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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

for British Molding Planes

for European Molding Planes

American Molding Planes

Israel White, Philada Israel White, Philada

MP210757 Israel White, Philada A superb 1/8" cabinetmaker's cock bead plane. It is fully boxed in lignum. It is also marked "N.N." for the journeyman Nathan Norton. It measures 5 7/8" overall. There is a little mouse chew in the lower left edge of the wedge. A very scarce and desirable plane for the connoisseur. G+ Sold

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

MP210764 D. R. Barton, Rochester A large 1 7/8" wide quirked ogee. The patina is a bit light, probably from being displayed where the sun hit it. A few drops of linseed oil, rubbed in, will give it better color. There is a bit of roughness on the wedge, but overall this is a nice plane. G+ Sold

Auburn Tool Co. Auburn, NY

MP210767 Auburn Tool Co. Auburn, NY A fixed stick and rebate sash plane that cuts a 1/2" ovolo sash. Crisp as found condition. G++ $45

G. Mundorf, Berlin G. Mundorf, Berlin G. Mundorf, Berlin G. Mundorf, Berlin

MP210775 G. Mundorf, Berlin A lovely screw arm sash plane by a very scarce early Pennsylvania maker. Mundor worked in western PA in the early 19th Century. The plane cuts a 1/2" ovolo sash. The nuts and arm finials have a unique style that is very pleasing to the eye. The nuts are very tight now, although they will move. I would leave them alone. There is a trick that collectors use with tight nuts, to use lock graphite to make them move more freely. I rate the body and the arms on this plane near fine, but the wedges have some battering, so I graded the plane G+ Sold

J. M. Taber J. M. Taber

MP210744 J. M. Taber A scarce 1/2" wide bead with Grecian, not to be confused with the common astragal with Grecian. This plane is in lovely untouched condition, except that the wedge finial is sheared off and gone. Interestingly , the boxing for the bead is keyed in. You see that far more oten with British planes. Really a superb plane that is worth spending the time to restore the wedge finial. Otherwise at least G++ $59

Kennedy, Hartford Kennedy, Hartford

MP2106110 Kennedy, Hartford A nice as found astragal with Grecian. It is marked 3/4", but I would say that the cut is a bit wider than that, closer to 13/16". The plane has great surface and patina, except that something splattered onto the top surface of it. I expect that this will clean off. After cleaning the plane should rate better than its current G+ $65

Thos L. Appleton, Boston

MP2106117 Thos L. Appleton, Boston A 3/8" wide reversee ogee that is fenced to cut from the edge of the board rather than from the top with a spring. It is marked 1/2", which is for the stock thickness in this case. G++ $59

I. Sleeper I. Sleeper

MP210671 I. Sleeper A fantastic skew iron 1 3/8" wide ogee. This ogee is quite deep, in fact it is square, meaning that it is as deep as it is wide. The plane is 8 3/4" long and has a classic Sleeper wedge. The blade is marked Newbould. Skew iron complex molding planes are really not common. If you want one great Sleeper plane for your collection, this would be a good one. Fine $299

Collins, Utica

MP210641 Collins, Utica A steep 3/4" wide Grecian in crisp as found condition. There are a few rat bites on the rear edge, but very minor and not at all obtrusive. Rats bite where they find salt from sweat. It could use a light cleaning with wax and a soft cloth, but it lovely just as it is. Fine- $69

T. Tileston T. Tileston

MP210614 T. Tileston An early Tileston plane that cuts a scarce and desirable 1/4" ogee. A small ogee like this is almost always British. I don't recall seeing another American one this small. The plane is untouched with a light water stain on the front. G+ $95

T. Tileston, Bofton T. Tileston, Bofton

MP21054 T. Tileston, Bofton An early Tileston plane where the s in Boston is written like an f. The plane has heavy flat chamfers and an early wedge finial. It cuts a 1 1/8" wide ogee. There is some water staining on the front. It is untouched and should clean nicely I really like this plane. G+ $119

Casey & Co. Auburn, NY

MP210438 Casey & Co. Auburn, NY A 1 1/4" quirked ogee in crisp, little used condition. It has a faded patina, that may be from too much sunlight. I have seen this in planes that were used as part of window displays. It might also be from cleaning with a solvent. A few drops of linseed oil rubbed in and it will look great. There is just the hint of a lengthwise crack starting in the wedge. If you glue it now it should be indetectable. G+ $65

