Thanks to the generosity of a couple people this holiday season, I found myself with a bit of extra money to spend at my local tool store. I rarely go there with the intent to buy something, and I often go home empty handed. There are quite a few tools there that are in decent shape, but most are overpriced, so I have learned to be patient.
I found a wooden jack plane for $28 off in a back corner at a booth that mostly sold furniture. The sole is mostly flat, and the iron isn’t pitted, so I was pretty sure I could get it into a usable state.
The toe is stamped “Baltimore”, and the iron is stamped “W. Butcher”. After a bit of searching, I found that that the iron was made by William & Samuel Butcher of Sheffield, England. The plane itself obviously identifies where it was made, but not the company that made it. The only clue I could find was a reference to H. Chapin’s Son & Co. Planes that were stamped with “Baltimore”.
Biko was not impressed with this information.
After about an hour of lapping the bottom of the iron, and honing the bevel, I think I got it in a usable state. I have a feeling that the last owner used oil stones to sharpen since the top of my stones seemed to repel water after a few seconds of lapping.
After a few passes, and messing with the wedge, I got it to take nice thick shavings. I have never used a wooden jack plane, so I’m going to have to read up on how to set the iron. I wasn’t able to get thin shavings from it, but I’m guessing there is a trick that I’m missing. Still, not bad for $28 and one hour of work.