By definition a plow plane is used to make grooves and rabbets, mostly for drawer bottoms and backs. The plane in photo 2, is strictly a plow and rabbet plane and is one of the most desirable planes for the collector. Another in a series of plows patented by Miller and built by Stanley is a Type 1 #43 and was built between 1870-1872. The third photo represents wooden planes that are the earliest variety of planes (Earliest American, since the Romans must have had a means of cutting a groove). Several other manufacturers include, but are not limited to: Walker, Mayos Patent, Philips Patent, Ohio Tool (wooden), just to name a few. Hand plane technology progressed through the centuries with wooden planes making way for metal-bodied planes.
This translated to having a different wooden plane for each application, and could get cumbersome for the cabinetmaker of the time.
Each variant was either adopted for manufacturing efficiency or to implement a new feature into the plane. It came with set groove and rabbet blades along with beading and many other molding cutters (total of 55).


The first one on left is a great example of a a€?yankee plowa€? and was probably made in Massachusetts around 1720-1730.
The skate between the main body at the right and the adjustable fence at the left is the sliding, adjustable skate. Notice also the floral motif on the body which significantly narrows the age of this plane to circa 1895- 1905.
The photos describe the different types of plow planes that have been available over the years. This plane was made more elaborate than the 45 and if you were in a hurry, you might be better off finding the right shaper cutter. 45 on mahogany, but the grain is interlocking and reverses presenting opportunity for tearout with this plane. The two necessary adjustments the depth of the cutter in relation to the skates and the sliding skate location. I sharpened the cutter, flattened and polished the back, and set a primary bevel at 30 degrees, honed and polished to 4000 grit. One in cast iron with japanned finish, another in cast iron with copper wash and a third that was solid bronze.


This plane does however easily plow through straight-grained woods creating straight, symmetric and accurate beads, grooves, dadoes in no time! Notice the fence is actually beneath the cutter when making rabbets and is set to the width of the rabbet. The sliding skate (supporting skate in this instance) is at the outside of the cutter or blade, hidden by the rosewood fence.
This plow was found with several Chelors, although unmarked, it has all the right characteristics of a very early plow. The early planes were slightly longer, made of birch and had a wide flat chamfer on the body. It is important to keep the plane vertical for a level rabbet, along with keeping the fence along the edge of the board throughout the cut.



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