The Collins Core box plane was patented 10 years before the Stanley #57

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Forum topic by Patternguy posted 02-01-2017 01:47 PM 1906 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 1707 days

02-01-2017 01:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: core-box plane corebox plane core box pattern maker pattern making

The plane was a foundry pattern maker’s tool, conceived and patented by Charles Henry Slicer Collins in 1886.
10 years earlier than Mr. Traut’s plagiarized #57 version.
Pattern makers were an integral part of the industrial revolution. Once called the “The Cadillac of Craftsman”, pattern makers wore white shirt and tie to work. In the wood shop, before tying on their pocketed aprons, the tie was removed and placed neatly in the toolbox. And they earned very good wages too.

Of course, I am totally biased about pattern makers, having spent 40 years as one.
Fortunately, some of it was before computers pushed me to the desktop. I spent 18 years on the bench. It was in the days before CNC arrived to decimate the “Craftsman” part of the trade. Back then, we built large core boxes by framing up blocking attached to headers and staving them to form the rough ID, and using spoke shaves and templates to finish the box to size.

Unfortunately, I also “think” I remember the amounts of lacquer solvent I inhaled when I had to paint boxes so large that I could climb into them.

Back to Collins plane.
From what I can tell, there seems to be no images of this plane anywhere on the internet.

I recently posted the pictures on another forum and found out that at least one person beside me, has one.
But, that is it.

Please, if anyone knows anything about the plane, let me know.

8 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3167 posts in 3188 days

#1 posted 02-01-2017 02:25 PM

Interesting read. You might repost this on the Handplanes of your dreams. there is a lot of knowledge over there.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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66 posts in 1707 days

#2 posted 02-02-2017 01:10 AM

Thank you for the suggestion Bruce, that is what I did.

I also posted some PDF files there about what I have learned about the core-box plane. You may find them interesting.


View Aj2's profile


3687 posts in 2813 days

#3 posted 02-02-2017 02:25 AM

@patternguy I hear about jointers that can add draft to a pattern what does that mean?
Ive never understood what that does.It must be very important since a Oliver pattern makers jointer is awesome machine.


-- Aj

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147 posts in 1541 days

#4 posted 02-03-2017 09:40 PM

Draft is the taper that lets your casting sand core slide out of the pattern instead of getting stuck between parallel walls.

View Patternguy's profile


66 posts in 1707 days

#5 posted 02-04-2017 02:20 AM

OSB is right about “why” draft is on a pattern or corebox. The question is, “How do you add, or subtract, draft to a pattern?”.

One way is to plane a board to thickness, then set the joiner fence at the correct angle and accurately joining the edges, one edge ” angled in”, and the other edge angled “out”. If you stand the wood on edge, what you have is a parallelogram.

Parallelograms are good shapes for constructing pattern equipment. If you have 4 parallelograms of any given length and arrange them to form a box, the inside walls of the box will automatically have draft, and the top surface of the box is flat “plane” that you can control the height of.

A sturdy joiner with flat, true tables, and a large, accurate and true fence is vital to maintaining accuracy and precision.

Oliver woodworking equipment was well engineered and manufactured machinery that made a name for itself supplying quality equipment to a well respected, skilled trade.


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8678 posts in 3813 days

#6 posted 02-04-2017 02:28 AM

Interesting plane. I’ve made pattrns for lots of sailboat parts that I couldn’t buy but core boxes that I could climb into were beyond my scope. I have great respect for “real” pattern makers.
If you are interested, my stuff looked like this.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Patternguy's profile


66 posts in 1707 days

#7 posted 02-04-2017 03:49 PM

The history behind this kind of plane.

View 489tad's profile


3981 posts in 4027 days

#8 posted 02-05-2017 08:31 PM

I cant help you with the plane, but I do remember when I was an apprentice seeing pictures of toolmakers wearing suits while working in the tool room.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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