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Molding Planes

Before the days of store bought moldings and Stanley combination planes, every cabinetmaker and joiner had a chest full of molding planes. For the most part these planes are almost identical, however, there are subtle but important differences. More on the differences between cabinetmaker's and joiner's molding planes. Joiner's planes are much more common to find, because far more people were employed building houses than were employed building furniture by hand. Both types of planes can still be used on today's projects. By our estimation, you haven't lived, until you have struck a molding with an original molding plane that once sung in the shop of a 19th Century master. 18th Century molding planes are quite scarce and should be left to collectors. We hope that the collection presented here will offer something for everyone.

A word on sharpening and using molding planes.

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

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American Molding Planes

J. Lord

MP200559 J. Lord A 5/8" wide astragal with Grecian. This plane has the scarce larger mark. Lord worked in Watertown NY in the first half of the 19th Century. This plane is in lovely untouched condition except that somebody has carelessly take a stroke with a plane off of the bottom of the wedgie on each side to compensate for the shrinkage of the body. I would smooth out what he did and try and recolor it a bit. Just a drop of linseed oil would be enough to give it a bit of color. Otherwise a fantastic plane. G++ Sold

J. King, N. York

MP200566 J. King, N. York A 5/8" cove plane in simply wonderful condition. It has been properly waxed by a collector. Fine- $69


MP200542 Unmarked A 1" wide reverse ogee. Nice as found condition. Clearly very little used. G++ $69

Atkinson, Baltimore Atkinson, Baltimore Atkinson, Baltimore Atkinson, Baltimore

MP20052 Atkinson, Baltimore This is a matching group of 11 hollows & rounds that were once part of a set of 18. What we now hare are 4 pairs and 3 loose planes. The pairs are nuumbers 10, 12, 14, & 16. Also present are #2 & 6 hollows and #18 round. They are not skewed. The planes are all as found and a bit dirty but show were never used much. They should clean to at least G++ $299

Craftsman Made Craftsman Made Craftsman Made Craftsman Made

MP200512 Craftsman Made This is a matching group of 11 hollows and rounds, all made by the samer person, but not marked. Probably made by a cabinetmaker for his own use. They are made from beech and maple, although one looks like it could be birch. The sizes are marked on the rear. There are pairs 6, 8, 10, 12, & 18, and one loose #14 hollow. The 12 pair is not numbered for some reason. All are in as found condition needing a light cleaning. The wedge finial is sheared off of the #10 hollow. These will cean up beautifully. G++ $285

T. Goldsmith

MP200457 T. Goldsmith A Number 15 hollow. It has been cleaned and waxed by a collector. There is some checking on the front. A nice early 19th Century Philadelphia plane. G+ $36

D.R. Barton, Rochester, NY D.R. Barton, Rochester, NY

MP20037 D.R. Barton, Rochester, NY A deep reverse ogee with bevel, it cuts a square profile, meaning that it is 3/4" wide and 3/4" deep. There is one chip in the front edge of the profile where the plane hit a metal bench dog, and another split in the fence at the front, from the same cause. Otherwise quite nice as found conditon. I strongly recommend against using metal bench dogs. Make your own out of wood. They work great and they won't cause the kind of damage that metal ones will if you screw up and hit them. G+ $59

T.J. McMaster & Co.

MP19111 T.J. McMaster & Co. A 1/2" Grecian with fillet made from applewood. The New York state prison makers occassionally used applewood. The profile is great, very high for a very pronounced Grecian in a hard to find narrow size. The applewwood has a lovely color, very similar to cherry. G+ $85

Ohio Tool Co.

