Thursday, August 20, 2009
A Tale of Two Planes
I bought these two planes on eBay, from separate sellers, about a year apart.
The first is an Ohio Tool Co. #75 one inch tongue plane. I'm not sure of the age, but judging from the particular version of the maker's mark, and the width of the bevels, I'm pretty sure it is from mid to early in 19th century. It also has a "L. PHILLIPS" owner's mark stamped in several locations.
The second plane is an H. Chapin plane. H. Chapin was the precursor to Chapin/Union Factory, which I believe dates this plane to the first half of the 19th century. I'm not sure how it started out, but it is now a cove plane. You can see in the picture that its sole has been modified - part of the original No. 219 stamp was planed off. When I got it, there were the remnants of a fence attached to the plane. I removed these bits and replaced it with a new fence. It is stamped 3/8, but the cove it cuts is closer to 1/4 of an inch.
So, you are probably wondering why I am writing about these two planes. What do they have in common? Well, they were both once owned, and presumably used, by one Jacob Myers, who stamped (branded?) his name into both planes.
Now, I'm always a bit sentimental about planes and owner's marks. I wonder who they were, and what they made with the plane. I have multiple planes with the same owner's marks, often with the same chain of owners' marks. But those planes have always come to me as a set - still together after all the years - which is amazing. But these two planes were together, probably on the east coast, got separated who knows when, and now, through random chance and the combined power of the Internet, eBay, and the U.S. Postal Service, are together again on my shelves in Alaska. I think that is pretty incredible...