Some Dutch planes

I had a few minutes recently to take a quick look at a grouping of 18th-century Dutch planes. Like this:

overview

I have always like these planes since I first saw some 20 years ago on Cape Cod.  Several of this batch are panel-raising planes, most have skewed mouths. And, all are carved. Some better, some pretty good. They often are trimmed at the back end like this one. Makes handling them easier, more comfortable I guess.

 

skewed mouth smooth plane
skewed mouth smooth plane

 

 

sole
sole

This one’s got a straight mouth, longer body than the ones above. Not like a jointer, though…I’d guess about 14″.

 

longer smooth plane
longer smooth plane
better view
better view

 

carved mouth
carved mouth

Here’s a couple of wedges that got away from planes…

carved wedges
carved wedges

One of the original irons, quite thin. Tapered in thickness and width.

iron
iron

Quite thin, not like 19th-century plane irons.

tapered iron
tapered iron

Here’s some of those scroll planes – a “gerfschaaf” in Dutch.  Gerrit van der Sterre says it is sometimes called a “hobbelaar” or “rocking plane.” Says the sole can be straight, hollow or rounded in cross-section, as well as straight or curved lengthwise. Thinks they are for roughing out… these are small. maybe 8″ – 10″ long. Not more…

2 scroll planes

two scroll planes

scroll plane

 

Then the full-blown jointer plane. Munged up a bit, but still a great tool. It makes me want to make one next week – but I have to wait til I finish a bunch of other stuff!

 

 

 

jointer
jointer

tote profile

 

jointer tote

 

 

 

scrolls

Gerrit van der Sterre’s book is called Four Centuries of Dutch Planes and planemakers, published in Leiden by Primavera Press 2001.

Here is a plane from Randle Holme’s Academie of Armory or Blazon, 1688. Showing a Dutch-style plane, used in England. Was it an English style too? Or is it imported, or used by Dutch craftsmen working in England?

smooth plane dutch style

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10 thoughts on “Some Dutch planes

  1. Besides the obvious (beautiful) ornamentation on the tote of the jointer, is there any purpose to the shape? It doesn’t appear comfortable to wrap fingers around (a la Stanley,) so maybe it’s held similar to coffin sided smoother, with a thumb in the hole? Are there other ways to hold a wooden jointer or atypical wear?

  2. They are so beautiful. I love all things Dutch from that period. A motto of Dutch merchants at that time was ‘Quality first and profit will follow’. I think that goes for so much produced at that time in Holland.

  3. These planes are incredible. I think it does a lot for one’s standard of quality and beauty in their work to use tools of high quality and beauty. I would love to make some planes like this some day. Thanks for posting,
    -Anthony

  4. It might be helpful to put up two more Dutch plane images. I recall they are both smooth planes. One is an image you have of a 17 C plane that was used in New England. You have among your tools an identical plane probbably made in the 19th C. Tim Nagle sent this one to us from Washingtn State. It is in excellent shape. Both front and rear ends of these planes are curved for comfortable use. It is also makes it easy to flip the plane around and pull when desired. Their soles are dropped down with vertical front and rear ends so that blade depth can be adjusted by striking the front or rear drop down. This keeps the blades in good shape. Good tools travel . I wonder if some Internet fiendee could tell us if these planes are still made.
    Jennie

  5. I am intrigued by those scroll planes. If they arent compass (or raduis, cant remember wether compass does a concave shape, and radius convex-or vice versa?) planes, why else would they have a curved sole? Modern orthodoxy tells us that a smoothing plane MUST BE FLAT. Are all planes designed to produce a straight parallel cut? I may be deluded, but I was wondering if these scroll planes produce a scooping cut? Possibly start the plane across a section of board face with the toe down flush, and as it progresses through the pass, gradually drop the heel so that the iron enters the wood gradually, then leaves it gradually during the pass, with the heel flush at the end of the pass, so as to acheive adze like scooped surfaces? Maybe on wild grain also?
    Just a thought

  6. I love the carving on those planes, especially the dates and the scrolls. I noticed that the tote on the jointer plane also has some stamping design in the carved background. Kinda of a triangular shaped stamped design much like one used in chip carving. Nice use of rosettes also.

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