MP190170 Ohio Tool Co. A number 62 1/4 fenced reverse ogee in 7/8" size. Nice untouched condition all it needs is a gentle cleaning with wax and a rag. The mark is the desirable bench plane logo mark. G+ $65

S.E. Jones S.E. Jones

MP181132 S.E. Jones A 1" wide ogee by a scarce early American maker. Samuel E. Jones was known to be working in Lansingburgh New York in 1787. The plane is just under 10 inches long with wide flat chamfers and a wedge finial reminiscent of Thomas Grant. The boxing is lignum and it does have some damage. This is a maker plane to find and an interesting plane in its own right. G+ $299

Jo. Fuller, Providence Jo. Fuller, Providence Jo. Fuller, Providence

MP180359 Jo. Fuller, Providence A Jo Fuller 3/4" ogee molding plane with all of the classic features, 10 inches long, birch, relieved wedge, and stop flutes. This is the only Fuller plane that I have seen which incorporates a knot in the wood, which is visible on the right side and gives the left side some interesting grain. The size is marked 6/8 on the back, but that is a bit faint. There is an ink stain on the lower right edge on the front half of the plane. Great color and nice surface. The plane has been in a good collection and has been lightly and properly cleaned. I really like this plane and higly recommend it. G+ $365

Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked

MP180261 Unmarked A classic 18th century American cornice plane cutting a 3 1/8" wide ogee with reversee ogeen and fillet, the classic cornice molding of the period. The offset tote is in birch, with the grain running vertically, as with many New England makers of the period, Sleeper and Tower coming to mind immediately. The body is beech. The plane has some kind of light finish on it that a collector applied. If it bothers you it could probably be removed with denatured alcohol. This is a great collector's piece that could also be a great user, although you might need to use an apprenice pulling the rope on the pull bar since this would not be an easy profile to cut by just pushing the plane. G+ $345

Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked

MP180241 Unmarked This is a massive and magnificent 18th Century American ogee cornice plane. The hand-forged iron is 4 3/4" wide and there is an obligatory rope hole in the front for an apprentice or two to be pulling. This is a professionally made plane. If I don't feel that a plane is professionally made, I listed it as Craftsman Made rather than as Unmarked. It is in wonderful as found condition. If this was a signed plane of this age it would be worth in the thousands. The tote is in perfect condition, with a great early look, but it is loose. It should be glued back with hide glue. This is a connoisseur grade plane. G++ $399

D. Copeland

MP160150 D. Copeland This plane has a very unusual profile, a very deep cove. I have seen similar very ceep Grecians, so this is presumably the converse. It does seem to me that the depth stop has been planed off. The patina matches, so it would have been done when the plane was near new, but the wood is rougher there than the finish that hte maker would have left, and the spring line shows where the depth stop shoud have been. I don't think that the profile itself is modified and this is still a very ususual plane. It does appear to have been "cleaned" with steel wool. G+ $55

D. Amsden, Lebanon

MP150445 D. Amsden, Lebanon This plane cuts a 5/8" astragal with cove. It bears the second Amsden mark. Both Amsden marks are very scarce, if not rare, in my experience. This plane is in wonderful original condition except that the blade has been stropped, clearly by a recent owner who thought that he might use it, but it shows no sign of any use in the last 100 years. A very hard to find New Hampshire maker and a very desirable profile, all in connoisseur condition G++ $299

Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked

MP140429 Unmarked This is a very early New England cornice plane, in the earliest style that one sees for American planes. This plane could easily pass for a Francis Nicholson plane. It is of that period and style, but for a small fraction of the cost of a signed example. The profile is a 2 3/4" ogee/reverse ogee, a furniture size molding that was very likely a cabinetmaker's plane long before the American Revolution. It has the classic round topped wedge, with a round topped iron that is not marked and was probably sourced locally. The tote is offset all the way to the right, and is short and stubby in the classic early 18th Century style. There is a chip out of the right rear edge of the spur, but it is overall quite good. The base of the tote is cracked flush with the body of the plane and is held down with nail in the rear of the tote. This is a period repair. This plane is untouched and in a very nice condition for its age. One of the best early planes that I have had. I like it much better than a Nicholson that I sold for $5000 over 20 years ago. G+ $895

Ohio Tool Co

MP1304113 Ohio Tool Co A 1 1/2" reverse ogeen plane, a tricky one to use because it has no fence and uses the edge of the molding as a fence. This plane has been rubbed down smooth with steel wool, so it is glass smooth. I took of a condition grade for that. Still a great user but not collectible with this surface. Good $65

