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  1. #16
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    Mar 2004
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    Default

    Well I'm glad you got it, Colin, you'll be able to give it a thorough inspection & tell us if there's a maker's name somewhere under the grime and also perhaps shed some light on that funny bun, which has piqued my curiosity.

    Branded or not, you should have a decent user. P'raps even better if it isn't a Spiers or something 'collectable', you won't feel guilty putting it to work to earn its keep.
    Cheers,
    IW

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    blue mountains
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    4,032

    Default

    Also glad you got it Colin. We are now all waiting to see the pics of it cleaned up and the compulsory image of wispy thin shavings.
    Regards
    John

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    2,328

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by derekcohen View Post
    Get it! That's a Spier!!

    I would spend easily R3000 on it.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

    If Derek is correct, then you have got a bargain. If its a good copy of a Spier then you probably paid an appropriate price. Maybe I was too pessimistic, deterred by the poor photos, or I'm just a scrooge.

    We look forward to some tool .


    Cheers

    Graeme

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hobart
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    2,328

    Default Tool Alert

    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    ......OTH, nothing wrong with small rear-bun smoothers, they can be just as comfy to use as a handle. I've developed a bit of a thing about them over the last year... :

    Attachment 463242


    Cheers,
    Couldn't resist reposting your photos, Ian.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    Couldn't resist reposting your photos, Ian....
    Hmm, I think it was just a drive-by boast on my part, Graeme, but I'd not long finished the one in front, & finally,after something like 15 or more dovetailed infills, I got the dovetails perfect on this one. Not a speck of a pinhole or faint line between sides & sole. If nothing else, I've learnt great respect for the blokes who hammered away day after day in the Spiers & Norris workshops, producing the flawless plane bodies we see today. I wonder what they did with the ones the first-year apprentices made??

    Cheers,
    IW

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    752

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Well I'm glad you got it, Colin, you'll be able to give it a thorough inspection & tell us if there's a maker's name somewhere under the grime and also perhaps shed some light on that funny bun, which has piqued my curiosity.

    Branded or not, you should have a decent user. P'raps even better if it isn't a Spiers or something 'collectable', you won't feel guilty putting it to work to earn its keep.
    Cheers,
    When I arrived at work this morning, the security guard at the gate had a parcel for me. Itís not a Spiers, but a Mathieson, so Glasgow rather than Ayr - less than 50 miles away seems pretty close from this distance.

    Iíll need to clean the blade a bit more to get the name there, but it looks a lot like a Ward to me. The bun is definitely an after market addition - I suspect the handle broke and was replaced by the bun. At this stage Iím going to clean it up, flatten and sharpen the blade and leave the bun as is. Iíll do some research, but never having made a handle before, I donít know if I want to mess this up with my first attempt. Maybe in a few years time, or maybe the next owner can give it a go after Iím gone one day.

    Iím on my phone, so posting pictures is always a bit of a mission, but Iíll see if I can add a few.


    D63A67F1-EC33-4E80-A5FE-635479F090DA.jpg
    The name is quite small and feint, but it is readable.
    88C00CFB-5ACB-4070-BE4C-5F8B58C09BE9.jpg
    Square thread on the thumbscrew.
    D0072E1F-9A32-4FE8-9066-DEFC942CF4AD.jpg
    Pleanty of blade left.
    BB0402F5-D159-4AC8-AAEC-9C7B2AD9EC98.jpg
    You can see by the rust that the chip breaker was set about 15mm back.
    9FE1CB8D-B428-41B6-B132-4E3ABA6358A6.jpg
    Not sure but it looks like a Ward blade.
    777DE1B5-8377-4196-8F4C-5C2B2793763A.jpg
    No name on the front bun.
    3BBA1428-88A9-402F-90FB-D3F0ED6882F9.jpg
    Not sure what that is not why itís there - I canít see a crack that it might be holding together.
    89CC4853-0371-4873-B34F-162C0A14B7F6.jpg
    You can see a bit of a glue line where the rear bun was added.
    4DD28A3E-2A3C-4184-84DD-708BFFFA8C11.jpg
    28E90105-056C-405E-8BA8-1E0A88481E89.jpg

  7. #22
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    Oct 2009
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    South Africa
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    752

    Default

    It looks like this is the wrong blade or chip breaker. It doesn’t fit far enough under the lever cap to come through the mouth. Unless you’ve got the chip breaker set back by about 15mm...

