Mast Planes

I must assume that these planes were used to help form the round cross section of Masts for ships, as the name implies!  At various stages they appear in the catalogues under ‘Sundries’;  ‘Mast and Fork Shaft Planes‘ and ‘Mast and Spar Planes‘.  A Fork Shaft plane was a similar plane to a Mast Plane but was used for rounding handles and similar work and was a single iron plane.
The first reference I can find is in 1897, so we can assume that the planes may have been introduced a couple of years before then.

In 1909 they are re-numbered and listed thus:

We see this [below] in 1921,  but I would have assumed that there would have been a price increase after WW1.  So from 1897 to 1921 there was no price increase!  Amazing social stability.

In 1928 we are, for the first time, shown a drawing of the plane.  I do note that the planes now are called ‘Mast or Spar Planes‘ :

The last catalogue entry for these planes appears in the 1938 Catalogue and it may be safe to assume that they were dropped from manufacture c.1940.  The entry is exactly the same as in 1928.

The picture below shows that the Mast Planes had a hand written label on the box, this one being 1.3/4″.
I believe that the stated size was the radius of the circle that it could produce.

The one below is a 2.1/4″ size, the largest produced.

Stop Chamfer Planes

The first indication that these planes were offered for sale by MARPLES is seen in the 1909 Catalogue, although they may well have been introduced before then.
The 1909 entry looks like this:

The 1921 entry is here:

The 1928 Catalogue shows this, but you will note that the price has doubled in 7 years! :

The 1938 entry is shown here:

And the last entry in 1959 is below and you will note that #2890 has been dropped from the line:

The last time that these planes were offered for sale is indicated in the Price List of April 1962 when both the #2891 and #2892 were for sale at 66/-.

The #2890 Stop Chamfer Plane had a curious metal insert, like a spacer/cap iron, that appears to be made of Aluminium. I must assume that this was the initial plane that came before the ‘Improved‘ and the one with the ‘Fence‘. The cutter on this plane is a ‘Single Shamrock‘, which should have stopped being used after 1875 when the ‘Triple Shamrock‘  emblem was patented.

The ‘Improved‘ Plane, #2891 is shown below here.  The adjustable shoe, which had a steel lower face, was height adjusted via the side sliding mechanism.


The Stop Chamfer Plane with ‘Fence‘ [#2892] was introduced having 2 different positions available for the fence.  This was not a later owner modification, because I have two identical planes.

A later version of #2892 is slightly larger, has a larger wedge and has only one screw position for the fence adjustment.

Toward the back end of production of #2892, the ‘wedge’ was replaced with a standard Wooden plane wedge:



Toothing Planes

These planes, that were used to roughen up the substrate before veneering, are seen as being available in 1862.  The 1873 Catalogue lists #850  Coarse or Fine 2″ single iron and #851 as being the same but with a double iron [?].    Mentioned here only because we will never see one of these!!
The 1897 Catalogue shows this:

The 1909 Catalogue shows a new numbering system:

The 1921 Catalogue shows the same cut and exactly the same prices.
The 1928 entry is shown below:

1938 catalogue shows exactly the same as 1928

The 1959 shows these changes:

The last entry to show the availability of these ‘planes’ is in the April 1962 Price List where #2840 is listed at 30/6d and #2841 is 38/-

This next photo is of the plane #2841 with 2 included cutters:


Wooden Routers

These planes can be found as being available from William MARPLES going back to 1862 when they are listed for sale at 1/8d each.   At that time there is also listed an Old Woman’s Tooth plane [OWT] described as – ‘Smoothing Plane  Way‘, but I have no idea what the ‘Way’ meant.
By 1873 the basic plane [London/Router Pattern] has been numbered as #904 at 2 shillings a piece.

The 1897 listing shows both a #1032 OWT [Smoothing?] at 2/9d each and a #1033London Pattern‘ at 2/9d each.  The ‘London Pattern‘ was synonymous with ‘Router Pattern‘.  They are both here listed under ‘Sundries‘.

The number changes in the 1909 Catalogue having the ‘Router [London]Pattern’ as #2861 at 3/3d and the ‘Smoothing Pattern’ #2860 at 2/9d.

The 1921 Catalogue only lists the #2861 ‘Router Pattern’ plane at 3/3d.   Maybe WW1 affected the production of the ‘Smoothing’ OWT, as it is not shown.

