Tools #2: My First Wood Bodied Plane!

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Blog entry by ElroyD posted 04-08-2018 11:27 PM 1096 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: 18th Century Striking Knife Part 2 of Tools series Part 3: The Two Foot Rule »

I found my first wood bodied plane, picked up today at a Whitehall, NY antiques store for about $16. There is some cracking in the body, but the sole looks good (maybe a very slight twist that can be flattened). The mouth isn’t overly chipped or broken. The tote fell off when I picked it up the second time to look at it, but that’s easily fixed (and allowed me a peek inside to see the manufacturing process). The maker’s stamps on the toe read “Eayrs & Co. Makers Nashua NH”. From what little I’ve been able to find, Eayrs worked in Nashua around 1850. The iron is marked “Dwights French & Co. Warranted Cast Steel”. Dwights & French were apparently in business together in CT from around 1843 to the early 1900s.

For usage marks, it’s very clean with little dirt or grime. There are round hammer marks on the heel and the top from previous users loosening the iron, and the top of the iron is mushroomed from hammers setting the blade, so it definitely saw some use.

I don’t believe that this one will take much to restore. The iron and chip breaker need cleaning up and sharpening, the tote needs to be glued back in, but that’s about it. The sole might need a little flattening, and the very tips of the wedge are broken off, but that won’t affect usage at all. If anyone has any advice on restoring wooden planes, I’m always ready to learn more.

Also, If anyone knows more about Eayrs & Company, I’d love to see if I can narrow down the date on this. I couldn’t find their name in an 1872 city business directory, but I did find individuals with the Eayrs surname listed there.

Now I can get first hand experience with using a pre-industrial fore plane!

-- Elroy

3 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3309 posts in 3406 days

#1 posted 04-08-2018 11:37 PM

Looks like a winner, should be fun to restore and a pleasure to use when finished.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1863 days

#2 posted 04-08-2018 11:55 PM

Good find, Elroy. Good luck with the restore. Sorry, I can’t offer any info on Eayrs & Co.

View socrbent's profile


1047 posts in 3485 days

#3 posted 04-09-2018 12:00 AM

Good find. Hope you enjoy it. What is surprising to me is how similar the wood bodies and wedges look from different manufacturers.

-- socrbent Ohio

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