Hand Tools Archive

Response To:
Re: guessing on uses... ()

David Weaver
Richard - did you do much using of chariot planes? they're stylish over here for collectors (i would guess due to their size making them unique next to a bunch of more common planes).

I've noticed some chariot-ish planes of more modern make (like preston) are quite valuable.

Years ago, I bought a spiers panel plane kit (not from the original company - shepherd - they had gone out of business). The owner of the kit never put the plane together and convinced me to buy the shepherd chariot plane with it. Which was a mistake as I have no machine tools and the mouth isn't actually opened on the kit. I need to poo or get off of the pot and just toss it on ebay for someone with the metalworking skills to finish the mouth.

I suspect the lack of smaller older planes is all of the above, and the explosion in number of block planes has a lot to do with being able to make one that can be closed down (The adjustable types) and made easy to use for a new apprentice on a construction site.

The point about carrying one around to look at wood sans saw or rough planing marks is a good one.

I talked to a union carpenter here about hand tools once at a wedding - he and I both did not thrive when the entire wedding became an 8 hour dance party with 90% floor participation, so we were left talking about tools. He said they are still required to buy a plane and chisels, but he couldn't remember the last time he's sharpened his chisels. perhaps a decade, and his work on site was dwindling as he moved up through the ranks.

I think their work is commercial, and a whole lot of the bits that doors are installed in are metal. REsidential customers can't afford the union hourly rates and it's sort of a political thing here about larger public jobs requiring certain rules to accommodate. Things like football stadiums and office towers, I suppose, won't have a whole lot of miters to trim. short carpet, metal, drywall and paint (and a lot of glass) is what we see. Even the furniture is generally veneered to get a uniform look , and probably to stay flat and avoid movement issues.

It lends much to what you say the work looks like these days - that is the high paying work and there's not a whole lot of "plain old wood" in any of it.

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