Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wooden Moulding Planes

My Dad was many things, a great father was just one of them.   He grew up on a farm with 
5 siblings.  Farming, horses, cows, and crops were a part of his daily life.  But, he said that he didn't really seeing farming as his future.  He loved most sports and loved to play baseball.  He was a coach for a softball team that I was on, and coached for many teams for my brother.  He was a good sport and was up to trying most things.  He liked to hunt, but this was initially more need than sport, because hunting was a part of providing food for his family when he was growing up.  He once told a story about how my grandmother gave him 1 bullet and said it was for their dinner that night.  In other words, if he missed, no dinner.   My Dad was a lot of fun and really liked to tease.  I was pretty gullible and usually fell for it.  My brother took up where my father left off.  My Dad really enjoyed reading.  This is a testament to his persistence and intellect.  He was in a car accident as a young child and was in a coma, in his home, for 3 days.  Yep, no hospital.  As a result, I suspect that he probably had a mild brain injury.  After this, he said that school was difficult for him.  He dropped out of school early to go to work.  According to my aunts, he got into a lot of fights at school.  He said that he doesn't remember actually starting the fights, but never backed away from one.  He also said that he remembers waiting desperately, in the middle of a fight,  for one of my aunts to hurry up and stop the fight and drag him out of there.  I loved hearing these stories, because my Dad did not have a temper, and I rarely saw him mad!  Anyway, he was determined to improve his reading skills and stuck with it so that he enjoyed reading as an adult.  Education was very important to him, and it was a given that my brother and I would go to college.  When we graduated, we handed him our tassels, and he kept them next to his easy chair, always!

My Dad as a child on the farm.  He is the one in the middle.  I love this picture!

My Dad, on the right ,with his father and brother.
My Dad was a carpenter, a finish carpenter.  He learned a lot of his skills from his father, my grandfather.  My grandfather died when I was 4 years old, I only have a faint memory of him.

My Dad was inducted into the army during WWII.  Interestingly, with all his hunting and gun skills,  he was trained as a medical corpsman.  He was on the hospital ship, Wisteria, for most of his military career.  He assisted in removing wounded troops, and treating them, from the European Theater and then the Pacific Theater.  He traveled around the world.  I can't remember how many voyages he had, but he said that he was sea sick for the first three days of every voyage.  Poor Dad!  He always laughed when he told us this. 

After discharge, he came home, found my Mom and got married.  My brother and I arrived soon after.  Dad began his  long career as a carpenter.  I always loved that he was a carpenter, for many reasons.  For one, I had the best flip chart in our school, nothing slapped together at our house.  Also, my pencil box was veneered and the lid slid off to display the section for my pencils and erasers.  But best of all, I had a basement and garage full of power tools (I was allowed to use the drill press alone), wood scraps, screws, nails, hand tools, and lots of saw dust,  to make many a project.  At Sunday school, during Christmas, when we talked about the Christmas story, I always piped up that my Dad was a carpenter just like Joseph.  It was a proud moment!

My Dad was always willing to help out with any project.  Thank goodness!  I won't list all of the repairs and fix ups....there's way too many.  But, he helped my husband, rather my husband helped him to make a play structure for our kids.  It tuned out great, as you can see!

He built the beautiful front porch on our first house.  I loved that porch!

My husband chose the plan and my dad grumbled about all the angles. 

Then we moved, and on to porch number 2!

One of my daughter's many "first day of school" pictures.
Even though the brick is greatly in need of weed removal, the porch was great until a few ground hogs dug under it and collapsed a part of the porch.  Darn it! 

As I stated earlier, my Dad was many things, including being a collector.  He liked to collect a lot of unusual items.  After he died, my husband and brother found this collection of wooden moulding planes in his workshop.  Wikipedia states that" a moulding plane is a specialized plane used for making complex shapes found in wooden mouldings."  "Traditionally, moulding planes were blocks of wear resistant hardwood, often Beech or Maple, which were worked to the shape of the intended moulding.  The blade, or iron was likewise formed to the intended moulding profile and secured in the body of the plane with a wooden wedge.  A traditional cabinetmaker's shop might have many, perhaps hundreds, of moulding planes for the full range of work to be performed."

This set of wood moulding planes is approximately 75- 100 years or older.  They have been stored for many years in workshops, garages, etc. and are in need of cleaning and restoration.  
 As seen from the bottom of the plane, you can see the shape of the moulding pattern, or the profile. 

This plane was made in New York by the Auburn Tool Company.

After some light cleaning, the most exciting thing happened.  I was able to see many of the company names stamped onto the planes, but there was a consistent stamp on most of the planes, that didn't appear to be a company, it was smaller.  I suddenly realized that it was the name of my great grandfather!  He had stamped his name on the planes to identify them as belonging to him.  That makes this collection even more precious!

The cutting edge of this plane demonstrates the intricacy involved with many moulding planes.

Another interesting profile.

A closeup of another profile.

As stated earlier, many different tool companies are listed on these planes, some of the companies are:  J. Dawson, Montreal, D. R. Barton, Rochester, NY 1849-1874,  A. Howland, NY, Greenfield Tool Co., Greenfield, Mass.  1851-1883, Merritt and Company, NY, and Sandusky Tool Company, Ohio.

There are many very narrow planes, shown are two of them.

The late nineteenth century brought modern type planes which were all metal.  One of these was the Stanley No. 55 Universal Plane.  My Dad collected the above plane, which is a Stanley No. 45 Combination Plane.  A precursor to the No . 55  This plane is pretty amazing, it is brass plated, has the "flower" motif of the Stanley, and is in pretty good shape.  But, it needs a bit of cleaning, like all of the others!

I am so glad that my Dad liked to collect, I appreciate what he saw in these hand tools.  I can't wait to start cleaning them up and figuring out how to display them.
My Dad was a wonderful man, I still miss him every day.  He left a legacy behind; mainly to love life and family. 

Thanks for sharing my Dad's moulding planes.  I know that I have learned a lot more about them!  I hope that you did , too.  Have a nice day!

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing all those great pics of Gramps!! And I had no idea about the planes- that's very cool!!