William Ward, 513 8th Ave, NY William Ward, 513 8th Ave, NY

MP210143 William Ward, 513 8th Ave, NY This is a tough profile to find a 9/16" wide reverse ogee with fillet, a profile this is commonly used for furniture base moldings above ogee bracket feet. I downgraded the condition because there is some roughness around the the lower edge of the wedge finial. It also looks like a botcher tried to sharpen it so you will need to clean that up a bit. Otherwise nice untouched condition. G+ $75

I. Sleeper I. Sleeper I. Sleeper

MP201246 I. Sleeper A classic 18th Century New England molding plane. I was speaking with Malcolm Magregor recently and he told me that he was the collector who "discovered" Sleeper back in the 1970s. This plane cuts a 7/8" wide astragal with no depth stop. I have seen this profile before, but I confess that I don't quite understand its use. The plane is 9 3/4" long and in wonderul untouched condition. Fine $199

T.J. McMaster & Co, Auburn, NY

MP20126 T.J. McMaster & Co, Auburn, NY A 7/8" wide astragal with deep Grecian. The plane is marked 3/4, which seems to be the depth of cut. Sighting down the body there is some warp and if you want to use this plane it will require some fiddling, but it looks doable to me without inordinate effort, if you have experience with this. There is a hang hole in the rear and a check in the front. Nice honest as found condition. G+ $59

Bensen & Crannell, Albany

MP201218 Bensen & Crannell, Albany A 1/2" cove plane in clean as found condition. Sighting down the sole, there is a warp in this plane that will prevent it from performing well without some fiddling. The price reflects that. Needs a light cleaning but should clean to at least G+ $30

Edward Carter, Troy

MP2011108 Edward Carter, Troy A fenced ogeen plane that works down a board from the side, rather than the top as is normally the case. Th cut width is 1 1/8". There is a small stain on the right side and the wedge is a little worn. A great user. G+ $65

I. Sleeper

MP2011126 I. Sleeper A superb as found John Sleeper 18th Century American molding plane. It cuts an unusual profile one inch wide profile, an elongaged Grecian with bevel, It is 9 7/8" long with heavy chamfers and the early Sleeper wedge that collectors want. The surface is like it was just pulled out of a tool chest. If you want just one Sleeper plane, this one could be it. For the connoisseur. Fine $279

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

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 deep 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 the 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++ $275

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+ $795

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. The body is 8 1/2" long. A magnificent piece. G++ $229

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 fenced 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 so 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 their shortcomings. They are true 18th Century American planes, and probably cabinetmaker's planes at that. G+ $295

for top of American Molding Planes

for European Molding Planes

British Molding Planes

I. Sym I. Sym

MP210761 I. Sym A scarce 1/2" cove with ovolo that was commonly used as a furniture base molding. This is a true 18th Century cabinetmakers's plane. This profile should not be confused with a bolection, which is a much more common profile. The depth stop on this plane was planed down and a new one tacked on, during the original period of use. Genuine cabinetmaker's planes are very scarce. G+ Sold

Wilcock, Manchester Wilcock, Manchester

MP210419 Wilcock, Manchester A particularly nice boxwood sash shave. The fence adjusts for a range of about 5/8" to 3/4". Of course it will go larger but if the fillet gets too wide the sash will look out of proportion. This almost no wear and has a lovely boxwood patina. This is one of only two of these that I have in my collection. I figured that I can live with one. I put it aside years ago because it was just so nice. A gem for the connoisseur. G++ $145

Heathcott, Sheffield

MP210370 Heathcott, Sheffield A most useful small ogee, of about 7/16". It has an old extension to the fence. These make it easier to use and I would leave it alone. Properly waxed by a collector. G+ Sold

Chapple, late Wilcock, Manchester

MP210343 Chapple, late Wilcock, Manchester A 5/8" cove plane made from a piece of beech with a light tiger figure. Fantastic original surface. There are 4 small tack holes on the depth stop from an applied stop that I removed and a few corners are dinged. Still a fantatic plane for the connoisseur. Fine- $59