Antique Molding Plane Antique Molding Plane Antique Molding Plane

MP111210 A Cummings, Boston A rare curved hand rail molding plane. This plane is as rare as hen's teeth. The blade is by Ash, with a matching profiled cap iron by Ash. That is also a rare feature. Wonderful condition. One of 3 curved American molding planes that I bought with a collection. I have seen fewer than 8 of these in 25 years. The blade is 1 1/2" wide. The fence is plated, which may or may not be original. There is a small check on the right side at the wedge cheek, as noted in the photo. A magnificent piece. G++ $399

Antique Molding Plane

MP110241 W. Raymond A unique set of 4 molding planes, that I can only speculate on the function of. There are two curved and one straight plane, that all cut the same profile, which I think is a form of a fenced cock bead. The curved planes are fenced left and fence right, so that you could work in either direction on a curved piece. These three planes were clearly intended as a set. The fourth plane cuts a 1/2" astragal. This one has some chips from the rear where it was struck to set it. These planes have great as found patina. Here is the kicker, all four have replaced wedges, and one plane has a replaced blade. I have owned these about 20 years and I made the wedges back then. They are accurately made and colored, but no effort was made to age the wedges to they won't fool anyone. Bob Baker would have made these wedges look original, but I am no Bob Baker so I just try to make things look correct in form. The replaced blade fits properly and has been ground to profile, but you can see that it is freshly ground compared to the other 3. These planes are so rare that I can overlook there shortcomings. They are true 18th Century American planes, and probably cabinetmaker's planes at that. G+ $295

Antique Molding Plane

MP80616 A. Smith, Rehoboth This is a classic New England crown molder cutting the ever popular ogee with fillet and reverse ogee. It is birch with a fantastic look. It is uncleaned with very nice surface. There are two bits of bad news. The tote is a proper replacement that is very well done. Not Bob Baker quality, but a really good second place. The other issue is that some utter nincompoop has used the front of the plane to set a saw. What were they thinking? Still, this is great 18th Century New England crown molder at a fraction of the price of what it would be without any complaints. G+ $1499

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British Molding Planes

Nelson, York

MP200545 Nelson, York A cove with ovolo sash that is configured in the 18th Century way where it is oriented 90 degees from how it is on a 19th Century plane. This profile is used for sash and for surrounding a raised plane molding. I am personally using a similar plane now on my own project. The blade on this plane looks like it was sharpened by a hack and will need some attention to get it back to a high standard. The plane is as found and has some tool box rash. A collector did stick a sticker on the sider that I left on, but can easily be removed. G+ $59


MP200568 Unmarked A scarce and desirable 1/2' reverse ogee. This is a typical profile for the waist molding on a chest on chest. They are not easy to use because of the fence being part of the profile, but I have one that I use and the do the job. This one is as found and has some light tool box rash. I have had this plane for abuot 25 years, but it is a duplicate and as I am getting low on stock I pulled it out of the collection. It rates a strong G+ $75

Nic Lee Nic Lee

MP200533 Nic Lee An 18th Century 3/8" ovolo by a very scarce maker. Nicholson Lee is believed to have worked from 1767 - 1777 in LIverpool. The iron is signed by Newbould and the plane is 9 5/8" long. I did not call the profile a square ovolo because it is not quite square. The mark is the first mark in Jane Rees' new edition of British Planemakers. The plane has been waxed by a collector and probably lightly rubbed with steel wool. G+ $179


MP200540 Porter A 7/8" wide deep reverse ogee, perfect for forming part of a cornice molding. The plane is in nice as found condition. With a light cleaning with wax and a soft rag the plane should rate G++ Sold


MP200468 Mixed Two small rounds, one by R. Clarke of Exeter and the other by S. Pearce. Both of these are tool merchants. This pair is a great example of how the same size plane varied by makers. Both of these planes are #2 size. The smaller one has a 5/32" wide blade. The wider has a blade that is nearly double the width at a fat 1/4". A great working pair at less than $30 each. G+ $59

Madox Madox

MP190319 Madox A right handed snipe bill that has been slightly overcleaned with steel wool. There is a light curve to the body and this plane will not work properly without some fiddling. G+ $45

