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These early planes were made from wrought iron with sides that were dovetailed to the wrought iron sole.Dovetailing is not usually associated with metal working, other than the coppersmiths, but is known by woodworkers for its strength and durability.British tools were often made of exotic woods (such as ebony, rosewood, padouk, and mahogany) and trimmed with brass fittings, or even of just a nice piece of beech or ash trimmed with brass. He only has English tools." Many wives and girlfriends loved them - they could see the beauty of the British tools.In the 1800s the British cabinetmaker's chest would be full of great-looking tools: maybe an Ultimatum or brass-framed brace, an ebony and brass mortise gauge, brass-backed saws, perhaps a Scot-tish level with its "fancy" brass top plate, and brass or gunmetal planes of all types and sizes stuffed with rose-wood, ebony, mahogany, or some other fine woods. The men could not see any collectible value or investment value. This was also true several years ago with antique furniture.The earliest known wooden planes are those that were found on King Henry VDTs ship Mary Rose when it was discovered at the bottom of the English Channel. The ship and its contents (including the tools) can be seen at the Royal Naval Maritime Museum in Portsmouth, England.These tools date to about 1545 and have been described in detail in W. More "recently," in the late 1600s, Thomas Granford 1687-1713, Robert Hemmings 1676-1695, and John Davenport -1680-, are known to have been planemakers in London.William Marples & Sons (for example), the last British wooden planemaker, closed shop in 1965.
Benjamin Frogatt, a well known maker of wooden planes, 1760-1790, was one such maker.
Several examples of Granford planes are known, but there are only four by Davenport, and none have been identified as being made by Hemmings. Nicholson (Wrentham 1728-1753) was the first recorded American planemaker.
Up until the middle 1700s there were only a handful of British planemakers, all of whom were in London.
ore and more we are hearing reference of "English" tools, really we should say "British" tools.
Many of us forget, or do not realize, that Scotland is not a part of England.