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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

John Bell, Philada John Bell, Philada John Bell, Philada

MP24044 John Bell, Philada A super, possibly unused, 3/4" Grecian ogee with bevel. This is a common profile, but not in this narrow size. The "Wm Greaves & Sons" iron is still sharp, and it hasn't been touched. This plane was lifted from an old tool chest and is as clean and untouched as they come. The owner's mark is G. W. Nitterhouse. That is specific enough that he can probably be identified. For the connoisseur. Fine Sold

Geo. Burnham Jr. Amherst, Mass Geo. Burnham Jr. Amherst, Mass Geo. Burnham Jr. Amherst, Mass Geo. Burnham Jr. Amherst, Mass

MP24045 Geo. Burnham Jr. Amherst, Mass A scarce self-regulating screw arm sash plane. Please see our FAQs for an explanation of how an self-regulating sash planes differs from a common screw arm sash plane. This plane is in crisp condition and nearly untouched. The entire plane has an old, untouched original surface, except for the front. Some idiot ploshed the front with steel wool so that it is glass smooth and waxed. One of the lock nuts is much larger than the other. The form is correct, and the patina is a perfect match. I don't know if this was just the variance of hand turning or if it was a period replacement. It has clearly been with the plane for a long time and is clearly a Burnham nut. The chances of matching threads between makers is slim. Anway, this issue with the nuts doesn't bother me, but I did lower the price none the less. The plane has been recently tuned comes with a demo piece. This is a fantastic plane. Highly recommended. Fine $129

Butler, Philada Butler, Philada

MP240416 Butler, Philada A 7/8" wide Grecian with astrgal with lignum boxing. The plane is in great condition. It does have some kind of a finish on it, that was probably put on by a collector. It doesn't look bad and if it bothers you would probably rub off with alcohol. This is a great plane for the connoisseur. Fine- $89

Unmarked Unmarked

MP24032 Unmarked A 1/2" square ovolo with flat heavy 18th Century style chamfers. The plane is not marked but it is clearly professionally made. There is a big hang hole in the back or I would have graded it higher. It is a nice, lightly used plane. I put it in the American section but I am really not sure. If it turned out to be British I would not be shocked. G+ $55

E. Clark, Middleboro E. Clark, Middleboro E. Clark, Middleboro

MP24036 E. Clark, Middleboro A 3/4" wide quired ogee. Elisha Clark was "Minute Man" and responded to the historic alarm of April 19th, 1775. The plane is birich and measures 9 3/4" long. It is his earlier style wedge. The plane has fantastic color. It has been waxed by a collector, but otherwise nothing has been done to it. The only complaint that I can make is that it is not a crisp mark, but it is certainly totally legible. If you care about these things, i tis a 4 star mark. I find it more exciting that it was made by a Revolutionary War soldier. From my personal collection. G++ $895

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

MP240311 A. Smith, Rehoboth A 3/4" bolection in lovely as found condition. You can still see the layout lines on the front, telling us that it was not cut with a mother plane. It is beech with flat chamfers and a relieved wedge, but no extra flutes. In other words a middle period plane. There is a chip in the quirk, as seen in the photo of the sole, or it would rate higher. Some fool got some pencil on the mark when trying to trace the mark. I rubbed a bit off with an eraser but I didn't want to be too aggressive with it. This is a nice one. G+ $199

W. Raymond W. Raymond

MP24015 W. Raymond A 3/4" ogee in nice crisp condition. There is one spot of roughness on the right side that I really can't explain. The plane would have rated fine otherwise. Really a great plane with wide flat chamfers that give it a great early look. G++ $159

T.J. McMaster & Co. Auburn, NY T.J. McMaster & Co. Auburn, NY

MP240121 T.J. McMaster & Co. Auburn, NY A crisp as found 1 1/8" wide astragal with cove. It has the fancy eagle mark that everyone loves, including myself. The iron is marked "W. Butcher". Wonderful. G++ $109

Jo. Wilbur Jo. Wilbur Jo. Wilbur

MP240128 Jo. Wilbur A 1/2" bead plane in birch that measures 9 7/8" overall. The plane has a very untouched look about it. The rear edge where the palm goes has been rounded off for the comfort of the user. The sole shows honest wear. Joshua Wilbur's father was a Loyalist and was imprisoned duing the Revolutionary War for refusing to fight, but Joshua fought with the Rhode Island militia during the war. This plane was previously sold by Jim Bode Tools as his EXCELSIOR 85430. G++ $989

R. Eastburn R. Eastburn

MP231145 R. Eastburn A nice as found 1/8" bead. This is a real cabinetmaker's bead with a nice sharp quirk. Eastburn is a relatively early New Jersey maker and since these small beads got used up, I rarely see nice ones this early. G++ $55

Kennedy & White, N. York Kennedy & White, N. York

MP231122 Kennedy & White, N. York A 3/4" astragal with cove. This plane has been properly waxed by a collector and has lovely color. There is a bit of wear on the wedge finial but it is otherwise quite crisp. G++ $89

