Few in the trade, and perhaps none out of it, appreciate fully
the time, care, skill and peculiar refinement displayed in the
manufacture of the highest grade iron body carpentersí plane.
A mere statement of the steps essential to the production of
this tool would be a revelation to 99 per cent of those who
A book would be required to describe fully all the processes
through which the raw materials pass. A lump of cast iron and a
plate of steel are united in a product which is absolutely
reliable and absolutely accurate in every way.
The blade is designed for cutting, and it may be relied upon
implicitly to perform its duty. The body of the plane is true;
even that most crucial test, the straight edge, will fail to
permit the faintest ray of light to pass between it and the
surface. There are others, but these two examples suffice to
make our meaning clear.
The accomplishment of these ends is due to extended experience,
the long exercise of wonderful mechanical ingenuity and the
adaptation of those methods which will assure the best results
from their combination.
Through the courtesy of the Stanley Rule & Level Company of New
Britain, Conn, a representative of The Iron Age was recently
permitted to examine many of the most important steps connected
with the making of their planes and to obtain data necessary for
a general description of the processes.
In the following no attempt will be made to follow either the
body of the plane or the plane iron through the works as they
pass from one operation to another. The aim has been to take up
the work piece by piece and complete the work of one machine,
even though the piece may in its progress leave that machine for
another and then return.
The Cast Iron Body
The body of the plane has been pickled and perfectly cleaned
before coming to the works, its appearance being as indicated in
Fig. 2. It is made of high grade cast iron poured early in the
heat and cast in molds which must be of the highest accuracy,
this being rendered necessary by the thin and comparatively
large surfaces of both the bottom and sides.
An extra portion of the metal is provided at the mouth in order
to prevent chill which might otherwise occur if this part were
made extremer thin. It is first snagged on the ends on a
grinding machine, the true curve being obtained by this means.
The top and interior of the sides are then japanned. Two reasons
are given for this: If the plane were machined before being
japanned the high heat of the japanning oven might warp it out
of true, and would certainly tend to discolor the finished
Planing the Bottom and Sides
The bottoms of two planes are operated upon simultaneously in
the planing machine in Fig. 3. Each body is held bottom up in a
jig. One rests upon a stud projecting from the jig, an adjusting
screw being provided under the other end in order that the
surface may be maintained in accurate parallelism with the
cutting movement of the tool.
The inner edge or facing sides of the two planes rest against
the straight portion of the jig, while against the opposite or
outside surfaces bear two swivel clamps, each of which is
provided with two bearing points which rest against the plane.
The clamps are brought forcibly against the plane, which is held
in a rigid grip by a tightening bolt near the center of each
The plane is thus held against one straight edge, is supported
vertically upon two studs, one of which is movable, and is
clamped upon the outer side by the four bearing points of the