Picked up this beautiful compass plane as it cost next to nothing and I was so intrigued as to whether it would still work well. I can’t find much about Hields of Nottingham online, so if anyone has more information, I’d be pleased to know more. I need the right job to come up to try this plane out, but something will come up at some point no doubt. (Observe the deluded reality of the vintage tool collector).
I’m also slightly in the dark about how far the blade should protrude from the sole on these planes, and how the plane should be set-up. Again, if anyone has more info, beyond what for me, will be plain trial and error, please get in touch.
One reply on “Hields wooden compass plane”
FromBritish Planemakers from 1700 by W. L. Goodman: William Heilds was a maker from 1830-1881. There are two imprints on the planes. The earliest is an upper case incuse form “HIELDS NOTTM”, while the second is in script form “Hields Nottingham”. They must have been a significantly large plane maker because their planes are frequently found. They also made other joiner’s tools, were iron mongers and ran a saw mill. They were also tool dealers by 1881. William was also in a partnership “Axe & Hields” in 1831-32.
I’d suggest setting the iron much like you would a coffin smooth plane. You want to take fine cuts as the iron will run across grain in at least two portions of the curve. Thicker cuts will result in tear-out of the grain eventually. Set the cap iron so that only 1/16″ or less of the iron is showing. The front shoe should be down for flatter curves and fully closed for tighter ones. I think it is a matter of trial and error as to what setting works best.