Shooting Board Plane Type Study

Right Handed Planes

The following applies to the right handed shooting board planes. ('Right handed' in the sense that you would most naturally hold the tote with your right hand when using the plane.)
Type 1
Where it all began... Here is what I wrote about the plane on 7/23/97. I was going to post it to the oldtools list but chickened out:
This just in: Batavia, IL. Mike Lindgren discovers three castings and a strange pattern at a local foundry. Lindgren says they are marked "None Such Tool Werks No 151" (where the 'e' of Werks is lying on its back) They are said to resemble a Stanley No. 51 shooting board plane. Lindgren says he will bring these artifacts to Gatootapalooza II- a gathering of his woodworking friends. Salaman's "Dictionary of Woodworking Tools" contain no mention of this manufacturer. This discovery is sure to rock the tool collecting world.
In making the pattern, I followed some advise I found on the net. I used plastic letters that I got from an office supply store. They are supposed to be used on a bulletin board. They aren't drafted (tapered) as the "No 5" or other lettering you would see on a Stanley plane etc. As such they got clogged with the molding sand at the foundry. The impressions they leave in the sand are not sharp. Three type 1's were cast. The easiest way to tell a type 1 is to read the "No 151" when the plane is in the using position. If it reads from bottom to top, you have a type one! < picture to follow>
Type 2
When we did a "production run" for porch members, I sent the pattern to Rob Kempinski then in Houston. That's where he was having the boards, quadrants and hold downs cast. It seemed to make sense to have the planes cast there as well. Rob removed the plastic lettering. Letterless planes are type 2's
Type 3
After the "production run" the pattern was returned to me. Rob had told me about removing the letters. While the pattern was away I found a pattern making supply outfit. I ordered drafted letters. I unintentionally lettered the "No 151" in the opposite direction as type 1's (it reads from top to bottom with the plane in the using position). I also added the letter 'B' - like some of the Stanley plane castings have as a foundry marking. (The planes are now cast in Batavia, IL.)
Type 3B
I recently had one plane cast in manganese bronze. With the execption of this one type 3B plane, all of the planes have been cast in iron, either at a foundry in Houston, Texas or Batavia, Illinois. This plane was made from the original pattern- same as a type 3. This is not a recast as the occassionally seen Stanley router plane etc.

A sad update, the iron foundry in Batavia will be closing its doors 12/20/2002.

Type 2X?
Things get a little fuzzy here- as is the case with any good type study. It seems that while my pattern was away a copy of it was made. The copy is made of plastic and was made while the plane was letterless. I am not sure if any of these planes were cast or sold- all I know is that a copy was made and I did not receive the agreed upon casting "royalty" if any were produced. I would hope that this type is even more rare that the type 1's.
Type 4?
There are plans for a type 4. The goal is to provide more room for a Bedrock style frog system- where the frog's position could be changed without removing the blade.

Left Handed Planes

For left handed planes the type study is simple. Both (cast iron) planes in existence are letterless type 1's! The plane is a mirror image of the right handed plane. I wanted to get mirror image drafted letters for this plane but they don't exist. I may carve some so there can be a type 2 of this plane.


It turns out that reverse pattern letters are available! They are used on cores so the lettering will be positive. (The core forms a void in the pattern.) I may add some reverse letterning if I cast more of these.