Norris Planes Are Wonderful Old Tools

Some planes fly and some level the surface of wood. Well, this Norris of London plane does both. It fair flies across the wood and it superbly surfaces the defects to perfection at the same time.  This one needed no repair and has all of the original components. It’s a well-used model as can be seen, but the wear is cosmetic patina and there is no rust or pitting on the iron at all.


It was the mechanism of these Norris planes that was most unique and it’s this mechanism that’s at the heart of most Veritas range of planes. It’s well proven and I am glad that it lives on in these modern planes too. Veritas raised the bar in terms of engineering their mechanisms and I think their planes will be around for a century and more too. You can see the low-angle smoothing plane directly behind the Norris on my bench. This plane gets pulled out every day. That says a lot for me. I can say of this plane as I can the old Norris, This plane fair flies across the wood.



I can see why this plane was well-loved and revered by craftsmen of old and also today.  Not that easy to get hold of anymore, but still around. I used this one on the box I have been restoring, which by the way is progressing quite well. I have it all glued up and started finishing the inside today and yesterday. It’s a stout box with finely cut dovetails as you might be able to see from the images tomorrow.


The shavings just peeled back as I used the Norris plane on the mahogany. Rippling thousandths of an inch thick.


I am so thankful for my tools, everyone of them. I had to leave most of y personal hand tools behind in the US. My favourites were too heavy to ship because of the expense. I have those prized from my apprenticeship days here with me, but many hundreds more are coffined away for a season. I probably paid more than I should for this rough box, but I couldn’t see it left in the flea market. If anyone doesn’t need another box it’s Paul Sellers, Yes, I know, but, well,  I could for sure make one quicker than restore it but I’d have to buy some mahogany and this is that fine old Honduras mahogany that’s so rare today.



Here is my Veritas low-angle smoothing plane-it’s a really fine tool to have and I like it especially for fine work. When I made the cabinets for the Cabinet Room of the White House two years ago, this was the plane I used the most. Look for an article on line that I wrote for the US magazine Popular Woodworking on shooting boards. Google will pull up 30+ pages on it. Just put in Paul Sellers + shooting boards.


Keep you posted on progress and thanks for looking in.

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