Toolapalooza – Penultimate Prize

There were two individual tools on my “gotta bid on these” radar at the MJD summer auction.  The “pretty one” was a small brass shooting plane.

Patrick’s plane

After seeing Patrick Edwards’ petite shooting plane he used for parquetry at the Williamsburg conference this year I have been itching to get one.  (I will almost certainly make one myself, but that is a topic for another set of blog posts).  Here was a sweet little one that was pretty clearly custom-made, perhaps even user made.

The auction estimate seemed pretty low, so I was interested on checking it out.  Very, very nice, great lines, pleasant heft, a nice Sorby iron.  I was hooked.  Since it was being sold very late on Saturday, and Mrs. Barn and I were going to visit friends in Rochester NY for dinner and the evening I would not be around for the bidding festivities.  Hyperkitten volunteered to bid for me and I told him my limit.

Late that afternoon he sent me a message on my newfangled smart phone thingy that I had indeed won that particular prize!  A week later it arrived at the PO box and I had a chance to look it over really well.

It was pretty clear that the plane had never been made operable.  There were no wear marks on the body that would suggest any real use, but the kicker was that the Sorby iron had never been sharpened.  Its back had been “ground” on a flat waterwheel but had never been taken any further in the process.  I took about a half hour and got it singing like Caruso.  It is darned near perfect for my needs in cranking out French parquetry or other small-scale work.

The handle of figured walnut had been broken and repaired, albeit poorly.  The repair seems to be holding firm so I may wind up just re-sculpting it a tad and leaving well-enough alone.  Oh, and I think a nice knurled pressure screw is called for.

I noticed with some amusement that the maker had stamped his name on two places of the handle; A. Williams.   we are probably only distantly related.