What was it's purpose?

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Forum topic by daydrik posted 08-06-2013 02:58 PM 1572 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 1835 days

08-06-2013 02:58 PM

If you know what it is please tell me.
My father found this hand tool at an auction he was at. I’ve searched the internet but can’t find what its original purpose was. I’ve heard that it has something to do with printmaking. that’s all I know. thanks for looking.

-- "by all means read what the experts say. Just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking" ;John Brown

6 replies so far

View Mosquito's profile


7924 posts in 1711 days

#1 posted 08-06-2013 03:05 PM

That is pretty cool. It looks like a combination of shooting board of sorts, and a thickness planing jig. Sort of like an old metal version of the modern day “router sled” for flattening slabs.

Hopefully someone else recognizes it and knows more about it, I’m interested to find out

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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Rick Dennington

5101 posts in 2613 days

#2 posted 08-06-2013 03:08 PM

I’m glad you didn’t ask me, cause I don’t have a clue….....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 1457 days

#3 posted 08-06-2013 03:14 PM

I have heard of a plane-type contraption used for making the blanks for those flat wood engraving blocks. The business end of the block is the end-grain and it had to be perfectly smooth (and a perfect thickness if being used in a press) before the engraver went in and did his (backwards) etching of the design to be printed. I don’t know if that is one though, I always pictured a lower angle on the blade. Are there any printing or engraving forums on the internet that might be able to help?

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View bandit571's profile


14058 posts in 2102 days

#4 posted 08-06-2013 03:26 PM

Could also be used with lead type setting. The long skinny one could be used to clamp and carry a string of lead letters to the main “board”.

As the lead letters wore down sometimes new ones needed to be leveled to match the rest of the pile. Clamp them letter side down, and plane the bottoms to match the old set.

Just wouldn’t do, if one got a new set of “e”s only to find they stick out from the rest of the letters.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1312 days

#5 posted 08-07-2013 02:08 AM

That is a Viking animal hide stretcher and cutting jig called a belgr-stokkr. While much of Europe in the dark ages used crude wooden planks to process their hides (second picture below), Vikings were making close tolerance precise cuts with this metal device to produce their well-fitting Viking boots.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View dowdstools's profile


8 posts in 1244 days

#6 posted 08-07-2013 03:03 AM

bandit571 is correct. That contraption is for trimming lead printing blocks. They are long since obsolete, but the only reason I know for sure what it is is that I bought one once from a former typesetter, and he explained it to me.

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