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Thread: Questions about old wooden fillister plane

  1. #1
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    Questions about old wooden fillister plane

    Found this plane today. It's missing it's fence, but has a really nice depth stop adjuster.
    Stamped WH Spalding, Elmira NY
    Two questions: it has a removable strip of a different kind of wood, is this just a wear strip?
    It also looks like there is supposed to be another wedge on the right side?

    A Google search hasn't turned up any info on the company that i can find.
    Any help getting it back into a user is appreciated.
    https://i.imgur.com/ORTZSYy.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/R0XW2N8.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/73k1yGT.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Jaze Derr; 11-14-2017 at 7:36 PM.
    I wear my mind on my sleeve; I have a history of losing my shirt! -BNL
    A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

  2. #2
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    Mr. Spalding was it's owner. More than likely this was made by Auburn Tool Co. of Auburn NY. Wood piece is also known as "Boxing" and was replaced when it worn done.

    IF there was a wedge on the other side, it would be to cut dados with. The wedge by the depth stop is for a nicker, to use when going across the grain.

  3. #3
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    I'm assuming your referring to the wedge shaped opening on the right side of the plane. I think that is the escape for the shavings.

  4. #4
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    Yes, I've looked at more pictures, and now I understand
    I wear my mind on my sleeve; I have a history of losing my shirt! -BNL
    A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

  5. #5
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    Jaze; focus your search in the U.K for a decent moving fillister plane. They maintained a greater appreciation of traditional wooden bodied planes.

    Stewie;



    Last edited by Stewie Simpson; 11-15-2017 at 3:15 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Mr. Spalding was it's owner. More than likely this was made by Auburn Tool Co. of Auburn NY.
    Swing and a miss

    W.H. Spalding was an Elmira, NY planemaker.

    wh-spalding.jpg

  7. #7
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    Not sure what Stewart means by his previous comment. There is a 400+ page book called "A Guide to American Wooden Planes" written by Emil and Martyl Pollak. In the edition I have, it lists WH Spalding as a planemaker operating out of Elmira, NY from 1822-1897. So, it is in fact not an owner stamp, but of the maker (sorry Steven) The listing goes on to say that the 1850 census reported him as employing 2 men.

    You need not fly to Sheffield as Stewart suggests to find a decent moving fillister plane. After American whooped the British in the battle of Independence, we set about making our own planes. The 400+ page book I mention lists all of them from the 18th to 20th Century. There must have been some appreciation for that type of plane for so many to be devoted to the craft for over 200 years.

    As to the restoration of your plane, it could certainly be possible, but will be tedious. Most boxing was laid in with a locking dovetail affair so if the glue failed (like in yours), it would still be held in the plane body. Recreating that might be a challenge. You might consider resoling the plane with a piece that includes the square piece that is damaged. You'd have to remove the intricate dovetail and glue it in for the ages. But, with enough time and effort, it could be done. I mention doing it in one piece as it looks like the sole is worn, so by the time you flatten the sole, the mouth will likely be way too wide.

    If I were going to go to that sort of trouble, you might consider looking for a better example. The best examples had closed totes like a saw handle and were very comfortable to use. I own several and they work great and were all US made (sorry Stewart).

    Just a counterbalancing point to the opinions you see here.

    Happy Planing

  8. #8
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    Good for you Joe! You beat me to it. It is fun to speculate and give out bad info when a quick look in a reference book can reveal the correct answer. His father Nathaniel made planes as well and lived until 1871!
    Last edited by Pete Taran; 11-15-2017 at 12:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    When one HAS said books...and IF they are of any use. Most names I have found on the wood bodies around here, turn out the be the owner's names.....99 out of 100 times....unless you count the Stanley, Ohio, Auburn, Scioto names.....at least those also have a model number stamped/incised with the name. They also stamp the irons with their names......and logos....

  10. #10
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    He also made very good Baseball gloves......

  11. #11
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    Thank you! That is very interesting info. The boxing doesn't have a dovetail, just some straight grooves. It's not loose; the fit is very good. I might just clean it up and reglue, and see what sort of work I can get it to do.
    I wear my mind on my sleeve; I have a history of losing my shirt! -BNL
    A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

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