Mathieson Mitre plane Planes

Mathieson mitre plane

Here are some pics of a beautiful plane I picked up yesterday. A Mathieson mitre plane in fine condition. It has the original Mathieson snecked iron and a mouth that is so tight you can barely see light when the blade is in. A stunning plane for any collector, especially one who collects this maker. if you are interested in buying this plane, please get in touch at Sensible offers only please.
Mathieson Mitre Plane_1
Mathieson Mitre Plane_2
Mathieson Mitre Plane_3
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Mathieson Mitre Plane_5
Mathieson Mitre Plane_6
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I haven’t popped any of the woodwork on this plane, and don’t intend doing so, particularly, but a reader of the blog, Paul Blanche, sent me a picture of the likely construction of the front bun, (below).
Mathieson_front bun

Norris Planes

A rare Norris No.6G, or homebrew?

Norris or not_1
Norris or not_2
Norris or not_3
Norris or not_4
Norris or not_5
Norris or not_6
Norris or not_7
Norris or not_8
This plane turned up in a recent job lot I bought. I assumed it to be a very nice No.6 plane from Norris with considerable weight to it. However, the jury is still out, as I’m having trouble locating reference for one that has exactly the same characteristics, especially with a gunmetal body?

** First Update** My first thought before I checked out pics of a No.6 was that it was a No.17, but a very knowledgeable dealer tells me the no.17 was always coffin-sided. Can anyone help me out with confirming the i.d of this plane please? It has a regular Norris stamp on the gunmetal lever cap.

**Second Update** This may even be a plane made by the previous owner, whom I have found out used to be a toolmaker. Could it be that he has created such a wonderful plane and added the Norris cap? The build quality is absolutely amazing and the woodwork French polished. After consulting several very well-known dealers, two have said it’s probably made by Norris as a ‘special’ and one thinks the owner made it himself.
The lack of a screw under the handle makes me wonder, but also the edges to the metalwork are just so crisp. It doesn’t ‘feel’ like a Norris in the hand, it feels better, to be honest!

Planes Practical techniques Record

Home made shooting jig

Another craftsman-made design from Colin Sullivan, this time a nice modification that makes a standard S/S plane into a much more useable shooting plane, much like the Record T5, but perhaps with a better handle. Colin writes:

The main weakness with an ordinary shoot board is the way the plane can easily be tipped over and spoil the stop. To overcome this I have given the plane a sliding track section it fits into. Now the plane can be pulled and pushed with out the need to hold it up against the work. The sliding section is 3mm thick ply profiled to fit the plane and fixed to another piece of the same ply underneath. The lower piece of ply runs in two guides. The plane I use is a no.6.5 which is quite heavy giving the momentum required. To make things easier I have added a vertical handle to the plane, which is simply attached by a peg that fits in the curve of the plane handle. Another refinement would be to make the guide runner thick enough to take a couple of thin magnets to hold down the plane even more securely. This jig is not only simple to make but easy to use and more reliable than the normal one. The Tools and Trades History Society has a wonderful tool Museum at Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre where I can demonstrate various tools and jigs I have made. I have a working drawing of this jig I will pass onto any one who wants to make one.

Planes Practical techniques Tool Makers

Home Made Tools

I’ve bought and sold hundreds and hundreds of vintage woodworking tools over the years (my shop will be online very soon, just sorting out Paypal integration), and I’ve seen many craftsman-made tools in that time. Most usually they are made by pattern makers who perhaps didn’t want to pay good money for a tool they could make themselves, or sometimes they are just made by a craftsman who wants the challenge of making the tool as good as the original.
Colin Sullivan got in touch with me and sent these pictures over. I’m keen to see more examples of tools made by individuals. The work on this particular plane is as good as any I’ve seen.
Copy and words below from Colin Sullivan

I have been interested in Mitre planes and bevel up planes for years and when I injured my left hand index finger I was worried I would not be able to make things. During the few days I had off from work I decided to start making the plane shown.
It is exactly the same size as a Stanley no9 block plane with a few of my own ideas added including S/Steel. The blade angle is 22 deg. with the bevel up as the no9. The cap iron is from a Stanley no.4 transitional plane – because it is a bit longer than a normal one and almost the length of the no.9. The front infill knob is screwed to the adjustable part of the sole to allow a little adjustment to the mouth. The blade adjustment is controlled by turning the rear knob which works well. This proved so sucessful that I felt I could make a more accurate copy of the no9, and this is shown in the 3 pictures below.
I made this copy of a Stanley no.9 Cabinet makers Block Plane a few years ago. A friend had an original one that I carefully dimensioned and made a working drawing. I am a collector of American Stanley tools and this plane is top of my list for desirability, but because they fetch so much in auctions I decided the only way I would get one was to make it! When I was in business making spiral stairs we used stainless steel a lot on balustrades and stringers etc. It is the perfect material for making some tools because there is no chance of it rusting, it is not as difficult to work as people make out if you approach in the right way.
I cut out all the parts for this plane with the angle grinder using the new very thin cutting blades, you can buy-they are amazingly efficient and only 1mm or so thick. The box part is made up from 3mm s/s plate- welded together round a wooden block and cleaned up with the angle grinder and 120 grit soft discs. The cap iron is made from 10mm plate and is not bent but straight- tapered of at one end and longer than the standard ones. The blade is 3mm thick form Clifton Tools and holds an edge well, the mouth is adjustable and in fact made that part of the plane easier to make. The adjusting wheel I turned on my old lathe using a 8mm Allen grub screw for the thread which is right hand on these planes. The blade adjusting lever is the most difficult bit to make and get working properly.
The bracket that houses the adjuster and rosewood handle is made from angle s/s with a plate welded to it where it meets the plane, just the same as the Stanley. The polished finish was done with flap wheels in the pillar drill after the angle grinder, and the sole lapped on plate glass with fine sand, from a children’s toy I seem to remember. The bolts are all Allen type because it is a new tool and I have not tried to pretend other wise. It works very well and well worth the time it took to make much admired by every one I show.
I do have the drawings still if any one fancies having a go I can pass them on. This was my first attempt at making a low angle block plane in S/S, it works well.

If you would like to contact Colin with questions about his planes, or if you would like to get drawings, please mail

Crown Plane Leon Robbins Panel Raising Plane Planes Travishers

Leon Robbins – Planemaker

Should have bid on them…should have bid on them…

A wonderful pair of panel raising planes from Leon Robbins recently surfaced on eBay. I got scared off when they went north of my own set figure, but in retrospect they were still a fantastic acquisition at the final sale price of $610.

Leon Robbins was one of those ‘one-of-a-kind’ planemakers who did things his own way. He was most well-known by his association with Michael Dunbar and his windsor chair making class at The Windsor Institute. Leon passed away in November 2007, but a lot of his planes are still in circulation and can be purchased from Crown Planes, the company Leon set up when he started making planes. (His own planes carry a crown stamp, but the ‘N.E Toolworks’ stamp on these planes was the retailer I believe. Leon supplied planes for N.E. Toolworks who added their own stamp).

When Leon died, Michael Dunbar penned a fitting tribute to the man on his blog, which is well worth a read, as it gives an insight into the craftsman and the way he worked.