    I’ll spend some of my lunch hour fiddling with cleaning the blade a bit and comparing it to a Spiers setup which I know works.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    9,008

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    Colin, that is a score. Mathieson preceded Spier. One might say that a Spier was a copy of Mathieson.

    The blade and chipbreaker are often replaced somewhere along the line. They are plentiful. Just ensure the blade is correct, that is, it should be a parallel iron, and not tapered. The chipbreaker is important to close up the blade, so check it is long enough to do this.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Brisbane (western suburbs)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin62 View Post
    3BBA1428-88A9-402F-90FB-D3F0ED6882F9.jpg
    Not sure what that is not why it’s there - I can’t see a crack that it might be holding together....
    Someone's idea of a strike button?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin62 View Post
    ......
    89CC4853-0371-4873-B34F-162C0A14B7F6.jpg
    You can see a bit of a glue line where the rear bun was added.
    Hmm, the grafted in bit isn't as well-executed as it looked in the advertisement pics, Colin, but it's not a home-handyman job, either. I can vouch that it takes a lot of patience & care to get stuffing to fit perfectly on both sides, so I'm not surprised the joint isn't perfect. But I reckon you are right that it was to replace a broken tote/handle. I don't think it would be all that hard to make a new handle, but it sure will be hard to find a piece of old, dark Rosewood to look anything like the original woodwork! African Blackwood might be as close as you'll get, it's a Dalbergia, so in the right genus, but I guess it grows more than a day's walk from where you live!

    Somewhere, I've seen a quite good 'tutorial' on replacing a broken 'free' handle on a plane very similar to yours. I think it was on a UK forum. The only tricky part as I recall was removing a rivet (or was it two?) that went through the body to retain the handle. The handle had a long, square tongue that slid into a corresponding opening in the bottom of the blade-bed.

    I reckon you are wise to try to get it working as-is and worry about a full restoration in the future when you are feeling more confident about tackling it. As I said, a rear bun can be just as comfy as a handle, so it could still be an excellent tool.

    Number one priority is obviously to sort out the blade-chipbreaker conundrum. Obviously, either the blade or the cap-iron is too thick. The blade is the most likely part to have been replaced on an old plane, so I would treat it as the #1 suspect, but people do funny things, and it's equally possible the cap-iron is a ring-in, the end of it looks a bit wonky, which might indicate it's been commandeered from something else & forced into the wrong place.

    Uncle Fred the handyman would just take to the mouth with a file & open it up, but I think most readers of this part of the Forum would blanche at that thought. Just smoothing & rounding the end of the cap-iron might allow it to fit when set at a useful distance from the cutting edge, but not if either blade or cap-iron is a serious mismatch. My thought is that it can't be too far off fitting, or the blade & cap-iron wouldn't fit under the lever cap.

    I'm sure you'll figure it out in time.....
    Cheers,
    IW

  10. #25
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    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Africa
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    I have a little more to report after a quick look around over lunch. The blade and chip breaker are definitely Mathieson & Son, what I thought was Ward and something is in fact Warranted. The blade is 5mm thick (I should be using imperial, but I grabbed the metric vernier), where the one in my Spier is 4mm. The Spier blade and chip breaker fits into the Mathieson, didnít have time to try swapping the chip breakers yet. The spare blade I have is a taper, so thatíll not do (and itís 5mm at the business end and doesnít leave any clearance on the mouth. So I believe Iím looking for a 5/32Ē blade.

    Interestingly the lever has just Mathieson, no & Son, so the plane might well predate the blade I have. Iíve attached pics of the logos on the blade and chip breaker as well as a back to back shot with my Spiers, and the two blades.

  11. #26
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    Oct 2009
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    South Africa
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Someone's idea of a strike button?
    That was my first thought. It would look a lot better if it was in the middle of the bun and not off to the side though.

