Sunday, 13 January 2013

Antique Plane Blades for Mini Smoother

I recently bought 135 cast steel plane blades from G&M Tools at Ashington. That will keep me in blades for my mini smoothers for a while!
They are about 100 years old but were all unused, an extreme example of new old stock.

All were stamped Isaac Greaves and they are 1 1/4" wide.

Most had a good portion of surface rust.

My belt linisher made short work of removing the rust as well as flattening the back. This needs great care as it is so easy to round the edge of the back which would be disastrous. It helps that the blade is long at this stage.

Here's my old cast iron linisher, they don't make them like they used to!

The hard cast steel was laminated to softer unhardened steel which is handy as the unwanted upper part of the blade can be easily cut off with a hack saw.

The top is than rounded on the disc sander and all the edges softened. The whole process from rusty blade to the picture above takes about 4 minutes so overall they work out much cheaper than having them specially made. It is great to finally put these superb blades to good use 100 years after they were made.


  1. David,

    Nice find! I can't help wondering what happened to all the plane bodies though. Any guesses?


  2. Hi Chris, many companies who made blades didn't actually make planes. Before about 1910 the blades for Norris and Spiers planes were often made and stamped by the blade maker Ward and Payne. After the first world war many of these companies ceased to trade and there is a surprising amount of this unused bankrupt stock that still turns up. All the best, David.