DSC_0051Every so often a grouping of tools comes together as a package via eBay and at first glimpse of a poorer image you might pass over it without thinking. This might have been the case when I bought the tools shown here. The image was quite unclear but the silhouette of the small router piqued my interest at first. I had wanted one for some time but they rarely come up on eBay and never elsewhere as far as I could see. This one, (below the larger brothers) had a superficial powder coat of rust but that soon came of with a brass wire brush. I recoated the knobs with shellac and refined the blade and so here you have the baby of the Edward Preston router plane back in service. It makes a nice addition.DSC_0061

DSC_0046For this wooden one it was a question of using it as a kit. The rectangular mahogany base had none of the shaping you see for thumbs and fingers and it was awkward to use. In a few minutes I had it fitting my hands and it works fine. I think I will file the back of the cutting iron flat to automatically align the blade to the depth lock screw so it’s presented square to the front of the plane and to prevent it from twisting under pressure.

DSC_0070The four longer burnishers are comprise three from the ones on eBay collection with the fourth one one of mine. They are very nicely made and came in at just the right time for something I am working on writing. Two of the three of them are made from old files as was mine with the hexagonal handle third from the left. I tried all of them and they work exceptionally well. They were made very beautifully and the thing for me was that one of the best was the triangular file made from a worn out saw file. With these burnishers the maker took off the file teeth and then polished them out. One is a three-square saw file, another a half round file and the other a tear-shaped one that was not made from a file.

DSC_0074The plane with the funny shape is for chair and rung making and has a half round blade in it.DSC_0078 DSC_0075 I can see this being a useful tool but whether I would have bought or made one outside of this collection I don’t really know. It does work nicely and really fits the hand well. The wood is beech.

This draw pin is of course for drawing up components and aligning holes in engineering but it draws up tenons into the mortise for using draw-bore methods for pinning tenons equally well. It will work equally well without adding a wooden handle so I will keep it as is.DSC_0079

DSC_0071DSC_0073The travisher was pretty grungy when I tame in but I was glad the rusted in tangs turned loose as the often don’t in spokeshaves and can break the wood. Of course this is a lot beefier. DSC_0067The tang is stamped Marples and Sons so I knew the blade was Marples but then as I cleaned off the wood there was a feint tracing of the same maker and Hibernia Sheffield stamped in the wood too. I haven’t sharpened it up yet but for chair seats this tool knows no equal.DSC_0065

The reamer here I am thinking will be just right for violin peg holes I think. Otherwise I would have no need for it. It will go to Joseph for his tools anyway.DSC_0082


  1. Harun on 20 June 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Paul, Those are nice additions to your collection. I do like the funny little plane. Harun

  2. Thomas Tieffenbacher on 20 June 2015 at 4:23 pm


    A great find in the hands of an appreciative craftsman. We sometimes find treasure when we aren’t looking? Thanks for sharing your joy of the tool!

  3. Paul E Fowler on 20 June 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Nice burnishers, made a few myself. I believe the ” hex” is actually octagonal!
    Seems to be a common mistake, really don’t know how the hex(six sides) ever evolved. The octogon is simply square wit corners removed imho. Enjoy your posts, I anxiously await more, not only content but the passion in writing.

  4. Jack Collins on 21 June 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Often times we need to take the good with the not so good. Then we realize it’s all good! Yesterday I bought a Stanley #78 and it came with a no name steel plane about the size of a #5. The 78 is pristine excrpt for missing the depth gauge. The #5 not so much. But they will both be appreciated for their beauty as well as functionality.

    • Paul Sellers on 21 June 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Yes, it is true that sometimes be end up with a lemon, but mostly not. Out of the last hundred planes i have bought, maybe one wasn’t so good, but i needed a plane sawn up into bits for my book and so it came in just fine because I wouldn’t want to carve up a good plane.

  5. Ed on 6 July 2015 at 6:11 pm

    How do you replace handles on a drawknife? It looks like the blade tangs go through the handles, then through a metal cup / ferrule / washer, and are then peened. Do you just file the peened over ends until the cups come loose? Plan B is to leave the handles on, fill the cracks with a filler, maybe epoxy, and then reshape and wax.

    • Paul Sellers on 6 July 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Usually they don’t bend back without very localised heat. If that’s not likely to happen just file them off. Today of course we do have the option of good quality epoxy and I often use this in chisel handles that have wallowed out if it seems appropriate. I have no hesitation to using epoxies and other glues. A conservator will take a different view than a user.

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