But by the 1928 Catalogue both varieties are shown, only that the ‘Router Pattern’ is still listed as #2861  6/6d with a 5/8″ iron and the ‘Smoothing Pattern’ is again now shown, but as a new number #2862 at 5/6d with a 5/8″ iron.  { I do not know why the 2862 should be sold for less than the 2861, because to me the former looks to be the more labour intensive to produce.}

The 1938 Catalogue only shows the #2861 ‘Router Pattern’ as being available.
By the 1959 Catalogue this below is the only listing, and you will note that the blade(s) supplied have been increased to both 5/8″ and 1/2″.

The last listing of these planes can be found in the Price List of April 1962 to the 1959 Catalogue , wherein the #2861 is shown as still being available at 31/6d.

Here is a ‘London Pattern‘ or ‘Router Pattern‘ Old Woman’s Tooth Plane:

The ‘Smoothing‘ Pattern:


Hollow and Round Planes

Again, these planes were offered for sale very early on by MARPLES , at least as early as 1862.
Initially these planes, issued in matching pairs, were available up to No. 12, but seem to be available later in 1897 (or before) up to No.15. and with higher widths being available at extra cost.  As you can see, these planes were to be had in either square or skew configuration, skew being more expensive.
Elsewhere under ‘Wooden Planes’ I shall endeavour to write about the various MARPLES marks to be found on Wooden Planes in general, so I shall not elaborate here.
The following extracts from MARPLES Catalogues should show the sizes available, at those times, much better than I can explain in words.

The listing of 1862 is shown here:

In 1873 these prices and [new] numbers are shown:

The 1897 Catalogue shows these listings under a new numbering system:

The 1909 showings are here, but note that the item numbers have again been changed:

1921 shows these listings:

The 1928 Catalogue has the following listings and I note that this is the first time that inch sizes are associated with all the Nominal numbers:

And the 1938 Catalogue shows these planes:

By 1959 the lists are drastically reduced because so few craftsmen existed to carry on the trade of making these planes:

In the price list of April 1962 the numbers 2950, 2951 are still listed but these items do not show in the March 1964 Price list.   And thus ended  two centuries of these made by hand moulding planes.

Below you will see a set (not matched) of ‘Rounds’ Nos 2-18. {The 2 Smoothing Planes are just ‘supports’!}  This set appears to be all ‘square’ examples, as you can see that the wedges are square to the body on their front edges.








Rabbet Planes


These very basic planes seem to have been offered for sale by MARPLES since very early times, as they appear in the 1862 Catalogue:

The next entry that I have is in 1873 when the Square profile [#922] is offered as being available up to 1.1/4″ [in eighths] and then 2d. extra above that value.  The maximum width is not stipulated.
The Skew version [#923] is only offered up to 1.1/4″.  Boxwood edges are offered on both these issues at twice the price.   A Side Rabbet is offered in pairs [#920].

By 1897 the numbers have changed such that the ‘Square variety is #1051 and available up to 1.1/4″ in eighths and then as  1.3/8″; 1.1/2″; 1.5/8″; 1.7/8″ and 2″.  The ‘Skew’ planes  [#1052] had the same size offering.  Both these planes could be had with boxed edges for double the usual price.  Item #1049 was a pair of Side Rabbet planes.
The only difference in the 1909 Catalogue is that the numbers have changed.  ‘Square’ is #2845; ‘Skew’ is #2846 and #2849 is the Side Rabbet planes as a pair.
By 1921 there is no change from 1909 except that Side Rabbet planes are not offered.
1928 catalogue shows again a similarity in listings to those of before, but again the numbers have been changed.  The ‘Square’ plane is now numbered 2875, the ‘Skew’ is now 2876 and the boxwood edges are still available. The re-introduced Side Rabbets are now numbered 2879.  Everything else offered is the same as in 1909.
has the same listings as 1928 and the boxed edges are still available.
In the 1959 catalogue the range of both ‘Square’ and ‘Skew’ Rabbet planes has been reduced to: 1/4″; 3/8″; 1/2″; 5/8″; 3/4″; 7/8″ 1″; 1.1/8″; 1.1/4″; and 1.1/2″ only, and no boxwood edges are offered but the side Rabbets # 2879 are still available.
The last listings for these hand made planes are to be found in the April 1962 Price List. Both the 2875 and the 2876 could be had in 1/4″-1.1/4″ & 1.1/2″. The side Rabbet plane #2879 was still only available as a Pair.
The March 1964 Price Lists shows no listings.

The only illustration of a Rabbet plane shown in the MARPLES catalogues is this:

Some Photos of Rabbet Planes:

Here is a 1/4″ ‘Straight’,  showing the cut back body:

And a 1.1/4″ ‘Straight’ :

Compare that with a 1.1/4″ ‘Skew’ :

Here is a 1″ ‘Skew’ and below that is a mint 1″ ‘Skew’ in original wrappings!!
But on the plane below you will see that someone has ballpoint pen marked the price at 22/6d. which is the price for a 1″ Skew Rabbet plane in 1961!