John Green John Green John Green

MP181047 John Green An extremely complex molder that I will not even try to describe. The closeup of the sole should explain it. The profile is 1 1/16" wide with no spring. This profile is not unknown to collectors, but its purpose has not been explained in a way that I accept. Collectors call it a picture frame molding, but I haven't seen any picture frames with this molding. The plane is straight and usable, but the blade is pitted overall and will require a considerable amount of work by a skilled person to make it usable. I consider this to really be a collector's piece, although it certainly could be gotten working by the right person. This plane is from my personal collection. G+ $265

Sash Template Sash Template

MP180841 Sash Template This is the largest sash template that I have ever seen by far. It is for a giant lamb's tongue sash like might be used in a Victorian church. The molding would be about 2" wide to the glass. It is in wonderful as found condition with an attractive rich patina. Fine $65

Unmarked Unmarked

MP151089 Unmarked A matched pair of miniature compassed hollows and Rounds in what I believe to be satinwood. They are 3/8" wide and 3 1/2" long overall. The soles are gently compassed. The quality is certainly of the best professional standards, but I suspect that W.W. Miller, the owner who marked them probably also made them. They are in lovey as found condition, as if they were just lifted from a drawer in a cabinetmaker's chest. For the connoisseur. G++ $175

W. Greenslade, Bristol

MP151021 W. Greenslade, Bristol A very unusual #4 round that is only 7 inches long. The only one of its kind that I have seen. I have seen much smaller hollows and rounds, but not one in this intermediary size. G++ $59

Unmarked Unmarked

MP150119 Unmarked A matched pair of compassed miniature hollows and rounds. I believe them to be made from satinwood. They have a lovely color and patina, as well as a great untouched surface. The planes are 1/2" wide, and so marked, and 4 3/4" long. They appear to be professionally made in every respect. For the connoisseur. Fine- $189

C. Nurse & Co.

MP140332 C. Nurse & Co. A scarce miniature #6 compassed round. Signed miniatures are scarce and this one is particularly appealing. There is some tear-out on the right side which may be the result of having the side shaved in its original period of use or it may be sloppiness from the factory. Otherwise it is superb. G++ $75

Mutter Mutter

MP1305102 Mutter This is the best early set of hollows and rounds that I have ever had. It is 31 of an original set of 36 cabinetmaker's hollows and rounds, all in lovely original condition. The missing planes are, 5H, 12H, 15R, 17H, 18R. These 31 planes have been together since the birth of this nation, and remained in remarkably nice condition throughout that period. I don't see many late 19th Century planes that are this nice, let alone 18th Century. For the connoisseur. G++ - Fine+ $2895

Arthington, Manchester

MP130245 Arthington, Manchester Cuts a 1 1/2" wide profile that I am not sure how to name, but one could call it an enlongated Taurus. As found with a dark and dirty surface. G+ $55

Antique Molding Plane

MP100553 Higgs An exceptionally clean as found stair rail plane with a great round top iron by Pearson. From a good London collection. Fine- $119

Antique Tool Antique Tool

MP90253 Craftsman Made This is a tiny compassed rebate plane, measuring only 2 inches long and 5/8" wide. It is as found and was clearly for final delicate fitting work. Most of the very small planes like this that I see are either clearly fakes, or so overcleaned that I can't tell for sure if they are fakes or not. This one is absolutely guaranteed to be genuine. G+ $49

Antique Tool

MP61176 Hathersich This is a scarce English handled stick are rebate sash plane. It cuts a lambs tongue sash and the rebate, quite strangely, is on a slope. The profile is just over 2" wide. Clearly for some type of grand architectural sash. Wonderful untouched patina. The irons have very light pitting but would be fine to use if you so desired. The tote is quite upright and a bit unusual.

Update: A customer has sent these comments, "You commented on the sloping rebate cutter. I am a joiner in central Vermont and have restored many sash in the past 30 plus years and I have seen this detail in early 19th C sashes. My guess is the sloping rebate made it easier to set and glaze irregular shaped glass. The widows I have found this detail on are really well made and it is a lot more work to cope the sash bars, an extra step in an already tedious process!"

G+ $145

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