L. Kennedy L. Kennedy L. Kennedy

MP230816 L. Kennedy A superb 3/4" quirked ogee with astragal. This is a profle that doesn't come up often in these very narrow sizes. It is very crisp and untouched. There is one tiny chip off of the profile on the front edge, which is why I gave it the minus. For the connoisseur. Fine- $119

E. W. Pennell, 90 Callowhill St. Philada E. W. Pennell, 90 Callowhill St. Philada

MP230230 E. W. Pennell, 90 Callowhill St. Philada A very unusual 8" long center bead. It cuts a 5/16" center bead. There are no added holes in this plane from tacking on fences. It is in nice as found condition. Short Philadephia molding planes just don't show up. I can't recall seeing another one in years. G+ $89

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++ $199

Arrowmammett Works, Middletown Arrowmammett Works, Middletown Arrowmammett Works, Middletown

MP210796 Arrowmammett Works, Middletown A 1 3/4" wide Grecian with square. Not a common profile and not to be confused with the common Grecian ogee with bevel. It has an extension tacked on to the fence. It has a rather faded look to it now, but with a few drops of linseed oil rubbed in this plane will look fantastic. G+ $65

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

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

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British Molding Planes

J. Buck, 124 Newgate St. London J. Buck, 124 Newgate St. London

MP240418 J. Buck, 124 Newgate St. London A extremely desireable and hard to find 1/4" square ovolo. A really nice honest example. G+ Sold

John Moseley & Son, 63 New Oxford St.  London, WC John Moseley & Son, 63 New Oxford St.  London, WC

MP240410 John Moseley & Son, 63 New Oxford St. London, WC A very unusual special purpose molding plane. I don't know what this molding was used for. The profile is 1 1/2" wide. The plane is in lovely original condition. Fine Sold

Moseley & Son, London Moseley & Son, London

MP240320 Moseley & Son, London A very scarce matching pair of miniature hollows & rounds. They measure 4" overall. They are marked 18 on the rear, but these are much more narrow than full size 18 planes, The profile is 3/4" wide. I have had these for years and I can tell you that they just don't come up for sale. Fine $149

Griffiths, Norwich Griffiths, Norwich Griffiths, Norwich Griffiths, Norwich

MP24029 Griffiths, Norwich A matching pair of miniature Number 12 Hollows & Rounds. The measure 2 7/8" long. They are skew iron and the working profile is about 15/16" wide. They seem to be made from some kind of dense fruitwood, possibly pear. They could easily be mistaken for boxwood but I don't believe that they are boxwood. Signed miniatures are scarce, particularly matched pairs like this. Fine- $145

Drury, N.B. St. John Drury, N.B. St. John

MP231132 Drury, N.B. St. John A 1/4" bead plane by a scarce Canadian maker. It is also marked by the retailer, "T.L. Cleary, St. John, N.B." . The first of either of these marks that I have seen. It is in as found condition and was clearly used but not abused. G+ $49

Jas Lumsden, 20 South Lindsey St, Dundee Jas Lumsden, 20 South Lindsey St, Dundee

MP22081 Jas Lumsden, 20 South Lindsey St, Dundee A 3/4" cove plane that is made in a very unusual way. The blade is shifted very far forward of where it would normally be positioned. It should function in the same way, so I don't get why they would do this. The plane is in honest untouched condition. G+ $55

H. Olsen, 11 Vognmagergade 11 H. Olsen, 11 Vognmagergade 11 H. Olsen, 11 Vognmagergade 11

MP220712 H. Olsen, 11 Vognmagergade 11 This is a most unusual, and beautifully made, sash coping plane from Copenhagen, Denmark. I bought it from a European collector who told me that in his entire collecting career he has only seen one other example. The plane is also marked "! 1/2" for the size, probably in centimeters. At first glance it looks like a veneer saw. The beech wood has a lovely honey color and has been waxed by the collector. The metal parts have a pleasing light patina, but if you look closely you can see that they were hit with a fine wire brush. No real damage was done as it was a soft brush, but it is still a really bad thing to do to a tool and should be prosecuted. G++ $195

Moseley & Son, London Moseley & Son, London

MP22055 Moseley & Son, London A 1" Grecian ogee with bevel. Interestingly, the plane is also marked with a Ward, W&P mark that I have not seen before, but I assume was used to mark tools that went through their retail store. The plane has been lightly cleaned by a collector. The fence is rather shallow. I don't know why, but if might be a little tricky to use without putting on a fence extension. This is no big deal. I see fence extensions on planes all the time. G+ $55

Hields, Nottingham Hields, Nottingham

MP22022 Hields, Nottingham A matching pair of 5/8" ovolo sash planes in really crisp as found condition. These literally came out of an old tool chest about 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, the #1 plane has a warp at the cut out for the mouth. They have been together all their lives, but yet one is straight and the other is not. Strange. They are still a wonderful pair. Fine $69

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 $59

Hathersich Hathersich

MP221127 Hathersich This is a 5/8" cove with ovolo sash plane. The boxing is warped and pulling up, and it has the wrong blade. The body and wedge are in lovely condition. Free to the first person who orders it and spends at least $200 on old tools. G++ Sold

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

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

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

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European & Other Molding Planes

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