King & Co. Hull

MP210281 King & Co. Hull An astragal with quirked ogee that measures about 15/16". It is dirty and as found, from the North of England worshop tools that we bought. It has some scattered woodworm holes, towards the rear on both sides. It is filthy but should clean up nicely and make a good user. It also has a rather ugly fence extension that I would remove for aesthetic reasons. G+ $49

Griffiths, Norwich Griffiths, Norwich

MP210173 Griffiths, Norwich This plane probably started life as a large round, but it has no numbers or size markings. I am pretty confident to say that the sole was modified, but to what end I am not sure. It might be to do raised panel work. The blade is just over 2 inches wide. The patina on the sole matches the rest of the plane. It is in nice condition. G++ $39

Two Hollows Two Hollows

MP210197 Two Hollows This is a lot of two hollows, both with the same owner's mark, but different maker's marks. There is a #15 marked Summers Varvill, Ebor Works, York, and the other has no number mark, but is a 13 or 14. It is marked Varvill & Son, York. G+ $45

Martin & Shaw Martin & Shaw

MP210151 Martin & Shaw A 1 1/2" wide Grecian ogee with bevel. The plane has had finish applied, although not to the sole, and it looks like it is from the original period of use. The wedge is from another plane but fits well enough to use. The side of the fence has been beveled for some unknown reason and you will need to tack on a new fence before you use it. This will make a great user plane for a very reasonable price. Good $45

Edwd Preston & Sons, B

MP210155 Edwd Preston & Sons, B'ham, Eng. An unusual 1 1/4" wide ovolo. Not a square ovolo, it is more similar to a very larege sash ovolo, but not quite the same. As found condition. G+ $59

Summers Varvill, Ebor Works, York Summers Varvill, Ebor Works, York

MP210130 Summers Varvill, Ebor Works, York A good honest as found 1/4" bead. It is just as it came to us from an old workshop. The boxing is lifting a bit, but if you get it pressed down again this will be a great user. G+ $36

Stothert Stothert

MP21018 Stothert A crisp as found quirked ogee with removable fillet. The fillet is missing. It cuts a 1" wide ogee without the fillet and 3/4" with the fillet. Making a fillet and putting it back is much easier than removing an original fillet without breaking the screws off. This plane has a particularly nice original surface. I counted 4 old insect holes that are nothing to worry about. G++ $65

G. Berry, Old Street

MP201270 G. Berry, Old Street Cuts a 1 1/8" wide profile that is similar to a bolection, but the cove is more flattened on the bottom. The blade is set a steeper pitch for hardwoods. Nice condition as properly cleaned by a collector. G++ $79

King & Co, Hull King & Co, Hull

MP2011130 King & Co, Hull This plane was a 1" astragal with quirked ogee, but somebody has planed down the quirk for some special purpose. The plane also has some worning towards the front. It is as found and needs a cleaning. G+ $25

King & Co. Hull

MP201150 King & Co. Hull A 1 3/4" wide Grecian ogee with bevel. This plane is as found, from an old workshop in the north of England. It is covered with old woodworm holes, but still seems quite sound. It should clean up nicely and make a good user. G+ $49

King & Co. Hull

MP201160 King & Co. Hull A 1 1/8" wide Grecian ogee with bevel. As found and a bit dirty. From the north of England workshop. Should clean to G++ $59

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

B. Dyson

MP210272 B. Dyson An 18th Century #13 hollow that somebody has notched into the side of it for some special purpose. It is still usable as a #13 hollow. It does have quite a bit of old worming and it is filthy. It is from the North of England workshop tools that we bought. Free to the first person who orders it and spends at least $85 on old tools. Good $0

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


MP210127 Unmarked An 1/2" bead that is as found from the old North of England workshop that we bought out. It has some old worm damage and is dark and dirty. However it should make a great user once it is cleaned up. Free to the first person who orders it and spends at least $180 on old tools. Good $0

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

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

John Green

MP210124 John Green A 3/8" slip-sided bead. The slip is removed and missing, and the wedge is broken off. Both of these things are easy to fix and then you will have a usuable 18th Century bead. Free to the first person who orders it and spends at least $200 on old tools. G- $0

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European & Other Molding Planes

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