Coachmakers’ Other Tools & Wheelwrights’ Tools

It was not until the publication of the 1888 Catalogue do we see that MARPLES got into the manufacture of specialised Coachmakers’ Tools.
Also included on this page will be Wheelwrights’ tools, as they are listed together by MARPLES.
There we see a Coach Side Axe:

Strong Wrought Iron Cramps 5″-12″:

Draw Borers:

T-Plane irons up to 2″ in 1/8th increments, but no plane bodies:

Also listed, but with no images, are ‘Iron Stock Squares‘ in sizes 6″;8″ and 10″, and a Trimmers Hammer in #2 size.

The 1897 Catalogue shows the following:

Please note that Side Axe; Cramps; Draw Bore pins; Trimmers’ Hammers and Squares are as per 1888 listings. The T plane irons #194 are only listed as being available 1″-2″. New listings are for Coachmakers’ chisels; 14″ Iron Stock T bevels; Solid Cast Steel Framing hammers [#1126 @ 10 pence per lb!!]  ; Routers  and  ‘Spider Mortice Bevels‘ [no image]. With other Wheelers’ tools.

Available 1/8″ -2″


1909 Catalogue sees these entries:

Available 1/8″-2″


The Side Axe is now #1274
The Cast Steel chisel is now #650; the B/E chisel is #655 and the Incannel gouge is #660. The Bent Iron G cramp is now #4724 and a new item Welded Iron G  cramp 8″-18″is #4725. The Trimmers’ hammer is now #3908. Many other tools have been listed as shown above, but I do not see a listing for the T plane irons. The Framing hammers, now #3390, are available in 2.1/2-4lbs.

The 1928 Catalogue shows these pictures:

The above extract shows us, for the first time, an actual image of the Squares and Bevels. It also introduces Wheelers’ or Coach Shaves and 18″ Panel Gauges.

I do note that the Trimmers’ hammer is still available, but it has been moved by MARPLES to be listed under ‘Upholsterers’ Tools‘!
They did this just to confuse me 55 years later!!

Next are the 1938 tools:

As seen above the B/E chisel is no longer offered.

The Side Axe and Cramps are the same as 1928 and Trimmers’ Awls and Hammer are still to be found under Upholstery Tools.

The 1959 Catalogue listings show a drastic reduction in the availability of these specialised tools:

And then all three of these tools were discontinued at the end of 1963.

Wheelers’ Rounder:

Fork Shaft Rounder…Brass Bushed:



Coachmakers’ Planes

The first reference that I have about MARPLES producing Coachmakers’ Planes is in the 1897 Catalogue, although I am sure that they were introduced before then.
So in 1897 we see the following entries:

In 1909 the Item numbers have been changed and the listings follow here.
[Of note is that in 1921 the listings are exactly the same, including prices.]

Jumping then to 1928 we find another item number change and that the Compass T Rabbet Plane and Coach T Rabbet Plane are both available up to 1.1/2″.   Previously there is no maximum width stated for these planes, but since I have a 2″ Coach T Rabbet plane I will assume that, prior to 1928, these planes were available up to at least 2 inches..

These planes were not produced much after 1928 as there are no listings in the 1938 Catalogue, obviously due to Coachmaking being a declining industry.

The Coach T Rabbet Plane was so called ‘T‘ Rabbet because the body shape resembling an inverted ‘T‘.   [Some references state that it was because of the shape of the cutting iron, but there are a few other planes that use this shape blade, so I reject this theory.]
The Coach Compass T Rabbet plane has a convex sole in order to work concave shapes and there was never a Compass T Rabbet Plane having a concave sole.    The only concave sole in the Coachmakers’ line was the ‘Smooth Plane’ as shown as #2992 in the 1928 listings.

The Coach T Rabbet shown below has a sole that is 6.5/8″ long x 2″ wide. The whole plane is 3.3/16″ tall and the vertical body is 13/16″ thick.  The cutter is 7.1/4″ long and 2″ wide at the cutting edge, with no maker’s mark. [which is common to the majority of MARPLES wooden plane blades.]

The following planes , shown L to R in the photo are:
#2992  Coach Concave Smooth Plane marked number ‘2
#2992  Coach Concave Smooth Plane marked number ‘4
#2991  Coach Compass Smooth Plane marked number ‘2
#2990  Coach Smooth Plane marked ‘1

Given that the curves were ‘numbered’ we must assume that various curvatures were produced and sold, but as yet I have no information to suggest what that range may have been. At least I can say that the number ‘2‘  concave and compass planes mate perfectly.  Also that a number ‘1‘ is perfectly flat.    All these planes [above] measure at a nominal 6.3/4” long, so this must serve as a marker to help to separate these planes from the full size planes.

Therefore, at this time, I must conclude that these Coachmakers’ planes were only available c.1890- c.1935?