    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Hmm, the grafted in bit isn't as well-executed as it looked in the advertisement pics, Colin, but it's not a home-handyman job, either. I can vouch that it takes a lot of patience & care to get stuffing to fit perfectly on both sides, so I'm not surprised the joint isn't perfect. But I reckon you are right that it was to replace a broken tote/handle. I don't think it would be all that hard to make a new handle, but it sure will be hard to find a piece of old, dark Rosewood to look anything like the original woodwork! African Blackwood might be as close as you'll get, it's a Dalbergia, so in the right genus, but I guess it grows more than a day's walk from where you live!

    Somewhere, I've seen a quite good 'tutorial' on replacing a broken 'free' handle on a plane very similar to yours. I think it was on a UK forum. The only tricky part as I recall was removing a rivet (or was it two?) that went through the body to retain the handle. The handle had a long, square tongue that slid into a corresponding opening in the bottom of the blade-bed.
    I have a piece or two of African Blackwood, but it’s pretty much unobtainable these days unless someone is selling old stock. I could take my chainsaw and start heading north - I might get lucky.

    You can see, under the bun at the back, that the centre of the rosewood is a different piece to the sides. I suspect that the repaired trimmed the handle off and rounded it off, matching the curve of the sole, that would be the long, square tongue you mentioned.

  12. #27
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    Mar 2004
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    Colin, I think it's looking more & more like the blade is the ring-in. With luck, you might find a thinner blade - pity you don't have access to a machine shop where you could just grind a bit off the back of the blade 'til it fits. Actually, since blades are 'consumables', I wouldn't have too many compunctions about modifying it, & in any case your old girl is hardly in pristine 'collectible' condition...

    I've spent several minutes gazing at the biggest image I can make of the Mathiesen, to try & work out if it's a dovetailed or cast body, but it's hard to tell from the pics. I think I can see a couple of faint lines at front & back where it's hard to get a really tight fit between sides & sole (well, I find it hard), but I may be imagining too much. I was also looking for evidence of rivets holding the rear stuffing, but they are well blended if they are there! The front ones are easy to spot, but nothing stands out at the back on the side facing the camera...

    Cheers,
    IW

  13. #28
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    Oct 2009
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    South Africa
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    It’s a bit of a busy weekend here, but I’m sure we’ll be able to see more once I get a chance to take some of the rust off.

  14. #29
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    Oct 2009
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    South Africa
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Colin, I think it's looking more & more like the blade is the ring-in. With luck, you might find a thinner blade - pity you don't have access to a machine shop where you could just grind a bit off the back of the blade 'til it fits. Actually, since blades are 'consumables', I wouldn't have too many compunctions about modifying it, & in any case your old girl is hardly in pristine 'collectible' condition...

    I've spent several minutes gazing at the biggest image I can make of the Mathiesen, to try & work out if it's a dovetailed or cast body, but it's hard to tell from the pics. I think I can see a couple of faint lines at front & back where it's hard to get a really tight fit between sides & sole (well, I find it hard), but I may be imagining too much. I was also looking for evidence of rivets holding the rear stuffing, but they are well blended if they are there! The front ones are easy to spot, but nothing stands out at the back on the side facing the camera...

    Cheers,
    Iíve had a quick look on eBay, but no-one seems to mention the thickness in their descriptions, and itís going to cost a bit in postage (courier actually, the post office can be unreliable out here in the third world), and I have a couple of friends whoíre in the tool making line so I might fish around a bit and call in a favour to get this blade ground down a bit.

    Iíve done a very quick clean with a pot scourer, and there is definitely a rivet near the back. There are also a couple of bits where it looks like there is a tiny gap between the sole and the sides. If you look inside the mouth you can also see the join - I donít know if that means anything though. The other picture shows the rear where you can see the join in the rosewood where I assume the bottom of the handle was cut off and faired into the infill.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Sydney Australia
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    62
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    13

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    Colin
    The early Mathieson infill planes seemed to of been made by Spiers and are very rare. But yours is not one of those, they used that stamp on the lever cap from 1890 to 1930ís the shape on the top of bolt on the lever cap would date it in the 1890ís no earlier.

    If the iron goes all the through the mouth the problem is not with iron itís the lever cap or the chip breaker.

    Peter

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