Compass Planes

The 1862 Catalogue shows that Compass planes were available from MARPLES as a plain plane[!], or with a plated sole; or with a wood stop or with a brass screw stop.
Strangely the 1873 Catalogue only lists a #849 Compass Smoothing plane to 2″, and nothing else?
The 1897 Catalogue shows these and with a new number system:

And the 1909 Catalogue again shows new numbers for these planes:

The 1921 Catalogue planes are shown below:

And 1928 is here:

In 1938 these planes are shown as being available and #2836-2839 are eliminated:

By 1959 we come to this:
Prices were   34/-: 36/-; 38/-.but now all under the one item #2830 umbrella.

The last listing of these hand made planes is shown in the April 1962 Price list where they are shown as being available for  40/6d; 42/6d and 45/- each according to blade width.  So we can conclude that, as with most other Shamrock Planes [Hand made] they had their demise around 1963.

PHOTOS to follow:

Ogee Planes

These again were planes that MARPLES had manufactured [by MOSELEY & Son?] for sale quite early on and they first appear in the 1862 Catalogue:

The 1873 entry was thus:
 Note the item # system now.

By 1897, with a different # system we see this:

And of course in 1909 a new numbering system shows these planes being available:

#3021   Common Ogee to 5/8″ and 1/8″ increments to 1″ available at extra cost.
#3026  Quirk Ogee to 1″.
#3028  Quirk Ogee & Astragal to 1″ and 1/8″ increments available at extra cost.
#3031  Quirk Ogee &  Quirk Bead to 1″ and 1/8″ increments available at extra cost.
#3023  Grecian Ogee to 1″.
#3024  Grecian Ogee and Bead to 1″.
#3030  Quirk Ogee and Bead to 1″.

#3030 Q O & Bead

After WWI in 1921 the sizes and planes are exactly as per 1909 Catalogue and surprisingly the prices are exactly the same!
But in 1928 we can see a reduction in the sizes:
#3021  to 1/2″ + 1/8″ increments to 1″ at extra cost.
#3023  to 3/4″ + 1/8″ increments at extra cost
#3024  to 3/4″ + 1/8″ increments at extra cost.
#3026  to 3/4″ + 1/8″ increments at extra cost.
#3028  to 3/4″ + 1/8″ increments at extra cost.
#3030  to 3/4″ + 1/8″ increments at extra cost.
#3031  to 3/4″ + 1/8″ increments at extra cost.

In 1938 AND 1959 only 2 planes are listed, exactly the same as per 1928 specs, #3021 [ Common Ogee]          & #3023 [Grecian Ogee].

As with most of the other Shamrock Brand hand made planes the last to be offered for sale were in c.1963.




Bead Planes

These planes are first found in the 1862 Catalogue when they were not given item numbers:

The following is from the 1873 Catalogue with the newly instituted Item numbers:

1897 sees a change in the item numbers:

1909 also has another change in the item numbers:

In the 1921, 1928 and 1938 Catalogues only the #3001 and #3002 planes are listed [1928 Cat listing shown below]:

The October 1959 Catalogue is the last time these 2 planes are shown, still at 5/8″-1″ with the 1/8″ increments available extra.  But the December 1959 Price List shows that the 3001 cost was 22/6d to 5/8″ and then 1/6d for each 1/8″ increment above that.  The #3002 to 5/8″ was 25/- with the same incremental price structure.

As with most of the other Shamrock Wooden Planes, this plane is not listed in the March 1964 Price List and therefore may well have been unavailable after 1963.

Astragal Planes

Astragal planes are mentioned in the 1862 Catalogue, but with no item number, and for that we have to wait until the 1873 [ or possibly before] catalogue when they are called #857.   In 1897 they are shown as #984 and as being available up to 5/8″for 2/4d and every 1/8″ to 1″  were 3d. extra and 4d extra above that 1″ size.  In 1909 and 1921 the same range of planes were offered but with #3000 being assigned. The basic plane up to 5/8″ was 2/6d +3d, +4d.

1928 saw a reduction to 1/2″ at 5/- +6d, +8d.  1938 was the same price for the extra sizes with a base price up to 1/2″ of 7/6d.   By 1959 #3000 was 25/- with 1/ 6d. being charged per 1/8″ above that 1/2″ size.

They are still listed in 1962 but not in March 1964.