11-2012 05:21 PM

Dr. I can’t be any help on this one, but my my..what a neat gift !
It’ll be neat to see just what it is !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View ShaneA's profile


7064 posts in 2834 days

#4 posted 01-11-2012 05:32 PM

Of course I have no idea what it is…but I am looking forward to seeing it after you have cleaned/fixed it up. Looks pretty cool.

View canadianchips's profile


2616 posts in 3233 days

#5 posted 01-11-2012 06:24 PM

This is the same:
BM111062 Norris, London A rare Norris #3 smoothing plane. This plane was owned by a user and for inexplicable reasons, he has polished all of the woodwork with fine steel wool so that it is very smooth like glass. The brass has been hand polished but is now starting to repatinate. It looks like the steel body was only lightly cleaned and is quite crisp with a nice mouth. The blade is the original Norris iron. The upper part of the blade is somewhat pitted, which has partially obscured the mark, but in no way affects the lower part of the blade and the cutting edge. The plane is from the early 1920s. The plane is still sharp and ready use. Had it not been cleaned in this way it would be worth $500 more, as it is, it is a steal for a user wanting a genuine Norris. G+ $995

The only thing is: Yours may have a different blade and chip breaker.
PS: I am NOT and DO NOT claim to be an expert, just trying to help.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View AnthonyReed's profile


10081 posts in 2676 days

#6 posted 01-11-2012 09:24 PM

Nice score Doc!

Canadianchips seems to have it identified, no?

i can’t help identify it but i’ll bump your post so maybe you can get a definitive answer.

-- ~Tony

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#7 posted 01-11-2012 09:28 PM

The planes are different. Among the distinctions the Norris has
straight edges while the “Clegg” is boat shaped.

View drfunk's profile


223 posts in 2913 days

#8 posted 01-11-2012 10:13 PM

Thanks all,

I did see that planemakers-database listing. I wasn’t sure how to interpret the information – but Preston carrying them in the catalog makes sense.

I guess I need to set aside an evening to look at all the infill plane listings I can find and see if I can match the knurling on the knobs to anything out there in the wild.

I don’t think it is likely a craftsman made plane for a couple reasons: A. The curved sides. B. The dovetails are very finely made. The fact that the dovetails intersect flawlessly with the curved sides only increases the likelihood that this was made by a professional plane maker.

The depth adjustment appears to me to be an evolutionary dead end.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#9 posted 01-11-2012 10:19 PM

This is a really interesting plane and very desirable. The base of the rear tote is unlike any I’ve seen. I’m also not familiar with the iron maker. Of course, Preston is my favorite maker of all time, so I’m very interested in the origin. I’ve also never seen that depth mechanism before. Is there any chance that a long lost peg used to occupy that hole in the adjuster? The blade looks appropriate to the plane. Is there anything on the back of the blade? It’s a wonderful plane.

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

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3162 days

#10 posted 01-12-2012 01:29 AM

Nice looking smoother, it’s not a panel plane.

I have a number of smoothers, none have a similar adjuster. The knurling on the knobs is similar if not identical to one of my Spiers planes, but is not the same as some of the others.

It was common to allow workers to make their own unique “model” for their own use while working in the factories, this could be one of those.

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

View canadianchips's profile


2616 posts in 3233 days

#11 posted 01-12-2012 05:56 AM

Some more pics that are close:
Top is a spiers, middle is a preston (not a good photo,)
Bottom is another Norris.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 2706 days

#12 posted 01-12-2012 08:24 AM

FWIW when I looked at the remains of the adjuster mechanism it appears that there might have been a post and it has been broken-there appeared to be a coarse texture at that point which might indicate a broken piece.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

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