Anyone know anything about "Union Mfg Co." planes?

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Forum topic by bfree posted 09-29-2009 03:54 AM 21091 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 4651 days

09-29-2009 03:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: union mfg ebay fore plane

Hello all. I just picked up an old “Union Mfg. Co.” no.6 fore plane off eBay for $19.00. Iron has Union Mfg co. New Britain Ct. stamped on it. Just wondering about its possible history, and if you folks think I made a good buy in it. All in all I’m very happy with it. Sole is flat, iron in good shape, and only took about 1/2 an hour of sharpening and tuning to get a “thin wispy shaving” as Mr. Mckinney likes to wax so rhapsodically about. This was my first buy on eBay and I think I may be in trouble with the little Mrs… way, way too easy.

-- Bryan, Jasper, Ga.

4 replies so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4625 days

#1 posted 09-29-2009 04:12 PM

Well, according to the catalog from 1905, it’s worth $4.75 so it looks like you overpaid. Okay seriously, so I had a few minutes and did some searching and found out the company started making planes after 1900 but shut down in 1919 so it’s somewhere between there. I also found the catalog which is where the price came from; here is the link for that. I really couldn’t tell you anything about the value, but as for the quality, it looks like it’s working well for you so I would say it’s good enough.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 4442 days

#2 posted 09-29-2009 05:39 PM

Union Mfg. Co.
New Britain, Connecticut

This company began making hinges, pumps and other non-tool items but later ceased. In 1880 they began making drill and lathe chucks based on James N. Skinner’s 1 June 1875 patent with the brand name VICTOR. Later, they used the brand UNION CZAR on chucks patented 27 June 1899. After 1900, they began to make transitional and metal planes. This may hold true to spoke shaves and scrapers as well. A 1919 company history makes no mention of those tools, regardless. Another Union Mfg. Co. in Buffalo, NY made foot powered grinders after 1905.

This company utilized a locking lever adjustment in their planes and held a patent to it.

Try the Ohio Tool Collectors Association, no web site but they are listed on line.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 4796 days

#3 posted 09-30-2009 06:05 AM

I have 2 Union planes and they are awesome. They are my favorites.
They seem to be made better than the Stanleys and the plane blade is thicker as well.
What’s cool is that whenever I see them on the Bay, they are usually pretty cheap when compared to the Stanleys.

View bfree's profile


14 posts in 4651 days

#4 posted 10-01-2009 04:08 AM

Thanks for the info and reassurance.

Dale, I found that same pdf about 1/2 hour after I posted this thread. Pretty cool. I didn’t know when I bid on the plane that it might be that old.

UnionLabel, WOW….wasn’t expecting that much info. Thanks for the insight.

cmaeda, I have to agree. So far I am VERY happy with this plane, AND it was pretty cheap comparatively speaking.

Keep up the good work. Love LJ’s, it’s like a bottomless barrel of information. Keep safe and may the sawdust (or shavings if that is your preference) fly!

-- Bryan, Jasper, Ga.

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