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What should you look for when purchasing antique wood planes for sale? Always consider the brand name, overall condition, and the type of materials used to create a collectible woodworking plane; especially the materials and condition of the tool for any vintage wood plane that is well-aged.
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The following pictures of vintage and antique woodworking planes present graphic view of some of the subtle differences that occur in antique tools that affect values and create a price range from a few dollars to many hundreds of dollars for a given antique tool or plane.
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A plane, or hand plane, is a device that holds an iron chisel in a fixed position so wood can be evenly removed from the surface of a board. They are used to smooth, thin, and flatten wood, as well as to shape the wood for utilitarian purposes like joints and decorative purposes like edges and molding.
Although an antique tool might be said to be one that is more than a hundred years old, the term is often used to describe any old tool of quality that might be deemed collectable. The use of tools is one of the primary means by which humans are distinguished from other animals. Tools are the parents of all other antiques. Most man-made objects were made and great effort goes into the creation of newer and better tools to solve the production problems of today. The study of antique tools provides a glimpse of human development and cultural preferences history. The creation of a tool often makes possible the creation of more advanced tools. Advanced tools made possible the manufacture of internal-combustion engines, automobiles, and computers. Among those who like to collect, some may do so as part of a rigorous study program - they want to catalog all types of a specific tool, for example. Some collectors may wish to preserve some of the past for future generations, others fall under the spell of the beauty of some antique tools.
The firm of Alexander Mathieson & Sons was one of the leading makers of hand tools in Scotland. Its success went hand in hand with the growth of the shipbuilding industries on the Firth of Clyde in the nineteenth century and the emergence of Glasgow as the "second city of the Empire". It also reflected the firm's skill in responding to an unprecedented demand for quality tools by shipyards, cooperages and other industries, both locally and far and wide.
Antique Woodworking Tools: Their Craftsmanship from Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century is David Russell's account of the history of woodworking tools illustrated profusely with items from his extensive collection of British, continental European and North American hand tools. Planes are given special attention and British makers, among them Holtzapffel, Norris, Mathieson and Spiers, are discussed in depth.