Hand Tools Archive
...worth a chuckle that the double iron version of the smoother brings almost twice as much.
I've had planes that look like those (the smoother shows hand cut eyes, but the jacks show eyes I've seen on a lot of marples planes that are just a half moon rotary dip).
At some point, grain orientation became questionable and I've seen one or two (had one was unused NOS) where the wood was 90 degrees off of proper orientation - which would make for a fast wearing plane sole.
For all of the plane irons that seem to be early to mid 1900s, things went soft (presumably due to the type of customer) in the laminated irons. The solid taper irons that I've used all feel like oil hardening steel on the stones, and can often be soft, too.
not a tool historian, but have had tang chisels of the same style and mark as in that catalog and they have been good and not suffered the same reduction in hardness that the irons in the wooden planes did.
With changes occurring over time, it's hard to guess which things were intentional and which weren't. A site user would appreciate an iron that's a bit softer, and someone doing cabinetmaking would probably prefer something closer to typical stanley hardness. The average plane iron that I've sharpened from that era (laminated) is well less hard than a typical stanley iron at the same time.
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- A new block plane question