Small Cast Iron Shoulder Plane By J. Popping Of NY



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Small Cast Iron Shoulder Plane By J. Popping Of NY


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There must have been something in the water in New York in the mid to late 19th century because the city produced at least four infill planemakers of note. While most carpenters, joiners and cabinetmakers in America were quite satisfied with their Stanley planes, and various derivatives, the workers of NYC must have demanded much more of their hand planes.

Interestingly all of these New York makers concentrated on the more "specialised" types of plane, rather than the bench planes that were the premiere models of those manufacturers across the pond in Britain. It seemed that in New York it was all about the instrument making trade, and the planes ranged from box mitres and shoulder planes to rabbet and bullnose rabbet planes.

This one inch wide cast iron shoulder plane is made by Joseph Popping and features a rosewood infill though, typically, the bed infill is of a lesser wood. As it's a bit grubby I can't tell what it actually is without scraping away at it or shaving a bit off. As it does not need replacing there's no need to work away at it. The attractively shaped rosewood wedge still retains the marks left by a circular saw blade on the underside of it.

The body of the plane measures 6-5/8" in length and is about 2-1/8" high. As with most of the Popping planes that I know of it is the cutting iron which is stamped with the maker's name, rather than the plane itself (though sometimes the retailer's name is stamped on the heel, toe or infill of the plane.)

Popping often bought decorative lever cap screws from Leonard Bailey and Stanley Tools to use on his own planes, and there are several examples of the screws from Stanley's No. 113 Circular planes being used on his mitres.

Other New York makers of the mid to late 1800's include Napolean and Julius Erlandsen (c1880-1925), Lauritz Brandt (c1850-1860), Williams & Ham, and George & John Thorested (c.1858-1866). Many of the planes from these makers are stamped "Hammacher-Schlemmer" and featured in various catalogues issued by the famous New York retailer.

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