I bought this little planer this weekend, in Massachusetts, from a nice couple, with metal and wood working shops, who had purchased this earlier at a Massachusetts (I think) auction.
The planer has had a number of modifications and has no--or very little--identification on it.
Here are some photographs:
side view (with 8 inch wrench):
front (after switching cross head screw):
The table is 7 by 20.
I have an idea that I know who was the maker of the machine and how it has been modified but will for nowe solicit your thoughts without my guess.
Drat! Another item to add to the wish list ! Small hand powered shapers are quite common on this side of the pond, but I've never come across a miniature planner before. I'm guessing this is about a 100 years old ?
To me it looks like a one off home project or perhaps a "lunchbox" project from work. Is it not made from barstock and not castings?
That is as cute as a bug's ear. Congratulations.
Some similarities to a ...
#1 Shepard, however the size doesn't match up.
Looks shop made, or some fairly large portions of it do at least.
Thanks for showing us your interesting machine .
I was wondering if it might have been made as a trade school student or class project ?
If so maybe there are some drawings or decription of it in an old magazine some where.
A toolmaker I knew who went to the Montreal Technical School in the late1930s or early 1940s made a 4inch woodworking jointer as one of his projects that I used to sharpen the blades for over a span of many years .
Well, I don't think you've identified it yet--and I won't yet tell my theory, will let a few more guess. My theory may well be wrong, of course.
Most of the construction is of cast iron, including the base, the uprights, the table, the cross bar and the cross slide. The crest is made from steel, and I don't believe it's original.
Gwynne & whathis name? It's sorta like Steamachine's but a little later and a little better made?
VERY interesting. The top crest looks like it's been raised to clear something on the bed.
The bed is dovetailed see the gib adjusting screws in the first three pictures.
Is cutting pressure and gravity the only thing holding the bed down?
I'm glad you folks are still trying to identify or help identify this. I'd like to learn more about Wilcox & Gwynne: any leads? I'll search here for now.
The machine I have just purchased is not at all much like this photograph of a labelled Wilcox & Gwynne small planer from an earlier discussion:
Differences quickly noted: automatic feed on W & G not on identified one; single bolt on each side to attach crest to uprights on W & G, two on unidentified); very different ways; very different angling mechanism; very different base casting.
Not close I don't think, how about you?
Only similarity ...
I see is the shape of the back of the uprights. between the unidentified and the Wilcox & Gwynne planers.
I believe the unidentified was built in or near Worcester, MA, with influence from these - VintageMachinery.org - Shepard, Lathe & Co. - History.
It is like the Shepard of Ohio planer I referenced above its dove tailed bed only similarity. I have a #2 and a lot of difference between it and the #1 Shepard planers.
Nope, Not anything like my Wilcox and Gwynne. The only similarity is in the shape given to the uprights and the odd cup-like knob to adjust the height. Yours looks homemade from castings to me.
That Wilcox and Gwynne is a little beauty, and not very similar to the one I have just brought home at all.
I think shop made is a good guess but I am not sure it is correct. I think Rob Lang might have an idea about this and point out that I think this one has--as already noted--a changed crest piece and is perhaps missing a set of legs to sit underneath the base.
Perhaps enough time has passed and we can hear your ideas and any behind scene inputs? An unusual (to me) little planer in how it lacks any of the often seen decorative style or semi-functional holes & curves in the castings. At least in its current state anyway, the top and legs are unknowns.
Yes, Peter, perhaps at this point I'd better state my own guess, rather than wait for other.
Page 12 of Cope's' Hand and Foot Power ...' compendium may provide a clue, specifically some of the comment and then illustration 33 on that page which shows a small, fairly unadorned hand planer.
Here is a reproduction of the page (which, probably, will be difficult to read):
A pertinent note there states
"Baldwin hand planers offered in the 1875 AJ Wilkinson & Co. catalog included [...] a smaller 6 " x 6" x 15" model (fig. 33) priced at $75.00. For an additional $10.00 the 15" travel could be increased to 20".
The planer pictured in fig. 33 is similar in style to the one I've just purchased, though one should note that the uprights are more styled in the 1875 illustration, the box base may have more style, and, of course the upper crest in the illustration is cast, not the steel of the one I have (which, I assume, is a replacement part, probably made to allow more height under the tool.) Note that the general aignment is similar in the two examples, that the dovetails of the bed are a good match, that there is no automatic cross feed advance in either, that the bed/box casting is similar and that raising nut is very similar.
The size matches the 6 by 6 by 20 inch description above.
But the feature that is most similar between the two items (I think, I'm no expert) is the fairly unusual method of angling the head. Whereas most planers have provision for this on the head itself (ie the cross feed screw staying parallel to the bed when the head is angled) in both these examples (the 1875 illustration of a Baldwin planer and the example I've just found in 2012, 137 years later) the entire screw pivots. The fine print from 1875 states
"The cross-head is arranged so that it can be swung around to any angle ..."
Here is a slightly blurred photograph of this adjustment on the example I've just found:
And here is an enlargement of the Cope page already shown, showing better the planer and discussion there:
The Cope compendium referred to above lists these machines under 'S.K. Baldwin, Laconia, NH. Another Cope Compendium, 'American Planer, Shaper, and Slotter Builders' shows (on pg 15, Fig 3) the same small planer, listing it under 'N.H. Baldwin, Laconia, NH.'
It seems to me--I invite your thoughts--quite likely that the machine I've just purchased is a modified NH Baldwin planer of around 1875 (or, perhaps, after, for quite awhile).
It does occur to me that, since Baldwin is a well known collectible (perhaps) New England maker of these things and this is an unmarked example (but there is one little marking which I can yet try to show) that some may observe the similarities but suggest that this attribution to Baldwin is wishful thinking. I don't think so, but will be eager to hear any discussion.
At least this little planer shows many similarities to the Baldwin planer as depicted by Cope. Perhaps it is of the 'Baldwin school.'