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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

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American Molding Planes

Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked Unmarked

MP2011104 Unmarked A classic early 19th Century Pennsylvania cornice plane that cuts a 2 5/8" wide ogee. It has a round topped iron by Newbould, but the mark was canted when struck and is not very clear. The chamfering on the wedge is very attractive and screams Eastern Pennsylvania. Unhandle cornice planes like this are uncommon, but the only signed examples that I have seen are all from Pennsylvania. Somebody has added a rudimentary handle to this plane. The fence is screwed on but most likely original. The fence has an old crack where it hit a bench dog or some other similar mishap. This is a really nice plane that cuts a cabinetmaker's size cornice molding. G+ Sold

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


Ohio Tool Co

MP2011117 Ohio Tool Co A crisp as found 7/8" bolection plane. It is marked 89 on the back which I presume was the catalog number. Fine- Sold

Casey, Kitchel, & Co. Auburn, NY

MP2011118 Casey, Kitchel, & Co. Auburn, NY A 1/2" bead that is fully boxed with an applewood body. The plane has nice color and is very attractive, but it is not straight and would need a bit of fiddling if you wanted to make a user out of it. G++ $19

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

L. Kennedy

MP201180 L. Kennedy A suberb 5/8" wide astragal with quirked ogee. This plane looks like it just came out of a tool chest. Clean untouched condition and really crisp. And it is a great profile in a hard to find narrow size. Fine $99

D. Long D. Long

MP201115 D. Long A 1/8" bead fully boxed in lignum. Respectfully waxed by a collector but otherwise in untouched condition. I really like this one. Fine- $69

John Bell, AGT, Philada

MP201121 John Bell, AGT, Philada A matched pair of cove and thumbnail planes. I assume that these were meant to be table planes, but they might just be a matching pair of opposite profiles. They cut about a 9/16" wide profile, which would work fine for a rule joint on stocke that is about 13/16" or so. The planes have a medium patina but they look unused to me. There is some light checking on the ends. G++ $139

Ohio Tool Co. Columbus

MP201128 Ohio Tool Co. Columbus A desirable 1/2" reverse ogee. Not an easy profile to cut, but often used on base and waste moldings for case furniture. G++ Sold

Edward Carter, Troy, NY

MP201068 Edward Carter, Troy, NY This plane cuts a 5/8" reverse ogee. Since reverse ogees are normally very hard to use, some makers made a fenced version that worked from the edge rather than the top of the board. These are much easier to use. If you want a reverse ogee to use, this style is a much better choice for most people. The plane has been waxed by a collector and is in lovely condition. G++ $69

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

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 rare 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 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+ $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 off a condition grade for that. Still a great user but not collectible with this surface. Good $39

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++ $299

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

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

Middleton & Dyson

MP2011120 Middleton & Dyson A scarce and desirable late 18th Century 1/4" square ovolo. The small square ovolo is an essential profile for doing 18th Century cabinetmaking. This plane is from a good collection and has been responsibly cleaned. Fine- Sold

Willmore Willmore

MP2011124 Willmore A scarce combination 1/2" bead and reeding plane. WIth the removable bottom installed, the plane cuts beads. With the piece removed, it becomes a bead with follow style reeding plane. In case you are not familiar with this form, the plane has too beads, one that cuts and one that rides on the last bead and acts as a guide. Used but well cared for condition, with a pleasing rich patina. G+ Sold

Unmarked Unmarked

MP2011111 Unmarked A small quirked ogee that would have had a removable fillet. The fillet is missing now. With the fillet it cuts a 3/8" quirked ogee and without it a 1/2" ogee. I always say that it is better to make your own fillet and put it on than to try and get one off. The old screws invariably break off in at least one hole. G++ $65

G. Davis

MP2011115 G. Davis A nice 7/8" wide astragal with Grecian. Nice clean as found condition, it rates a strong G+ $59

Darby & Cox

MP2011107 Darby & Cox A 1 1/8" wide quirked ogee. The plane dates to the last part of the 18th Century and the wedge has a form very reminiscent of John Sleeper. The body is 9 5/16" long. Nicely waxed by a responsible collector. G++ $69


MP2011101 Unmarked This plane cuts a square ovolo that is just over 3/8" wide. These small square ovolos are really useful and have become hard to find. This plane is nicely made but unsigned. I am not sure if it is cabinetmaker made or planemaker made but I am leaning towards cabinetmaker made. It is 7 1/2" long and other subtle aesthetic features are also atypcial of a planemaker. G++ Sold

King & Peach, Hull King & Peach, Hull

MP2011128 King & Peach, Hull A must unusual and important custom profile molding plane. It cuts a 1 3/4" wide profile of a bead with a second slightly larger bead, but on a 45 degree angle. Presumably to put the two beads like a chamfer on the edge of a column or similar. It is definitely a custom made maker plane not a modified plane. It is boxed between the two beads and is in superb as found condition. It is from the North of England workshop that we bought. It needs a light cleaning but will easilty clean to Fine Sold

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

Stothert, Bath

MP201187 Stothert, Bath A 1 5/8" wide Grecian ogee with bevel. As found and needing a light cleaning with wax and a rag, this is quite a nice plane. G++ $69

H.C. Holland, 25 Flacon Road, Clapham Junction

MP201189 H.C. Holland, 25 Falcon Road, Clapham Junction A scarce and highly desirable 5/16" ogee. It is marked 1/4, but I measure it as 5/16". It is in crisp and nearly unused condition. There are two small dings in the top of the wedge finial that gave it the minus. This is a superb plane for the connoisseur. Fine- Sold


MP201197 Unmarked A 5/8" wide cove and ovolo sash plane. I often recommend this profile for beginners because it is easy to use but yields an attractive profile that can be used for various applications. This plane has been waxed and is in nice condition. G+ Sold

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

I Birch

MP201021 I Birch Edward James Birch was a mid-19th Century London maker. This plane is a fully boxed 1/8" bead. The plane is in crisp untouched condition. If you sight down the sole, there is a slight perturbation in the boxing near the rear that I don't think will impact is use. If it does, it could be scrapped a bit in that spot, but I don't see that being necessary. A nice plane in a very useful size. G++ $39


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

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

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 Antique Molding Plane 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- $99

Antique Tool

MP61176 Hathersich This is a scarce English handled stick and 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 windows 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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European & Other Molding Planes

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